Jeep Grand Chero­kee Over­land

Jeep with a mighty V8 is a nice pack­age, re­ports Cathy Parker.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

Solid, grunty and com­fort­able, what’s not to like, and it was even my favourite colour – red! The Jeep Grand Chero­kee Over­land V8 is the penul­ti­mate model in the Grand Chero­kee range topped only by the SRT which gets an even larger V8. How­ever the 5.7-litre ver­sion in the Over­land still packs a healthy 259 kw power and diesel like lev­els of torque with 520 NM avail­able to pull the 2.3 tonne weight and some sat­is­fy­ing V8 noises to ac­com­pany it. The only price you pay for this is at the fuel pump with a com­bined fuel con­sump­tion rat­ing at 13 l/100km com­pared to 7.5 l/100km for the 3.0-litre diesel ver­sion. Open­ing and clos­ing the doors re­in­forces the solid feel of the Grand Chero­kee – they feel weighty and close with a firm sound, most of the con­trols have a sim­i­larly firm feel and you feel cos­seted by the leather up­hol­stery and a very com­fort­able and sup­port­ive seat. The dash and in­te­rior trim con­tin­ues the qual­ity look and feel, with the con­trols mostly be­ing in­tu­itive and well po­si­tioned, although the ar­ray of 16 switches on the steer­ing wheel front side plus gear change pad­dles and two au­dio sys­tem rock­ers on the back was pos­si­bly a bit of over­load – it took me a while to find the vol­ume rocker switch on the back of the wheel. The cen­tre con­sole stack is built around a mas­sive 8.4-inch touch screen that not only gives ac­cess to the usual map, re­vers­ing cam­era, au­dio and phone func­tions but also cli­mate and an app screen that let you con­trol a num­ber of the cars features (some of these also have ded­i­cated con­trols); such as heated seats, seat con­trols, off road set­tings and much more. The only slight let down was the lack of Carplay or An­droid Auto con­nec­tiv­ity which you might ex­pect given the al­most $1000,000 price ($99,990 to be pre­cise). Mov­ing fur­ther back the rear pas­sen­gers have plenty of leg room even with a tall driver in front and have some of their own lux­ury with heated seats. The lug­gage area is also large and features both a cover – some­thing you don’t get on many SUV’S and some com­mend­ably solid metal tie-downs. Driv­ing im­pres­sions round town fo­cus on the so­lid­ity, it feels heavy although the V8 gives plenty of get up and go when needed, we were get­ting around 16 l/100km round town with a mix of sub­ur­ban and mo­tor­way use (this com­pares to around 8-9 l/100km for a sim­i­lar size diesel ve­hi­cle we nor­mally drive). Whilst we had the Grand Chero­kee we did a trip down to Mt Maun­ganui for a bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment. On the open road the Grand Chero­kee felt more in its el­e­ment. The steer­ing was firm with good feed­back and the ride and han­dling im­pressed. When you needed to pass a slower truck the 5.7-litres of V8 dis­patched it quickly and pain­lessly with the bonus of the au­ral sym­phony. Fuel con­sump­tion also im­proved get­ting down to 12 l/100km over­all (Again our sim­i­lar size diesel de­liv­ers around 7 l/100km in these con­di­tions). The Over­land is highly spec­i­fied with a panoramic sun­roof, heated and vented front seats, heated steer­ing wheel, Nappa leather up­hol­stery and Selec-ter­rain 4WD sys­tem. It has a suite of driv­ing aids in­clud­ing adap­tive cruise con­trol, for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, blind spot and cross traf­fic alerts and par­al­lel and per­pen­dic­u­lar park as­sist. If you want a solid and lux­u­ri­ous large SUV and es­pe­cially if you re­joice at V8 au­ral sym­phony and you can live with the fuel con­sump­tion trade-off then the Over­land pro­vides a great pack­age.

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