: Bought my wife a 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland Summit Edition 4x4.... 1 week review

08-08-11, 06:20 PM
Last year I bought my wife a CPO 2007 M35x to replace her aging 2003 M45. It was her fourth Infiniti and was a great vehicle until the last few months. This winter was especially hard and the AWD system was put to good use... in the spring it developed a AWD groan that Infiniti could not (or should I say would not) figure out. It got to the point where my wife hated driving it and the G25 loaners they would give her. It still had CPO warranty for 2 more years or 100K so I listed it for sale and the first person to look at it paid asking price! :)

So with our budget of $40-42K we spent 2 weekends test driving luxury SUVs. My wife wanted a SUV that had all the options her Infiniti had...... which proved hard to find...

1) 2 different CPO 2008 BMW X5 4.8i sport package vehicles. One with 52K and one with 38K. Both very nice vehicles but they lacked two options she wanted: DVD and cooled seats. Apparently BMW did not put cooled seats in models with Nappa leather. The closest model we found with cooled seats was in PA and she didn't like that color combo. Not to mention the pricing! EEK! $42K and $44K respectively was the asking price (without the maintenance warranty)... I may have been able to snag the higher mileage one for $38-39K but the wife wasn't too thrilled with the age of the vehicles and the lack of those two options. We both liked the driving experience but couldn't justify that much money for a vehicle we didn't fall in love with.

2) CPO 2008 Audi Q7 4.2. My wife opened the door and took one look at the interior and wanted to walk away. I convinced her to test drive it and she still had the same opinion. The interior felt CHEAP. It was not as nimble as the BMW and felt huge when trying to park. The technology seemed archaic and there was no cooled seats in this one either... it was a no-go. They wanted $40K for this one.

3) CPO 2009 Infiniti FX50S. I personally fell in love with this vehicle. It felt more powerful and nimble than the X5! The downside was horrible rear leg room and no power liftgate (apparently this was not an option till 2011). It had all the options we wanted but the price tag was $46K!! We walked away from this one too...

We drove by the Acura dealership to look at the MDX and the Lexus dealership to look at the RX... both were a no-go without a test drive.

I spent quite a bit of time on several forums to check out reviews and found an interesting thread on the BMW forum. There were a couple X5 owners who bought 2011 Grand Cherokees and kept ranting on how good of a SUV it was. My wife and I watched a couple youtube reviews and read several articles about this new GC. We found one dealership locally which had a fully loaded model. It was a late model (6/2011 build) 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 with the Summit package. We drove to the dealership and could not find it on the lot... we were about to turn away when a salesman came to ask if we needed help. It turns out it was in the showroom on display....

Well, my wife fell in love with it after sitting and playing with it in the showroom.. but they wouldn't let us test drive that one. So we drove a non-Summit package model to lunch and fell in love. It had everything we wanted and more.. not to mention it was BRAND NEW compared to the 2-3 year old models we looked at earlier. The sticker price was wayyy over our budget ($51.5K)... but I figured the 2012 models are right around the corner so it was worth a shot. Now that we were really interested, we decided to ask them to drive the one we wanted in the showroom. They let us take it to my in-laws to show it off and once again we fell in love.

1.5 hours later.. it was ours.. and within our budget! My wife was ecstatic.. it was her first new car and she looked like a kid at Christmas. Fast forward... 600 miles and 1 week later... we still love it!! The adjustable suspension is fantastic and it has excellent road manners. In sport mode it drove/handled better than the X5 and FX50S. It also can tow my T/A if needed whereas the competition had minimal towing capacity. Unlike the competitors we test drove, this 5.7 liter 360hp Hemi drinks REGULAR gas instead of premium! The fit and finish the best I have seen in an American vehicle. It is based on the current generation Mercedes ML and I notice many interior buttons and trim that the two share. Enough rambling.. here are a few pics:









It is in sport mode in the pictures which brings it to 'aerodynamic height.' At full height or 'Rock mode' it looks like it can climb anything.

Now that she has a SUV, I plan on selling the Denali this coming Spring and plan to get me a CTS-V :stirpot:. I can't wait to be in a Cadillac again!

Take care,

08-08-11, 07:00 PM
Nice, congrats :thumbsup:

Love that interior color combo.

08-08-11, 07:48 PM
Those are very sweet. And yes, you need to be in a Caddy...

08-08-11, 07:56 PM
Really nice looking! hope it holds up well.

08-08-11, 08:10 PM
I was looking over one at my local dealership the other day, the same exact package and color combination. I was absolutely stunned by the un-Jeepness of it. Lol. Gorgeous SUV. Probably one of the only SUVs I would own other than the Escalade ESV.

I loved the chrome strips on the floor of the trunk- very classy and reminds me of very old pickups with the wooden beds.

08-08-11, 09:08 PM
Thanks gentlemen! Best of all... we bought American over European or Japanese! I can't wait to start looking for a CTS-V in a few months...

08-08-11, 10:18 PM
Sweet. I wasn't even aware they became that nice. The dash is typical new car but the colors on the inside and outside are fantastic. Good luck with it Elias. :thumbsup:

08-09-11, 01:09 AM
Very sharp! Glad everyone is happy with the new purchase and hope it serves you well.

08-09-11, 01:34 AM
I'll honestly say that I prefer the Grand Cherokee by a WIDE margin over the current Benz ML. Fit and finish(at least on the top trim Jeeps) is better IMO and I prefer the overall layout. Same thing with the exterior styling, the Jeep is a real looker. IMO the Grand Cherokee is a real winner, by far the best thing Chrysler is putting out right now.

08-09-11, 02:45 AM
Fun factoid (at least per Jesda)... The Jeep is *not* based on the ML, but rather the ML is based on the Jeep. The Jeep was developed by Chrysler during Daimler's oownership, and then MB took over the program to become the re-designed ML. Then the two split and and Jeep didn't introduce their iteration until 2010. In my opinion, this basically allowed Chrysler to hone the Jeep version even further because I agree with Aron, the ML has some obviously cheap bits here and there that the GC doesn't seem to suffer from.

I also know you guys had discussed possibly acquiring an Escalade and I assume this took the place of that. GOOD DECISION. Overall I think this is the FAR better bargain of the two and this was BRAND NEW like you said. Even I have seriously considered replacing the 'Lade with one of these since you initially posted the pics on FB, but my car tastes are odd, so I'll probably still go used.


08-09-11, 03:30 AM
Nice, congrats :thumbsup:

Love that interior color combo.

+1 for the interior.....congrats!

08-09-11, 10:59 AM
We did think about the Escalade but she only liked the Platinum interior and those are still $$$ used. They also lack some of the cool techno goodies the Jeep has.. so it was a no-brainier.This thing rides amazing.. it must be that MB chassis. After driving the Jeep it feels like the Denali is falling apart when I go over rough road.

08-09-11, 03:09 PM
I really like the road type/ 4x4 dial on the center console. That is really convenient for those who actually use it.

08-12-11, 07:29 AM
Hum, it's really expensive to keep a wife happy!

08-12-11, 07:37 AM
Hum, it's really expensive to keep a wife happy!Happy wife, happy life. I'm 19 and I know that. :highfive:

08-12-11, 07:44 AM
Hum, it's really expensive to keep a wife happy!

LOL. She makes more money than I do at the moment. ;)

08-12-11, 07:45 AM
Happy wife, happy life. I'm 19 and I know that. :highfive:
Can a happy wife make a broke man (after buying the expensive gifts) happy? :hmm:

08-12-11, 07:46 AM
Can a happy wife make a broke man (after buying the expensive gifts) happy? :hmm:That depends. How naive and optimistic are you? Lol

08-12-11, 07:47 AM
My girlfriend makes slightly more than I do, as well. Lol. We should start a club.

08-12-11, 07:50 AM
LOL. She makes more money than I do at the moment. ;)


08-12-11, 12:05 PM
Beautiful Cherokee Grande! LOVE the saddle interior! Glad you got the HEMI! :)

08-12-11, 12:17 PM
HEMI! :):thumbsup:

08-13-11, 11:48 PM
Awesome choice, Elias! New, and one of the best ute's on the market period today. Between the Grand Cherokee and Durango, just incredible packages.

Very close friend of mine has her eye on one to replace her 2007 Mountaineer...had Jeeps before...and with that same interior trim. New Jeep or no payments, debate. Once they get the updated transmissions with additional gears, especially the more common 3.6L that feels lazy with the 5-spd, just more and more improvements to come.

Nice choice, again:thumbsup: