After 7yrs and 90k miles it was time to say goodbye to our beloved JKU. After a great deal of thought and introspection I realized I wanted something a little (okay, a lot) more civilized that could still do a forest service road and boondock with that my wife could actually drive and stand to ride in for more than an hour. Sacrificing comfort and driveability for an activity that consumed maybe 5% of my life behind the wheel wasn't worth it anymore, at least in the near term. My choice is a little unorthodox and unconventional, but after a few subtle mods it will suffice and allow us to enjoy the entire journey more as we pull our tear drop further than we would have with the Jeep.
So what did I replace a heavily modded JKU with you ask? A Mercedes ML550. New wheels and tires get installed next week, the 1.5" lift arrives early next year (some crazy Russian actually came up with one), and skidplates should be fabbed up this winter. I am under no illusion of the significant downgrade in off road capability but life is all about trade-offs. It's going to be an interesting journey as I discover its limits while saving up for a well sorted G-wagon.