As our year with the Grand Cherokee comes to a close, we prepare to say goodbye to one of the most reliable, comfortable, and versatile Four Seasons vehicles we’ve had come though 120 East Liberty Street.
With the end drawing nearer, associate web editor Ben Timmins took the Jeep on one of its final adventures -- Thanksgiving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a stop in Pittsburgh on the way back for a grand total of almost 1200 miles. His entire family was impressed with the level of premium appointments provided by the $46,000 SUV, especially the blind-spot monitoring system, rear heated seats and entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, and backup camera. “I kept hearing the word ‘wow’ during my time with them. The car really impresses the buying public as much as it impresses us. In fact, my middle-aged parents and college-age sister spent much of the weekend fighting over the remote for the Disney Channel on the backseat TV.”
However, Timmins added to our griping about the navigation system. “After one errant turn in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, it was clear that, in relation to many of its competitors, the Jeep’s system has fewer features and is curmudgeonly slow.” Interestingly, after a long weekend of use, he admits that the system could be much worse, and its integration with the gauge cluster's information display is clear and concise.
It seems the Grand Cherokee’s interior is still winning us over. “There’s no learning curve with this car; all the controls are exactly where you expect them to be,” says managing editor Amy Skogstrom. “Everything is dead simple, and I found it hard to believe that it’s now been in our fleet for almost a full year. The interior still looks almost new, with few of the telltale signs of wear that we generally come to see in vehicles in our fleet.”
It's perhaps telling that the only noticeable wear we've seen inside the Grand Cherokee during our stewardship is quite small. The small plastic cover to the USB port on the navigation head-unit has finally broken off its flimsy retainer. A minor quibble, but if we get a chance to bring the Grand Cherokee in for service before our test is up, we’ll look into the cost of a replacement piece.
As we mentioned last month, we prepped the Grand Cherokee for the start of the Michigan snow season. In addition to the heavy-duty WeatherTech floor mats that we used last winter, we sought the advice of the Tire Rack and installed 18-inch Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT SUV 26/60SR winter rubber. The mounting and balancing of the snow tires ran us $115.58 at a local tire store.
It has been hard for us to fault the Grand Cherokee. It succeeded at any task thrown its way, and even surprised us with its luxurious appointments and reliable service; it was rare that the keys weren’t snatched up. This car will be missed when it leaves.
Look for our more detailed Four Seasons Wrap Up of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 in a future issue of Automobile Magazine to get the full report on our cost of ownership, service requirements, and the all-important star rating from our editors.
|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 |