Pros: great styling, rides like a car, great gas mileage!!!
Cons: didn't want all-wheel drive, but it was used, so it's all good!
Okay, so my title is a little odd. I said this isn't a mustang, because I had a 2000 Ford Mustang (see other reviews) that was awesome, but not in the Winter time here in NY, so I traded it in for a used 1999 Grand Cherokee.
My model options:
1999 Grand Cherokee Laredo
V8 4.7 Liter
Quadra-Trac II (all wheel drive all the time)
Computer pod above rear view mirror
Car Alarm (factory OEM)
I guess that's about it, everything else that makes the Jeep so nice is that all the nice stuff (e.g. power everything, AC, etc...) is all included with the MSRP price, so there aren't many options for this truck.
Choice: when trading in my Mustang I had quite a few options, as does anyone while looking for an SUV. I didn't want a Cute-Ute (or a piece of crap as I see most of them) because they're too small, weak, and whimpy (note: any guys that drive one...get rid of it, you look like a pansy in it) So my choices were narrowed down to Explorer, Blazer/Jimmy, Grand Cherokee, or Expedition/Navigator, Tahoe/Yukon, and Durango.
I chose the Grand Cherokee because it was the biggest, most powerful truck, that I could get in the mid/mid SUV Category. The Tahoe and Expedition sized trucks were out of my price range, and pretty much just stupid for me to get since I have no kids or cargo, it's just me and my wife. Oh yeah, I also chose it because I LOVE the 1999 Wrangler that my wife has (see other reviews). The Explorer interior sucked (loose and cheap plastic, just like my Mustang) The BLazer interior was nice, but EVERYONE around me has one, and I mean EVERYONE! Even my family members do!!! So neither of those worked. And I definately wanted the Grand over the Durango, just becuase the Durango is lower class than the Grand is supposed to be, so it was really a no-brainer given all my options.
Engine: This V8 is AWESOME!!! I originally wanted the I6 (straight 6 cylinder for those of you who don't know) becuase that's what's in the Wranglers, Cherokees and Grand Cherokees, and it's a tried and true engine. I also wanted the I6 because the 1999 model year is the first year of the new 4.7L engine, and I don't like getting first year of any engine or transmission. Anyway, I read somewhere that the 4.7L engine is a Daimler-Benz engine (Mercedes) because of the buyout of Chrysler by Daimler (even though the buyout wasn't until after 1999, they exchanged parts, etc... I guess, at least that's what I read) so I fell for it, and after driving it, the power that this thing has is UNREAL!!! 235 horses, which isn't all that much, but let me tell you, it is!!! I can pass any vehicle going 75 without any hesitation at all!!! On to the next point:
Transmission: 5 speed (actually 4 + extra passing gear, which proves my point above about passing anyone QUICK!) The transmission is deathly silent, powerful, and take off is CRAZY!!! If I slam it I can get the all wheel drive to work on dry pavement EASY!
Ride: like a friggin car!! This thing rides sooooo nice! That said, it does drive like a truck, but it does ride like a car. It's tough and luxurious in it's own way...very supple. The Quad Coil suspension really works wonders on this vehicle.
Control: hmmm..that's tough. The truck wants to go straight ALL THE TIME, no matter what. Turning is a little tough, and you do have to make a little extra effort while cruising down the expressways to pass someone. Tight corners however going slow, are no problem, and you shouldn't notice anything too awful! Otherwise, this is a cruiser!
Truck in General (options etc...): I LOVE it!!! It has great power, the controls are great, I don't have the "special" audio option, but I can't imagine that it's much better than the stock stereo and speakers, becuase they are incredible!!! The computer console pod above the rear view mirror is GREAT fun to play with. Average MPG, compass, temp, Instant MPG, distance to emtpy, distance to service, etc... etc...all that fun stuff. Any passenger will enjoy playing with the buttons quite a bit. The only thing I was unhappy with was the CHEAP looking, and I MEAN CHEAP looking wood trim that was totally fake painted metal. Just gross...so I took it out and put in the new brushed aluminum from the dealer (that cost about $60.00 if you do it yourself, I think dealers are about $65.00 an hour for labor alone!!!) Anyway, I put in the aluminum myself, and it looks great (That was a 2001 addition, so if you want the dealer to order the parts, don't have him look up 1999 or he'll be all confused!)
Oh yeah...gas mileage. Mine is GREAT. I don't drive like a maniac (although I would if gas were $.99 a gallon again!) but I average about 24-26 MPG driving casually. I don't slam on it, but I don't drive 45 either...just a regular Joe driver. Contrary to popular belief, the V8 will get better gas mileage because it doesn't have to work as hard to pull this size of a vehicle that the underpowered 190 horse I6 engine does. I've read that people are getting like 19MPG with the I6.
The Limited model: my opinion, waste of money. I don't think there's anything you can't get with the Laredo that you can with the Limited except the Infra-red tempurature stuff, that's bound to break on a 110 degree day anyway! If you're looking in the price range of a limited, do yourself a favor and get an Eddie Bauer Expedition or a used Navigator!
What else...I guess nothing. This thing runs like a top, and I can't complain one bit!!!
Please e-mail me at email@example.com if you want any more info!
thanks and enjoy!