Well, it's been one year since I took delivery on my 2015 KL North (Latitude). 14, 100 kms. (8800 miles). Since I was not financing this vehicle, I had a specific budget to adhere to. As a result, my options were restricted to cold weather group, back up camera, four wheel drive, 2.4 engine, and North trim level.
My 2005 WK Ltd 5.7 was a great vehicle, but I was at 80,000 miles and I started to worry about component failures after ten years, and how I did not want to put a lot of money in to a ten year old Jeep. Plus, I was getting tired of $60.00 a week for fuel to feed that Hemi. This WK was maintained meticulously, zero rust, and I was offered $2000-2500 over clean book value at three of the dealers I visited. In fact when I traded, the sales manager at the dealership was going to buy it for himself, but sold it to a friend instead the day I traded it.
Why a Cherokee? I've been a Jeep guy for life. Been driving 44 years, took my drivers test in a Jeep.
At first, I was looking at used low mile WK2's. Did not pay much attention to KL's, because when I first saw images online, my reaction was " what the **** is that abomination?".
Then, one day late in November 2014 I was waiting to cross at an intersection, and a new Cherokee pulled up next to me at the light. I was blown away. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then seeing something in person the first time is worth a million. It was love. I soon came to realize this was my next Jeep. The interior was like a mini Grand Cherokee, cool!
Took awhile to find what I wanted, especially since it HAD to be Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl.
So, after a one year relationship, we are still going strong. I look forward to driving this Jeep every day.
Coming from a Superchipped/exhaust/ Mopar CAI Hemi that would pull like a freight train when you stomped it at 80 mph took some adjusting. However, I very seldom took advantage of that power, so I was ready for a change. So far the 2.4 has been a positive experience, no trouble building speed on exit ramps or passing. It can be a little noisy when it drops a couple gears when you ask for more power, but I can live with that. My average fuel economy in the winter has been 8.6 l/100km (27 US mpg); combined city and highway, improves about 10-15% in warm weather. Using Sport mode keeps the little 2.4 on the powerband at all times, if you need/want that, but fuel economy is sacrificed.
Nine speed transmission. Do I even want to go there? eek. I read about all the nighmares here on this forum AFTER I took delivery. If you had never driven a vehicle with an automatic transmission before, then you will be okay. To say getting used to a nine speed takes some adjusting, is an understatement. Travelling downhill at 70 mph, and slowing to take an exit ramp, and the 5-4 shift, your tach shoots up to 3500, and you hear that little Tiger roar is an unnerving experience the first time. Then when I read "this is normal" I am fine with this. My transmission has never exhibited any glitches to this point. Once you live with this set up, and get to understand it's requirements, it's reactions, and it adapts to your driving style, all is good. I absolutely love being first at a traffic light, because when I launch, that nine speed reacts instantly and delivers practically imperceivable, seamless butter smooth shifts. I have AD1, and it is a great system. Always inspired confidence driving in snow, slush, freezing rain, providing you adjust your speed to conditions, even with the stock Firestones. I think the only down side to AD1 is lack of ground clearance. Another inch or more would be nice.
The ride quality, handling, and braking ability are awesome for a Jeep. Everyone one that rides in my vehicle comments on the smooth ride, and low interior noise level. Fit, finish, material qulaity and control layout are light years ahead of my old WK. Seats are the most comfortable of any vehicle I've owned. When I test drove a KL, I was impressed by the very solid feel. I still have that same rock solid feel and after a year, zero creaks, rattles or groans. I have the 5" Uconnect system, standard six speaker sytem. The stock speakers are total crap, so I replaced them with JBL's, and the sound quality is now as good or better than the Boston Acoustics system that was in my WK.
One option I wish I had was the comfort/convenience group. Mainly for the auto climate. I find it very awkward to adjust the climate controls through the touch screen or the up and down controls on the dash panel. I think the WK2 guys can just switch out the dash control panel to an auto panel, but I assume you would need an 8.4" screen to do this, and not sure if it would even work with a KL. Wish I had the hitch option, well worth the factory admission price. I will add the Mopar hitch in the near future. Stock headlights suck. Period. I replaced with LED head and fogs, now at least safer to drive at night.
I will likely add extended warranty, as I hope to keep this a few years. My only visits to the dealer so far have been oil changes, and the air bag and a/c hose recall.
All in all, a positive experience, one that I hope continues...