2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Review

A go-anywhere SUV with style

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Review

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has always been an appealing vehicle, offering buyers a unique blend of capability and comfort. The refreshed 2014 model elevates this nameplate to new heights with advanced technology, sleek design and luxury appointments, all without sacrificing off-road prowess.


1. A 3.6-liter V6 engine delivers 290 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

2. There’s also a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 available with 360 hp, a monstrous 6.4-liter with 470 hp and a diesel with 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.

3. A cutting-edge eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in every version of this vehicle and it’s a great asset that makes the most of every pony.

4. Base models cost about $30,000. The Overland 4×4 model we tested cost nearly 50 grand.

Unlike its domestic rivals Chrysler doesn’t have a dedicated luxury division. GM of course has Cadillac, a purveyor of high-end automobiles and Ford’s got Lincoln, an entity that ostensibly tries to be the same thing. But none of the Pentastar’s brands really compete with marques like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz or Audi.

That’s not to say the folks in Auburn Hills don’t build some sumptuous, top-shelf vehicles. One of the nicest in their entire stable is trail rated and wears a Jeep badge. Yes, the Grand Cherokee Overland 4×4 is a pure-bred premium sport utility vehicle that can bash rocks like an excavator in a granite quarry yet still take you and your spouse out for an elegant night at the opera. It’s the best of both worlds in one vehicle.


The Jeep Grand Cherokee received a noteworthy refresh for 2014. The vehicle gains new powertrain options, enhanced design and a raft of advanced driver-assistance technologies – things like Front Park Assist, Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control. These changes make an all ready solid product even more appealing.


The Grandest of Cherokees spans a broad swath of the market. The base two-wheel-drive Laredo starts at roughly $30,000. From there you can step up to a number of different trim levels. The Overland version sits at just about the top of the heap, right behind the fancy Summit and high-performance SRT models.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

The unit provided for AutoGuide’s evaluation jingled the cash-register bell at $49,185, including $995 in destination fees. The only option this vehicle came equipped with was the “Advanced Technology Group,” which cost an extra $1,995. This curiously named add-on gets you some of the nice features mentioned above including adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and blind-spot warning, among other things.


That’s all fine and dandy, but this vehicle’s standard equipment is even more enticing. It’s literally equipped with a laundry list of features, as any vehicle with a 50-grand price tag ought to. It’s got things like heated front AND second-row seats, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, Chrysler’s Uconnnect 8.4 infotainment and navigation system, 20-inch alloy wheels, a power lift-gate and much, much more.


One of the Grand Cherokee’s most appealing features is its cabin, which is lavishly trimmed. The dashboard and door panels are covered in smooth, stitched leather while the seats feature perforated cow hides with contrast piping. There’s also beautiful wood trim that you could say spruces things up. Quality abounds from the fit and finish to the materials to the way everything functions. It’s all very well done and worthy of a luxury car.


The back seat is also quite accommodating with comfortably angled cushions and plenty of headroom. There’s also ample cargo space, nearly 69 cubic feet behind the front seats; more than 36 behind the back bench. The luggage area is even elegantly trimmed with neat metal spears on the floor, carpeted trim on the side panels and hidden storage cubbies.

There were only two things I didn’t care for in the Grand Cherokee’s beautifully crafted interior. One is the shifter, which is a bit too fiddly for my liking. It isn’t always obvious which gear you’re putting the vehicle in. Sometimes I’d want reverse and it would go into park instead.

My other complaint has to do with the seat heaters. Even on “High” I found them to be ineffective.


Several different engines are available behind this Jeep’s smiling grille. The Overland we sampled featured Chrysler’s renowned Pentastar V6. Clocking in at 3.6-liters it delivers 290 hp with 260 lb-ft of torque, but what’s even more impressive than the raw numbers is how smooth it is. This engine is highly refined and feels like a more powerful version of Toyota’s 2GR-FE V6.


This powerplant is matched to a bleeding-edge eight-speed automatic transmission, with one ratio for every day of the week… and then some. In practice this drivetrain combination is mostly well-sorted and the cog-crate squeezes every drop out of the Pentastar engine, which needs to build revs in order to haul the portly Grand Cherokee around.

If a V8 is more your thing you can opt for a 5.7-liter HEMI or a 6.4-liter bruiser in the SRT model. The latter option has 470 hp and nearly as much twist.

But that’s not all! The dark-horse option is a 3.0-liter compression-ignition V6. Chrysler’s EcoDiesel puts out 240 ponies, 420 lb-ft of torque and delivers up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway!


The Overland we’ve been sampling isn’t nearly that economical. It stickers at a still-respectable 24 mpg on the interstate and 17 around town. Combined it ought to hit 19 miles per gallon.


In day-to-day usage the Grand Cherokee provides an on-road experience that’s nearly as nice as its interior. The powertrain combination is great, delivering a smooth, quiet and responsive drive. The transmission makes the most of the engine’s output.

Acceleration is a little soft off the line – this isn’t a big-block Mopar after all – but once you get the tachometer needle pointed upward the pace quickens noticeably.

With eight ratios in the stack there’s plenty to choose from, and with the paddle shifters you can drop four cogs and still have four more to go! There are almost as many choices as you get at a Chinese buffet.

Like many of Chrysler’s other recent vehicles this Jeep is solid. It feels super rigid, almost like an ingot of some really hard metal, tungsten perhaps? That solidity benefits the Grand Cherokee in a number of ways, from improving its dynamics and eliminating squeaks and rattles, to keeping it from shaking apart as it traverses rutted two-tracks in the back woods.


This Overland was equipped with Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive system, an active, full-time technology that can transfer up to 100 percent of the engine’s torque to either the front or rear axle. Additionally it’s got a dedicated low range for serious mudslinging and an available adjustable air suspension. It can rise up for more ground clearance and drop own for easy entry and exit as well as less wind resistance at highway speeds.


Beyond these advanced technologies the Grand Cherokee was also equipped with the company’s Select-Terrain system, which gives you five separate driving modes for all kinds of situations (sand, mud, auto, snow and rock). It’s controlled by a knob on the center console behind the gear shifter. This technology adjusts the vehicle’s torque output, wheel spin, ride height and other factors for different conditions.


The 2014 Grand Cherokee Overland 4×4 is not merely a great SUV, but an excellent vehicle. It can bash rocks off its underbody and still coddle passengers with leather seats and a premium sound system. It offers a wide range of engine options and even the base powerplant is superb.

The not-insignificant update this vehicle received for the 2014 model year has improved the breed in numerous ways, and that’s always a good thing. Chrysler may not have a luxury division of its own, but the Grand Cherokee is practically worthy of becoming its own brand. In high trim, like the Overland, it’s a luxury vehicle par excellence.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked