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Discussion Starter #1
I went to the Arizona Auto Show last night. It is put on by Motor Trend and has most every common car that is being produced, a few exotics, and a few already released concepts.

My impressions of the 2008 Jeep lineup.

Wrangler: They had one Sahara, one Sahara Unlimited, and one X Unlimited. They are essentially the same for 2008. The Sahara's get a silver accent on the front and rear bumper and on the steering wheel. It doesn't really work well even on silver colored Wranglers but at least there are many replacement options for the Wrangler bumpers. At least two of the Wranglers had the MyGig system on them. A++

Commander: They had a fully-loaded Limited with the black interior on display. It looks nice and sporty but I think the color combination I have is a bit richer looking. The center console stack looks better in person than the photos we saw. The steering wheel should have never been changed. The EVIC (which are on the steering wheel now) controls for the 2008 have a much cheaper feeling. The cruise control is in a very clumsy position on the stalk. This works okay -- and only okay -- on the Wrangler due to the Wrangler's open steering wheel design. It works bad on the Commander. For the next generation Commander / Grand Cherokee replacement, I hope the cruise control is moved back onto the steering wheel. The instrument panel gauges are pretty slick. When the vehicle is off all you see is the chrome gauges and the needles, NO markings. They fade in when the vehicle is turned on. The MyGig system looks nice. A++

Liberty: They had a loaded Limited on the floor, and a Sport up on a turntable. The Limited had a SkySlider roof on it... that is truly amazing. It is the closest thing to a convertible SUV this side of a Wrangler. The interior of the Limited model was luxurious... definitely hinting that it has moved into the Grand Cherokee arena. The build quality was nice. The electronic switch for the 2WD / 4WD / 4WD Low is very solid and intuitive. I couldn't take a look at the Sport because you aren't allowed up on the turntables. I have seen them at the dealership before, and their only downside is the mass amounts of gray used, instead of two tone interiors. A++

Grand Cherokee: They had a black Limited on display. The front fascia and bumper are a little more attractive than the 2007 models. The headlights are now curved on the bottom as well as the top (2007 and older models of the WK were only curved on the top) which looks more thought out. The interior center console appeared to be redesigned too, probably to fit the MyGig system instead of the REC. A

Patriot: They had a base model (I believe) on display. Unfortunately it was a waste of sheet metal as it was a 2WD model. There are no real changes for 2008. Overall appearance of the Patriot isn't bad... but it is no where the build quality of the Commander, Grand Cherokee, or the new Liberty. B+

Compass: They had a base model on display. Nothing really new for 2008. It still doesn't look like a Jeep. Sorry, can't be more objective on this one... too bitter. D -

Rescue Concept: They had the Rescue concept on display. The doors were open but there was railing around the vehicle so you couldn't get in. This is a nice looking vehicle but in no way a replacement for the Commander. The exterior is much more agressive, the interior is more rugged and sport-geared than the luxurious interior of the Commander. There is no more room in the back of the Rescue than there is in the Commander. The added interior room is primarily in the width of the vehicle. If they could pair a larger displacement diesel hybrid with lithium ion packs, it could definitely be a big seller, but it would in no way replace the Commander. A+


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I also took a look at the Hummer H3 Alpha. It is much nicer than the Hummer H2 and a lot less pompous. The seating position feels a bit weird with those gun slit windows though. B

I took a look at some of my other favorite non-Jeep cars... Mini Cooper S; B+ (interior quality could be better for a vehicle built by BMW) and Mercedes C350; A+ (sexy design, nice build quality, nice price) and the Dodge Charger SRT-8; A+ (nice design, ridiculous amount of horsepower)
 

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Hey Rubi,
Thanks for the report and all the detail. I didn't know we had a budding auto columnist here! Sounds like a fun show to visit.
-Hemi
 

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jeep5253 said:
What do you have against horsepower?
If you notice the grade of A+ next to that comment, I think he meant the "ridiculous horsepower" to be a good thing. That is how I read it !
-Hemi
 

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this thread is worthless without pictures.

what kind of auto columnist are you!

geezZ!!!!




just kidding. but where the hell are the pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, I didn't have my camera with me (just my camera phone) because my friends and I had originally planned to go today. Going last night was just a spur of the moment thing.

And yes, ridiculous horsepower is a good thing. That is why it is on my list of non-Jeep cars I drool over. The Bugatti Veyron is on that list too but they didn't have any of those at the show. :(
 

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I didn't hear anything about this show in town, I would like to have gone. Oh well maybe next year...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
a49erFootballFan said:
I didn't hear anything about this show in town, I would like to have gone. Oh well maybe next year...
Its open today (Sunday). From my experience it is every year from Thanksgiving day through the Sunday following Thanksgiving. At least thats the way it has been for the last three years.
 

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I will keep that in mind for next year. Today I am going to the 49ers game after work.
 
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