Checked out an R52

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skinny2
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Checked out an R52

Postby skinny2 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:23 pm

I was at the dealer to check out a very low mileage '12 and decided to park mine next to a new '13 and really look it over just in case I found something spectacular that I couldn't live without. To date, I've yet to see one on the road or parked anywhere so my opinion has been based on reviews and specs.

Some surprises:

-It's not AS ugly in person as the pics. Still not attractive though and not masculine looking at all. Even with the slight resemblance to the R51.

-It sits about as tall as my '08 which I didn't expect. All the pics looks like it's quite low. But it also looks very minivan-ish because it sits quite low to the ground as well, so it has very tall sides.

-It has a LOT less ground clearance and nothing is protected underneath, not even a plastic shield which most cars have. The cat convertor hangs really low as well. I think the posted spec of 6.5" ground clearance is very liberal. There are many crossovers that can at least get around off-road but this looks like a lot of parts could easily be damaged. Even my wifes MDX has far more ground clearance and everything is tucked up underneath. Specs on MDX are 8.2" and R51 is 8.9" for reference. Most crossovers are in the 7"+ range.

-The bottom plastic trim on the rocker panels looks nice and appears like it would keep rocks from flying up the sides, but it's very chintzy. I put my foot on it to see how it was secured and it started to pop out of the sides. It's just apparently on there with snaps. I also was able to easily wiggle it with my hands.....almost seems like it would rattle (was the same on two that I checked)

-Interior is very nice and roomy, more upscale than R51 for sure. 2nd row has gobs of leg-room although I don't like the tracks in the floor. Wife had a Sienna with open rails and they fill with crap (and these look to be greased). Fit/Finish is very good but when I pulled on the cup holders (to see if there was an insert) the entire console easily moved. It felt like super thin plastic and deformed the sides of the console.

-12v outlets aren't in good spots. My hand barely fit in the console to reach the front two, then there's a third in the storage area. None in the 2nd row, but there is an AC outlet there.

-Cargo space is good and the storage area under the carpet is MUCH bigger than the R51 but also has the subwoofer. There's also a mini-spare which IMHO should not come with a vehicle that has a tow package. Not sure if there's room to add a full-size spare or not.

Overall, the interior is very nice and roomy. I can see the minivan/crossover crowd being more than satisfied with it. Anyone that MIGHT go off-road should think twice. I do very mild off-roading regularly for work (mining roads, rutted paths) and I would be concerned about crossing some of these rocky ruts. We've had guys with newer Explorers and Traverse tear up their front spoilers and they have more clearance than the R52.

The only real advantage I see (for me) would be the mpg. Driving 25k a year...an extra 4mpg is nothing to ignore. But there are other vehicles that come close on mpg and still have some utility to them. I really wasn't expecting the R52 to go THAT far to the car end of the crossover scale.


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Postby smj999smj » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:39 pm

You have to remember the R52 shares the same chassis as the Altima and Murano, whereas the R51 is a body-on-frame. I checked out the R52 at an auto show and yes, it had lots of interior room. But, for me, it seemed harder to judge the front corners of the vehicle and honestly, I felt more comfortable in my 06 LE than I was in the R52. To me, it's just an oversized Murano. I don't mean that in a bad way; the Murano is a good vehicle and hopefully the R52 will be a good vehicle, too, as years go buy. That said, for me, the R51 is a real, truck-based SUV and the R52 is a big crossover. They should have given the R52 its own model name rather than apply the Pathfinder badge to it. All that did was piss off and disgust a lot of faithful Pathfinder owners.

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Postby skinny2 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:55 am

I was not pissed off or disgusted by the name.....I felt it was disingenuous but that's common in the car world. However now that I've seen it, I personally feel like the name is fraudulent. I'm well aware it's now car-based but for some reason I thought it would still have SOME utility given the history and marketing. Face it, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is built on a unibody yet is in a totally different ballpark.

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Postby NVSteve » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:32 am

skinny2 wrote:I was not pissed off or disgusted by the name.....I felt it was disingenuous but that's common in the car world. However now that I've seen it, I personally feel like the name is fraudulent. I'm well aware it's now car-based but for some reason I thought it would still have SOME utility given the history and marketing. Face it, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is built on a unibody yet is in a totally different ballpark.
You won't get any disagreement from me. The Pathfinder name should not have been used. Period. One glance at the 2nd row seats in their minivan seat channels is all it takes. My dealer uses one as their courtesy car & I got a chance to ride in it for a few miles. It truly is just another "car."

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Postby RacerZX » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:56 am

Murano XL... :roll:

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volvite
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Postby volvite » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:59 pm

RacerZX wrote:Murano XL... :roll:
Exactly. That's what I've been calling it.

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Postby NmexMAX » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:14 pm

skinny2 wrote:Face it, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is built on a unibody yet is in a totally different ballpark.
Let's keep in mind though, those things (older models) are beasts offread even with the unibody. Solid front and rear axles, V8, MT, etc.

I also refer to it as the Murano XL on other forums too. Of course, I got it from here, not sure from who, probably one of you guys.

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volvite
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Postby volvite » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:21 pm

NmexMAX wrote:
skinny2 wrote:Face it, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is built on a unibody yet is in a totally different ballpark.
Let's keep in mind though, those things (older models) are beasts offread even with the unibody. Solid front and rear axles, V8, MT, etc.

I also refer to it as the Murano XL on other forums too. Of course, I got it from here, not sure from who, probably one of you guys.
I had a 1999 Jeep grand Cherokee limited. It had the 4.7L V8, Dana 35 front, dana 44a rear, with limited slip, quadra drive system. Sold it to my older brother to pay for a hunting trip last year, but man that JEEP was a beast. Loved it. It went everywhere I wanted it to go and some. I just visited my family this past week and was able to see my old jeep and sure miss that beast. It was so capable off road, and still had all the luxury inside. Leather, dual climate control, good OEM radio. If my brother was selling it, I'd buy it back in a heart beat. Oh forgot to mention it also had a 4 inch rough country lift that I installed with 32.1 inch MTRs and a hitch mounted rear spare tire carrier. It was also able to tow 6800. Great rig. That model is the WJ, and it's made from 99-04 if you are looking to buy one.

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Postby skinny2 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:17 pm

volvite wrote:That model is the WJ, and it's made from 99-04 if you are looking to buy one.
Similar story. I bought a '99 Ltd V8 new and put 100k on it in 3 years then sold it to my uncle. He just sold it a couple years ago with over 200k miles and never did much to it. Original engine/tranny for sure.

If I buy a JGC, it will be a 2014 which now has 8-speed auto and improved mpg. But honestly they're just overpriced. A basic V8 Ltd is over $40k at invoice. I paid about the same for a FAR better equipped Acura MDX which in 100k miles is worth multitudes more than the JGC.

My off-roading needs are fairly light. I wouldn't be comfortable with an R52 but I don't need anything extreme. I'm sure there are plenty of crossovers that with a tire upgrade would get around most of the areas I get in/out of. But I'm not seeing much that I really care to buy. I'm leaning pretty heavily towards a super low mileage 2012 R51 I've found. Or just run the wheels off of what I've got.

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Postby volvite » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:22 pm

skinny2 wrote:
volvite wrote:That model is the WJ, and it's made from 99-04 if you are looking to buy one.
Similar story. I bought a '99 Ltd V8 new and put 100k on it in 3 years then sold it to my uncle. He just sold it a couple years ago with over 200k miles and never did much to it. Original engine/tranny for sure.

If I buy a JGC, it will be a 2014 which now has 8-speed auto and improved mpg. But honestly they're just overpriced. A basic V8 Ltd is over $40k at invoice. I paid about the same for a FAR better equipped Acura MDX which in 100k miles is worth multitudes more than the JGC.

.
I still watch for the WJs while I'm driving. Even being almost 10 years old for they still have a great style.

As for the 14s, they are expensive, but so are the new pathfinders. I bought my 08 V8 used with less than 20K miles. But if I did my research right, I think it sold new for over $40K.

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Postby skinny2 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:18 pm

volvite wrote:
As for the 14s, they are expensive, but so are the new pathfinders. I bought my 08 V8 used with less than 20K miles. But if I did my research right, I think it sold new for over $40K.
The new Pathfinders I checked out all had "no haggle" prices on the windshield. $34k on the SL's and $38k on the platinums. The SL is the most similar to the Ltd JGC I priced....so $6k difference. That's a lot in my book. The '12 Silver Edition R51 I'm looking at has under 10k miles and priced around $25k. Seems like a pretty good deal. Just not sure I want to spend the $$ for basically the same vehicle....sans 90k miles.

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Postby Godzirra » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:31 am

I went to the dealership to take a closer look at the R52. I originally needed to buy two to have in AZ. What a disappointment. That new Pathfinder reminded me so much of minivan and like someone had mentioned, a Murano XL! Now, I've been considering the new Range Rover but I have to say, they look very similar to the new Ford Explorers. Anyone else notice? Especially the headlight design if looking at it from the side.

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Postby Zen_master » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:29 pm

volvite wrote:
NmexMAX wrote:
skinny2 wrote:Face it, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is built on a unibody yet is in a totally different ballpark.
Let's keep in mind though, those things (older models) are beasts offread even with the unibody. Solid front and rear axles, V8, MT, etc.

I also refer to it as the Murano XL on other forums too. Of course, I got it from here, not sure from who, probably one of you guys.
I had a 1999 Jeep grand Cherokee limited. It had the 4.7L V8, Dana 35 front, dana 44a rear, with limited slip, quadra drive system. Sold it to my older brother to pay for a hunting trip last year, but man that JEEP was a beast. Loved it. It went everywhere I wanted it to go and some. I just visited my family this past week and was able to see my old jeep and sure miss that beast. It was so capable off road, and still had all the luxury inside. Leather, dual climate control, good OEM radio. If my brother was selling it, I'd buy it back in a heart beat. Oh forgot to mention it also had a 4 inch rough country lift that I installed with 32.1 inch MTRs and a hitch mounted rear spare tire carrier. It was also able to tow 6800. Great rig. That model is the WJ, and it's made from 99-04 if you are looking to buy one.
volvite wrote:
skinny2 wrote:
volvite wrote:That model is the WJ, and it's made from 99-04 if you are looking to buy one.
Similar story. I bought a '99 Ltd V8 new and put 100k on it in 3 years then sold it to my uncle. He just sold it a couple years ago with over 200k miles and never did much to it. Original engine/tranny for sure.

If I buy a JGC, it will be a 2014 which now has 8-speed auto and improved mpg. But honestly they're just overpriced. A basic V8 Ltd is over $40k at invoice. I paid about the same for a FAR better equipped Acura MDX which in 100k miles is worth multitudes more than the JGC.

.
I still watch for the WJs while I'm driving. Even being almost 10 years old for they still have a great style.

As for the 14s, they are expensive, but so are the new pathfinders. I bought my 08 V8 used with less than 20K miles. But if I did my research right, I think it sold new for over $40K.
Great to hear all of the Jeep love on these boards. I was raised in a Jeep family and we always had one or more growing up. I still have a '98 XJ Limited with 175k on the odometer. It has an aFe intake, Banks headers, an Old Man Emu heavy duty lift, a Magnaflow exhaust, and the '99+ intake manifold conversion. Never had an issue with it offroad and I've taken it through creeks and rivers and snow banks etc. Just an all around great vehicle I can't bear to get rid of so it sits on blocks for half the year in the garage.

Ammo, you did your research right. My '11 V8 LE originally retailed for 43k. Of course I opted to buy it off a lease turn in as I would not pay that much but simply confirming your suspicions they were expensive for the top of the line models when new. And I agree, the WJ was a good model run for the Grand Cherokee. It was much better than its successor the WK from 05-10 which suffered from the Daimler parent company style influence. The only good thing that came out of the WK model run was the SRT team got involved.

My biggest issue with the new Grand Cherokee is there are so many different trim levels. I think the last I looked there were half a dozen including two ultra premium levels the commonly used Overland badging and something new to this model called the Summit edition. I don't want to constantly be looking over my shoulder with each model year worrying Jeep is going to best the model I bought. You mentioned your Acura. We have an Acura in my household and they do it right. Essentially you get the option of navigation or no navigation. All other options are standard on the car.

R52 = glorified minivan.

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Postby skinny2 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:00 am

Zen_master wrote:
My biggest issue with the new Grand Cherokee is there are so many different trim levels. I think the last I looked there were half a dozen including two ultra premium levels the commonly used Overland badging and something new to this model called the Summit edition. I don't want to constantly be looking over my shoulder with each model year worrying Jeep is going to best the model I bought. You mentioned your Acura. We have an Acura in my household and they do it right. Essentially you get the option of navigation or no navigation. All other options are standard on the car.
I've flirted with the idea of the new JGC diesel. I'm going to watch for awhile and see if they really get the mileage posted. The price is really up there ($4,500 minimum just for the engine) but it might be worth it for a "somewhat real SUV" that can get 28mpg.

Honda/Acura makes it easy to find the model you want but in the past I've always found some feature missing or end up being forced into buying a ton of crap just to get something silly (like auto headlamps only coming on the highest model). Acura seems to be a little better though because they all at least have the basic features.

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Postby iheartmypathy » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:28 pm

[quote="NVSteve] The Pathfinder name should not have been used. Period. [/quote]

EXACTLY.


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