With the ground clearance on the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4X4 at a respectable 6.6 inches, I wanted to dash to an off-road adventure on my visit to the big state of Texas. But a tight schedule didn’t allow me to play the way I wanted. I didn’t have the time. What I did have was an A-to-B schedule and Jeep’s flagship mid-size SUV.
The Overland delivered a smooth ride, from easy handling on tight corners to agility maneuvering potholes on small town dirt roads to coasting on the wide-open highways, which boasted a speed limit of 75 miles per hour. I was accustomed to 65, and feeling guilty for going faster than that at first. But I got over it.
The standard 8-speed paddle shift automatic transmission transitioned seamlessly between gears. Surprisingly, a feature of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – the engine stop-start technology to improve fuel efficiency – was barely noticeable at stop lights. And that’s a good thing.
Though dual zone automatic temperature control was available, my passengers and I were on the same page since the weather at the time was closer to freezing than expected. Looking back, the heated steering wheel and heated seats (front and second-row) were the true stars of this test drive. But there was a host of other notable features.
Features include: 8-way power seats with memory, Uconnect technology, 8.4 inch display with easy-to-use navigation, and nine amplified speakers. This two-row, five seat SUV is accented with a striking grille and headlamp combination, 20-inch x 8 inch tech gray aluminum wheels and 265/50R20 all-season tires. Safety and security features range from a galore of safety bags, remote start system, back up camera, brake assist, park assist, and trailer sway damping. The Overland also includes a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, powerfolding multi-function mirrors and cargo space with a cover.
Far from a rainbow of colors that can often be eye-catching, the monochromatic color scheme of this SUV, inside and out, at first did not have my full attention. Soon enough I was mesmerized – not in the celebrity star-struck kind of way, but more so in the process of watching something subtle become very apparent.
Viewing the premium amenities of this Granite Crystal Metallic-colored SUV was like staring at the sky and pinpointing the constellations. You know they are up there somewhere but you get excited when you see them. For example the subtle outline of the speakers in the door is rather bodacious. The dark wood/leather interior design extending to the steering wheel was a strikingly rich move by the designers.
Even the variety pack strategy of this two-row, five seater is impressive. The Grand Cherokee offers six trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and SRT. The drive modes are pre-configured, using a switch on th e center console, for auto, sport, track, snow and tow settings – 6,200 towing capacity. There’s also custom, eco and valet. No matter how many terrains you travel through, the Jeep has got you covered.
Now that I think about it, in between A and B, I may have veered off schedule, just a little.
The 2017 Grand Cherokee Overland 4X4 MSRP: $47,695. Combined city/highway MPG: 21. For more information visit Jeep.