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Long Term Update 1: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4


Months in Service: 3Miles: 5728Average Fuel Economy: 17.7 mpg

The last time a Jeep showed up in our-long term fleet (a 2007 JEEP WRANGLER Unlimited Rubicon), most people had never heard the names Bear Stearns or Lehman Brothers, the war in Iraq was in full swing, Ford looked like the most likely candidate for bankruptcy after Alan Mulally mortgaged everything to take out a $23.6 billion loan, Daimler was just beginning the process of off-loading Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management, its products were infamous for sub-par interiors, and Alfa Romeo was just a couple of years away from coming back to the U.S. market.

Almost four years later, we've got another Jeep in the long-term garage (a 2011 Grand JEEP CHEROKEE Limited) while Stearns and Lehman are names cursed by all, Iraq is just about wrapped up, Ford avoided bankruptcy thanks to the aforementioned loan, and Chrysler belongs to Italy's Fiat -- though Alfa Romeo's return remains, curiously, a couple of years away. Somewhere along the way, Chrysler also stopped being the perennial interior quality whipping boy, a transformation that actually began with the aforementioned 2011 Grand Cherokee, something our staffers have pointed out repeatedly.

 Associate online editor Benson Kong likes the Jeep's for its steering wheel controls, for example - "Being able to actually scroll through the satellite radio channels and not just presets is a godsend, and the rectangular buttons that control the vehicle information display and cruise control are impeccably arranged." Copy editor Zach Gale is a fan of the finer details, particularly the GC's air vent tabs. We've even managed to get used to the much-maligned five-speed automatic, which after some thinking, isn't great, but it's not all that bad either.

One thing the Grand JEEP CHEROKEE will never get props for is fuel economy. It's averaged 17.7 mpg so far and thanks to its gargantuan 24.6-gallon tank and the rapidly rising cost of gas -- our first fill-up back on 2/19 was at $3.60/gallon, our latest on May was at $4.4 per -- its been pretty rough on the wallet. We've spent $1369.59 on gas so far and though we've managed to avoid them for now, $100+ fills are getting precariously close.

In addition, we recently spent $72.61 at the local Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealer on an ahead-of-schedule oil change and tire rotation. Though the literature says that the Grand JEEP CHEROKEE shouldn't need a service until the 8000-mile mark, our Jeep's onboard computer disagreed and began demanding fresh engine lubricant just past the halfway point.

We'll continue to keep our eye on the Jeep's interior in the coming months, as well as the gas bill, and hopefully, Alfa's return won't continue to remain two years in the future.
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(Source)


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