There are SUVs are then there are Jeeps, the truck brand that started it all. My heart lies with the fun little Wrangler but my aging backside has a soft spot for the luxurious Grand Cherokee. My passengers prefer it but they love a pampering, and this Overland is a rolling spa.
Double-click the key fob and you ignite this Jeep from at least 15 metres away — aka inside the warm house. It’s a welcome indulgence on cold mornings, of which we’ve had many this past month.
A running, warming luxury truck without passengers in the middle of the city?
It can’t be stolen because the doors remain locked until the driver, who must have the aforementioned fob on his person, arrives. Then he actually has to start the truck again, foot on brake, before it can shift into drive.
So Toronto’s cops are safe.
Inside, the seats are heated as you’d expected at this price range, but so’s the steering wheel. You also get used to this quickly — especially after a day of skiing.
Yes, take any Jeep outside of the city if you’re considering a purchase.
The SelecTerrain system dial lets you report outer driving conditions to the car’s computer. From auto, you can switch to snow, mud, rock and sand. We used snow quite a lot and even in iciest conditions rarely saw the slippery icon light up the panel. Indeed, on a steep icy slope, where we ascended others ass-ended.
It’s hefty but has plenty of guts.
The V8 engine drinks like a Russian frat boy in Vegas, but one that’s in really good shape: 15.7 L/100km in the city; 10.6 highway. It costs $1,900 extra — the model comes standard with a V6 – and whether it’s worth your investment depends on how heavy your payload is and how nimble you like to be in traffic. Despite this beast’s girth, it’s remarkably agile, thanks to the power: the kick of a Kenyan runner in the body of an East German weight lifter.
I only mention that because I also got some time with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, whose largest difference is its V6 engine. It’s a similar ride but we’ll talk about that soon in another piece.