Well it only too me 2 weeks to put 1000 miles on the Jeep. This Jeep was a car that had I not been given a 2005ish one to use while my maxima was getting struts on I probably would not have even considered.
Before I start the review I just want to highlight a few dealers that I had experiences with.
Downs Ford in Toms River, NJ I met the nicest saleswoman who was far from pushy. I explained I just wanted to look that day not discuss prices and she was more than willing to help. Never once did we step inside the building, only her to get keys and a plate, and I really wish I bought the Edge I looked at that day but to get new it would have been fwd and I wanted all and the ford certified program isnt anything to write home about. But if anyone is looking to buy a car from there let me know Ill give you her name.
Pine Belt Nissan in Toms River, NJ After Ford I met the sleeziest salesman ever. I did the same thing I did at Ford and said I only wanted to look but he insisted on bringing me in and telling me prices and that I had to be on the loan to build credit. I said I just want to see the car before I talk prices I know what I can afford but he kept going at it. Thinking quickly when he asked for my birthday, which Im still not sure why he asked me, I changed the year to 92 so I would be 17 and he would shut up about prices and just let me look. Well when I said that he refused to even show me a car saying it was illegal to even let me inside of one. I said ok Im going and he "broke the law" by getting me a key to a murano and I didnt think it was anything special and he still kept trying to tell me I needed to be on the loan and an estimate of what I might expect to pay.
Pine Belt Chevrolet in Freehold, NJ GM I really hope your reading this part. They have to be one of the worst chevy dealers around. This is the dealer where I bought my Maxima from and where I probably would have bought a new Equinox from but...they sold me a car that was previously wrecked. When Freehold Jeep looked at my car they said it had major body work done to it. I told them they were liars that Pine Belt said it was never in an accident and gave me a clean carfax with it. He then took my mother and I out to the maxima and went over every part that had been replaced and showed us how you could tell and that anyone in the car business should have been able to tell right away when appraising the car. I was livid that body work took $2K off the value of my car. Something else I noticed about Pine Belt. When I traded my Explorer in there I made sure they knew it had an accident even brought the recipts from the accident which had happened under my ownership about 6 monts prior. They listed it online and the carfax came up clean. I left a copy of the recipts as well as a copy of the police report in there that hopefully stayed in for the next owner to find.
More Importantly the Jeep!
This Jeep is far from refined. When you turn the key you know its on. The engine gives a nice shake and a grumble and your good. When idling you'll never be wondering if the car is still on. Ill say this though, its actually quiter than my neighbors 2010 equinox which I can hear from about 350ft away and it still sounds loud. Under normal acceleration its no louder than the Camry my mom drives.
Speaking of acceleration, the Jeep performs well there. I have never second guessed myself on whether or not I had enough power to pass someone. From a stop it moves with no problems and something Im not used to, I cant even feel the shifts. While its not as fast as the Maxima I wasnt expecting it to be. Afterall the Maxima was classified as a sports car when you tried to buy parts for it. It handles better than you might expect. I can take a turn at a higher rate of speed without feeling like Im going to tip.
Visibility is good from all angles. From my position I dont have a blindspot anywhere. The side mirrors are big enough for me to see clearly on the side and the pillars arent overly huge that block the view. (Kia are you listening?) The seats are comfortable. I dont find myself shifting to get comfortable like I did in the Maxima. Everything is within close reach from the drivers seat. The knobs feel very nice and have a good, heavy, quality feel to them. The radio has a nice sound to it. For it being a base radio it sounds just as good as the bose audio in the maxima and whatever upgraded radio the explorer had (audiophile maybe?). Im not too sure about the sirius radio though. Yeah its free for a year but I feel like they are always playing California Girls by Katy Perry. I think Ive only listened to the actual radio about 3 times since Ive had it though, sound quality on sirius is amazing.
Interior room is pretty good. I have the driver seat all the way back and if I hop in the back seat I can fir comfortably. The back seat also reclines for maximized comfort. The trunk can swallow a decent amount of things. I think the most things I have ever put back there was 6 cases of poland spring sportpack water.
Gas mileage is better than I expected it to be. I just got gas today and I averaged 16.4 mpg. Thats with math done on my blackberry, no fancy computers telling me in this thing. I do usually drive trying to keep the eco light on as much as possible. I havent really dont any highway driving either, my driving is 95% around town 5% highway. Ill be driving to NC in a couple weeks so Ill see how it does on the highway then.
I do have a few complaints about it though. The back passenger door seems like it needs to be slammed closed. Also the black trim on the back that houses the latch for the rear door gets really dirty really fast. Also I wish I had cruise control and the sky slider roof. Other than that I love it.
My conclusion: While I dont love it as much as I loved the Explorer its a pretty good truck. I dont think I express on here how much I loved the Explorer that thing was perfect in my eyes (well except for all the problems lol). There are times that I wish I had just gotten a certified 2007/8 explorer but then I drive the Jeep and Im happy with my decision.
Ill upload and insert pics into this thread in a little bit