We drove an Escape (non-hybrid but had all the fancy options) for two days.
We drove a Cherokee (missing most of the fancy options) for two days
We now have a clear winner.
But before I tell you which (and you scroll down to find out), let me tell you WHY:
The Ford was a Titanium in Sedona Orange, with all the options we wanted except the Hybrid powertrain.
The 2.0T was plenty powerful, and with a regular 8 speed auto it came with paddle shifters that the Hybrid’s CVT does not. This time since the test drive was longer, I was able to go through ALL the quirks and features, including the ability to turn ON the lane departure setting that enabled not only a rumble when crossing a line, but the auto-correction to keep you centered. While it requested a hand on the wheel every 10 seconds or so, it EASILY navigated the highways near my home and work, making the drive there pretty much automatic, especially with the adaptive cruise with Full Stop set to follow the car or truck ahead of me.
I likee a lot. Wife hated it. She wanted ME to drive, not the car. I thought it did pretty well. It wasn’t jerky or harsh or too-wander-y or anything.
I wanted to drive a Cherokee with the same tech to compare, but still none are available near me.
So, what else about the Ford.... well there’s only two tie downs in the cargo area near the tailgate, so securing our dog carrier will be difficult.
The Jeep has four, one in each corner of the cargo area.
I like the Escape’s HUD, which the Jeep does not offer, and the general roominess of the interior and cargo area versus the Jeep. Its not cramped, its just more intimate and vault-like compared to the Escape. The Ford does have some nice wide window sills. You can easily put an elbow or arm up there, even with the window up.
But then the wife and I noted two things missing from the Ford that we literally cannot live without.
So we took the Escape back, and once again borrowed a Cherokee (in the wrong spec but the basics were there).
So the things we noted as being deal breakers that the Ford lacked:
For me, a change holder:
Hey, it comes in handy for tolls and trips to Aldi.
For both of us (the wife noted it first and I was on the fence.. this actually pushed me over), audio controls other than just volume (like Ford has) on the steering wheel:
This is actually a big one if you think about it. Being able to keep your hands on the wheel and change not only volume but station/track, and band/preset is a big safety feature that the Jeep has (and our Durango) but the Ford (and my RAM) does not.
Yup, it was those two little things that made our choice that much easier.
Well, that, and the Ford felt a little.... tinny. Lots of road noise from the cargo area, doors than needed to be slammed to close (we tried several Escapes, they were all the same), and oh... another big one.
The brake pedal feel. Or lack thereof.
The Escape’s brake pedal had ZERO feel to it. I don’t remember the Hybrid being this way, so I’m sort of excluding it from the main reasons, but the gasser’s pedal was soft and disconnected feeling for half its travel, then the brakes seemed to grab and it was difficult to modulate. It was either “Oh fuck we’re not stopping” or “FUCK we’re STOPPING RIGHT NOW”.
Again, the Hybrid wasn’t like this that I recall, but we mainly drove it on the highway. And it had regen so that may alter the feel a bit.
Alas, I will never know, because right this moment I have my sales department attempting to locate me the *perfect* 2020 Jeep Cherokee Limited. With Luxury Group, Technology Group, and panoramic sunroof.
This one is probably the actual one we’re getting:
We wanted red, grey, or white. Either the V6 or the 2.0T. And well, we’d prefer not to have to go south of the border to get the red V6 or white turbo. So white V6(and in the state) it shall maybe be.
Concessions I will have to live with are the fuel mileage, the engine slight noise (its S P O R T Y), and these very tacked on looking memory seat buttons:
Ugh. WTF, Jeep?
Also, the lack of center console storage because of the huge shifter. The cup holders are back against the armrest, and there’s only a small slit for a pocket to hole things like my phone/wallet vertically. I can make do though.
My dashcam does fit pretty good.
I haven’t been driving my RAM and it was in the 50's this weekend so I started cleaning it out. From the LED bulbs I put in to see better when reversing, to the dashcam wiring, to the bed mat, to the mess of stuff in the huge armrest storage area.
The wife is back in the Durango (we left it at the dealer/work) until sales can get the Jeep here, and get it cleaned up all nice.
Just waiting to hear back from them that the dealer that has it will let us have it.... or the Search Will Go On.
Perhaps, *gulp* into Illinois.