Hi abs3401 - glad you found your way here.
I cannot speak for hard core off-road performance - I'll let the other guys comment in that regard.
Our experience with the brand is as follows:
We have two JGC's. One a Limited 5.7 Hemi 2007 model and the new one the MY14 CRD Overland.
We looked at other manufacturers when we were in the market for a new 4x4 ie: RR Sport and Audi specifically, but value for money always came back to the Jeep. We were not new Jeep owners (obviously, we had '07) so perhaps we were biased because '07 has not seen the inside of a workshop for... I don't know... 4 years? It has 160,000kms on the clock.
In that time, (not counting tyres and general service costs) it has cost us less than $1000. It's rock solid and remains so (which is why I'm having trouble at the moment convincing husband that next May/June I want to replace it with the new MY14 Cherokee
- That's another story though. **sigh**).
Meanwhile, whilst we don't go off-road so to speak, we do live on acreage that is not flat. We needed another vehicle just like '07 Jeep that handles long wet grass and muddy inclines in the winter. Sometimes, if you don't have a 4x4 on our acreage you just get stuck, as many friends have found out over the years.
Enter MY14 JGC CRD Overland. LOVE this Jeep. Have owned it now for about 5 months. Have had a few issues.
- Climate Control not operational. FIXED. A TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) fix was sent to all dealerships and the flash took 20 minutes.
- Voice Recognition for Navigation does not operate yet. This is not a biggie though - just use your fingers for entering the Nav address. It's just that the VR works for almost everything else ie: Text messaging, Climate Control, Media source eg: Radio/Disc/SD card etc, that it was a bit of a let-down to find that you couldn't just say - Navigate to xxxx address via VR. CJD Head Office USA are aware of this issue though so patience is the key.
So, the VR/Nav issue is our only outstanding one. Now, to qualify that though, CDJ US did give folk a heads-up on Oct 1st with a media release stating that they needed to recall all the MY14's with a build date (I think) of prior to August. Ours was an April build.
There have been issues with the earlier builds throwing a 'spac attack', going into limp mode and the EVIC dying or alternatively activating every single bulb that it possible could - Otherwise known as the 'Christmas Tree Effect'. You may possibly have read about this in your travels of the Internet.
I have lost the EVIC display (that is the dash) once only. It went completely blank on me, no speedo reading, no fuel gauge reading, no temperature reading etc although it did not affect the driveability of the vehicle. I drove home no problem (15 kms) and it all came back correctly with the next drive cycle.
However, that recall deals to that issue and to that end, I am expecting a letter in the mail from CDJ and have that flash applied sometime in November.
This is turning into a novel - sorry.
Transmission - I read threads on JG that whinge about this 8-speed transmisson (and actually in the early days - my husband was whinging as well
) Now he doesn't whinge, or more accurately, there is nothing to whinge about.
It learns. I know that sounds weird but it's true. Initially and especially with our up and down driveway and the particular roads we drive, it initially did not know where it wanted to be as far as the transmission goes.
My husband complained constantly in the first weeks of ownership - *%^$#& thing! Cue burnouts in the gravel at the top of the corner on gravel going up the hill.
It's learnt and now no more complaining - more like a 'ok - that's good' from him.
There is a particular down-hill S bend (advisory speed 20kms and the obligatory 'Reduce Speed NOW' sign which is fair enough because there are at least two accidents a month in the wet) but you know with Jeep Jeep, I don't even brake now coming out of the first bend and into the second. It holds first all the way through - it actually feels like its braking to hold the speed low. My foot hovers over the brake to be sure but no - it knows where it needs to be.
Fuel Economy - Well anything is going to be good after Mr '07 Hemi - fish does not describe his thirst. MY14 CRD is brilliant. Currently sitting at 8.4/100 with only 5% highway driving.
Well, that's an epic post - apologies but I cannot overstate the excellentness of this vehicle. I'm happy that you are pragmatic enough to know that every car manufacturer has its issues so that's great. Not that I wish you problems with whatever you choose to buy, but in all honesty, this is one hell of a vehicle.