Be grandly distinct
> Jeep’s Grand Cherokee is worth considering, if you want to be different
chromed tailpipes, a chrome frame for the loadingunloading guard-plate at the top of the bumper and again, a large chromed “Jeep” badge.
Once the eight-way-adjustable electric seats (driver and front passenger) have been adjusted, together with the electronically-adjusted woodand-leather-wrapped steering wheel and column, plus the mirrors set to my preference, the rest of the cockpit, in one of the most beautiful and tastefully understated interior designs Jeep has ever offered in an SUV, is quite welcoming and user-friendly. There’s only one stalk on the steering column, for illumination and wipers/washers. The others are in the form of buttons on the steering wheel (sound system, voice recognition, cruise control, and more buttons, knobs and touch-icons on the 8.4-inch touchscreen-equipped fascia (nine-speaker sound system, climate control, settings, navigation, etc).
I love sunroofs! And this Jeep has a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, which makes many Overlanding adventures in this SUV a very scenic and “open” experience. You’ve got to try this: Take a drive in the rural areas on a full-moon and starry night, preferably on one of the few highland areas we have (a lot more in East Malaysia!), open the sunroof, and if it’s too chilly, just activate the heater for both front and rear seats. Even the steering wheel can be heated too. It’s a VERY nice feeling!
Strangely, only the front seats have both coolventing and heating functions. Why, Jeep??
This Jeep quite lives up to its “Overland” moniker. Granted, I didn’t take it across a few countries to Malaysia’s north, going over and through rocky, muddy, sandy and snowy regions – as allowed by its Selec-Terrain Vehicle Management System (helped by the Quadra-Trac II Active Full-time 4WD System), but it provided quite a joy to me and my passengers during a lengthy joyride along the narrow, single-lane ultra-interior roads around Negri Sembilan, recently. On the highways, this SUV can swiftly reach 180km/h, after which its 3.6-litre engine and the impressive eight-speed transmission steadily hauls the package towards 200km/h. That transmission is a major factor for excellent fuel economy on the highways (95km/h at just 1,500rpm!), but the capless fuel tank feels like it’s leaking in stop-go congested urban traffic.
The air suspension, automatically adjusted ride height, superb climate control, handsome looks, quality interior fit and finish, negligible noise, harshness and vibration (NVH), smooth operation and power make this Jeep an enjoyable SUV.
I have to say that with the Grand Cherokee Overland’s price, the absence of a few contemporary things, like a button-operated electromechanical parking brake (this Jeep has a “craaaack” left-foot pedal for that) and forced induction (for much less engine displacement but same power output, and lower road tax and insurance) are strongly felt. But the rest of this SUV’s aforementioned qualities makes it still more than worthy of competing with its high-riding European, British and Asian rivals in the premium, full-sized SUV market.