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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to purchase a used (2003-2005) 4wd SUV soon. I've narrowed my choices down to the above two, just wondering what people here think. It seems both have been reliable and owners have been happy for the most part.

I know to look for the G80 code from the GM stuff, but other than that I'm just browsing auto trader.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not really. There is a moderately difficult two track trail to get to our cabin/deer camp, but I've never had an issue passing it in stock cherokees, explorers, and trucks. Either should do fine.

I may do a small lift to squeeze 30-31" tires under it (and I'm aware of the lift hassle with the TB), but that's just for looks.

It will be a 70/30 highway/city vehicle, tow two snowmobiles in the winter and two ATV's in the summer. Haul me and my gear to fishing, hiking, camping and shooting ranges. I do a lot of car camping so whichever will make the most comfortable bed in the back is a plus. I think both seats fold completely flat and have enough room to sleep.

I think both will work fine, and specs seem similar, just looking for opinions.
 

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i would go with the grand cherokee only becuase i think the trailblazers feel too car like.

i think either will do what you want so its only a matter of how it feels to you.
 

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My fiance has a 2002 Trailblazer LTZ and it has had issues out the wazoo. Supposedly that was the trouble year, so model years after that are supposedly "ok." I still see several on the road with a sealer or something around the license plate area of the hatch where it seems to be bleeding.

Other than that the Trailblazer is very nice and car like. Gas mileage isn't terrible unless you get above 70 MPH on the freeway or use heavy gas in the city. It is quite spacious inside and comfortable.

Because of the known reliability I would go with the Grand Cherokee, but I would say go test drive both and see which you like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
02 certainly was a trouble year for em. The 03's + seem to have fixed those issues though. My biggest gripe with a Cherokee is most dont come ready to tow and their towing capacity sucks unless I step up to their bigger engines.

Base models:

03-04 TB
4.2L 6Cyl
Towing: 6100 lbs
HP: 275
TQ: 275
MPG: 15/21 (18 Avg)

05 WK:
3.7L 6Cyl
Tow: 3500lbs (!!!)
HP: 230
TQ: 295
MPG: 16/21 (18.5 Avg)

I agree that the TB looks/feels too much like a car/crossover/minivan/soccer mom mobile, but the numbers are pretty strong compared to the Cherokee. The Cherokee's are cheaper, surprisingly.
 

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My girlfriend has a TB and its not bad but no head room at all and I'm 6 foot tall. That's my biggest problem with the TB. I have a couple friends that have grands and they love them. The TB dose seem to have more cargo room but you can't do much with those as far as addons. I'd go with the Jeep
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And if I step back a year to the 04 model Jeep(I like the WK looks/interior much more than the WJ):

04 WJ
4.0L 6 Cyl
Tow: 5000lbs
HP: 195
TQ: 230
MPG: 16/21 (18.5 Avg)

The TB is still beating it...

I'm going to drive a couple TB's and a couple Cherokees. I've had good luck with GM and Jeep before, but I can't deal with that shitty 3.7 Jeep has in most of the WK's.
 

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I'm 6 feet tall as well and the Trailblazer is very comfortable and has plenty of headroom for me.

The tailgate is at the perfect height that my head will hit it every time and it is right about my field of vision.

The steering feels a bit numb as you will find out, and it has considerable body roll, much more than a truck.

It is a little too cushy for me because of the soft suspension, but on a freeway trip it's awesome. Can't have the best of both worlds unfortunately. Still amazes me they were able to make such a nice platform from a body on frame design.
 

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TB vs GC

I had to make the same decision a couple of years ago. We (wife and I) had to upgrade her Alero to something that I could actually fit in (I'm 6'3", she's 5') + we just had our first child. I am a Jeep guy. My DD is a 99 XJ on 35s and my toy is a YJ. I went back and forth between the TB and WJ for a few months. Lucky for me in my line of work I get to drive all kinds of different vehicles. In the end the TB won. They just seem to have more room overall, especially in the cargo area and leg room for the back seat. I like the TB full frame vs unibody on the WJ. I fit more comfortably in the drvs seat then in the WJ, which has about the same amount of room as my XJ. The TB ride is a bit more car like but we have a solution for that: http://www.bds-suspension.com/BDSLibrary/ImageLibrary/hires_kits/ck_168H.jpg

The only real thing that I struggled with is the engine. I have had really good luck with the 4.0L in lots of Jeeps. I wasn't sure about the 4.2L in the TB but 2 years and about 25000 miles later I must say I am pretty happy with it. I will get about 20 mpg (mixed driving). Tows really well (I have a 19 ft ski boat). Our's is an '03 LT model and I've only had two problems outside of normal maintenance: bad rear u-joint and bad a/c high pressure switch...which GM has a TSB out for. Overall I would say if you are using it for a DD you will probably be happier with the TB in the long run. Plus, GM is just about giving away '07s and '08s right now so you can probably get a new one for what you could buy used 2 yrs ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had to make the same decision a couple of years ago. We (wife and I) had to upgrade her Alero to something that I could actually fit in (I'm 6'3", she's 5') + we just had our first child. I am a Jeep guy. My DD is a 99 XJ on 35s and my toy is a YJ. I went back and forth between the TB and WJ for a few months. Lucky for me in my line of work I get to drive all kinds of different vehicles. In the end the TB won. They just seem to have more room overall, especially in the cargo area and leg room for the back seat. I like the TB full frame vs unibody on the WJ. I fit more comfortably in the drvs seat then in the WJ, which has about the same amount of room as my XJ. The TB ride is a bit more car like but we have a solution for that: http://www.bds-suspension.com/BDSLibrary/ImageLibrary/hires_kits/ck_168H.jpg

The only real thing that I struggled with is the engine. I have had really good luck with the 4.0L in lots of Jeeps. I wasn't sure about the 4.2L in the TB but 2 years and about 25000 miles later I must say I am pretty happy with it. I will get about 20 mpg (mixed driving). Tows really well (I have a 19 ft ski boat). Our's is an '03 LT model and I've only had two problems outside of normal maintenance: bad rear u-joint and bad a/c high pressure switch...which GM has a TSB out for. Overall I would say if you are using it for a DD you will probably be happier with the TB in the long run. Plus, GM is just about giving away '07s and '08s right now so you can probably get a new one for what you could buy used 2 yrs ago.
Thanks, glad to hear your opinion. I am moving more and more toward the TB.

Any idea what an 07 is going for? I hate calling dealers, just ballpark figures are fine.
 

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I went with the trailblazer SS with the 3SS package and 2wd... I get 16.5 mixed driving. I have a couple stupid things to take it to the dealer for that shouldnt be issues considering it's and 08 and they have had 6 years to get the little stuff worked out but other than that I'm happy with it as long as there is clean and clear pavement for traction... it is the worst thing in the world in snow however and that's only because of the SS package, a regular one probably wont have any issues in bad weather.
 

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Not sure about a GC but a few trail blazers i have worked on.. crazy amount of trouble... maybe only certain years not sure.. maybe the newer ones are fine.. let us know what you do....
 

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My buddy has an envoy, same as TB, with the 6 cyl. and I used it to haul two sleds to the U.P. with it and only averaged about 7 or 8 mpg and I was keepin it around 65. Not sure if they are all like that but if you get a TB i would suggest the 5.3. Other than the mileage while towing they seem pretty nice, although I love my grand cherokee limited!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Holy shit. Why would the gas mileage be so terrible?

I had an 04 Z71 Canyon (3.5L inline 5) with a max towing capacity of about 4000lbs. I could max it out with three ATVs, trailer, guys and gear and still do 13-14MPG. That was with 31" BFG's on it too.

Doesn't make sense to me.
 
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