For the past two years I have been trying to decide what kind of car to buy. I have considered most of the mid-sized crossovers and SUVs, but the vehicle that kept coming back to the top of my list was the Jeep Grand Cherokee. I had a Grand Cherokee over ten years ago, and quite honestly, it was fairly expensive to maintain. Reliability is important to me, and that has been my biggest concern about this purchase. Hopefully Jeep has made improvements in the past ten years.
The next step was to decide which options I wanted. I considered all three motor choices and decided to go with the 5.7L V8 Hemi so I could pull my utility trailer with it. I also settled on Velvet Red for the exterior color.
I generally go with a color less likely to show the dirt (since I seldom wash my cars), but decided to go with red primarily for safety reasons – I figure it will be a little easier for other drives to see. Besides, all of the other choices were pretty bland.
Safety is another high priority concern for me, so I wanted the Active Safety Group with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, etc. And, of course I wanted the Off-Road Package with skid plates, off-road tires, a towing package, and the top of the line 4WD system. Basically I wanted a comfortable semi-luxury car that I can take off road if I wish. I don’t plan on doing any serious off-roading, but I do expect to take the occasional dirt road to places off the beaten path.
I also determined there were several packages that I didn’t want – such as the 19 speaker stereo system – after all, I am somewhat deaf. I also didn’t need a rear entertainment system or some of the other add-ons. And I do not like black interiors. It seems that 90% of the Grand Cherokees on the dealer lots have black interiors.
I used the “Build Your Vehicle” tool on the Jeep website to pick the features I wanted, and omit the things I did not want. The tool allows you to do a search to find exact matches for the vehicle you want. I opened up the mileage range and found that my vehicle of choice did not exist – anywhere. So, I would either have to settle for something not quite right, or wait 6-8 weeks and order one.
I periodically checked the website again to see if anything new had shown up. I finally found an exact match in transit from the factory to a dealer in Durango, Colorado; Morehart Murphy Jeep.
So there was the car I wanted – on its way to a dealer that is 6.5 hours away from Salt Lake City. Now the question was how to get it. I could fly down to Durango and pick it up. The salesman offered to pick me up at the airport. I also considered driving down in my ’97 Jeep Wrangler and trading it in, but that is a long drive in a Wrangler. With Christmas just around the corner, I really didn’t have time to make the trip.
I had also been working with my good friend, Aaron, at Young Brothers Automotive. He has helped me buy several used cars in the past, and even got one from New York state for my daughter. He offered to help me out.
He worked a deal with Morehart Murphy that gave me a very good price and allowed me to trade in my Wrangler locally to Young Brothers. He also handled the paperwork to get the vehicle registered in Utah. Aaron flew down and drove the vehicle back to Utah for me. It was a very long day for him, but luckily he got back just before the next snowstorm hit.
That is how Santa got his new sleigh – just in time for Christmas!