Oh what a feeling to drive grand! I am an avid lover of big suvs, so when they brought me the Grand Cherokee Overland, I was so elated.The Grand Cherokee Overland is newly designed for 2014. My deep cherry red tester received a host of changes this year which I think were exciting. Highlights include a refreshed exterior design, a new 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and an updated interior with new technology features including my tester’s engraved leather seats.
The Grand Cherokee is available in two-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations with five trims levels: Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit, and SRT8 (four-wheel drive only). All trims (except the SRT8) are powered by a 290-hp 3.6-liter V6. The V6 can be upgraded to a 360-hp 5.7-liter V8, or even a new 240-hp 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6. The SRT8 trim features an exclusive 470-hp 6.4-liter V8 Hemi engine. All trims and engine combinations are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Both V8 engines feature a Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which seamlessly deactivates four of the eight cylinders depending on engine operating conditions. Adaptive cruise control, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated leather seats, heated steering wheel, power liftgate, rear seat DVD entertainment system, rear parking camera, a multimedia infotainment system with hard drive navigation system, and UConnect wireless connectivity are available. The optional (standard on the 4×4 Overland and Summit) QuadraLift air suspension features full time four corner load leveling and improved off-road performance by increasing ground clearance. Standard safety features include seven airbags, electronic stability control, active front head restraints, brake assist, and tire pressure monitoring.
My tester Overland model featured all of the standard equipment from the Limited, plus 20-inch wheels, the 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation and the contents of the Luxury Group II package. The Summit comes with the most standard equipment, as it includes all of the features from the Advanced Technology Group, along with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and polished 20-inch wheels.
The high-performance SRT model is equipped like the Summit model, but the panoramic sunroof moves to the options list. You also get an exclusive V8 engine, 20-inch forged wheels, LED running lights, an adaptive suspension, performance-tuned steering, Brembo brakes, a limited-slip rear differential, leather/suede sport seats and carbon-fiber cabin accents.
A Blu-ray-capable rear-seat entertainment system (with twin seat-mounted displays and HDMI and RCA inputs) is optional for the Limited, Overland Summit and SRT. The towing package that’s standard on the Overland and Summit models is available as an option on the Laredo, Limited and SRT trims.
My kids enjoyed the Overland and spacing for my backseat drivers was no hassle due to its extended spaciousness. By the way, my tester was loaded with optional equipment, pricing at $48,985.
Until next week, drive safe and buckle up, it’s the law.