New Car Reviews

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4×4 – Four Seasons Update – April 2011

Months in service: 4 / Miles to date: 10,668

Long-Term 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Update: Spring 2011 Array Miles to date: 10,668

Jeep engineers and designers paid attention to the details with the 2011 Grand Cherokee, and we’ve come to appreciate them now that we’ve spent so much time with our Four Seasons test vehicle. All of the Grand Cherokee’s new luxury touches elevate the Jeep flagship from its former status as a commodity crossover to a vehicle that can mix with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the Lexus RX350, and the Land Rover LR4. We’re talking about amenities like automatic high-beam headlights, and heated and cooled front seats, and a remote start system that turns on the heated seats and steering wheel and rear defroster when the temperature is close to the freezing point. Great stuff.
The Jeep folks were also smart enough not to ditch features from the old Grand Cherokee that still worked, like the steering wheel-mounted audio controls. “Jeep has had these back-of-the-steering wheel buttons forever, and they’re great once you’ve memorized what they do,” says senior editor Joe Lorio. “The right rocker is for volume, the left rocker is for seeking. It’s that simple, and they fall right to hand, positioned at nine and three.”

As much as the Grand Cherokee has evolved into a serious luxury vehicle, it still has its rough-road chops. Our Grand Cherokee Overland is equipped with Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II four-wheel-drive system, which features a two-speed transfer case and five off-road modes. We’ve also got an adjustable air suspension and a full set of underbody skid plates. It’s all easy to control via clearly marked dials and buttons in the center console, something copy editor Rusty Blackwell appreciated when he encountered flooded roads in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area during the NCAA men’s ice hockey Frozen Four in April.
Finding his way around the MSP metroplex proved to be a frustrating endeavor for Blackwell, though, as he found the outdated navigation system to be too slow to refresh and hard to decipher: “The cartoonish car icon is dozens of miles long when you zoom out,” he complained. However, assistant editor David Zenlea counters all of our kvetching with a very astute point: “It offers a big security advantage over a store-bought Garmin — this one is impossible to lose and much harder to steal.” Thank you, Zenlea, for bringing us back down to earth and reminding us that the navigation interface is only one minor problem in an otherwise impressive vehicle.
Associate editor Eric Tingwall aptly sums up our feelings so far — “If you can forgive the sluggish five-speed transmission, the Grand Cherokee nails the fundamentals. The chassis and development teams have done a great job, with great ride, admirable handling, and fabulously weighted steering. They really sweated the small stuff.”


  • Our Test Results
  • 0-60 mph: 9.1 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 24.7 sec
  • 1/4-mile: 16.9 sec @ 86 mph
  • 30-70 mph passing: 9.7 sec
  • Peak acceleration: 0.52 g
  • Speed in gears: 1) 54; 2) 88; 3) 113; 4) –; 5) — mph
  • Cornering L/R: 0.74/0.72 g
  • 70-0 mph braking: 184 ft
  • Peak braking: 0.98 g


  • Base price: (with dest.) $42,690
  • As tested: $45,805
  • Trade-in value $33,700*
  • Body style: 4-door SUV
  • Accommodation: 5-passengers
  • Construction: Steel uni-body


  • Engine: 24-valveDOHC V-6
  • Displacement: 3.6 liters (220 cu in)
  • Power: 290 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic
  • Drive: 4-wheel


  • Steering: Hydraulically assisted
  • Lock-to-Lock: 3.7 turns
  • Turning Circle: 37.1 ft
  • Suspension, Front: Control arms, coil springs
  • Suspension, Rear: Multi-link/ coil springs
  • Brakes F/R: Vented disc/disc; ABS
  • Tires: Michelin Latitude Tour
  • Tire Size: 265/60TR-18


  • Headroom F/R: 39.9 / 39.3in
  • Legroom F/R: 40.3 / 38.6 in
  • Shoulder Room F/R: 58.7 / 58.0 in
  • L x W x H: 189.8 x 84.8 x 69.3 in
  • Wheelbase: 114.8 in
  • Track F/R: 63.9 / 64.1 in
  • Weight: 5077 lb
  • Weight Dist. F/R: 51.4/48.6%
  • Cargo Capacity: 36.3 / 68.3 cu ft (rear seats folded)
  • Towing Capacity: 5000lb
  • Fuel Capacity: 24.6 gallons
  • Est. Range: 440 miles
  • Fuel Grade: 87 octane


  • standard equipment

    • 3.6-liter V-6 engine
    • 5-speed automatic transmission
    • Quadra-Trac II 4WD system
    • Hill descent control
    • Electronic stability control
    • Selec-Terrain system
    • Quadra-Lift air suspension
    • ParkView rear backup camera
    • ParkSense rear park assist system
    • Trailer tow group
    • Keyless enter-n-go
    • Hill start assist
    • Trailer swap damping
    • Remote start system
    • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
    • Heated front and rear seats
    • Vented front seats
    • 8-way power front seats
    • 60/40 rear split/fold seats
    • Dual-zone automatic climate control
    • Uconnect hands-free phone system
    • 30 GB hard drive with 6700-song capacity
    • 9 premium speakers with 506-watt amp and subwoofer
    • Sirius satellite radio
    • Heated steering wheel with audio controls
    • Wood/leather wrapped steering wheel
    • Power tilt/telescoping steering column
    • 115-volt auxiliary power outlet
    • 20-inch wheels
    • Command view dual-pane panoramic sunroof
    • Power liftgate
    • Smartbeam headlamps
    • Bi-Xenon headlamps with auto-leveling
    • Power heated mirrors with memory
    • Daytime running lights


  • Rear DVD entertainment center
  • $1,495
  • Rear overhead console
  • Rear seat video overhead system
  • Power single-pane sunroof
  • Advanced warning and adaptive cruise control
  • $1,295
  • Blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection
  • Adaptive speed control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Off-Road adventure II package
  • $295
  • 18 x 8.0-inch aluminum polished wheels
  • P265/60R18 on/off-road tires
  • Skid plate group
  • Tow hooks
  • Trail rated badge
  • Engine block heater $50