I have been nothing but impressed by my Jeep. I received it from my mom when I turned 16. She bought it a year and a half old.
The most impressive thing has got to be the durability of the transmissions. I know there were 2 transmissions put in these Jeeps, unfortunately I'm not sure which one I have, but it's got to be the better of the two. About 7 years ago, my mom was not having a very good day, the dog had just killed all her chickens and she was frustrated and just down right angry, not exactly thinking straight. She went to downshift for her exit on the highway (this jeep is an automatic, her last one was a stick). She slammed in in Park. Luckily, the transmission will not lock into park while moving and it just makes a loud clicking noise. She then realized her mistake and went to put it back into gear, reverse that is. The engine stalled, the rear wheels locked up and she skidded off the highway. The original transmission has gone nearly 100000 miles since then, flawlessly. This thing was meant to be abused.
I change the oil in it every 3k miles, thanks to the computer that alerts me when its time. I really take good care of this thing. I do all the work on it myself, saving myself a lot of money.
I only have one grievance about my Jeep, the 4wd system is slow. Using a vacuum setup was a big mistake. I have only been stuck once, and I credit my inability to drive it out to the slow-locking Vacuum 4wd system. If the system had locked in right away like I needed it to, I wouldn't have dug myself a hole sitting there spinning. Granted it was my fault I was in the ditch, I drifted an icy corner like I usually do and assumed it would straighten out like it normal does, so I did not correct it.
However, the ability to lock it in Full-time 4wd or Part-time more than makes up for the slow locking system. I consider these two systems mislabeled, as the Full-time is actually 2wd, but when you enter a skid, the front tires lock in instantly. No delay from the vacuum setup there. Part-time is actually locked into 4wd. And of course I have 4Low, and just plain 2wd mode. The Full-time feature saved my girlfriend and I from getting in a wreck. We topped a hill, which was covered in black ice, we saw a Chevy Blazer tipped on its side, and when I steered away from the Blazer on the side of the road, we began to skid, the 4wd kicked in and steered us safely away.
Overall, this is the perfect winter vehicle (not bad of a summer one either). Other than getting stuck that one time (and once in our fields in the winter, but that doesn't count because I wasn't on the road), I have had no other issues in the winter. I have ditched it multiple times drifting icy corners late at night, but I have always driven out.
For the stock suspension, even my Grand Cherokee has enough clearance for a Michigan winter. Quite often I would leave the house before my Dad gets the tractor out to plow the 2 feet of snow we got that night, and I'll just drive it out of the driveway and away I go, in 2wd almost always. I only lock in the 4wd when I actually get stuck, or I'm going somewhere that I can't be late for, and it looks like black ice and I need to make good time.
I recently added a $600+ chrome brush guard to make it stand out (and deer protection, this is northern Michigan, we have a lot of deer). It looks fantastic on it, I have not yet really tested its durability, I pushed on the bumper of a buddies Chevy pickup and nearly broke his bumper off, so I would assume it's fairly tough.
The catalytic converter had fallen apart from the inside, and every time my Jeep idled, my exhaust rattled, causing the pieces of Platinum in the converter to rattle, making a tremendous amount of noise, finally after a year of that, I gutted the converter (no need for it here, we have enough trees to take care of the CO2), leaving the body of it so it looks like I have the converter still there, and adding the cherry bomb. The muffler added basically no HP, but eliminating the cat. sure did. Around 10% like stated earlier.
I really enjoy driving my Jeep, judging by the computer, I can drive it very nicely and make it get 20mpg, which is good enough for me. That brush guard really turns heads, as most on Grand Cherokees around here are black.
A great future, which I suggest to anyone planning on driving a Jeep in any place with winters reaching below 0, is a remote start. My sister had it installed for my mom about 6 years ago, and I still use it every morning in the winter. The coldest I have started it by remote was -18 degrees Fahrenheit. I was not aware it was this cold, or I was have started it myself, with the key. When I got in 10 minutes later and looked at the digital temp gauge, I was very impressed.
My Jeep will start in every temperature we have asked it to so far. Some mornings, my temperature gauge read -40, and it started. It turned over very slowly, but it did start, and yes, it was sitting outside. But we run 10W40 Rotella T oil ONLY in our vehicles, which allows them to start in such harsh conditions, without any block heaters or assistance of any kind.
This Grand Cherokee is by no means a race car, but I have dragged it light to light 3 times, and won every time.
The first was against an '89 Ford Bronco with a 5.8L 351W putting about over 350hp (I still had the base HP of 189, no new exhaust yet). He started in 2nd gear (thinking he was in 1st on his column shifter) and my Jeep walked away from him. He caught up quickly, but I had already reached the next light.
The second win was against my friend with the Chevy Pickup, with a 5.7L 350. I had my new exhaust, and we were revving our engines and doing brake-torques, showing off. The light turned green, I left instantly. He floored it, but was still in Neutral from revving his engine, he dropped it into drive and peeled out of there, but I was 3 lights away by the time he caught me.
My third race in town was against a Buick Regal with a supercharged 3800. I knew he had me, but I wasn't going to say no to a challenge. He burned his tires when the light turned green, and we were even until his charger kicked in, and he began to pull away. Just then his supercharger blew up, decreasing his power and scaring him, and I blew by. So I guess the moral to these stories, is if you plan to race your 4.0L Jeep, make sure you're racing friends who aren't exactly the smartest, that's how I won, other than the supercharger, that was just a mechanical failure.