Scratching the surface: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
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Last week I scratched a press car. It happens from time to time, but it’s more of a thing “other” journalists do.
Members of the Driven team pride themselves on taking care of vehicles. Although, rest assured, we give them a good working over to report back in full.
The tricky part with a scratched press car is returning to the manufacturer. With cap in hand,
I returned Jeep’s incredibly rugged new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and my punishment was swift.
I was told to take the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland home for a week. Jeep is tough in many ways, beyond just on the trail.
The first part of my punishment was the full leather interior, with fully electric driver and passenger seats. Of course they were heated and vented to further chastise me.
In the back, not only did I have more than enough room for any adult passengers, those seats were also heated.
Fitting, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with 20-inch alloys was just as cruel, but again I deserved that.
Contrast the Overland’s street rubber, with the off-road shoes driven the week before on the Trailhawk, and the former’s steady superb handling was stepped up in the Overland, as to be expected.
The torture of experiencing a large luxury SUV with comfortable handling and limited body roll was a fitting punishment for my indiscretions off-road the week before.
Outside, the tow hooks of the Trailhawk have a shiny chrome coating and the Overland’s front grille glistens with the sun.
That glare hurt my eyes when I was at that level trying to get a photo. Another fair lashing I deserved.
There are other similarities with the Trailhawk, such as Jeep’s effective Adaptive Cruise Control, lane change and parking assist, plus both cars have the Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
But the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland goes one massive step further in fact, a step all the way to 5.7 litres of petrol V8 power.
Don’t get me wrong; the Trailhawk’s 3.1l V6 diesel has all the goods and more off the road. It’s also more than acceptable on-road, too; but if you want a luxury off-road vehicle at the top of its game, I suggest the V8.
As you recall, I am still on the naughty step and so being forced to drive a luxury SUV — with a V8 engine — was the final nail in the coffin.
I can handle driving luxury SUVs because I can always scoff at how delicate they will be off the road.
That is, until you add in a V8. Somehow the extra cred of driving with said engine offsets the fact that you just wouldn’t drive it off-road, although you could if you wanted to for some reason.
I found the reason in the recidivist off-roader that I am. Admittedly, the off-road jaunt was nowhere near the trail I exposed the Trailhawk to, but some river rocks and wet grass were of no concern to Jeep’s off-road gear.
Best of all there were no more scratches — maybe some mud to clean off, but that’s it.
The Overland is built for off-road, it has the Jeep badge and pedigree but you buy this vehicle to see it shine.
It’s absolute luxury and, with that V8 engine and its 550Nm torque, it will tow any boat or horse float.
Last week in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk I was encouraged to get it muddy, it’s a Jeep.
What makes it a bit tricky off-piste is when there is a Grand Cherokee badge on your Jeep. It’s supposed to be the nice one. But tack on Trailhawk, well, you feel justified going off-road.
So what do you do when they add on the title Overland? You sit back and enjoy some of the best you can get in the large luxury SUV market.
You can go off-road if you want, but I think this one looks better without the scratches.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
Engine: 5.7L V8
Transmission: Quadra-Drive II 4WD system 8-speed automatic transmission
Impressive handling for such a large SUV
Two simple words V and 8
It’s too nice to get muddy
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t thirsty.