I was provided with a week long test drive of the Jeep Cherokee Overland featured in this post. This post has not been monetarily compensated. Please note that, as always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own.
I love to drive and test different vehicles. And I love a good surprise. I recently had the opportunity to test drive a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland for a week. I am pleased to say that it surprised me, and that I did enjoy driving it. Having never driven a Jeep before, somewhere in the back of my head there was a piece of me that sort of expected the feel of this vehicle to be that of a dune buggy. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
The 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland is a mid-size SUV. The vehicle comes standard with a 184 horsepower 2.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. An optional 271 horsepower 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is also available. The Overland is a front-wheel drive vehicle, with the Jeep Active Drive II 4-wheel drive system available as an option. The 4-wheel model is eligible for an optional heavy duty protection package, which includes a full size spare tire and a full skid plate package to protect the undercarriage and powertrain.
The Overland comes with a healthy number of safety features. The most notable of these include Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Lane Departure Warning with LaneSense, Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist with ParkSense, Cross Path Detection, and Blind Spot Monitoring. There are ten standard airbags including a full-length side-curtain.
The model of the Jeep Cherokee Overland that I drove was the color deep cherry red, with a brown and pearl interior. The exterior is curvy, sleek and sporty. The 18-inch alloy wheels really pop when you look at it from the side, giving it a strong appearance.
Open the driver’s door and you will see that the inside of the cabin has an appearance that is a combination of casual elegance and luxury mixed with sport and durability – a look that I really liked. The wood-trimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel felt sturdy. The leather material and attention to detail continued throughout the cabin, making an appearance on the instrument panel and all seats. The power front seats were very comfortable, having lumbar support as well as heating and cooling. The memory function for the driver’s seat, radio and mirrors will be especially appreciated by those families whose driving members share a vehicle.
Seating in the front was more than adequate. I had plenty of head, leg and stomach room. The driver has a view of all controls and buttons. The 8.4 inch touch screen in the dash gives the driver access to the Uconnect system. Here is where you will find access to the Alpine Premium audio system with SiriusXM satellite and HD radio, bluetooth communication, navigation and more. The large screen is also where footage from the backup camera appears. I really liked how the Uconnect system is set up. Everything was easy to see with the distinct colors and font. Menus and choices were easy to navigate, something I really appreciate since I am not one to rush to read the owner’s manual. As a music lover, sound quality is important to me. There aren’t many things more disappointing than a “top of the line” stereo system that sounds like it’s been sitting at the bottom of a bin in the $1 store for ten years. The Overland’s stereo system exceeded my hopes, providing a very full and robust sound that filled the cabin.
Able to hold up to five passengers, the second row of the Jeep Overland is of respectable size. My youngest, a small 17 year old, fit easily. My oldest, a 6 foot tall 20 year old, also fit. Everyone was happy to find a heating and air conditioning vent back there, as well as a power plug. The center of the 60/40 seat has an arm rest with cup holder built in.
The rear cargo space is easy to access courtesy of the power liftgate. The space is large enough to easily hold packages from a grocery run, day of errands or a power shopping trip at the mall. It would be able to hold a baby carriage or stroller, or even my Mom’s power scooter. If you need more room you can fold down the seats in the second row, which increases the cargo space quite a bit and enables you to stow longer items.
No matter what condition or type the road ahead was, Overland’s Selec-Terrain mode and bright HID bi-xenon headlamps lets you navigate them with ease. Located in the center console, the Selec-Terrain knob has four settings – Auto, Snow, Sport and Sand/Mud. The Selec-Terrain feature will optimize the 4×4 system and associated controllers to help provide you with the most suitable ride. I was very pleased with acceleration and found handling to be easy and effortless. The Jeep had a very smooth ride, with no substantial interference from the outside environment or road.
2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland has an MSRP starting at $34,695 for the 4×2 and $38,395 for the 4×4. It’s a very comfortable and competent ride that would be a solid choice for individuals, couples and families.