Our Cars

Week 1 – Jeep Grand Cherokee Long-Term Test

Isaac Bober welcomes the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland to the Practical Motoring garage.

Car: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
Date arrived: January 13, 2014
Price: $71,000 (+ORC)
Extras: None
Delivery kilometres: 9052km
Current kilometres: 10,252km
Fuel consumption: 7.5L/100km (combined – claimed); 7.4L/100km (as tested)
Service costs: Nil

LAST WEEK THE COUNTRY WAS SWELTERING and this week we’re drowning. The weather really has gone mad. But it was the perfect time to collect our long-term Jeep Grand Cherokee as it received an instant baptism of fire.

Unlike our i30 SR, which we’ve purchased and will be on-fleet for years to come, the Grand Cherokee Overland will be with us for just two months. But, don’t go turning up your nose just yet, thinking that’s nowhere near long enough to properly get to grips with the thing

You see, the Grand Cherokee Overland arrived on-fleet already having travelled 9000-hard-journo-driven kilometres. And, given we’ll be putting around 1000km per week onto the odometer, the thing will have travelled well over 18,000km by the time it goes back to Jeep.

So, why the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland? Well, it’s one thing to drive around in one for a week and give you a quick-fire appraisal, and something else to live with it day in, day out for an extended period. Indeed, more than 1200km have already passed beneath the wheels since we collected it last week week.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is an award winner, recently walking away with a four-wheel drive of the year title … big call? We’ll let you know, and soon. Because we’ve only got a limited amount of time with the Grand Cherokee we’re going to cram as much into the time we’ve got it as we can.

The big, black Grand Cherokee will be pounding the highway between home and the office everyday and, on weekends, will be used to ferry the kids around, it’ll be going bush next week to see just how good it is when the going gets rough, and it’ll just generally take over from our usual family hack. Do let us know if there’s something specific you’d like us to test (leave a comment below).

A couple of snippets about our Grand Cherokee – I’ll touch on initial thoughts about handling in the next instalment – The Overland runs a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 that makes 184kW at 4000rpm and 570Nm (a 20Nm increase) of torque at a just-off-idle 2000rpm. Fuel consumption is a combined 7.5L/100km and in my week of driving I managed to get my average down to just 7.4L/100km, but I reckon I can better that over time.

As you probably can’t see, this new Jeep Grand Cherokee (although a new Grand Cherokee is on its way Down Under and, to my eyes, it’s plain ugly) features a shorter, more muscular looking seven-slot grille, slimmer more premium-looking headlights, and an elevated front fascia, while the fog lights are more pronounced.

At the back, the Grand Cherokee features larger tail-lights with LED lighting, a larger and, according to the engineers, more aerodynamic rear spoiler, new bumpers and a re-sculpted tail-gate. The boot offers 782 litres of space, fold the rear seats and this grows to 1554 litres.

The Overland gets a heap of gear for its $71,000 (+ORC), including leather seats; power eight-way adjustable passenger and driver seats; heated front and rear seats; ventilated front seats; auto dual-zone climate-control air-con; seven-inch touch screen display; 8.4-inch smartouch with sat-nav and a Alpine sound system with nine speakers.

Next Week: I’ll look at fitting child seats to the Grand Cherokee Overland and will take it for a quick spin off-road.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober