12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 - Four Seasons Update - April 2011

May 3, 2011
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 Right Side View
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Long-Term 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Update - SPRING 2011 (3 OF 4)
Months in service: 4 / 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."
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 Front Three Quarters
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Finding his way around the MSP metroplex proved to be a frustrating endeavor for Blackwell, though, as he found the outdated navigation system to be too slow to refresh and hard to decipher: "The cartoonish car icon is dozens of miles long when you zoom out," he complained.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."
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 Detail
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

Long-Term 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Reviews to Date:

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