2011 Jeep Grand Chero­kee

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE CAR PAGES -

NUTS& BOLTS

Note rest. The to Chrysler: 2011 Jeep You’ve Grand done Chero­kee a darn is good the best job here. ever made. Don’t But When it’s you not do yet that ab­so­lutely — and if bet­ter you do than it at all an of af­ford­able its com­peti­tors. price — we’ll cel­e­brate. Keep work­ing.

Ride, ac­cel­er­a­tion and han­dling: Both the 2011 Ford Ex­plorer XLT (four-wheel drive) and the 2011 Dodge Du­rango Crew (rear-wheel drive and also made by Chrysler) beat the Grand Chero­kee Over­land Sum­mit in han­dling on dry, paved roads. They are lighter, more nim­ble and more ma­neu­ver­able. But the Grand Chero­kee Over­land Sum­mit clob­bers the com­pe­ti­tion off-road. It’s the one you want in the rough. Pave­droad ac­cel­er­a­tion is ex­cel­lent.

Head-turn­ing quo­tient: Stately, at­trac­tive, rugged with­out ado­les­cence — the adult’s SUV.

Body style/lay­out: The Grand Chero­kee is a front-en­gine mid­size sport-util­ity ve­hi­cle of uni­tized-body con­struc­tion. It has four side doors and a rear lift­gate. It is avail­able with rear­wheel drive or with a choice of three four-wheel-drive sys­tems. There are three Grand Chero­kee trim lev­els — base Laredo, mi­dlevel Limited and lux­ury Over­land.

En­gines/trans­mis­sion: A 3.6-liter, 24-valve Pen­tas­tar V-6 with vari­able valve lift and tim­ing (290 horse­power, 260 foot­pounds of torque) is stan­dard. It is linked to a five-speed trans­mis­sion that can be op­er­ated au­to­mat­i­cally or man­u­ally. A 5.7-liter V-8 (360 horse­power, 390 foot-pounds of torque) is op­tional.

Ca­pac­i­ties: There are seats for five peo­ple. Cargo ca­pac­ity is 68.3 cu­bic feet with rear seats folded and 36.3 cu­bic feet with rear seats up. With the V-6, the four-wheel-drive Over­land can be equipped to tow 5,000 pounds. The V-8 ver­sion can be equipped to tow up to 7,400 pounds. Fuel ca­pac­ity is 24.6 gal­lons. E85 (85 per­cent ethanol al­co­hol and 15 per­cent reg­u­lar un­leaded gaso­line) is rec­om­mended for best emis­sions per­for­mance. I used 87-oc­tane gas with­out prob­lems.

Mileage: Mileage was af­fected by win­try weather, up­hill climbs and con­ges­tion idling. I av­er­aged 21 miles per gal­lon in mostly high­way travel.

Safety: Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes four-wheel disc brakes (ven­ti­lated front, solid rear); emer­gency brak­ing as­sis­tance; anti-lock brake pro­tec­tion; side air bags; rear head air bags; elec­tronic sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol; se­lectable ter­rain sus­pen­sion; and dusk sens­ing high-in­ten­sity-dis­charge head­lamps. Pro­tec­tion from all safety sys­tems is en­hanced by use of seat belts. Buckle up!

Price: The base price on the 2011 Grand Chero­kee Over­land Sum­mit with four-wheel drive and stan­dard Pen­tas­tar V-6 is $41,910. Dealer’s in­voice price on that model is $39,423. Price as tested is $42,690, in­clud­ing a $780 des­ti­na­tion charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $40,203.

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