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

June 30, 2011
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 Slight Front Left View
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Long-Term 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Update - SUMMER 2011 (1 OF 3)
Months in service: Six / Miles to date: 14,844
Our Four Seasons Jeep Grand Cherokee spent a month-long stay on the East Coast, where it spent much of its time as senior editor Joe Lorio's daily driver. He came away overall with a positive impression of the Jeep, echoing much of the past sentiments of those here at 120 East Liberty Street.
"Unless you're towing something really heavy, I can't see the need for the V-8 anymore, as the new six is plenty adequate," he said. Lorio praised the steering for its "natural and progressive effort," though he wished for more feedback. He was enamored of the Grand Cherokee's maneuverability. "The tight turning circle, which is one advantage the Jeep has over many transverse-engine crossovers, makes this vehicle easy to navigate around town." He was critical, however, of the way the fat pillars hinder the view out. "Outward visibility has declined precipitously compared to the earliest Grand Cherokee," he noted.
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 Front Right View
Speaking of the first Grand Cherokee, Mrs. Lorio owned one back in the day, so he put her behind the wheel of the new version to get her take. "She thought it felt taller, larger, and heavier. But at the same time, she found the handling still to be nimble and the powertrain a lot more responsive. And of course, compared to her '96, this interior is much nicer, particularly in Overland trim."
The Lorios ferried the Grand Cherokee to The Elegance at Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania, handing it off to Editor-in-chief Jean Jennings, so she could bring it back to Michigan. On the trip to Pennsylvania, Lorio once again found the Grand Cherokee to be "a pleasant highway cruiser." As was the case with our Four Seasons Chrysler Town & Country, the Sirius Backseat TV -- which has kid-friendly but adult-averse live streams from Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon -- proved to be a big hit with its intended audience.
After receiving the keys from Lorio, Jennings commented that the Grand Cherokee became almost invisible while parked next to the Bentley Mulsanne she had driven there. Go figure.
The Grand Cherokee is "a very versatile, livable, everyday companion," noted Lorio. "I'll miss it." Sorry Joe, but those of us in Ann Arbor can't get enough of the Grand Cherokee either.
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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