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RyanB

Audi Q5 TDI vs Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

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RyanB

My winter/seeing customers vehicle is currently a Lexus RX400h that despite being AWD is terrible in the snow (even with new tires). 

Looking to replace it, and right now I’m between the Q5 or GC EcoDiesel. Budget wise I would like to stay around $25k. 

I’ve owned a number of Jeeps, and all have been very reliable, so I’m not worried about the BS that Consumer Reports spews. More interested in 1st hand experience that someone might have with either of these vehicles. 

And in case anyone is worried about it, whatever I end up with will not be used to tow my Malibu. 

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boardjnky4

I'm surprised that either of those are available for 25k

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RyanB
22 minutes ago, boardjnky4 said:

I'm surprised that either of those are available for 25k

Used. 2014/2015 models. 

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Falko

My boss had a Q7 TDI that was confiscated during the recall. Before he gave it up, he put on 140k trouble free miles. Our company is members of the Audi frequent buyers club it would seem, there's a number of them around here as company vehicles. Overall, they seem pretty reliable. Unless you're in the owner's family, then those cars seem to get destroyed on a regular basis, not really the cars' fault though.

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asp13

My wife has a 2012 Q5 (2.0t) amazing vehicle, probably the nicest we have ever owned. Great in the summer, even better in the winter. We take it to the mountains for skiing every weekend, great in the snow and on the highway, nice and solid.

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jjackkrash

Quattro is awesome.  If you get an Audi make sure it has Quatrro and not just front wheel drive.  

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Nitrousbird

My wife was pretty high on the SQ5 last year, but winter buying and the prices weren't where she felt it should be...they actually kept going up to the point she said she would rather spend more on a Macan at that point.  I convinced her she really didn't need an SUV, found her S4 and all was well.  

I didn't see a lot of the TDI Q5's around.  A ton of the 2.0T slugs, which I wouldn't even consider.  Might be able to get into a Cayenne Diesel for around that range or a little more as well.  I'm a big fan of the German SUV's.  Jeeps...ehh, my buddy recently finished his lease on his Grand Cherokee and didn't go with another one.  It was nice but not worth the price IMO.

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jrvs23

A buddy is on his 2nd diesel jeep. He loves them. Pulls his '00 natique with it nicely. I've been in it a couple times and it felt very small to me. He's 5'8"ish maybe and has doesnt notice. I'm 6'1"

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RyanB
2 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

My wife was pretty high on the SQ5 last year, but winter buying and the prices weren't where she felt it should be...they actually kept going up to the point she said she would rather spend more on a Macan at that point.  I convinced her she really didn't need an SUV, found her S4 and all was well.  

I didn't see a lot of the TDI Q5's around.  A ton of the 2.0T slugs, which I wouldn't even consider.  Might be able to get into a Cayenne Diesel for around that range or a little more as well.  I'm a big fan of the German SUV's.  Jeeps...ehh, my buddy recently finished his lease on his Grand Cherokee and didn't go with another one.  It was nice but not worth the price IMO.

Love the Macan.  But it is more than I want to spend.  And I don't want to drive a Porsche when I am seeing customers.  Even if the purchase price is right, it sends the wrong message.

There are a lot of Q5 TDIs around me, but you have to dig a little when searching.  Virtually none of the listings say anything about being a diesel.  Probably 20 TDIs on my local Craigslist, but they all disappear if you search including diesel.  I think the VW scandal really hurt their desirability.  

I need to spend a little more time in each.  I'm actually leaning more Jeep right now.  I've had good luck with them. But I also am a fan of German vehicles.......

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RyanB
5 hours ago, jjackkrash said:

Quattro is awesome.  If you get an Audi make sure it has Quatrro and not just front wheel drive.  

Pretty sure all the Q5s are Quattro. But maybe I nee to dig a little deeper as the crappy way my Rx drives in the snow is what is pushing me to upgrade.

Edited by RyanB

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jjackkrash
1 hour ago, RyanB said:

 I think the VW scandal really hurt their desirability.  

All the more reason to buy on the cheap.  Audi's crime was making them perform better than EPA regs would allow; my personal view is that's not exactly a disincentive for me to buy them, especially when they are discounted.  If you can get one of the corralled Q7s new off the lot, all the better.  

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Pnwrider

surprised the Lexus is that bad in the snow. My wife’s highlander does great though it’s not the hybrid model. My uncle had the older non hybrid rx350 and he always raved about how well it did in the snow. I like the first gen sq5 a lot. I’ve got a neighbor with a q5 who couldn’t get out of her driveway yesterday in the snow, but I know they take it up to go skiing a lot. 

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Cole2001

How can the Lexus possibly be so bad? You would think awd would be decent in the snow. Or are you one of people who think just because you have awd you don’t need snow tires. 

Another option is the Mercedes GLC. Beautiful car and Mercedes 4 matic is impressive. 

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RyanB
2 hours ago, Pnwrider said:

surprised the Lexus is that bad in the snow. My wife’s highlander does great though it’s not the hybrid model. My uncle had the older non hybrid rx350 and he always raved about how well it did in the snow. I like the first gen sq5 a lot. I’ve got a neighbor with a q5 who couldn’t get out of her driveway yesterday in the snow, but I know they take it up to go skiing a lot. 

 

1 hour ago, Cole2001 said:

How can the Lexus possibly be so bad? You would think awd would be decent in the snow. Or are you one of people who think just because you have awd you don’t need snow tires. 

Another option is the Mercedes GLC. Beautiful car and Mercedes 4 matic is impressive. 

From what I have read, the problem is specific to the Lexus hybrid and the traction control.  When it loses traction, it cuts the power to all the wheels.  And short of some sequence of turning the key on and off a certain number of times in a certain time frame, there is no way to shut the traction control off.  

My wife complained about driving it in the snow and I thought it had to do with poor tires, but I bought new tires and I couldn't back it out of the driveway and up the hill into the street in the snow.  It doesn't spin, it just sits there.  My old 300 Hemi C did significantly better in the snow than this dog, and it was rear wheel drive.  It is just a terrible design.  

And in regards to the Benz, I am sure the make a good car, but I have a very strong personal bias against them, and would never own one.

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Falko

The Toyota based hybrids all seem to have the same traction control scenario. My last job we had a Prius company car, it was absolutely miserable in the snow. If the tires started to spin, complete power shut down. There was some way to turn off the traction control or limit it, but was a pain to do. If there was a slight chance of snow, that car never left the lot. So I can completely understand why you want away from that vehicle.

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oldjeep
4 hours ago, Falko said:

The Toyota based hybrids all seem to have the same traction control scenario. My last job we had a Prius company car, it was absolutely miserable in the snow. If the tires started to spin, complete power shut down. There was some way to turn off the traction control or limit it, but was a pain to do. If there was a slight chance of snow, that car never left the lot. So I can completely understand why you want away from that vehicle.

Same thing used to happen in my 2wd ram - that was the reason there was a button to shut it off.

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MadMan
22 hours ago, jjackkrash said:

  Audi's crime was making them perform better than EPA regs would allow; my personal view is that's not exactly a disincentive for me to buy them,

This is a major reason for me not to buy one, I don't do business with liars and thieves.

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Falko
23 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Same thing used to happen in my 2wd ram - that was the reason there was a button to shut it off.

My Tundra has that as the default stage of traction control, power limiting. Press the button and it goes to less power limiting and a bit more AUTO LSD (yeah, not a great system), press and hold for 7.34 minutes and it goes into "secret squirrel not many people are patient to hold the button that long no-nanny mode" (yes it actually says that on the gauge cluster) and will tear it up. Then of course you have 4WD mode, which trumps the others.

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jjackkrash
16 hours ago, MadMan said:

This is a major reason for me not to buy one, I don't do business with liars and thieves.

Technically, I don't think you have to do business with the EPA to buy one of the seized/impounded TDI vehicles.  I think the manufacturer regained the right to sell them as part of the settlement.  

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Pra4sno

Hey Ryan, 

Both of these look like good vehicles.  I have some first hand experience with the GCs:  My family had the GC EcoDiesel and it was underwhelming to drive.  I drove a friend's limited 2017 with the gas V8 and liked it quite a bit.  It had a super nice interior, the seats were excellent.  The motor sounded great, power was good but not anything particularly special.  Had a noticeable loss at elevation.  Mileage was OK, somewhere around 19-21?   Side note: He had 30k miles on it and was already having issues with the UI on the dash along with a steering clunk that we figured was either a ball joint or an intermediate shaft.  I haven't asked him what it was, he was pretty sore about it.  You asked for first hand experience on them, so thats all I have.  Nothing that would stop me from owning one, but might encourage me to look at a few other makes/models just to have more of a comparison. 

No experience with the Audi.

I did however, drive a dealer loaner Ecoboost Ford Explorer (several weeks actually) while my F150 was in for an extended service period (technician made a mistake during a recall update).  That explorer 100% blew my mind.  It got great mileage, was unbelievably fast, the ride quality was fantastic even on our concrete slab highway sections, it had loads of room, AND the interior was verrrrryyyy good.  Anyways, I'm just throwing out that it might be worth a test drive, even if just to compare to the others.  I have seen quite a few in your listed price range - even in the more limited trim levels.  

Edited by Pra4sno

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RyanB

@Pra4sno thanks for the first hand experience. My SIL has a 14 with the EcoDiesel and really likes it. I haven’t driven one myself yet but the reviews i have read all talk about a pretty positive driving experience. But there is a high trade off with the lower HP in the diesel vs an EcoBoost or Hemi. 

I need to get some seat time in both but have been traveling too much to do it. 

Regarding the Exploder, I’ve rented plenty of them and am personally not a fan. The engine is good but I’ve never felt comfortable with the driving position. And it’s bigger than I want anyway. (The GC might be too big too). 

Edited by RyanB

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shawndoggy

Is the traction control on the regular RX (non hybrid) OK?  Seems like the lexus is the right ride with the wrong traction control.

Also what about acura RDX/MDX?

Or infiniti FX? (they are weird cars tho... )

Or really, a 4Runner.

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RyanB
1 hour ago, shawndoggy said:

Is the traction control on the regular RX (non hybrid) OK?  Seems like the lexus is the right ride with the wrong traction control.

Also what about acura RDX/MDX?

Or infiniti FX? (they are weird cars tho... )

Or really, a 4Runner.

Yes, the hybrid seems to be the issue.

Right now I have my mind set on a diesel.  Going to try to get out and drive a couple tomorrow.

I know I shouldn't always compare things to the rental cars I get, but the last 4Runner I had got 14 MPG going across North Dakota.  And two weeks ago I had a Tacoma get 12 MPG going 80 MPH across Nebraska.  And way too spartan for my tastes.

If I don't like the diesels tomorrow, I'll expand to look at an RDX.

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tjklein

I had a 2014 Grand Cherokee diesel Overland edition.  We really liked it.  Traded it for a Denali last year.

There is an issue with emissions on them, but it's covered under a recall.  Other than it was great.  Got between 26-27mpg on the interstate, 28+ at 60mph.  It could tow my boat and did to the landing a couple times, although the wheelbase is a bit short for my taste if going any further.  I usually used my truck.

Overall it was a great vehicle.

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