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Old 07-16-2015, 09:32 AM
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WK2: 100k mile 'review'

This morning on the way into the office, my jeep turned 100k miles. A milestone of sorts, I suppose. I have not really been a contributor to the forum, but as I have been a member a while before I owned my JGC: I feel it would be a good way to give back to the forum is to do a 100k mile review of my truck for those of you who would like to know how my experience went thus far. The membership to this forum is free, but there is a wealth of information within that is really quite valuable.

Subject vehicle: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, Mineral Grey, light beige interior ("frost"), trail rated, V8 (Hemi).

Background: I had never owned a brand new car. I decided that I would like to own a SUV with a V8 that was not oversized (Suburban/Excursion size) but had the ability to emphasize 'utility'. I decided a day after my 34th birthday (in January) that I would go to the dealership to place my order for this beast. A short 6 weeks later, I took delivery.

Features: (Radio/Nav) I waited to order the Jeep (until I did) because I specifically wanted the 730N radio. I also wanted the saddle interior color, but the only way that I could get that color interior was to get the "Summit" package (all options that I have plus the adaptive cruise).

I went with the Overland because from the way that I ordered the Jeep (according to the dealership that I ordered it from) - the 730N was only available with the Overland. I also wanted the heated steering wheel as well as the heated/cooled seats; all conveniently available with the Overland package. Along for the ride came the QL suspension, memory seating, power liftgate, if you are reading this - I am sure that you will know all of the "things" that come with the Overland. Other options that I "had to have" were the block heater (nice for the super cold days) and the "trail rated" skid plates. In addition, I felt the 18 inch wheels to be a more cost effective package from a tire-replacement stand point.

This is the first vehicle equipped with a rear camera and parking sensors that I've owned. I must say that attaching a trailer is 100% easier with a rearview camera, and any future vehicles that I own that will be towing things will be equipped with a rear camera.

Modifications: First modification I made was to add the lockpick to the 730; I ordered this mod/piece about 13 minutes after I got home because I tried to input a destination in the Nav while I was going home only to be denied. Installation was easy -- thanks to the many write ups on this forum.
Second modification I made was to purchase/install weather-tech floor liners as well as the cargo mat from Jeep about a week into ownership. These have saved the carpet surface due to the various things that I haul in addition to the hobbies I have make for muddy shoes and/or wet snowy boots in the winter.
Third modification I made was to remove the "JEEP" from the hood. Seriously: do we need to have this logo on the front to insure we are aware what is being driven?
Fourth modification I made (at about 60k miles) was after a "cleaning" incident seriously discolored the leather on the center arm rest. I was cleaning with the ziano product, and added the conditioner and the color was immediately removed (a 2 inch by 6 inch section, right in the center of the leather). I decided that I would get a person who called himself a leather-dye “expert” and paid him to change the color of the center arm rest to "match" the color of the dash. This was an epic mistake, as the brown was close at first, but wore off over the next several months and currently looks like fried hell. I still have not decided how I am going to fix this mess.
The fifth modification I made (at about 80k miles) was to install a shark-fin antenna. I like it, and kind of wish I would have done that earlier on.
Future planned modifications: I am going to try to find a replacement center arm rest leather, I have not yet decided how I am going to do this. Maybe some black McGuard lug nuts, that would look pretty cool with the polished wheels...

Maintenance: Overall, I have been happy with the low amount of maintenance that this vehicle has required. I went to Mobil1 about 3k miles in on the vehicle's life, and since then I do oil changes about every 8-10k miles.
I did replace the tires at 50k miles. The original Michelin Lattitude tires were pretty weak; as I would often loose traction in the rain, and snow traction was rated (by me) at about 2 out of 10. I replaced these with Michelin LTX - MS2 tires, and it transformed the ride. Snow traction is very good, rain has little to no effect on the ride with the LTX-MS2 tires.
I have not done brakes yet, nor have I bothered to replace the (16!!!) spark plugs, or done any other "normal" maintenance on the Jeep other than check/monitor fluids, add washer fluid when needed and change the wiper blades every so often.

Quality: In sum - Chrysler has come a long way from their days of pumping out those old Neon turds and passing it for what they thought was a well built vehicle. That said, Chrysler (...FCA) still has a long ways to go, at least in my benchmarking this vehicle (sample size of 1). There are fit and finish items - specifically in the interior that really could have been done a bit more cleanly. The plastic trim used in the interior applications are subject to rat-holes in some areas (like the interface from the A-pillar to the dash board is not very clean, the seal around the lift-gate opening to the plastic is a poor fit, leaving for an opening that isn't supposed to be there, there is a plastic 'light cover' from the floor well that fell off, and now the black floor well cover is falling off).

Moving to the other areas: the leather used on the seating surfaces seemed to crease and wear very quickly. If I were to voice one regret, this will be the last vehicle I purchase with a light colored seating surface. I originally wanted the saddle leather, but it was not available at the time that I ordered my WK.
I love the use of the wood in the interior; it's a nice touch, and seems to have a nice feel on the steering wheel. Further, the steering wheel has a bigger diameter than other cars, and I love the feel of the creature comfort systems (buttons that are nicely colored and textured; but do not catch your eye, HVAC and heated/cooled seats, leather trimmed door modules, etc).

The “active head restraints” (aka headrests) are nice, and have a 4 way adjustment, however when the passenger seat is not occupied, this headrest rattles. Seriously. This thing is quite annoying, and I have shoved some mem-foam in the moving part (on the sides) to see if I could jam it, and shut it up, because it does not matter what (normal) seating position that this seat is in, it rattles like a maraca at all speeds and is annoying. I noticed this noise about 10 minutes after I drove off the lot, and it has been noisy ever since, and when I brought it to the dealer to ask them to fix it, I was told that Chrysler knows about it, and there is not a fix for it. “…We can give you another head restraint, but that one will do the same exact thing…” is what I was told. Interesting. Being a member of the auto-engineering community (as a supplier) I have been subjected to the ridicule that is the OEMs when a BSR/quality issue is being “solved”. This issue has obviously not been solved moving into 2015MY because I drove my friend’s 2015 which has the same head rest, has the exact same issue. I know that the OEMs have BSR engineers – but this rattle is bad; I can only surmise that the engineer must have lost his hearing because he worked in a stamping plant for 30 years as a press operator (no ear plugs!) before his promotion to “BSR engineer on WK”.

Paint quality: very good. Exterior trim is very clean looking and durable, and cleans up well. All margins between exterior panels are clean and very even. The polished parts are still shiny and the paint (now have been waxed only two times) is still very clean. The only rust on the vehicle is a tiny bit on the trailer hitch receiver that seems only to be surface and not major.
Power train seems stout. While I do not really like to “drag race” this vehicle, I purchased this vehicle to work: I do pretty major construction for hobby at home. It is common for me to haul 7k+ pounds in rock, bricks, stone, gravel, lumber, a small run-about boat, even cars, skid steers and so-forth. To be clear, the decision to buy the V8 equipped power train was my F-U to the idea that gas prices would make a difference in my purchase but I also wanted to be able to haul things with little thought about “capacity.” I do like to drive the car in "sport mode" whenever possible, as it seems that the typical "transmission shutter" is less apparent when driving in sport mode. Overall, I get about 350 miles to the tank of gas as long as I am not really *pushing* the car.

Reliability/service: In all: the service network is a glaring weakness of the Chrysler/Jeep brand. I was not really expecting much here given that I purchased a Jeep and not anything super high-end like a BMW i8. Further, before this vehicle it was quite rare that my vehicles went to dealerships for service. First and foremost, about 14 months after I took delivery of my Jeep, the dealer that I purchased from closed (bummer! I am friends with the service manager that was there). From the moment I had to get work done, I learned quickly what many people complain about: trips to the dealership were not times that I ever looked forward to, actually more dreaded times. Warranty work took forever, and recall work was done sloppily (TPIM relay), and I had a hard time trusting that my Jeep would come back repaired correctly and not be subject to a (or more) return trip(s). I have been to 6 different dealerships in the area with varying results, more likely to be considered negative experiences. Further, the idea that this vehicle is exceeding $40k in purchase price and dealerships do not have loaners for use (at least) during the warranty period is quite perplexing to me. I realize that cars are expensive (in general) and just because you have a made a $40k purchase, your purchase does not entitle you to top-notch service, but a loaner should be standard practice! I did use the rent-a-car loner program for warranty and/or service trips, but this does not count. A loner program is something that I am sure higher-end brands have down, but Chrysler/Jeep for some reason has not figured this out yet.

I had one of the HID headlights go at about 70k unexpectedly. The repair? Ultimately the least exciting $200 I spent on this vehicle thus far (new D1S light bulbs).

When I purchased this Jeep, I did so with the intent to drive it for a minimum of 200k miles. I know that things don't last forever, but I had to make a very costly and unexpected repair to this vehicle in what seems premature. My QL compressor went at 91k miles. A repair that was just shy of $2k, about most of it was for the compressor itself (thanks Conti....). I will not bother going into a diatribe regarding how frustrating it was to have this system fail.

At about ~90k miles, I started to notice that the Jeep would start to shake in 1st and 2nd gear at about 2-3k RPM before the car shifted. This issue became more and more obvious as I got closer to 100k miles, and at 98k miles I decided to take the JGC to a dealership to get “whatever it is” repaired under warranty. The first diagnosis: “….we’re going to replace the transfer case…” --- I said to myself --- “OK, I suppose that you can replace the transfer case, but I do not think that you’re addressing the problem’s root cause….” I was without my truck for 6 days (Thursday/Friday – weekend – Monday/Tuesday); and they called me to inform me that “…we’re going to go ahead and replace the rear differential, because the transfer case replacement did not seem to make the problem go away. We ordered the part (a whole rear differential??) and it will be 1 week for parts to come in. You can drive the car while we wait for the parts….” So – I opted to “drive the car” while “we” wait for parts. In the end, they replaced the driveshaft – the old one lost the balance weight.

Cost of ownership: Ultimately I knew that purchase this was not going to be "cheap" and/or light on the wallet. Insurance is not exactly cheap even though I have an otherwise spotless driving record.
Filling the tank can be painful for someone who isn't expecting the ~25 gallon tank who unknowingly says "I will pay for gas if you drive" but truthfully, I love the fact that I do not have to stop every week to fill up the tank. I also use 89 octane, as suggested by the manual; which all things considered is not that much more expensive to do.
One area that I am thinking will/may be expensive is a fuel filter replacement, which --- I do not know where this filter is, but I am thinking that this will be done in the next year or so (100k miles worth of crud may be stuck in there?).

Overall impression: At the price that was paid, this vehicle is filled with features and options that few other cars had when I purchased. I was not really in the market for a Rover, BMW or a Mercedes, as I couldn't justify the prices for those brands (an additional $10+k for a comparable vehicle and likely not able to have a similar towing capacity). I am satisfied with my experience within reason, and would rate my ownership thus far 8 out of 10. This rating is subject to an increase if there is not another 'major' repair in the near future of my ownership. I am very close to paying this beast off, as I put down very little and financed it with a 5 year note. While the payment blew chunks, I really wanted this JGC and bit the bullet to get a vehicle of this magnitude. I have been satisfied with this Jeep, and would recommend this vehicle to those who are interested. The plan in the near future is to give this Jeep to my wife to take on as her daily driver when I get my next vehicle (steering toward an Audi S4). Never fear the Jeep will continue to be subjected to being loaded up and used for moving heavy equipment and/or materials.
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2015, 09:56 AM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Good write up.

Seems other than the fit and finish issues and the QL compressor, it has held up.

I dont blame the jeep for weight imbalance on a driveshaft and they give you a new TC and Rear Diff, that is sweet

My new 2015 is at the dealer today to have the rear 1/4 trim on both sides ad the hatch trim repalced.

I am lucky my dealer is excellent, I know the owner, son, Service Manager and two of the best techs I know.

As matter of fact the tech, my pal Rich is going to rust proof and flood the interior panels around the wheel wells and the hatch with fluid film while he has the 1/4 trim and hatch panel out.

The hatch panel and one of the 1/4 trim panels has bent xmas tree fasteners and were not sitting flush and the other 1/4 trim panel bowed out leaving a big gap with the D pillar trim. Guy must of had a bad day installing them LOL

They looked, ordered the new panels and once they came in set up a appointment.

The rest of the Jeep is mint and I have ripped it half apart rust proofing it.

I went with a lifetime maxcare simply because the cost of all this stuff in them now is so expensive.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:01 AM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Thanks for the post Robey. That's great info for those looking to get into a WK2.
I am on my second WK2. First was a 2012 Overland V6 tech that I had for about 10,000 miles. 100% problem free. Now i'm 2,500 miles into my 2014 Summit V8 and its incredible. Never experienced any rattles or noises from the headrests in either of them. Infact, they are rock solid when you touch or adjust them. Maybe I'm lucky, but no fit and finish issues here on mine. Interiors are solid and well built.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:57 AM
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WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Wow you got a problem free 2011!! That's seriously something to celebrate (no sarcasm)

It's always good to read about a Jeep holding up well!

Ps.. My wife would never let me give her my old worn out ride haha lucky bastard.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:04 PM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Impressive report.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:32 PM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Awesome review! Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experience, very much appreciated.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:48 PM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlanding View Post
Wow you got a problem free 2011!! That's seriously something to celebrate (no sarcasm)

It's always good to read about a Jeep holding up well!

Ps.. My wife would never let me give her my old worn out ride haha lucky bastard.
I'm not gonna go through that entire post again, but I'm pretty sure I recall him mentioning having a few issues with it. As far as the wife thing goes, I see what you're saying, but a nice 2011 Jeep Overland might not necessarily be considered an old worn out vehicle haha.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:53 PM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTS97Z28 View Post
I'm not gonna go through that entire post again, but I'm pretty sure I recall him mentioning having a few issues with it. As far as the wife thing goes, I see what you're saying, but a nice 2011 Jeep Overland might not necessarily be considered an old worn out vehicle haha.

Well I mean he got a 2011, put quite a few miles on it, and still plans to keep it. So cheers to getting lucky and getting a good one. My 2012 made me want to pull my hair out!!
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:09 PM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Woah! More traffic on this post than I expected...

Ok; did I have a couple issues? Yes. BUT given that I only had a QL compressor, I am thinking that I may have been more lucky than others on the forum. I also did a LOT of homework on this Jeep before I purchased.

Regarding the Overland and my wife taking it over eventually: I am not honestly shopping for the next car yet (S4). She has an Ion coupe (red-line body kit and the 2.4L engine) that is in very good shape that she loves (that she bought new), and I figure that my confidence with this Jeep will stay in the "good" department for the longer term. My wife loves this jeep, but considering she is growing a business right now, she does not feel the need to HAVE the Jeep right now as her DD (gas mileage is much less than her Ion). Translation: I am doing the financially responsible thing by keeping the Jeep until I have to look for the next car, and since she likes her current car -- I am not going to force the issue. Further, I try to stay on schedule with maintaining my vehicles for the normal typical stuff, and don't beat on them.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:28 AM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

Thanks for the great review. I myself am an Audi fan and owned an Ibis White 2009 A4 3.2, which I got rid of because: 1.) maintenance was a bear after the Audicare ran out, 2.) Had to replace a couple of tires each year due to the roads here in Metro Detroit, and 3.) Just needed something with more utility. That said, I couldn't be happier with my Overland, and like yourself, I vetted this thing pretty good before pulling the trigger. For the money and features, I couldn't find a better vehicle, plus the ride kinda reminds me of the floaty boat like feel in a early to mid 90's Cadillac Fleetwood. If you're waiting on the next gen S4(B9), you're gonna love it!


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Old 07-17-2015, 02:44 PM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

@Robey5 great review. Nice to hear a "long-term" perspective on the WK2. Also, your Porsche build thread was great. That was a ton of work but definitely a job well done and an interesting read.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:06 PM
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Re: WK2: 100k mile 'review'

As others said, excellent review. Thank you for all that time you put into it!

One comment: for the Hemi V8 and Pentastar V6, there is no fuel filter on these, at least not like older vehicles used to have. The filter is part of the fuel pump in the gas tank, and its not really serviceable. I am told to replace the filter, you don't actually replace the filter... you replace the fuel pump.
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