Personal Experience with 08 Jeep Rubicon unlimited
4 Door, Electronic Swaybar Disconnect, Front and Rear Lockers
I do a lot of long trips - 1000mi+
The new engine is from what I've heard - better, I have no experience with it.
This thing will go places I will not, I'm generally traveling alone and I'm not young and stupid anymore - I am middle aged+ and wise (OK wiser) and I think about things like having to Hike out 40 miles to find someone to come in hand hall me out - the hike, the time, the cost - ouch.
Fully loaded I get about 17-20 hwy under 60mph near sea level with the roof rack/tent
At 7000 feet - I get about 13-15
Going up hills fully loaded requires a lower gear - 4th at sea level - sometimes 3rd at latitude it is GUTLESS
If it's wet, when you open the door be prepared for a stream of water to come off the roof into the cockpit - depending on the amount of side lean.
The doors do not stay open - because they are removable they have no spring locks to keep them open (trade off)
The mirrors are manual external adjust - no idea why - it has electric windows and door locks - why skip the mirrors?
It's pretty comfortable and was reasonably quite until I put on the roof rack and the tent - roof rack added a noticeable level of noise - tent just a bit more (not enough to care about)
The stock tires on the Rubicon are OK - not really heavy enough for serious off road - I got a gravel flat on the "road" to Race Track in Death Valley - get a higher load rated tire.
The addons are Shrockworks and Rock Hard and Garvin, All very good companies. The winch is Warren - in hind sight - I'd have gone with a different winch and an engine mounted compressor - the warren is OK but expensive.
The back seats lay down fairly flat - but the space is insufficient to lay flat - I'm 5'9"
I don't like the nav system - I still use my Garmin.
If I were to do it again (SUV) I think I'd get the Grand Cherokee with a Hemi, either that or a FJ or X - I don't know enough about either at this point to comment. What I'm probably going to do is get a Ford F150 with an EcoBoost engine (still researching but all indicators are that it's a 28-30mpg TRUCK) needs upgraded springs, and I really wish they'd not dropped (or maybe it's a secret) the Power Takeoff on the transmission - useful for driving an under carriage 10kw generator and other assorted oddities.
I CAN do it. Doesn't mean I should, or will.
I think Life has treated me better than I've treated it, and I regret that. Can't change the past but I can affect the future. (--me)