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Mike West Road Test: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 Overland

Mike West, CBS Seattle
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Jeep has been building vehicles since 1948, it says so right on the steering wheel! Cherokees have been around for more than two decades. You are looking at the best Cherokee ever. And now you have more choices than ever including six different models, starting with the least expensive Laredo and ending with the SRT. I drove the Overland version with the 5.7-liter V8.

Sorry 2013 owners, but the New Year means a much improved and refined vehicle. For starters, the gearbox is now a sweet eight-speed transmission. Three more gears than the previous model. Also updated, the four-wheel drive system. I never got a chance to put this very capable Jeep through it’s paces, as in off-roading, but most buyers of a Jeep will only experience mud, by going through a puddle on city streets.

Also new, or refreshed, the front end, look at the little Jeep imbedded in the lens of the headlamps. Also new are these classy looking taillights.

The Cherokee looks great and it is very well bolted together. No rattles, no squeaks.

The interior is stunning. It’s nicer than a lot of expensive luxury cars.

This is a great feeling updated steering wheel chalked full of fingertip controls that are very intuitive. And for shifting on the fly, some nice paddle shifters.

This is a huge infotainment screen. 8.4-inches of entertainment and information. The Uconnect Access system is one of the best on the market. And again, very easy to operate, including the Garmin navigation system.

The entire dashboard with it’s electronic display, similar, but better than the Dodge Dart is customizable. The only thing that was a little off was the color of the orange LCD needle compared the real things on the left and right. The only other nitpick with the electronics is how you have to go through extra steps for stuff like the seat heaters or seat ventilators, Not to mention a very toasty steering wheel heater option.

I can only speak for the front seats, but they are very comfortable and supportive in every way. The leather looked and felt thick and well constructed. The rear seats are also available with heaters. Nice touch.

Now here’s the downside. Gas isn’t getting any cheaper. This V-8 is a guzzler.

The six-gas version is obviously more fuel efficient, and then there’s the diesel that I hope to drive in the near future.

This is not an inexpensive vehicle. If you go for this tricked out Overland, it will set you back over $46,000.00. But you do get a lot of off-road bang for the buck.

The Chrysler group has really upped their game with this updated Jeep Cherokee. It’s solid, drives great, looks good and if you are inclined, this thing is very capable off-road. A fantastic vehicle from the crew at Jeep. 

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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