It's been some time and I've slowed down my thinking (a bit). We had our first snow of the season here in Virginia and as was expected, the roads were pretty terrible. It was nice having the Jeep, knowing there wasn't much I couldn't drive in.
That said, I've realized that my ultimate goal would be to own both the Jeep AND something else a bit more nimble, efficient, and fun to drive. In fact, the inefficiency is one thing that really bugs me about the XJ. It's a 4 litre, 6 cylinder engine that earns proper respect for its durability, sure, but it's so terribly inefficient at moving what ostensibly is a very small, though perhaps heavy and terribly un-aerodynamic, SUV. Part of that is the AW-4 transmission's fault (and that pesky kickdown cable's fault), but really there isn't much to be done to make that combo more fuel efficient. A Jeep owner over at JeepForums spent years testing and documenting various mods and deletes in an attempt to maximize fuel economy and the best he got was 25MPG at 60MPH on 89 octane.
I've continued to migrate away from the Fit. Lately, I've been focused on the Mazda 3 Hatchback, it's turbo'd cousin the Mazdaspeed3 Hatchback, and the P1 platform of Volvo S40/V50 T5 AWD 6 Speeds. Interestingly, the Mazda 3 and the Volvo's share that P1 platform. There are pros and cons to all of these vehicles, but for the time being, I'm puttering around in the Jeep (about to make another 700 mile trip up and back to NYC) figuring out what to do and only mildly enjoying it.