Brand new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland is a plush clay crawler

Street love, or “car jealousy”, is for real. No one who spends $ 54,995 ($ 67,210 loaded in this case) on a vehicle does so inadvertently slipping into town and on its street.

So it was a bit sad that my brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee test Overland 2021 did not get any compliments during this week’s test – not on the road, not in parking lots and not in my driveway. By the way, what do they know? We can not all be a McLaren.

But that does not mean that it is not a great machine and a plush but robust alternative to its rivals Blazer, Murano, Santa Fe, 4Runner, Edge and even Land Rover.

It’s a feeling you want in a new car – it’s not like anyone else’s. It’s here. What this is is a beautiful family car – it has seven seats – that can be turned into a roaring, water-filling, rock-climbing off-road car with the switch. I only walked about 1/4 mile in and out of a forest on a “road” that seemed to have endured an avalanche recently, but that was enough to test the new Cherokee’s ability.

The vehicle also makes it very easy with the Jeeps Selec-Terrain. It allows the driver to electronically coordinate up to six different powertrains, 4×4 torque division, braking and handling, steering and suspension systems including throttle, transmission, transmission and traction control, stability control, anti-lock braking system (ABS) and steering feel. When you think about what jeeps were like 20 years ago, this is phenomenal.

The Selec Terrain System offers five available terrain modes (Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud / Sand) to provide optimized calibrations for each given driving scenario. Think about your shoes if you walked over rocks, snow or sand. This way, Jeep puts on the shoes for you.

“Hill-descent Control” allows drivers to control the Grand Cherokee L’s speed down steep, rugged slopes with electronic paddle changers as standard on all models, without the need for accelerator or brake pedals. Hill-descent Control is standard on Overland and Summit models and works both forwards and backwards.

Equipped with the available terrain group, the Trail Rated Overland 4×4 model benefits from class-leading traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and improved water demand (up to 24 inches). Off-Road Group also includes slip plates in high-strength steel, electronic rear axle with limited slip differential, 18-inch aluminum rims and robust tires with performance for the entire season.

But the Cherokee L Overland, it must be remembered, is primarily a means of transportation, probably for the family, and this is where we also need to focus our attention. How did it go?

APPEARANCE: We’ve already been through this. I happen to think it’s a great ride, even though the public did not seem to share my enthusiasm. It is a bit difficult to find in parking lots due to a somewhat generic body. But it looks real and when you are inside you feel safe. If I had one, I would probably paint it wild so I could find it in parking lots.

INTERIOR: As plush as they come, with buttery seats and a limousine-like feel.

The center console is, however, how nice it is, absurd light at night. There must be a way to mute it, but it was not obvious after a careful click-click-click on all available icons and no one felt to look in the manual, so we just put a cloth over it. I hate gear wheels, so that’s it. Give me a stalk, please.

MANAGEMENT: Cherokee did well in cornering and overall handling on the road, neither too fast nor for them. So it was a total pleasure to roll into curvy roads or parking lots. I loved driving and was looking forward to some reason to go somewhere.

ACCELERATION: Outstanding – at a price. The Cherokee gets a gulpy 14 miles to the gallon into town, 22 on the highway. Buyers can choose between two powerful, fuel-efficient and refined engines. You have a standard all-aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, rated at 290 horsepower and 257 lb.-ft. of torque. A seven-time winner of the Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems award, the Pentastar V-6 engine is compact, with features such as exhaust manifolds integrated in the cylinder heads. My ride had a 5.7 liter V8 Hemi. We steered at a green light and when we passed on the highway.

There is more, so much more. But despite the steaks, this was and is a fantastic ride, worth a tire kick.

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