It’s only been two years since the last time I got a ‘new car’, but now I’m checking out the market again. You see, I’ve got the FJ Cruiser (the yellow beast below) on a 4 year lease, and we’re at the 2 year mark now. Gee, has it been 2 years already? Amazing. Seems only like yesterdaysince I first talked about getting it…
Anyway, I’m at the halfway mark with the lease, and things have changed quite a lot in my life. Back when I bought the FJ, I was a single man, and so I bought a 4WD that was suited to who I was back then, and the circumstances of my life. It’s been a real blast ever since I got it; it’s given me some very wonderful and rewarding experiences. But it was, essentially, my ‘starter’ 4WD.
So why a new car?
I’m getting married next month, and we’re planning on starting a family next year. The FJ is certainly a great vehicle, and I know I’m going to miss it, but I need something more suitable for having a family. The ‘suicide doors’ aren’t suitable for putting a child in the back; they’re a pain in the ass for getting in and out of, and any passengers in the back need to have the front doors opened before they can get in or out. For someone like me, this is annoying.
So these are the features that are very important to me as I consider a new car:
- ‘real’ back doors
- plenty of space in the cargo area
- excellent offroad and onroad capability
- comfortable interior (I do a lot of driving)
- suitable for a family
And here’s the really important one:
- it has to be able to get into underground carparks with a roof rack
Do you have any idea how irritating it is to not be able to take advantage of ‘normal’ car parking because my vehicle is too high to fit into underground carparks? No, you wouldn’t have any idea. And neither did I, until after I got the roof rack.
I love the roof rack, and I’ll be getting one for the new car (whatever I ultimately get), but my experiences with the FJ and its roof rack have made me realise how much of a pain in the ass it is to not be able to take advantage of convenient parking.
And so we meet the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
What excites me about it is that it’s the only 4WD on the market with variable suspension height at the push of a button. At its standard height it has the same ground clearance as the FJ Cruiser. But with the push of a button it can go considerably higher, and it can also go considerably lower. Low enough to get into underground carparks…. Now THAT is exciting!
However, I’m yet to test drive it, so it might be completely different to what I’m expecting. But we’ll see. I do find it interesting that the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee was one of the Top 3 contenders that I was looking at back in 2011, before I settled on the FJ Cruiser, so the 2014 Jeep might win this time around.
There’s also the likelihood that I’ll be getting my fiancee her own Jeep before I upgrade my FJ.
We were talking about it tonight, and I thought she had a good idea that we upgrade her own car before we upgrade mine, so that hers is more capable of supporting her own changed requirements and be suitable for becoming a mother. She currently has a tiny car that feels like driving a coke can around. She likes the idea of having ‘his and her’ Jeeps, so what we might be getting for her is a Jeep Compass:
It’s not an offroad Jeep like the Grand Cherokee is, but it competes with the Mazda CX-5 in terms of being a reasonable family SUV. It’s also slightly cheaper than the Mazda, while looking better. And I think it also has more features and more power.
Again, we’ll be test driving it vs. the Mazda and seeing which one would be better for her. Having her in a Jeep first would be fun, while I keep the FJ for another year or so, and then upgrading my own to the more expensive Jeep.
Exciting. I always love working out which new toy I’m going to buy….
If any of you have stumbled on this page because you either already own a Grand Cherokee, or you’re looking for information about it, I’d love to have your feedback about it. What are your experiences with it? What do you think of it? Any tips you want to suggest?
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