2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Road Test & Review

For 2011, Chrysler has completely redesigned the Jeep Grand Cherokee from the ground up, bringing it to its 4th generation. Its chassis has been given a remarkable facelift, with many structural improvements to improve sturdiness, vibration, and road noise, making one of the staples of the SUV industry an even more durable and rugged piece of work. Host Ross Rapoport and Roadfly TV spent a week test-driving this new Jeep and discovering its capabilities. Here’s their review:

The engine is on the receiving end of a major overhaul as well–new for 2011 the Grand Cherokee gets a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that garners an impressive 290 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, giving you all the power you’ll need to overcome any obstacles in rough or smooth conditions or even tow up to 7200 pounds. Fuel economy, unfortunately, hasn’t changed much–you’ll be getting 16 mpg city and 22 mpg on the highway. And for those who aren’t worried about gas mileage and want a little extra power, there’s a V8 package that will get you an additional 70 horses.

As far as the Grand Cherokee’s offroad capabilities–this is where it excels. It features a terrain-select system that will adaptively alter in real-time your transmission, engine, braking system, traction control and more, depending on the current weather and road circumstances. The Grand Cherokee also clears the ground at a serviceable 8.6 inches, but an incredible feature on Grand Cherokee allows the ground clearance to be raised an almost 3 inches further, bringing it to an astounding 11.1 inches. Great for conquering any craggy terrain in your near future.

The Grand Cherokee’s interior is also very sumptuous and impressive, far better than predecessors. Once inside, the cabin is tailored from helm to stern in a smart choice of wood, leather, and chrome. All the seats, and even the steering wheel, are heated, and the sunroof is one of the biggest and convenient you’ll find on any vehicle in the industry. And all the electronics are well placed, easy-to-use, and accommodating.

While many consumers are placing stock in hybrid and crossover vehicles, SUVs of the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s caliber are a dying breed. However, with its brilliant offroad capabilities, remarkably handsome aesthetic and emboldened engine, this new 2011 Grand Cherokee is something of a revelation, a spark of life in a slowly stagnating sector of the automotive industry. This is the best iteration of the Cherokee Jeep has ever offered thus far, but it doesn’t come cheap. Our Grand Cherokee Overland came with an as-tested price of $43,845, roughly 2 grand more than its base price of $41,120.

Written by Roadfly Charlie

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.

One comment

  1. Just an important note – the 3.6 Pentastar engine does NOT allow towing up to 7,200 lbs. It is limited to 5,000 lbs.

    To tow up to 7,200 lbs you need to have the 5.7l V8 engine.

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