This car is all things to all men on a budget, except economical
Rear end needed to be replaced ($450 plus parts).
Front diff rebuild ($1250 with parts).
Transmission pan leak.
Transfer case leak.
Roof leaks a bit, and causes the headliner to sag/separate.
Warning light comes on whenever I turn on the headlights, saying "rear lamp failure".
Mirrors don't always turn down in Reverse, and never come back up when put into Drive.
Mirrors don't change when driver 1/2 is selected.
Side skirts aren't attached that well.
Liftgate rusts below the handle.
CD auto changer doesn't work as soon as I turn it on.
Driver's heated seat doesn't work.
For reasons unknown to me, my key doesn't unlock the doors, but works in the ignition.
Cruise control sometimes self cancels, and won't resume when I push "resume" or whatever it says.
Water pump is starting to go.
Engine will last forever, but the transmission won't.
I reviewed this car on here once, but since then a lot has happened (as mentioned above), and to be honest when I wrote my last review almost a year ago, I was still in the holiday romance period with the car.
Mods (from previous owner):
Edelbrock IAS shocks.
Cross drilled/slotted rotors.
He also had the wrong size tire on the car. When winter came round. I put on Toyo Open Country A/T at the manufacturer's specified size, and the car felt completely different. It became a lot less bouncy and overall stiffer; I think the new tires have stiffer sidewalls. They're also great year round tires. They grip good in the snow/wet, and they don't wear out in the summer.
I've owned this car about a year now, and it never ceases to put a smile on my face. The power (for what it is) is immense, the upgraded shocks make it feel stiff and responsive, and inspire confidence. To me, it is the best Jeep ever made. The new models may technically be better, but the SRT8 isn't an off-road vehicle, and the Overland isn't as fast. I find that the 5.9L is the best of both worlds (I'll be honest though, if I had the money, I'd go get the Overland Summit, because I think it is beautiful, and has a crap load of tech).
I like that it's kind of a sleeper. The only way to tell is the small 5.9 badge on the liftgate/doors and the louvres on the hood. And it's really rare. 1 million ZJ's were built, but less than 15,000 had the 5.9. I like that I can be at a set of lights, and people don't know how a seemingly stock Jeep just hit 60 in less than 7 seconds.
This car and my last car (1993 Grand Wagoneer) are the only cars I've ever been in for long distances, where my butt didn't hurt like hell after. I take this between home and school (Ohio - Connecticut) at least 3 times a semester, and I love how it feels on the long haul. It also feels fine towing. Last semester I drove to school with a 4x8 U-haul, and there was plenty of power. The car didn't feel hindered at all. It also carried 1250lbs of coal in the boot (seats folded down of course) without problem, other than almost bottoming out the suspension, but almost doesn't count.
I don't really like that the only interior available was black everything. With the sunroof closed, it's very dark and gloomy, so I always leave it open.
Off road this car is great too. 4 low has so much torque. I went in Maine, and it was the most fun I've had in it. Even with the crap highway tires, it did fine through mud, water, rocks, ruts, everything. Looking back I would've liked a 3 inch lift but I want to keep this as a road car, because that's what I need.
I average 14 MPG when I'm not driving like an idiot. I've heard rumors that with an MSD 6A and coil, one can achieve 20 MPG on the highway.
I always run 93 octane because I get a lot of detonation with 91 (what it's rated for). It happens a tiny bit still with 93, which is why I want to upgrade my ignition to get a stronger spark, and hopefully a better burn.
As a side note, I got this for $5200.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th February, 2012