In late December 2013 we bought our Greatest of 2014 winner, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, but our long-term fleet is produced up of 2 cars. Soon after debating which section may well be ideal — we settled on SUVs, which we’;ve in no way bought prior to — we made a decision on a model with a lot of inquiries that want answering: the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
Relevant: We Purchased a 2014 Chevrolet Impala
Why the Cherokee? Since it is unique — to an intense. At the 2013 New York Global Automobile Show, Jeep unveiled the SUV as a replacement for its when-well-liked Liberty to frenzied on-line interest.
We liked it when we drove it at a summer season 2013 media preview, but found it polarizing sufficient to land a spot on our Top 10 Most Polarizing Vehicles in September. Following a delayed launch as Jeep refined the substantial-tech 9-velocity automatic transmission, the Cherokee last but not least went on sale in October and promptly became Fiat-Chrysler’;s fifth best-promoting vehicle among its 6 U.S. brand names in November. We remained intrigued after we acquired to drive different trims in various kinds of climate.
Jeep provides the Cherokee in front-wheel drive or with 1 of 3 all-wheel-drive methods, each and every with rising ranges of capability. It also has 4 trims: Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk and Limited. Which edition did we want?
We wished the model most popular with shoppers, so we reached out to Chrysler to request what the volume seller was with out sharing our intentions. “It is a Latitude with Jeep Lively Drive I,” spokeswoman Kathy Graham wrote in an email, referring to the simplest of the Cherokee’;s all-wheel-drive systems. “We are pretty evenly split in between the 2.4L and 3.2L engines.”
Latitude it was, and we made a decision to opt for the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine to see if it gets the good gas mileage that it truly is rated at. We needed our Cherokee in Granite Crystal Metallic, our favourite of 10 obtainable colors.
Then, problems arose.
Initial, Chicago’;s brutal winter has Cherokee shoppers snapping up all-wheel drive like Furbies in 1998. Just 37 % of new Cherokees inside of 50 miles of our offices had all-wheel drive versus 52 % of the nationwide provide located in Cars.com’;s listings. Granite examples have been in quick provide, also, but we located 2 at a dealer in Chicago’;s north suburbs, both listed at $ 28,185 on Cars.com just before taxes, title and dealer fees.
We reached out by way of the world wide web with a non-Vehicles.com email handle. Both Cherokees had been in stock, a saleswoman at the dealership advised us, but the listed rates weren’;t net rates. The dealership could get us one for “proper about $ 26,000,” she stated. “And that’;s not rock-solid. After you acquired right here, they may well be in a position to function with you.”
That was currently a handsome $ 2,185 off the online listing. Unfortunately, it came with Jeep’;s Lively Drive I all-wheel drive, but not the Cherokee’;s Cold Weather package deal with heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
Moving On Up
Would we be capable to locate Granite paint plus the 4-cylinder in an all-wheel-drive Latitude with factory heated seats? Not inside 50 miles of our offices, in accordance to Automobiles.com. So we set our sights on a 4-cylinder Cherokee Restricted, which adds functions like heated leather seats, a power driver’;s seat and 18-inch wheels, some of which are alternatives on the Latitude.
We located one particular at a dealer in Chicago’;s south suburbs that listed for $ 33,180. It had a couple of far more possibilities — a panoramic moonroof, navigation, HD and satellite radio — but it had the 4-cylinder engine and Active Drive I that we wished.
We reached out and the dealership’;s net manager quoted us with a diverse cost: $ 30,890 or $ 2,290 off MSRP. Throw in product sales tax, $ 166 documentation charge and $ 220 for new license plates, and we were searching at $ 34,311 out the door. Not too shabby for a automobile with just $ 500 in incentives listed for our ZIP code.
We created an appointment and check-drove the vehicle the up coming day. Every thing checked out, but the dealership would not move much off its price tag. We took his offer you and headed out to do a lot more buying.
Back at the office, we reached out to 2 far more dealers to see if they could compete on pricing. Each and every one listed an all-wheel-drive 4-cylinder Cherokee Restricted with Granite paint on Vehicles.com.
Neither one particular would. A single dealership said they could not match our previous supply due to the fact theirs had $ 3,850 in extra packages. The 2nd new dealership, meanwhile, said the Cherokee listed on the internet wouldn’;t actually ship to the dealership for up to 2 weeks. We located 2 much more Restricted designs listed on Cars.com at the very same north-suburban dealership we originally contacted when our purchasing sights were on Latitude designs. Both Limiteds had window stickers of $ 33,375 that was in essence, the same vehicle as the south-suburban dealer, but it integrated a $ 195 CD player.
We called the dealership and started to speak about the quote we had in hand. A representative took down the stock numbers of the Cherokees we located on Automobiles.com and stopped us midsentence: “Get a quote, print it out and we’;ll beat it by $ 500,” he stated. “You’;ll get yet another $ 250 off by setting up an appointment with me.”
We talked about that each Cherokees had CD players, which the Cherokee from the south suburbs did not. Would that impact his price tag? Nah, he said. And did the dealership take American Express, the corporate credit score card we planned to use for the deposit? Sure, he explained.
We set up an appointment and arrived the up coming day.
We walked in and a saleswoman greeted us. We mentioned we were there to see the guy we had spoken with the day just before. Oh, she explained, he most likely worked in the “BDC” (the dealership’;s enterprise advancement center) ahead of checking by phone to see if the dealership had any person with our contact’;s title.
She seemed intent on generating the deal with us herself, so we explained the terms her BDC rep had offered us: $ 500 off the offer we had in hand, plus yet another $ 250 since we’;d set up an appointment. We had window stickers from the 2 Cherokees we believed to be at the dealership, plus the window sticker from the Cherokee at the south-suburban dealer and its purchase agreement for $ 34,289, out-the-door.
She took our printouts and went to see her manager. Twenty minutes passed. She returned with a bigger sheet that had some numbers written in marker. At the bottom was $ 33,958, which is just $ 341, not $ 750, under our greatest supply.
She explained that our BDC good friend had been incorrect about the $ 250 off, which was previously folded into the $ 500 offer. There was another wrinkle: The dealership did not truly have both Cherokee listed on-line on its whole lot. This BDC fellow was almost certainly looking at on the web stock, she advised us. In reality, people Cherokees have been shipping and “must be right here any day.”
We balked. Their very best cost was not even $ 500 beneath our very best offer, and it was for a automobile that was not there. We demanded a cost of $ 33,500 and mentioned that our acquire would be contingent on seeing and driving the Cherokee, whenever it rolled in.
That was another $ 458 beneath the supply on her paper. “Could we split that?” she asked. No, we said. She left to speak to her manager, only to return with the identical $ 33,958. We conceded the $ 250 make-an-appointment deal blunder, but insisted she drop the value to honor the dealership’;s $ 500 guarantee.
The back-and-forth went on. Ultimately, we informed her that if we could not get to $ 33,758, we have been accomplished.
“I’;ll go back and tell him this is the value or you happen to be strolling,” she mentioned. She left one much more time. We place our coats on.
She came back: “Ok, how significantly are you going to put down?” We acquired our price tag: $ 33,758 out-the-door, or $ 3,174 (8.6 %) off the complete price on that specific Cherokee. We did not put any real cash down considering that it turned out the dealership didn’;t consider American Express, and they allowed a good-faith deposit alternatively to reserve our Cherokee at this price.
That was Thursday. The following Tuesday, we hadn’;t heard anything at all. Ultimately, our saleswoman known as us back and stated the Cherokee was on a truck the preceding Friday but possibly skilled weather delays it need to arrive in the following day or 2. This was happening as major storms hit most of the Midwest.
On Friday, she named and mentioned the Cherokee had arrived. We went to the dealership, took a short test drive, had no problems, and said we’;d demonstrate up the following week with a check.
The following Thursday afternoon, we did just that. The dealership had cleaned the Cherokee up, and we gave them the verify for the total $ 33,758, and as constantly, signed a pile of paperwork.
We headed to the parking great deal and there was our Cherokee, clean as a whistle with all of eleven miles on the odometer. Even now, we would barely sat down when we observed a low washer-fluid warning. And the dealership had started us off with much less than half a tank of gas.
It received worse. We inspected the exterior and found a few scratches on the appropriate front fender. We waved the saleswoman back. She looked at the scratches and advised us to pull into the support bay to get them buffed out, but it turned out the folks who could do the work had left for the day.
We left with the Cherokee and returned the up coming week and had the scratches taken care of in much less than 2 hours whilst we waited.
Not the very best begin to our ownership knowledge, but we had the car we needed.
Autos.com photographs by Evan Sears and Kelsey Mays
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