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Overland model tops out lineup for Jeep Cherokee SUV

Overland model tops out lineup for Jeep Cherokee SUV

Overland model tops out lineup for Jeep Cherokee SUV
February 17
20:41 2017

Published 11:28 am, Friday, February 17, 2017

Just two years ago, Jeep brought back its iconic Cherokee SUV line, replacing the Liberty that had been on the market since 2002. Now there’s a new top-end version called the Overland.

The Overland with four-wheel drive is the most-expensive of the Cherokee lineup for 2017, with a base price of $37,695 (plus $995 freight), but there’s also a front-wheel-drive version that starts at $34,895. If you’re an off-road driving aficionado like me, though, you’ll definitely want to choose the four-wheel-drive version.

Jeep introduced the Overland model midway through the 2016 model year, and it carries over into 2017 with no changes except for two new options packages – the Heavy Duty Protection Group ($295), which adds underbody skid plates and a full-size spare tire; and a Trailer Tow Prep Package ($345), which brings a tow wiring harness, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, heavy-duty engine cooling (3.2-liter engine) and also a full-size spare.

Standard on all Cherokee models except the Overland four-wheel-drive is a 2.4-liter Tigershark Multi-Air inline four-cylinder engine, producing 184 horsepower and 171 foot-pounds of torque.

It’s connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission, and has EPA ratings of 21 mpg city/30 highway/25 combined for front-drive models, and 21/28/23 with the base Active Drive I four-wheel drive system.

Our Overland four-wheel-drive tester, however, came with the 3.2-liter V-6, which is in included in the base price. This engine is offered as an upgrade on all other models for an additional $1,745.

It cranks out 271 horsepower and 239 foot-pounds of torque. Also coupled with a nine-speed automatic, the 3.2 engine has fuel-economy ratings of 21/29/24 with front drive, and 18/26/21 when paired with the Overland’s Active Drive II four-wheel drive system.

There are two special off-road models called the Trailhawk ($31,195) and the Trailhawk L Plus ($35,195), which come with the best of the four-wheel-drive systems, including Active Drive Lock. No two-wheel-drive versions of the Trailhawk are available.

For 2017, high-intensity discharge headlights are now standard on all trim levels except the Sport. They were already included on the Overland.

Other key features of the Overland include Nappa leather seats (heated and ventilated in front); a leather-covered instrument panel, power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats with four-way power lumbar adjust; a special steering wheel with Zebrano high-gloss wood trim; bright doorsill plates; Berber floor mats; an Alpine premium audio system with 8.4-inch monitor, Bluetooth, Navigation, satellite/HD radio, SiriusXM Travel and Traffic, and Uconnect Access Advantage; and memory for the driver’s seat, radio and exterior mirrors.

There is a personalization feature for the 8.4-inch touch-screen controls, and a Do Not Disturb feature that keeps out phone calls and text messages with the push of a button.

The 3.2-liter engine has hybrid-style stop-start technology that automatically cuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop. It then automatically restarts when the driver’s foot is lifted off of the brake pedal. Unlike other vehicles’ stop-start systems, the Cherokee’s has a switch on the dash that lets the driver turn it off, mostly to accommodate off-road operation where you wouldn’t want the engine to stop automatically.

Standard are Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path Detection, and Rear Park Assist.

Inside, the Cherokee seats up to five. The middle rear position is a tight fit for adults, though, if the outer positions are also occupied by adults.

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