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5 by 5 trivia challenge: compare/contrast current ride w/ previous ride.

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The idea for this came to me over dinner.  List 5 features of your current daily driver you prefer over your previous daily driver.  Then list 5 features of your previous daily driver you prefer over your current daily driver.

I'll go first.

My current daily driver is a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 w/ V6 (WK2).  I bought it 18 months ago with 25k miles, has almost 40k mile now. 

My previous daily driver was a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 w/ I6 (WJ).  I bought it new in 2000, drove until last March.  Put 170k miles on it over almost 17 years.

Current vehicle preferences: (in no particular order)

1.  Quadratrac II.  My WJ had a big 4 wheel drive selector that was a big as the gear shifter.  The WK2 has a small knob with settings for mud, snow,  low range, etc.    (my SUV before the WJ was more old school--it had both a floor selector and manual locking hubs!).

2. 2 generations and almost 20 years of infotainment system evolution.  Touch screen controls (plus the redundant steering wheel controls that work the same as the old one) plus Sirus XM and cell phone integration. 

3. More power, quicker and smoother despite being larger and heavier. 

4. Back up camera.  Side and rear windows are smaller on the WK2 compared to the WJ, despite being bigger.  But the camera is very convenient. 

5.  More fuel-efficient.  20-25 mpg or more on the highway, around 20 average.   The WJ never averaged over 20.   Probably partially due to 8spd auto versus 4/5spd.   

Bonus: Power rear hatch.  Very convenient. 

Previous vehicle preferences:

1. Twin stalks for controls.  Lighting-related were on the left stalk, wiper-related were on the right stalk.  No dash knobs for lighting.   WK2 has a light knob on the dash, and wiper & high beam/etc controls on the left stalk.  I can't count how many times I've reached for the right stalk that isn't there to turn on the lights.

2. In-dash CD player.   The WJ had an cassette deck and in-dash CD player.   The WK2 has a single CD player in the center armrest, which is difficult to access and swap CDs whilst in motion.   But it also has USB outlets and an SD card outlet, so I keep most of my music on a 256 USB flash drive.  And I use Sirius XM a lot.   But I do have 500+ CDs and like physical media. 

3. Flip-up rear hatch glass.  I didn't use it that often, but it was convenient, esp. for hauling longer items--like a ladder and a 50 inch TV, both of which I did.

4. Center console parking brake.  Going back to my first car in the 80s, most everything I've had has had a normal pull-up/push button release parking brake.   The WK2 has a foot pedal to engage and release.  Can't count how many times I've backed out or pulled away with the parking brake on, foot pedal is out of sight, out of mind. 

5. Full set of gauges.  Engine temp, amps, fuel, oil, tach, speedo.   The WK2 has tach, speedo, gas, and engine temp.   But the DIC between the speedo and tach can be toggled though various screens showing amps, fuel, oil life, oil temp, and more. But it's not at a glance, requires a bit more effort. 

Bonus: Sun visors with extensions for use on the side.  The WJ had slide out extensions, the WK2 has visors that slide on their bars, which is less effective as they cover less area. 

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My last 2 DDs are many years apart. '04 Silverado LS 2500HD 6.6L, '94 F-150 XL 4.9L.
'04 ~ Seats are much more comfy, 4WD, DuraMax power, capabilities in towing/cargo, power windows.
'94 ~ long bed, lower to ground (2WD), simpler/less features to eventually go down, easier to drive (20-in shorter wheelbase). I also greatly preferred the styling of the '94.

Interior features aren't as important to me; I'd like an Aux port on the '04 but it doesn't have one (AM-FM/cassette/CD). I am intrigued tho on a few of the early '19 Silverado unveiling videos; where there's a whole host of interior features that might be very useful. Trailer hook-up assist via camera would definitely be one of those.

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My previous daily was '06 Mazda 3 hatchback manual, that I bought new and put almost 250k miles in 8 years.  My current daily is '10 G37S sedan that I bought used in 2014 and put already on it about 126k miles (in addition to existing 38k).

1) Extra 170hp

2) RWD

3) S-package and good weight distribution makes it excellent handling sedan, much better than great but FWD Mazda.

4) Bose stereo, my Mazda had base stereo system

5) Bluetooth calling.

Mazda had a much better feeling manual transmission, Nissan's does not feel that great in comparison, hatchback was very useful despite smaller size, fuel economy was much better 29mpg on regular vs 22-23mpg on premium.

Since I have a long commute and put so many miles on my cars, I decided next time I am getting cheap daily (probably my dad's Mazda 6) and than will get sporty car for fun.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is somewhat difficult for me with my car situation, but the closest would be the comparison between my 2014 4Runner Trail and 2016 GTI. So, here goes-


Currently driving my 2016 GTI SE w/ Perf Pkg and DSG. Leased new. Had it 32 months. Just rolled over 26k miles. What I like more about it-

1) Clearly, and the biggest difference, it's a sport offering. Not a full-on sports car, but a sporty car, at least. So it was nice to come back to something with fun driving dynamics.

2) Refinement. The fit and finish on my GTI is exemplary, and notably better than Toyota's.

3) Efficiency. Averaging 24-26 beats the heck out of 15.

4) Tech. Great Fender audio system, Proximity key, Android Auto, etc are all newer features that surpass Toyota's tech.

5) Usability. It's far easier to exploit what a GTI offers on a daily basis that it is a 4WD SUV.


Before my GTI, I had a 2014 4Runner Trail Edition Premium. Bought 1 year old w/ 14k miles. Had 18 months and put another 14k on it. Here's what I liked more about it-

1) Space. Duh. Held people in more comfort with more space, and had plenty of room behind the second row.

2) Off-road capability. Unlike most, I actually off-roaded in mine. I was always taking it out and going down rutted out, muddy trails; across/through rivers/streams/creeks; taking it down by the river, etc.

3) All-weather ability. The GTI's FWD does fine most of the time, but 4WD with the right tires is just on another level.

4) Ease of ownership. By this I mostly mean I didn't feel like I had to give it as much attention. I feel the need to always have my GTI spotless inside and out. I never cared if my 4Runner was dirty.

5) Lastly, just the general comfort that comes with owning such a vehicle that has a sterling reputation of reliability, indestructibility, and resale value. I went into buying with no concerns of future worth, managing miles, repair worries, etc. 

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Seeing as I never daily drove the ATS, I'll have to compare the Miata to the GTI.

The Magnificent Montego Miata:

  • Purity. No electric nannies or interference between the car and myself. No distractions.
  • Reliability. In a similar time frame and mileage, the GTI required $6k in repairs alone, more than the total cost to purchase the Miata and the sum of its maintenance to date.
  • Handling. 2293 lbs, 50/50 weight distribution, double wishbone suspension at all four corners; It's a smile-maker.
  • Sun's out, guns out. It's all about that roadster life. 
  • Affordability. Beyond the savings earned from the low-cost of the car and it's habit of not breaking, overall running costs are dirt cheap. Gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.; This car can be ran on a shoestring budget.  

The Great German GTI:

  • Power. There's a lot to be said about VW's now legendary TSI engines paired with a DSG. Simply effortless acceleration.
  • A class above. The aura of this car eluded more high-class than you'd expect for a reasonably-priced hatchback. Superb interior materials and fit/finish for the class that still holds well against new vehicles.
  • Look at me, look at me. This is still my favorite generation of Golf VW has ever released. Perfect combination of attitude and class.
  • Niceties. The Miata's purity is nice but some days you just want to be coddled with heated seats, insulation, and a decent set of headlights.
  • Utility. Four totes, two duffle bags, a Chihuahua, and a passenger?! This is not the life of a roadster owner.
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