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36799 03-24-2013 11:26 PM

2014 Overland......Wow........
Allow me to introduce myself. I've been lurking on these threads for a few weeks doing some research and I finally picked up a 2014 Granite Crystal Overland (with QDII and the 5.7) on Friday. I am sort of an old-school car guy. I am in my late 40's and have been through numerous cars over the years, some good, some not so good. When I say old-school, I tend to be a more of a fan of styling and driving dynamics than I am of all of the amazing new tech they put into these things these days. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the convenience and sheer awe factor of modern-day auto technology, but it's not at the top of my list when it comes to choosing a new car.

Throughout my driving life, I've been through a total of 18 cars (owning more than one on various occasions) since 1981, when I bought my very first car at the age of 19, the "iconic" Ford Granada (I believe it was a '76 - Ghia edition - what a piece of crap that was). Since then, I've had the pleasure of driving '77 Cadillac Seville (my second "used" car, gorgeous, gorgeous car, numerous electrical gremlins - would compltely lose all power while driving and then could not be started back up), a '85 Datsun/Nissan Maxima (also pre-owned, LOVED that car other than the water that collected in the headlight assembly which caused the lights to short out when you hit bumps). After the Maxima, I had a string of new cars, including two new Ford Explorers ('95 & '97 both two-door versions - tough tough trucks, but SCARY on the highway), a '99 BMW 323 IS (great driving dynamics, gorgeous black leather interior), a 2004 Jeep Liberty (lame engine, otherwise, not a bad little truck), a 2004 Hummer H2 (despite the negative press, my all-time favorite, well-planted on the highway, unstoppable in the snow - had alignment problems though), a 1993 Lexus SC 400 (bought it pre-owned during the time I had the H2, to this day still the smoothest riding car I've ever owned), a 2005 Jeep Wranger (tough Jeep, actually OK around town but brutal on the highway, fun in the snow, numerous rattles and massively heavy hard-top), a 2005 Land Rover Freelander (junk), a 2006 GC SRT8 (very fast, but was burning transmission fluid very early on, also terrible OEM tires, always going out of balance, caused the steering wheel to vibrate at speed), a 2007 Hummer H3 (4 absolutely trouble free years - great truck in my opinion, even with the underpowered I5), a 2011 Toyota 4Runner Limited (not what I expected - very flimsy sheet metal, terribly skinny OEM tires), a 2011 ML 350 (nice truck, but not overwhelmed), a 2012 Land Rover LR4 (a much better effort compared to the Freelander I previously owned, amazing powertrain, smooth ride, great off-road gear, but still had electrical gremlins which caused me to dump it rather quickly) and a 2012 Toyota Sequoia Platinum (a much better truck than people give it credit - had a MONSTER engine, but also hideously loose steering and floaty ride that literally would make me light-headed on all suspension settings).

Which brings me to my 2014 GC Overland. As you can see, I've had many different makes and models of vehicles over the years which I feel makes my opinion of the '14 GC both fairly objective and valid. Folks, other than some exterior fit and finish issues, Jeep absolutely NAILED this one. I simply cannot believe how solid and stable this truck feels, especially when compared to my 2006 SRT8. Doesn't even feel like the same car company, let alone the same model car. My 2006 SRT8 was an absolute tin can compared to the 2014. First of all, Jeep nailed the suspension. It drives great around town, soaks up the bumps with ease with nary a rattle or squeak (as for the new transmission, I didn't notice any fishing for gears during stop and go driving). But on the highway is where it really shines. You wouldn't expect such an impressive highway cruiser (I mean, it is kinda marketed as a go-anywhere off-roader), but I am floored by this truck on the highway. Other than my SC400, it's the smoothest and quietest highway car that I have ever driven, even better than my BMW. I haven't pushed it because it's new, but it absolutely purrs at speed and has tons of high-end passing power (helped along IMO by the impressive new 8 speed). I was in the low 60's most of the time and the truck felt great. Revs around 2000 in 6th, and absolutely no wind noise, and gobs of passing power when called for. Coming from a Sequoia, which is very heavy and quiet-riding on the highway, the GC really shocked me. It feels very well planted and stable at all speeds, really sticks on curves, steering feel is great, responsive, nice and tight (I never had to make any minute corrections, which can be very irritating on long drives and in tight driving lanes when there is little margin for error) and the transmission is super super smooth shifting through the power bands. The ML 350, which I liked, just can't compare. If you don't believe me, go down to your local MB dealer and take a test drive. The GC actually feels more substantial than the ML, and that is surprising because MB is known for the vault-like feel of their cars and SUVs. Oh, and the black leather interior is top notch. This is the best leather I have ever seen in a Chrysler product. "Gorgeous gorgeous interior" is how my girlfriend described it. The steering wheel is pefect, nice and meaty. I was cross shopping the GC with a Chevy Avalanche, and I simply could not believe what a cheap feeling steering wheel GM puts in their big SUVs. So thin and lacking any kind of substance. That and the hideous instrument cluster (dark and depressing) and cheap looking faux wood was really a deal killer for me.

After driving the GC all weekend, I am very happy with my purchase. I haven't really gotten into the tech yet, but I like what I see so far. Hopefully, Chrysler reliability has improved since my debacle in 2006 (had to get rid of the SRT8 after only 3000 miles). In my mind, I don't see another SUV on the market that gives you more bang for your buck. The LR4 is actually a pretty tough truck with a great powertrain, but the price-points are higher and the GC in many instances is actually better than the LR4. I know this for a fact, because I was driving a new LR4 last summer. Fix some of the exterior fit and finish issues, and you literally will have the perfect SUV - absolutely world class.

jgc4ever 03-25-2013 12:43 AM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
Do you like the brown Walnut wood in it, and the copper hue in the silver interior pieces (vents and middle console area)? Nice write up by the way.

Copefree 03-25-2013 02:09 AM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
Great to hear it. Very nice review. In for pics :).

SnoFire 03-25-2013 05:44 AM

Congrats on the Jeep and glad to hear you are happy with it

scooterha 03-25-2013 05:54 AM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
Great back round. Glad you chose a Jeep Grand Cherokee again. I think many will agree on this that the 2005-2010 GC compared to the 2011-2014 is night and day. The first time I test drove a 2012 WK2 all I could say to the dealer was wow, these really are two different vehicles. There is no way they can be compared. I know yours is a 14 Overland and mine is a 12 Laredo so I'm sure the ride difference is amazing but at the root of the vehicle its a Jeep. Congrats on your purchase.

P.S. Granite is a hot color!

Megatron 03-25-2013 07:42 AM

What a very wonderful read. Congrats on the jeep. Welcome to the forum.

JTS97Z28 03-25-2013 08:42 AM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
Great write up and congrats on the purchase.

Andoskyy 03-25-2013 08:43 AM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
I couldn't agree more. Everyone who sees my '14 really likes it and everyone that sits in it, LOVES it.

Everyone has been completely amazed with the interior so far. I have the Indigo.

36799 03-25-2013 11:20 AM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
I am just really happy to see that an American car company (I know, I know, Fiat is Italian, but you get my drift) can "evolve" to the point where these kinds of glowing reviews are even possible, where you can legitimately cross-sell a GC with an ML 350 (or the Japanese brands) and come away with the GC as the clear winner. I actuallly had a deal done for a new ML 350, but once I saw the '14 GC in person and took it for a test drive, I was totally sold. I mean, my 2006 SRT8 was an absolute disaster for me (other than the Hemi, which was scary fast in that thing). The '14 GC on the other hand, is on a totally different level. Other than a few exterior fit and finish issues (e.g. the chrome above the doors is not perfectly aligned and the hood is kinda could barely notice it but I am a stickler for that type of thing...if you compare the top of each headlight assembly you can see where the front of one side of the hood comes down further than on the other side), the GC close to being the perfect SUV. Chrysler actually seems to be listening to its customers these days, which is a VERY big thing for me. After 2006, I promised myself I would never look at a Chysler product again, but here I am in a '14 GC and I couldn't be happier. FYI, my dad drives a '13 Jeep Patriot, which he loves. I got it him a '12 for his birthday, and traded up to a '13 a few weeks ago. My dad has always been a Chrysler fan, way back to the Chrysler Cordoba (and the rich, corinthian leather) LOL.

RageOfFury 03-25-2013 04:41 PM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
Great read! Welcome!!

DucTape 03-25-2013 05:02 PM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
Awesome review, thanks for posting!

Now if mine would hurry up and get built...:rolleyes::rolleyes:

36799 03-25-2013 07:05 PM

Re: 2014 Overland......Wow........
Duc, the ironic thing about this whole story was that an area dealer just happened to have the EXACT '14 I wanted i.e. color, options, trim. That has NEVER happened to me before. It was almost as if it was meant to be. LOL I can't even imagine how tough it must be to have to order one and then sit back and wait.

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