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2020 Forester Sport
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Discussion Starter #1
Looking into maybe getting a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4

any thoughts on their 4x4 Quadra Trac 2 ( sounds like a full time AWD system) vs Foresters full time symmetrical AWD in snow and light to medium OffRoad situations?
 

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19' Limited
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Looked at a GC too. As I understand it the main difference would be more for rock crawling where it would have a lower gear ratio. For snow I would guess the Subaru would be marginally better assuming they both have the same tires. IMO the big reasons to go for the GC over the Forester would be towing and it's better noise insulated. Also like the idea of that Quadra-lift although it is not durable enough for frequent off-roading as I understand it.
 

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'14 Forester XT Touring
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Well, to be more specific which years and trim level are we talking about?
Pretty much right off the bat the Grand Cherokee will be a better off road-er, not by much but more than the Forester.

As said before, if you plan to get the V6, yeah it would tow pretty much what you need. If you want the 4-banger well, its a toss up really.
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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The Grand Cherokee weighs 1000+ lbs more than the Forester and is in a much different class although it does not have that much more cargo or seat room than the Foz. If you plan to tow anything significant, the Jeep is superior. The Quadra-Trac 2, by having the low range, would make the Jeep a much better crawler off-road although its size and weight are a disadvantage. The GC is also WAY more expensive than the Forester although discounts and rebates will lower the GC's price. The GC is built on a fairly ancient but very solid Mercedes SUV platform and is due to be replaced for 2022 (this date has been pushed back a couple times).

In the Jeep lineup, the Forester is more comparable to the (non-Grand) Jeep Cherokee and even that Jeep offers a V6 engine (but the Cherokee is a transverse-engine vehicle based on a Fiat platform).

One big problem with the Jeep is the very low availability of adaptive cruise and other safety systems, where it's hard to find anything on a dealer lot with the safety stuff until you get into the ultra high-priced upper end trims ($45-50k stickers). As a "buy American" guy who comes from UAW roots, I'd like people to buy Grand Cherokees and Durangos because the assembly plant is 6 miles from my house and supports my neighbors directly....but I am on our 2nd Forester.
 

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there is WAY TOO MUCH variance in the JGC trim levels so we would need more info. for example the limited JGC trim comes with a completely different transfer case and drive selection vs. overland JGC trim, etc.

i will say this... for as bad of a reputation as the Forester CVT transmissions have... my honest opinion about the JGC transmissions (and any Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/etc. transmission from my personal experience as a mechanic in days past...) is that they are horrible
 
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2020 Forester Sport
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Discussion Starter #6
Well, to be more specific which years and trim level are we talking about?
Pretty much right off the bat the Grand Cherokee will be a better off road-er, not by much but more than the Forester.

As said before, if you plan to get the V6, yeah it would tow pretty much what you need. If you want the 4-banger well, its a toss up really.
2020 Limited or Trailhawk.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Although if I go with Jeep I think I would forgo the air suspension which is standard on the Trail Hawk so the 4x4 Limited V6 would likely be the trim. Around $42k.

don’t plan to tow or do rock crawling. Maybe light off road, gravel, washes and snow
 

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i will say this... for as bad of a reputation as the Forester CVT transmissions have... my honest opinion about the JGC transmissions (and any Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/etc. transmission from my personal experience as a mechanic in days past...) is that they are horrible
Although I commented above on the Grand Cherokee, I will note that I drive a 2016 Grand Caravan minivan (bought new in 2016) that just needed a remanufactured transmission under warranty at 40k miles so yes, there's that. I bought a Mopar lifetime warranty on the van because I plan to keep it for some years and it's a relatively loaded R/T with power seats, doors, etc. It also needed a new radio/nav unit in its first year. Otherwise it's a decent and useful vehicle.
 

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There is no real reason to compare the Jeep Grand Cherokee to the Subaru Forester... completely different vehicles and different size, class and price points...

A better comparison would be a "regular" Cherokee vs the Forester.... or the Ascent vs the JGC...

The JGC is a large SUV, powered by V6 or V8 motors and 5 different drives - RWD and 3 part time 4WD systems. The reason that they're part time is that even if it is in 4WD mode, the default is for all power to be sent to the rear. Only when slippage is determined will the transfer case use a viscous clutch to start transferring power to the front axle for (at most) 50/50 split There are LSDs as part of the other drive modes that can then split that to either side, based again upon need.

When it comes to safety, the Jeep was given top safety honors in a lot of lists, but that was when the current generation was released nearly 10 years ago (2011) and not much has changed over the last decade at Jeep.

As for reliability, there have been a lot of major issues with the JGC over the years and the current generation is no different. While the basic chassis may have been developed by Chrysler and used by Mercedes, the mechanicals are considered by some to be less than reliable.

I have an old Chrysler Town & Country minivan (1994) in my driveway that was not subject to major issues beyond the horrible "A604 Ultradrive" transmission that was noted throughout the 90s as being a piece of junk. But any time it failed, it would be replaced/rebuilt by Chrysler at no charge. Other than that, I can't recall any recalls or major malfunctions with the van over the years....
 

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Although if I go with Jeep I think I would forgo the air suspension which is standard on the Trail Hawk so the 4x4 Limited V6 would likely be the trim. Around $42k.

don’t plan to tow or do rock crawling. Maybe light off road, gravel, washes and snow
Well, in that case if you want that V6 power, and still be in the Subaru family then the new Accent is your best choice.
 

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I don't know about the U.S., but Jeep have an appalling reliability record here and an even worse one for not being cooperative if something breaks in warranty.
 

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For doing what you describe off-road and in snow both vehicles will perform equally. The capabilities of both vehicles can be limited by tires and/or driver skill which could make online anecdotes about either vehicle failing to perform in light off-road duties seem ominous, but the internet is often an echo chamber of nonsense.
 

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GC for greater towing, Forester for better reliability and economy over ownership. Personally I have heard too many horror stories from Chrysler products to want to mess with it but the vented seats seem cool, lol. The GC is prob the best thing they make though, if you are feeling lucky.

In that class/price point I'd probably buy a highlander limited and have the vented seats and add the third row, while still enjoying good reliability. It's not an off road demon but honestly how many of us are really doing that in an expensive new car? YMMV.
 

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I have 2010 Dodge Challenger RT and other than a recall issued early on for the timing chain, I've really had no major issues with the product. .....or even minor ones for that matter with the exception of a $10 radiator cap recently, a broken sunglass holder and thin window sill trim that cracked (known issue and also something I could have had replaced under warranty but didn't).

It's got nearly 100k on the odometer now (~98k?) and still running strong after more than 10 years. The timing chain was replaced by their head mechanic that did this sort of work. He knew I took care of my car and made sure to treat it with respect. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to even notice anyone was ever in the engine that deep. No scratch marks, scuffs, etc. Now I have just have to get the transmission fluid finally replaced as it's due at 120k miles and overdue according to the time period.

I considered the Jeep GC Limited back about 5 years ago to replace my wife's '08 Forester. Her car was literally taking its toll on my body on those 3-4 hour commutes we were doing each day. We needed something more comfortable. The GC fit the bill in that regard while still being practical in the sense that it could carry what we needed it to, get where needed it to, etc.

......but the value just wasn't there. To equip a GC the way we wanted it, the price was just too much for what we thought it was worth (to us). The mileage also sucked from what I remember. The Forester Premium (with other options we wanted) was simply the best value and balance of the kind of practicality we were looking for. Anyhow, plans changed, I retired just a couple years later and her car kept chugging along until we bought the 2020.
 

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......but the value just wasn't there. To equip a GC the way we wanted it, the price was just too much for what we thought it was worth (to us).
This is exactly why so many vehicles were rejected when I did my purchase back in 2013 on my 2014 Forester - the value wasn't there. I wanted AWD for occasional forays to the snow or dirt and to get that on the Toyota or VW or Hyundai or Kia or Nissan was going to add at least a thousand bucks to the price... and in some cases, the 4WD or AWD was not available on some trim levels. So Subaru won. Hands down.

I drove the Jeep twins (Compass & Patriot) at the time and they were awful. They felt cheap (and some looked really cheap) and the MPG sucked and the CVT offered was horrifyingly bad and just revved the engine to death until I reached speed...
 

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A Jeep owner once told me that the reason it is called the "Grand" Cherokee is because every time you take it in for service it costs $1000.
This might have been funny in the last century, but in 2020 this is true for any brand of car....what's the Subaru dealer's price for a 60k mile service? What does it cost for brakes on 4 wheels? I am SO old that I remember the price of $200 to rebuild an automatic transmission.

I've posted previously on the Grand Cherokee and I believe the OP knows it's a different class of vehicle. That may have been the reason they were asking about the off-road capability compared to the Forester that is the baseline.

I don't think Chrysler sells them any more, but I was able to buy a lifetime warranty for my '16 Grand Caravan from Chrysler. It was not cheap at $2500 (dealer matched the cheapest Internet price I found--their normal was $3600--would have been more for an AWD Grand Cherokee). But thru an employee bud, I got my loaded van new, sticker of $34k, for $27k. So even with the warranty I was in for less money than an Odyssey or Sienna.

If I was looking at Grand Cherokees, I might also suggest the new Honda Passport as a similar-sized 2-row SUV with at least an outdoorsy AWD "look" and intention although there is no 2-speed transfer case there. If you want a Hemi, you'll have to buy the Grand Cherokee...I have driven them and love the torque and sound of a V8, period.
 

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2017 Forester XT Premium CVT
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Owned my '17XT since new, work on constructions sites with deep soft gravel and sometimes mud. I drive 100 miles a day (round trip) 5- 7 days per week. I never take my car on trails or rock crawling or anything, but I know it's much better in slippery snow-covered gravel than the F250 4x4's my workers use.

That being said, if you are concerned about "off-road" performance the GC is a better vehicle. Better on and off road, for a general use all-aroynd SUV. More comfortable, powerful, and off-road capable. Ive been looking for a replacement for my Subie and after test driving the GC, GMC Acadia, Acura MDX, and Mazda CX9.... Im leaning towards the Jeep. It's not as plush as the MDX, or as sporty as the CX9, but is much "truckier" than any of them and has the best track record as a 4x4. It's strong enough and looks good, and meets my personal needs as a all-terain business office better than the others.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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....Ive been looking for a replacement for my Subie and after test driving the GC, GMC Acadia, Acura MDX, and Mazda CX9.... Im leaning towards the Jeep. It's not as plush as the MDX, or as sporty as the CX9, but is much "truckier" than any of them and has the best track record as a 4x4. It's strong enough and looks good, and meets my personal needs as a all-terain business office better than the others.

Just my 2 cents.
Hey Max...take a look at the Honda Passport. No low range transfer case and somehow they seem to think 20" wheels suit offroad use(?) but the look is right and the Honda reliability is unsurpassed. You do still have a timing belt but the engine is bulletproof. Otherwise, because I live 6 miles from the Grand Cherokee plant I'd be happy if you bought one of those too. I have considered Grand Cherokees in about 4 vehicle searches over the years, numerous generations.

(If your Maxwedge name ties to old Mopars, I owned two 426 Hemi cars back in the day, know one of the guys on the original Ramchargers team, and went to junior high school with Jim Tignanelli of UFO fame...)
 
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