Morning struck the next day, and we were both awake before our alarms. While my brother got ready early, I simply laid there contemplating how this keeps happening. We were up and ready by about 6:45, but wound up not really leaving until about 7:30. I had to take a few shots of the Grand Cherokee before we trekked it to the trade-in spot. They always look good in the morning, especially when you're about to go give them away.
|Who doesn't love the smell of exhaust in the morning?|
|The Jeep was looking good, but the photo-bombing Vic had drained its air springs overnight... again.|
The ride was pretty laid back and fairly uneventful. We got to tour the Illinois Tollways and a bit of the Indiana Tollway as well. Ben went flying through a sweeping turn in the middle of Chicagoland doing about 85 in a 50, just to see if he could roll it, I assume. We stopped at a truck stop that seemed a little extra creepy compared to the ones I'm used to stopping at. We saw a motel on the side of the road that I was surprised Ben didn't book a room. It was called the "$tay 4 Le$$" and had a giant banner advertising $35/night rooms. It didn't look nearly as bad as the De Luxe Motel he booked us for Power Tour though (that story will come in June). On the way back, we also saw one called the "Econo Inn" which I'm sure would meet his wallet's approval. Eventually we got to the dealership and found the new Jeep, a shiny 2-door JK in hairdresser - I mean, Detonator Yellow.
|We parked right next to it, and automatically started moving stuff from one to the other. Whatever was left, that is.|
|Not gonna lie, they looked good together.|
|They had it real shiny for us when we got there. So un-Jeep-like.|
|Lens flare for the win!|
|See? Again, lens flare for the win!|
I was an interesting comparison to drive the JK right after a 9-year older WJ. The Grand Cherokee definitely drove clunkier and had a lot less feel and precision. The brakes on the WJ have always been numb and unresponsive, and the steering had a wicked dead zone that liked to wander quite a bit more than you'd like. This made the Wrangler feel so much more tight and responsive. The brake pedal actually did something, and I'm guessing that has a rack and pinion because of how stable and tight it was. The Grand Cherokee had a lot of body roll which the Wrangler didn't have very much at all that I can recall. The Grand Cherokee also bounced around a bit and drove kind of like a truck. The Wrangler also had some bounce, but it was a good kind of bounce, a new bounce that made you feel like everything is new and doing what it should be still. Some of that too can be attributed to the shorter wheelbase, but it didn't have that jarring, slammed Civic kind of bounce. It was good, really good. I'm so glad he bought it, but at the same time, I will kind of miss the Grand Cherokee - not much, but some. All around, though, this Wrangler is definitely the better Jeep. Is that age or engineering? I don't know, but it feels like a more entertaining and enjoyable driving machine.
|If you look closely, he's actually sitting in there.|
|We had to take a picture in front of the sign of the competitor|
|Didn't they stop making these cars?|