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Old 02-12-2013, 11:03 AM
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Around the World in 365 Days

On Sunday, exactly one year to the day after I bought my Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland (V8), I rolled over 25,000 miles.

It pains me to have racked up so many miles so quickly, but it was an unusual year--we bought some land in Wisconsin, about 215 miles from our Chicago area home, and built a cabin. There were many times when I made more than one round trip in a week. The GC was the replacement for an ancient Toyota 4Runner. When I started making my frequent trips to Wisconsin, it dawned on me that I needed something a little newer, a little more comfortable, and a little more capable (though the 4Runner, approaching 200,000 miles, was a heck of a vehicle).

Over the course of the last year, in addition to the frequent forays into Wisconsin, I've taken a couple of longer trips, on the order of a little over a couple thousand miles. The GC has served me well.

First, the negatives: There aren't many. The only actual "repair" was the adjustment of a noisy sunroof. That took the Jeep out of commission for a day, but I haven't had anything else break (knocking on wood . . . ). Like a number of you, there were some minor annoyances with the Nav system, such as forgetting my home address, but those seem to have been solved with a software update that I recently received from Jeep.

In a perfect world, the transmission would be a little more responsive and wouldn't hunt around in hilly driving (though I've found that the Tow/Haul mode alleviates this). I wish there was a setting to tighten up the suspension a bit more for spirited driving. And, while it's not horrible, I do long for the days when I had a smaller car and routinely got much better gas mileage.

On the plus side, I'd have to say that it's about the most comfortable driving vehicle I've owned, including Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Jaguar. The cockpit, with the exception of hard to see instrument needles, is logically laid out and the seats are quite comfy. I haven't done any serious off-roading, but what lightweight off-road excursions I've indulged in have been effortless. The engine's overall power delivery is good (again, a more responsive transmission would be nice), and I find the overall performance quite reasonable.

In total, it's been a great experience--in a trek that's been the equivalent of circumnavigating the globe (less the water part, that is), I've found the GC to be reliable, well built, comfortable and competent in every type of driving condition.

Like I said at the outset, I wish I hadn't racked up so many miles so quickly, but it's been an outstanding automotive experience. My wife and I often comment--particularly when driving through weather conditions from Hell--that the Jeep was a great choice.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:09 AM
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Re: Around the World in 365 Days

That is a great story Mike.. On a side note, where about did you build your cabin in Wisconsin if I may ask?
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:14 AM
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Re: Around the World in 365 Days

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Originally Posted by SnoFire View Post
That is a great story Mike.. On a side note, where about did you build your cabin in Wisconsin if I may ask?
We built in southwest Wisconsin (Prairie du Chien), near the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. We're on top of a bluff that overlooks that Wisconsin River and have great views. I've posted a little about our cabin on my Timber Block Wisconsin page.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:19 AM
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Re: Around the World in 365 Days

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Originally Posted by MikeBoom View Post
We built in southwest Wisconsin (Prairie du Chien), near the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. We're on top of a bluff that overlooks that Wisconsin River and have great views. I've posted a little about our cabin on my Timber Block Wisconsin page.
This reminds me of another observation--the Chicago area is one where reformulated gas is mandated in winter months. Our Wisconsin cabin is outside of the RFG area. I've observed that the RFG gas knocks two to three miles per gallon off of the Jeep's fuel economy!
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