Hey all, so I thought I would provide an update now that we've picked up the Jeep and just road tripped 1500 miles bringing it home.
My thoughts so far, as detailed as I can make them, along with a bunch of pics:
First of all, I'm in general VERY impressed with this GC. I really can't say enough positive things about it. From the very first look in person, I was like wow, this is stunning! Absolutely love the red in person. Looks very cool in a dark garage as well as in sunlight.
Highlights in no particular order:
Exterior - perfect in every way, IMO. Love the lines, the way it looks from far and way up close. Our Limited is equipped with basically everything possible you can get for the limited, so for both the interior and exterior, it's almost the equivalent of having an Overland.
Engine & Trans - The V6 does a great job. No complaints. It provides plenty of power when you need it in just about every situation, and handles its responsibilities well. If I have any "complaints", it's that, above 80mph, flooring the gas and watching the car downshift into 5, you still don't really get that much power on the acceleration, you can tell the engine struggles a bit. But, realistically, I didn't expect much more from a V6 pulling a 5,000 pound vehicle, and I don't expect the GC to be a burner on the highway at above 80, unless I got the SRT, which the girl doesn't want or need.
So far, none of the common issues with the ZF trans, though this is a Nov 2012 build 2014 MY car, so I'll be monitoring it closely. If anything comes up, I'll have it checked out for a reflash.
Handling - The handling is a little better than I expected honestly for a big SUV. Compared to my M3, it's a world away, but I thought it would be even more detached. It isn't, it provides plenty of feedback and lets me know how the road beneath me is, which is great. And, overall, it's just very, very comfortable.
Interior - this might be the GC's best asset so far. I can't say enough about this. Other than the cheap plastic trim found around the shifter area, radio/nav unit and air vents (which I'm sure is much nicer on a more expensive trim vehicle like the Summit or Overland), everything in the interior is perfect. The seats are outstanding, and I love the deviated stitching. I can't get over how nice the perforated seats are when you turn on the cooling for them. It's a fantastic option for hot weather.
The steering wheel is one of my favorite steering wheels I've found in any car, ever. And that includes premium cars, SUVs, etc. I love the size, the leather, the thickness, feel, the intuitive controls, etc.
And speaking of controls - I really think Jeep did an outstanding job with the on board computer(s). I love all the options through which you can rotate on the digital cluster, the way the navigation shows you upcoming turns, the live data from tires, engine, trans, oil, etc. Love having it all at my finger tips. I also really like the entire nav and infotainment system and phone integration. It has everything you could ever want or need, and more. I also particularly enjoy that, for those who prefer physical buttons, they are found just below the screen so you can adjust climate and radio from them - and even on those buttons, they did a really nice job with the rubber grip design. They feel solid, firm, and high quality, not to mention they give the right "feel" for your fingers and don't slip. It's much better than a lot of other premium cars out there. And, it should be said, who bothers to also do that on the vent controls? Well, Jeep did. And it's great.
I could go on and on, but needless to say I'm very impressed, and having driven multiple X5s and Merc MLs, the Lexus RX, the Audi Q5, and Toyota Highlander, I can't imagine why you'd choose most of those over the GC other than personal preference (I recognize that in the case of Toyota/Lexus, the reliability is definitely a factor for some, and while Jeep is great, a lot of the data out there still shows quite a few issues with reliability).
Ok, on to the pics.
Day we picked it up, stopped for lunch:
Love these details:
Found this driving through Tennessee, so of course we had to stop:
Outside of Gatlinburg, TN, stopped it for a quick photo shoot:
Pulled over by a river, thought this looked kinda cool:
Some fun roads outside of Gatlingburg:
This was leaving Chattanooga:
The girl driving it like a boss:
A little vid I took, not sure how to embed: