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Discussion Starter #1
I am struggling with which drive train to consider getting. I hope to do some off road driving. So I am not sure if I need FDII or if FDI is good enough and if FDI, then is std better than cvt? Mostly I will be driving to and from work so gas mileage plays a roll in the decision too! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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It's only a mpg or two from each other and given all of the extras that FDII comes with (skid plates, lower low range, 140 amp alternator, oil cooler, tow hooks, etc.), if you are even remotely considering it, I'd say go for it. I have a FDI model, and while I love it and it does everything I need it to do, I often wish I had looked around a little harder for a FDII model. If I were buying one now, I'd get a FDII sport (or whatever the base model is + power options) and pay the extra (I think someone said it's about $1900, but when financed, makes it just a few extra tens of dollars a month) for the lifetime powertrain warranty (just to cover the CVT and all).
 

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I am struggling with which drive train to consider getting. I hope to do some off road driving. So I am not sure if I need FDII or if FDI is good enough and if FDI, then is std better than cvt? Mostly I will be driving to and from work so gas mileage plays a roll in the decision too! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Understand your dilemma. Went though the same back and forth b4 we purchased our 2011. We finally purchase a Lattitude 4x4 with the FDII couldn't be more happy with our decision. We live on a very steep road that normally makes my wife stay at home on snowy days. Today we had a couple of inches of snow and she dropped her into low(crawl) and let the hill descent do it's thing. Didn't slide once. BTW, our neighbor(drives a H3) went out before and slid several time in front of us. The little Pat impressed.
 

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Depends on what kind of "off road" ability you think you need. In my experience, you start out easy and look for challenges. Get the FDII. If all you need is to get down a 2-track to your favorite fishing hole and get to work in the snow, an FDI is a great Jeep. I wish mine had the tow hooks. I've never needed the low range tranny, and I LOVE the Autostick. I was giving a 2011 Wrangler some serious consideration, but with gas going up again, I think Ill get another Pat. I will likely get the FDII this time and learn to live without the Autostick.
 

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Todd and Butch impressed me with their FDI's going up my hill last winter. But as Todd said, if you want some of those options, the package is a good way to go.

I've been looking at 11's too, seems to upgrade from the base Sport FDII (which is what my 08 is) to just get a better stereo means a package with power everything, and if I remember right it was almost $3K. I personally don't like power windows and locks either, so doubt I'll order that package.
 

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I'm in the exact same boat. I have a Wrangler now and for the last 3.5 years of ownership, I used the low setting once, and I don't think I really needed it. I am looking to purchase a FD1 this week and trade my Wrangler in. It is a 2011, with the 26B package on it, that's it. I originally wanted a Lattitude X with the security and Sun , FDII and tow package, but the economy got in the way. We are(as a union) giving back almost 20 % of our salary and overtime for the next 2 years, and my decision to go with a practical pacakge outweighs the really want package(for Once In My Life!). I considerd the Ford Escape, and the Subura Forester, but I think Jeep did a nice job on the 2011's so I'm going to the dealer this week.
The Wrangler averaged about 14-16 MPG's and was costing me about $250 a month in fuel. With gas at $3.20 a gallon now, FD1 is lokking better and better.
Good Luck,
john
 

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I am aiming for a FDII in the next month. It seems to only be about 500 more for FDII then just a plain automatic. I would rather have it and seldom use it, then not have it and wish I could do more with the Jeep
 

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I considerd the Ford Escape, and the Subura Forester, but I think Jeep did a nice job on the 2011's so I'm going to the dealer this week.
John,

I am also bouncing between the Patriot and the Forester. Could you please share your decision process for deciding on the Patriot.

You can PM me if you prefer. I would really like to read your opinions.
 

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The Forester is a proven vehicle, with an outdated 4 sp tranny. Jeep is an American Icon with new technology. I don't think the Subie will look good with a dead deer hanging off the back either. Subie buyers tend to be pro tree huggers, etc.. I'm more of a cut it down and use it for firewood guy.
Just Saying..........
 

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Well I bought a FD1 yesterday, couldn't be happier! I went for the fuel milage this time around, considering I don't do any hardcore wheeling.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm still not decided. First I'd like to know if the FDII can handle deep snow better than the FDI. Secondly how much more (off-road) can an FDII perform versus FDI. The brake lock diff looks like the biggest difference (besides the low range).

It looks like you could lift the FDI and add skip plates and tow hooks, so I'm wondering what I can't change.

You pay more for FDII, both initial cost and in more gas (also need to factory order, less incentives). I just need to know it is worth spending that much.

Any opinions wold be great!
 

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For me, the FDII was best, considering all the options. And mileage was a big consideration for me too, as I drive 100 miles a day just for work, and my 08 has 60K miles on it now.

I really could use another couple inches of clearance though, on top of the FDII clearance, so FDI would be too low for me. I've hit bottom a couple times, and have been high-centered in snow at least once.

I have had deer on top of my Patriot, and always have my dog with me, and often use the Patriot for hunting, fishing, camping.

Aren't the Suburu's more expensive too?

If you want the skid plates and hooks on an FDI, check the bone yards for wrecked Patriots.

And if you need more clearance than the FDI, you can lift it.
 

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Dixiedawg: yes the Subies are a little more $$ too. The bone yard is a good idea, but I don't see too many FDII's around here. I had mine off road already, and after some deep soulsearching I decided that I really am a trail riding offroader. Like I said, I won't be as aggressive as I was with the Wrangler, but I really needed the economy this time around.
But I have been only averaging 19.5 MPG's so far. Hopefully it will improve, I know with the added ethonal for the winter it always goes down a bit. And it only has about 600 miles on it so far.
I did install Cabellas seat covers to protect them from the dogs, and tinted the front side windows. I'll post photos if it every warms up again.
john
 

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Here's a video of Todd and Butch going up my driveway last winter. Where in NY are you? I live about 15 mins from NY, in north central PA.

 

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FWIW: I took an 800 mile round trip this weekend in my 2011 with the CVT. The best mileage I got was 25mpg. Mine is the 2.4L in 4X2. One tank was actually around 20mpg, but that stretch was between 85-90mph for most of the tank. On the other hand, my 2008 2.4L 4X2 with the 5spd consistently pulled between 28-31mpg on the exact same trip. 1-2mpg difference may not be much concern, but the 5-10mppg that I've lost is definitely noticeable.
 

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I average around 24 MPG in my FDII. A little less in winter with different gas, slow going, some 4x4 use, and more warm up time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The gas mileage seems to be my biggest problem in me choosing between the FDI and FDII. I am seeing a real world average MPG of 25 for FDI. I couldn't find specifically the FDII, but the EPA mileage shows a diff of 2 MPG between them, so maybe 23MPG could be for FDII. The added cost per year is $160. So that's $160 I can't spend on something other than gas. LOL
My plan is to keep the Patriot for at least 10 years. Or Give it to my youngest when he starts driving in 7 years. I know I won't really go off road with a brand new vehicle for the first 3 to 5 years, but after that... (OK maybe a little before that :) )
And for the Forester, I took a test drive of a 2011 Lat X and then a used 2010 Forester Premium... OMG No contest. The Pat felt natural. The Subie felt like a station wagon. That was easy, the FDI to FDII is tough...
 
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