Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Crazy Jeep Dealer...

Our ancient LandCruiser (a '93 with almost 300,000 miles on it) has reached the point where we're afraid to take it on a “serious” four-wheeling expedition.  Our mechanic tells us the engine or transmission could conk out at any moment.  So we're looking around for a new four-wheeling vehicle.

One of the models we decided to look at was the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, which we'd read some good things about.  Only one dealer in San Diego County had any in stock, a dealer in Poway.  So we went up there to see them. 

The sales guy (a very nice young man named Dwight) really couldn't answer any of my questions about it.  Mainly this was because neither he nor anyone else there knows anything at all about four-wheeling :)  We're not their normal sort of customer.  So I told them, jokingly, that they could answer all my questions if they'd just let me take one of their inventory out four-wheeling on a local road.  I never imagined they'd say “sure” – but they did!

So off we went in a brand-new Trailhawk, with permission to take it off-road.  We went up through Julian (which had about a foot of snow) and down to Banner, then onto the Oriflamme Canyon Road.  We know that road well, and after the rains the day before, it was good and muddy.  We gave that vehicle a very good test :)  When we brought it back to the dealer, it was still all in one piece, but it was no longer clean and shiny :)

We really liked the Trailhawk, and we sat down to talk with the dealer about buying one.  But right away we were stymied.  We insisted on ordering the vehicle configured exactly the way we wanted it – and they insisted on selling us one out of inventory (another dealer's inventory, not theirs).  The one they wanted to sell us wasn't an exact match to what we wanted, so we said “no”, we want to order the right.  Then they told us that the 2013 Trailhawks could no longer be ordered, and that there would be no 2014 Trailhawks.  So we just said “no thanks”, and now we're back to square one on our search.

But we still can scarcely believe that the dealer was crazy enough to let us take their brand-new vehicle out four-wheeling!

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