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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Lengthy WK2 review after 1000 miles

I waited until I had 1000 miles on it to give this review for 2 reasons. 1) I did not want to give a knee jerk reaction saying I loved it or hated it because of a few things I liked or didn't during a test drive. 2) There is so much different about the WK2 that I needed to learn what everything was and how it worked so I could give a proper review. I know it is lengthy so I tried to break it up into sections that you could scan through if you wanted to read about certain things. If you have any questions about something that I did not cover, please ask. So here we go. I am going to start on the outside and work in.

The wheels:
When I first saw them, I HATED them. Was looking for replacements before I even got mine, but they actually do look better in person. I also like the engineering that went into them. They have slots cut in the spokes that as the wheel spins, they act like a fan channeling cool air onto the rotors. After getting used to them, I actually really like them and will not be replacing.

The hood:
Got to love the air outlets, it looks mean if you know what you are looking at but unassuming from a distance. My only complaint is that the hood bows to the point that I can not see the passenger side front corner near the fender from driving position so pulling in to tight parking spots was a bit nerve racking until I learned spacial relation of the vehicle.

Bumpers, ground effects, fender flares and overall look:
Since the first auto show release pictures became available, I have loved the new look. Some people think it is too BMWish, but I love it. I can certainly understand why some would prefer the look of the WK1 though. To me, the WK1 is like an old school hot rod, it looks mean and aggressive as hell and runs just like it looks like it should. The WK2 is kind of a sleeper at a glance. It looks more like a high end luxury car but runs like a raped ape. The front facia is beautiful IMO and the fender flares give it a slightly aggressive stance that make it feel a bit wider and more sure footed. The BIG Brembos look awesome too.

Chrome:
I am not a fan of all the chrome and would like to see an option to replace with body color or matte or gloss black. I debadged mine within minutes of getting it home. Many people recommend using a hair dryer to heat up the adhesive to peel off. In my experience that leaves gummy residue that you have to clean off afterward so I have always done it cold. If it is winter time when you debadge, bonus, if not, use a sack of frozen peas to cool it down. When it is sufficiently cold, slip a plastic card (I use a blockbuster card) under the edge of a letter far enough to give it some good bite then with both hands give it a swift and quick tug. The adhesive will give way and pop off leaving zero residue. I removed the Jeep from the hood and the Grand Cherokee down the sides. After debadging the card is ruined but Block buster replaces for free. In the last 5 years this is the ONLY thing I have used my Blockbuster card for so it is still good for something. Credit cards are too thick and not flexible enough.

Exhaust and trailer hitch:
I liked the center exhaust of the WK1 but as much as I liked it, it was the reason that I went with the Trailblazer SS instead because I frequently tow a small trailer loaded with MX bikes. The split exhaust is not as cool but way more functional for me. I like the facia that covers the hitch when not in use, kind of like my old Escalade. The new exhaust note is pretty much inline with the look of the truck, unassuming at an idle and cursing speed. When you hammer it is when it comes to life and you can hear it thunder. That said, I will be replacing the exhaust for something with a little more bark.

Interior:
Well, there is a lot more to it than there used to be. They have taken it to a luxury vehicle level. If you replaced the canon fiber trim with wood inlays and did the seats in full leather, you would think you were in an Overland. Do I like it? Yes, but I like creature comforts. I have owned an Escalade and an X5 and it is easily more luxurious than the X5 and on par with the Escalade. Some have reported that it not that impressive, but I have not found the same to be true. Detail like the stitching in the leather dash and well appointed door panels take this up a notch. The one thing that sticks out as mediocre is the silver panel around the shifter and radio. They are identical to what is in my wires 2011 Larado X. I would have liked to have seen these in carbon fiber to finish the "performance" look.

Steering wheel:
The steering wheel is nice although the center is boring and it being heated is a great addition. The paddle shifters get in the way and I have accidentally hit them and wondered why it was not shifting. Note: it will NOT shift if you have it in track or sport mode. In Auto it will shift once it pings the rev limiter. I have not tested this, but the manual stated that.

Seats:
Seats feel amazing and the bolster is snug, you are definitely secure when you are in there and every possible adjustment you might need is available. Heated and vented seats are a real treat. On long drives hit the ventilated seats and it feels like 1000 angles are blowing on your junk.

Sunroof:
Panoramic sunroof is phenomenal. Gives you the feeling of driving a convertible.

Cargo area:
Chrome strips in the cargo area look nice but I'd rather not have them. Boxes and groceries slide on them like ice. Would rather them be made of rubber to give some traction to items in the back. Power lift gate is nice but I could do with out. Side mirrors have blind spot monitoring so that is a great feature, I do wish they folded with the touch of a button like my X5 and Escalade though.

Stereo/Nav center:
-- The back up camera is genius but would like to see the screen have the ability to swivel up and down because in direct sun (when the sunroof shade is open) it washes out the camera a bit and makes it hard to use. If you could swivel it down slight it would eliminate the problem.

-- The navigation is a life saver. I used it yesterday to go to a meeting in Dallas even though I knew the way. Several times it re-routed due to incoming traffic data. Although I questioned it, I followed its directions getting off 3 exits early. On the service road it became apparent as to why, 35 was LOCKED up. It routed me around the traffic without a problem and displayed high traffic areas as well as construction zones.

-- iPod and iPhone integration is fantastic. Being able to give voice commands to call is effortless and sound quality of the call is perfect. My only beef is that if I am listening to the radio and need to charge my phone, when I connect it, it automatically switches to playing music stored on the phone. I wish it would just leave it on the radio and let me switch it if that is what my intention was.

-- Sound quality: The stereo is inspiring. Clear crisp sound. WAY better than any car I have ever had and transfer of music to internal HDD is very nice or just stream bluetooth from your phone or play via USB.

Behind the wheel:
Driving this is just plain fun.

Select Modes:
In auto mode it rides as smooth as the wires Jeep, sport rides about the same but shift points seem more distinct. Maybe a bit stiffer suspension but still very comfortable. Track mode is stiff, real stiff and 1st to second shift is hard, 3rd, 4th and 5th do not shift as hard but still noticeable more solid than in auto or sport. If you are on a rough road you may well loose a filling but on nice concrete sweepers it is amazing. Much less body role than you would expect from an SUV that is as tall and heavy as this is.

Speed Control:
Adaptive speed control is something new to me and I needed time with it before I could really give my opinion on it. I can tell you that is just works. You can set Cruise at 80 and as you approach a slower moving car in your lane it will slow down and maintain a specified distance until the slower vehicle moves out of your lane, or you do. Then it jumps right back to 80. There are 3 distance settings you can choose from to suit your driving comfort zone. If you have it set and come up on stopped traffic, it will actually brake HARD and start an alarm telling you to stop. Or if you are behind a car on the interstate and he/she suddenly brakes hard for whatever reason, the Jeep hammers the brakes to maintain the distance relationship to the vehicle in front (this happened to me when a driver realized they were about to miss their exit and jammed on the brakes doing 60). Pretty crazy. The car will react faster than you will have the ability to even if you are paying attention.

MDS/ECO mode:
At cruising speed the MDS kicks in and you will hear a slight drone. Noting that bothers me but my hearing suck from years of shooting guns. I have heard others complain about it. I have not noticed any "real" fuel savings when it is active watching the EVIC but who knows, since I can't turn it off there is no way to tell.

Performance:
Well it performs better than it looks like it should. Where as the WK1 looked like a hot rod and performs like one, the WK2 is a sleeper IMO.
Personal best 0-60: 4.6 seconds
Best 1/4 mile: 13.08 although SRT8/BMW hit 12.97 http://www.cherokeesrt8.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58486
Best Acceleration G force = 1G
Cornering: It handles nice. As with most AWD, get slowed down before you get into the corner and hammer it at the apex. Solid feel with little body role. The brakes allow you to brake later than you think you should.
Braking: They are no joke. Stops on a dime. They kick off a LOT of brake dust however so wheel cleaning is going to be a weekly if not daily chore. I waxed the wheels last night to allow for daily rag wipe downs but I am kind of freakish that way.
Launching: I have tried to power brake to 2000 and launch even to 2500, but this thing launches harder from 1000. Not sure why. If you just mash the pedal it will set you back in your seat but if you spin it up and brake release there is a "soft" roll out before it comes to life.

If you have an iPhone, buy the app "Dynolicious" It has proven to be very accurate for handheld. You can dial in the weight of the vehicle with driver and drivetrain loss to give you decent crank HP. For the record, I used 28% DT loss. I have heard anything from 20-30%. See result below.

So far, this is the most fun I have had with a new car in years.
 

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You seem to be enjoying it and thats all that matters.

Brake dust wise I was the same with my WK1 SRT8 the dust used to drive me nuts!!
 

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I waited until I had 1000 miles on it to give this review for 2 reasons. 1) I did not want to give a knee jerk reaction saying I loved it or hated it because of a few things I liked or didn't during a test drive. 2) There is so much different about the WK2 that I needed to learn what everything was and how it worked so I could give a proper review. I know it is lengthy so I tried to break it up into sections that you could scan through if you wanted to read about certain things. If you have any questions about something that I did not cover, please ask. So here we go. I am going to start on the outside and work in.

The wheels:
When I first saw them, I HATED them. Was looking for replacements before I even got mine, but they actually do look better in person. I also like the engineering that went into them. They have slots cut in the spokes that as the wheel spins, they act like a fan channeling cool air onto the rotors. After getting used to them, I actually really like them and will not be replacing.




The hood:
Got to love the air outlets, it looks mean if you know what you are looking at but unassuming from a distance. My only complaint is that the hood bows to the point that I can not see the passenger side front corner near the fender from driving position so pulling in to tight parking spots was a bit nerve racking until I learned spacial relation of the vehicle.

Bumpers, ground effects, fender flares and overall look:
Since the first auto show release pictures became available, I have loved the new look. Some people think it is too BMWish, but I love it. I can certainly understand why some would prefer the look of the WK1 though. To me, the WK1 is like an old school hot rod, it looks mean and aggressive as hell and runs just like it looks like it should. The WK2 is kind of a sleeper at a glance. It looks more like a high end luxury car but runs like a raped ape. The front facia is beautiful IMO and the fender flares give it a slightly aggressive stance that make it feel a bit wider and more sure footed. The BIG Brembos look awesome too.

Chrome:
I am not a fan of all the chrome and would like to see an option to replace with body color or matte or gloss black. I debadged mine within minutes of getting it home. Many people recommend using a hair dryer to heat up the adhesive to peel off. In my experience that leaves gummy residue that you have to clean off afterward so I have always done it cold. If it is winter time when you debadge, bonus, if not, use a sack of frozen peas to cool it down. When it is sufficiently cold, slip a plastic card (I use a blockbuster card) under the edge of a letter far enough to give it some good bite then with both hands give it a swift and quick tug. The adhesive will give way and pop off leaving zero residue. I removed the Jeep from the hood and the Grand Cherokee down the sides. After debadging the card is ruined but Block buster replaces for free. In the last 5 years this is the ONLY thing I have used my Blockbuster card for so it is still good for something. Credit cards are too thick and not flexible enough.

Exhaust and trailer hitch:
I liked the center exhaust of the WK1 but as much as I liked it, it was the reason that I went with the Trailblazer SS instead because I frequently tow a small trailer loaded with MX bikes. The split exhaust is not as cool but way more functional for me. I like the facia that covers the hitch when not in use, kind of like my old Escalade. The new exhaust note is pretty much inline with the look of the truck, unassuming at an idle and cursing speed. When you hammer it is when it comes to life and you can hear it thunder. That said, I will be replacing the exhaust for something with a little more bark.

Interior:
Well, there is a lot more to it than there used to be. They have taken it to a luxury vehicle level. If you replaced the canon fiber trim with wood inlays and did the seats in full leather, you would think you were in an Overland. Do I like it? Yes, but I like creature comforts. I have owned an Escalade and an X5 and it is easily more luxurious than the X5 and on par with the Escalade. Some have reported that it not that impressive, but I have not found the same to be true. Detail like the stitching in the leather dash and well appointed door panels take this up a notch. The one thing that sticks out as mediocre is the silver panel around the shifter and radio. They are identical to what is in my wires 2011 Larado X. I would have liked to have seen these in carbon fiber to finish the "performance" look.

Steering wheel:
The steering wheel is nice although the center is boring and it being heated is a great addition. The paddle shifters get in the way and I have accidentally hit them and wondered why it was not shifting. Note: it will NOT shift if you have it in track or sport mode. In Auto it will shift once it pings the rev limiter. I have not tested this, but the manual stated that.

Seats:
Seats feel amazing and the bolster is snug, you are definitely secure when you are in there and every possible adjustment you might need is available. Heated and vented seats are a real treat. On long drives hit the ventilated seats and it feels like 1000 angles are blowing on your junk.

Sunroof:
Panoramic sunroof is phenomenal. Gives you the feeling of driving a convertible.

Cargo area:
Chrome strips in the cargo area look nice but I'd rather not have them. Boxes and groceries slide on them like ice. Would rather them be made of rubber to give some traction to items in the back. Power lift gate is nice but I could do with out. Side mirrors have blind spot monitoring so that is a great feature, I do wish they folded with the touch of a button like my X5 and Escalade though.

Stereo/Nav center:
-- The back up camera is genius but would like to see the screen have the ability to swivel up and down because in direct sun (when the sunroof shade is open) it washes out the camera a bit and makes it hard to use. If you could swivel it down slight it would eliminate the problem.

-- The navigation is a life saver. I used it yesterday to go to a meeting in Dallas even though I knew the way. Several times it re-routed due to incoming traffic data. Although I questioned it, I followed its directions getting off 3 exits early. On the service road it became apparent as to why, 35 was LOCKED up. It routed me around the traffic without a problem and displayed high traffic areas as well as construction zones.

-- iPod and iPhone integration is fantastic. Being able to give voice commands to call is effortless and sound quality of the call is perfect. My only beef is that if I am listening to the radio and need to charge my phone, when I connect it, it automatically switches to playing music stored on the phone. I wish it would just leave it on the radio and let me switch it if that is what my intention was.

-- Sound quality: The stereo is inspiring. Clear crisp sound. WAY better than any car I have ever had and transfer of music to internal HDD is very nice or just stream bluetooth from your phone or play via USB.

Behind the wheel:
Driving this is just plain fun.

Select Modes:
In auto mode it rides as smooth as the wires Jeep, sport rides about the same but shift points seem more distinct. Maybe a bit stiffer suspension but still very comfortable. Track mode is stiff, real stiff and 1st to second shift is hard, 3rd, 4th and 5th do not shift as hard but still noticeable more solid than in auto or sport. If you are on a rough road you may well loose a filling but on nice concrete sweepers it is amazing. Much less body role than you would expect from an SUV that is as tall and heavy as this is.

Speed Control:
Adaptive speed control is something new to me and I needed time with it before I could really give my opinion on it. I can tell you that is just works. You can set Cruise at 80 and as you approach a slower moving car in your lane it will slow down and maintain a specified distance until the slower vehicle moves out of your lane, or you do. Then it jumps right back to 80. There are 3 distance settings you can choose from to suit your driving comfort zone. If you have it set and come up on stopped traffic, it will actually brake HARD and start an alarm telling you to stop. Or if you are behind a car on the interstate and he/she suddenly brakes hard for whatever reason, the Jeep hammers the brakes to maintain the distance relationship to the vehicle in front (this happened to me when a driver realized they were about to miss their exit and jammed on the brakes doing 60). Pretty crazy. The car will react faster than you will have the ability to even if you are paying attention.

MDS/ECO mode:
At cruising speed the MDS kicks in and you will hear a slight drone. Noting that bothers me but my hearing suck from years of shooting guns. I have heard others complain about it. I have not noticed any "real" fuel savings when it is active watching the EVIC but who knows, since I can't turn it off there is no way to tell.

Performance:
Well it performs better than it looks like it should. Where as the WK1 looked like a hot rod and performs like one, the WK2 is a sleeper IMO.
Personal best 0-60: 4.6 seconds
Best 1/4 mile: 13.08 although SRT8/BMW hit 12.97 http://www.cherokeesrt8.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58486
Best Acceleration G force = 1G
Cornering: It handles nice. As with most AWD, get slowed down before you get into the corner and hammer it at the apex. Solid feel with little body role. The brakes allow you to brake later than you think you should.
Braking: They are no joke. Stops on a dime. They kick off a LOT of brake dust however so wheel cleaning is going to be a weekly if not daily chore. I waxed the wheels last night to allow for daily rag wipe downs but I am kind of freakish that way.
Launching: I have tried to power brake to 2000 and launch even to 2500, but this thing launches harder from 1000. Not sure why. If you just mash the pedal it will set you back in your seat but if you spin it up and brake release there is a "soft" roll out before it comes to life.

If you have an iPhone, buy the app "Dynolicious" It has proven to be very accurate for handheld. You can dial in the weight of the vehicle with driver and drivetrain loss to give you decent crank HP. For the record, I used 28% DT loss. I have heard anything from 20-30%. See result below.

So far, this is the most fun I have had with a new car in years.


great review!!!!
 

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Wow, that is awesome. I love how you get into great detail!

I'm loving all these reviews. Makes me really want to go check out one.
 

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Great review. Thanks.

I'm loving all these reviews. Makes me really want to go check out one.
I, honestly, almost want to just buy one. But I'm so stuck on the looks of the WK1, they would have to give me huge $$$ on trade-in and take a reality check for their $15k markup.
 

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-- iPod and iPhone integration is fantastic. Being able to give voice commands to call is effortless and sound quality of the call is perfect. My only beef is that if I am listening to the radio and need to charge my phone, when I connect it, it automatically switches to playing music stored on the phone. I wish it would just leave it on the radio and let me switch it if that is what my intention was.
What kind of voice commands can you give? I have found that the command to play a specific song or artist is gone.... All the literature prior to release said the RHR would have this gracenote feature that you could call songs by name or artist. Whats the word on this for you?
 

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Delta Victor

You probably don't get that much snow in DFW area but I will ask anyway. I live in CO and am concerned about the SRT8's snow capability on two issues:

1. Ground Clearance. Does that lower front valence get in the way?

2. Throttle Tip In. With that much hp/torque, is the throttle tip in manageable? There does not appear to be a snow setting like in the non-SRT8's. One of my current cars has such a rough tip in I don't even try to drive it in snow.

Thanks for the detailed review.
 

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Delta Victor

You probably don't get that much snow in DFW area but I will ask anyway. I live in CO and am concerned about the SRT8's snow capability on two issues:

1. Ground Clearance. Does that lower front valence get in the way?

2. Throttle Tip In. With that much hp/torque, is the throttle tip in manageable? There does not appear to be a snow setting like in the non-SRT8's. One of my current cars has such a rough tip in I don't even try to drive it in snow.

Thanks for the detailed review.
Someone had one in about 5" of snow and said it ws fine.
The SRT has a snow setting like the other Jeeps.
 

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...just wanted to know if your performance #'s were actual track times.... good review.
 

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Great review. I like how you have waited for a 1000 miles before posting your thoughts. Much more decisive that way. I am still waiting for mine as est. delivery is Jan 15 2012. I Like your comment on keeping your rims clean. My viper is the same with those big discs and preformance pads resulting is tons of brake dust. Armor All makes a product called Armor All wheel Protectant that you spray on after cleaning and let dry. It really helps. Prolongs cleaning intervals by about a week or more depending on how hard you are driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Delta Victor

You probably don't get that much snow in DFW area but I will ask anyway. I live in CO and am concerned about the SRT8's snow capability on two issues:

1. Ground Clearance. Does that lower front valence get in the way?

2. Throttle Tip In. With that much hp/torque, is the throttle tip in manageable? There does not appear to be a snow setting like in the non-SRT8's. One of my current cars has such a rough tip in I don't even try to drive it in snow.

Thanks for the detailed review.
It has 8 inches of clearance which is the same as my 2011 Larado X and yes, it does have a snow setting. If it ever snows here, I'll let you know how it does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
...just wanted to know if your performance #'s were actual track times.... good review.
Not yet. EVIC said 0-60 was 4.6, Dynolicious said 4.63. EVIC said 1/4 was 13.0 and Dynolicious said 13.08.
 

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Good review..

I can't even get a 1g.. it spins too much eith my sced wk1

Wonder how wk2 gets better traction

Sent from my MB860 using AutoGuide App
 

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Good review..

I can't even get a 1g.. it spins too much eith my sced wk1

Wonder how wk2 gets better traction

Sent from my MB860 using AutoGuide App
I believe when set in snow mode the tourque distribution is 50/50 front to rear in Snow mode and 35/65 in Sport and Track mode. Different gear as well.

This is probably how it has better traction
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update:
Wheel paint on the WK2 sucks. DO NOT TAKE CHANCES or get close to a curb. This was a VERY minor brush on a cul-de-sac turn around. See pic below.

Have run it a few more times with EVIC and Dynolicious, but no tracks are open around here right now that I know of.

Best 0-60 was 4.25 with Dynolicious (EVIC said 4.3)
Quarter mile with Dynolicious 12.57, 13.08 and 12.96 (EVIC said 13.0 on all 3 runs)
1.01G according to EVIC and Dynolicious

No complaints really to speak of. Texas Venom installed a clear bra on it and is coming back Monday to finish it up and we plan to run them afterward so we can report back actual test of WK1 vs WK2.:eek:
 

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