It’s been a while since I’ve written and now that the forum is dominated by posts on the new 2014s I wonder if I have much to contribute. It’s all good and I know that the 2011 is yesterday’s news, but as an owner of one of the first-year WK2s, I thought I would offer a review of my vehicle after nearly three years of use.
Quick backstory: I fell in love with the 2011 JGC in June 2010 and wanted to purchase an Overland off the dealer's lot in July. My wife wanted the Technology Group option (ACC, BSM, RCPD, FCW) so we had to wait. I ordered my 4x4 Hemi Overland on Sep 16 when the orders opened for the Technology Group and tracked it through build and delivery on Nov 30, 2010. The first JGCs with the technology group were built on Nov 16; my build date was Nov 17. I purchased the Off Road Adventure II package because I wanted the 18" wheels and that was the only way to get the 18s with an Overland. I understand I am in the minority for preferring the 18s, but I have been very happy with my decision. The first thing I did upon delivery is purchase the Chrysler Lifetime warranty because I wasn’t sure I could trust the first year of a new model – especially with all the electronics and the air suspension.
So how has it been? Out –f’ing-standing! I use it as a daily driver but since work is only a few miles from my house, the real mileage has been accrued on vacation road trips and visits to my son’s college, about 5 hours away. Here are my impressions after 31 months and 32,000 miles:
- Best vehicle I have ever owned. Still drives great. No problems with any of the systems so far. When I purchased the vehicle, Jeep did not have a good reputation for reliability but this is one of the best built vehicles I have owned. The extended warranty kicks in in five months but so far I have not had any need for the original warranty. Since I have lifetime oil changes at the dealer where I purchased the vehicle, my only expense so far has been for the 16,000 and 32,000 mile check-ups and some tire rotations – less than $500 total in 31 months. Can’t beat that!
- Used it for light towing, ~2000 lbs trailer, up and down the mountains of western Virginia. I engaged the Tow/Haul setting the first day and noticed the V8 was drinking gas like no tomorrow (since the Tow/Haul kept the vehicle from switching to 5th gear). I decided not to use Tow/Haul on subsequent days and experienced very little downshifting over the hills. In fact, it didn’t feel like I was towing a trailer. The Hemi laughs at 2000 lbs.
- The only off-roading I have done so far is beach and dunes. Never came close to getting stuck, even in soft deep sand. No problems – ever. Maybe one day I’ll take that trek to Moab. Always wanted to do that.
- Hemi mileage is not great. I expected that going in so I wasn’t disappointed. I average 13-14 mph on an average tank with about 90% city driving. On highway trips I average about 21. Even though I don’t NEED the Hemi, I wanted the Hemi and I love the power and response I feel when I press the accelerator. Yes, I must be making up for personal inadequacies elsewhere.
-The adaptive cruise control and the rest of the Technology Group. Best. Feature. Ever. I wrote about it in this post. In Praise of the Adaptive Cruise Control
I loved it then. I love it even more now. Makes long distance travel much less fatiguing.
-The Garmin GPS. I haven’t seen a better interface in a factory installed GPS. Installed the red-light and speed-camera POIs from poi-factory.com and it gives me visual alert and a couple of tones when I am approaching one of those cameras to keep me honest no matter where in the country I am. Cool.
-Uconnect. I listen to podcasts everyday then switch to satellite and then to FM then back to the podcasts. Seamless. I like being able to pause live radio and picking up where I left off as well.
-Sirius Travel Link. OK, it does cost $1.99/mo so it may not be for everyone, but in addition to giving me the weather, cheap gas locations, movie theater offerings and time, the one feature I love is the sports. I entered in my favorite teams and now it automatically tells me when a game is going to start regardless of whatever else I am listening to on the audio system. The alert displays a button that takes me right to the satellite channel with the game. Even if I elect not to listen to the game, it will still give me score updates on my display. Go Boilers!
-Heated steering wheel. Of course I knew I was going to love the heated and cooled seats. I thought having a heated steering wheel was going a bit too far. Until I used it. Moosehead said it best: “Thick, Warm Wood - It's growing on me. Big time. Now anything else just feels, well, inadequate
-Remote start – it gives me the AC and cooled seats in the summer and heated seats/steering wheel and heater in the winter. The car is comfortable and ready to go when I get in. Fabulous.
-The leather dashboard. What a nice touch!
-The rear antenna. It gets in the way of nearly any cargo carrier. Why not a shark fin? The 2014 got this right.
-Access to bulbs that will one day burn out. You have to remove the air filter holder just to change the driver’s side running light. In my other cars, changing a bulb is a 2-minute event. Why so complicated here?
-Spare tire. The “full size” spare tire is still narrower than the Lattitudes. Why can’t we have REAL full sized spares like the old days? On the plus side, I have never had to use it.
So what can I say? I would definitely purchase a JGC again if given the chance. If I was in the market for a used JGC, I wouldn’t be afraid of the 2011s just because it was a new model year. My vehicle has lots of miles left in it and I plan on holding on to it for another ten years. With the Chrysler lifetime warranty, I expect my cost of ownership to be low and the vehicle itself does not disappoint. Chrysler outdid themselves with this one. I am proud to be a Jeep owner.
2011 Overland 4x4 Hemi
Off Road Adventure II