sFtbF8lz 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 3
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 3

Jeep Grand Cherokee: Less is more

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 8

What is it?

Who’d have thought?

After years of mixing it with off-road heavy hitters, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has taken on a certain charm, with the latest Overland version making a play to join the SUV aristocracy.

There are three grades and all are powered by a single petrol V6 engine.

The opening pair are all-wheel drive, with coil springs, while our test vehicle the Overland has a low range transfer case and height adjustable air suspension.

In comparison, the previous Cherokee roster included hi-spec Summit and S-Overland variants, with a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, and set back buyers around $85,000, plus on-roads — $10,000 less than the petrol new comer.

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 2

What’s it cost?

With its new-found power to please and attract, the five-seat Aussie version is represented by a new order of three grades – Night Eagle ($77,950), Limited ($83,950) and Overland ($98,450), all before on-road costs.

Two cost options now include a Luxury Tech Group ($4500) and Off Road Group ($2750), pushing the price over a hundred grand.

The test vehicle boasted the luxury pack.

Following on from its big brother Grand Cherokee L, the WL Grand Cherokee is around 300mm shorter, with a 128mm shorter wheelbase, and in looks is more SUV than Jeep 4×4.

With this modern, upmarket move, however, the newbie refuses to let go completely of its Jeep roots, with the company’s trademark seven-slot radiator grille up front.

Twin-pane panoramic sunroof and 20-inch alloy wheels add appeal both inside and out.

A 10.5-inch screen with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, plus nine-speaker Alpine sound system and satellite navigation, are among standard Overland features.

Jeepish by nature, small buttons on the back of the steering wheel, once discovered, are handy for digital radio control, mini paddle gear-shifters there not so convenient. 

Power access comes via twin USB-A and USB-C points, as well as a 12V outlet and wireless charging pad up front.

The second row includes air vents and power outlets.

Jeep’s Uconnect Services, via a paired smartphone, allows users remotely to lock and unlock the vehicle, send navigation destinations to the car, and check vehicle status for things like fuel level, tyre pressure, along with alerts for possible break-ins.

The five-seat petrol models have earned a four-star ANCAP rating, as opposed to the seven-seater’s five-star, due to a problem with the performance of the rear seat belts.

Standard systems include active emergency braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning with active lane keeping, advanced brake assist, front and rear parking sensors and 360-degree camera view.

A word about lane departure warning: there seems to be little consistency in its workings, the beeps come thick and fast or not at all, under pretty much identical driving conditions.

Artificial intelligence, indeed. 

As far as customer care is concerned, the so-called ‘Jeep Wave Commitment’ includes capped servicing, 5-year/100,000km warranty and lifetime roadside assistance, providing the regular service schedule at a Jeep dealer is adhered to.  

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 1

What’s it go like?

With the trim body comes five seats instead of seven, with top-notch Nappa leather cladding, a big twin-pane sunroof opening up the cabin, and LED ambient lighting to set the tone at night.

There’s more room (1067 litres to the roof), too, to accommodate the better class of cargo (luggage).

This is upped to 2005 litres with the rear seat backs folded.

The space includes a 12V power outlet, four tie-down points, and a full-size spare wheel nestled under the floor.

As mentioned above, the test vehicle was also blessed with $4500 worth of the Luxury Tech Group extras, including front seats that are 12-way power adjustable, with memory and massage function, there’s four-zone climate control and second-row ventilated outboard seats and window shades.

Up front a digital rear-view mirror is augmented by a wireless charging pad.

Unlike the previous Grand Cherokee – with optional turbo-diesel or V8 power – the new WL range is limited to a single 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine producing 210kW of power and 344Nm of torque, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The accelerator pedal needs some concentrated attention, with the car being a bit skittish from the get-go, especially on inclines with ragged surfaces.

Conversely, with peak torque not coming up until 4000 rpm, it’s not surprising the new Grand Cherokee Overland feels short on performance on the bitumen.  

On road, the Grand Cherokee Overland is said to be capable of fuel consumption of 9.9L/100km on the combined urban/highway cycle.

Our test vehicle averaged more than 13.0L/100km around town and 7.6 on a motorway dash.

Off road, the SUV takes advantage of Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II Active 4×4 System with Selec-Terrain, low-range transfer case and Quadra Lift air suspension.

For an extra $2750 the Off Road Group adds 230mm rear axle, electronic limited-slip differential, Trail Rated badge, 265/60 R18 Goodyear all-terrain tyres, 18-inch polished/painted alloy wheels.

It also includes fuel tank/transfer case/front suspension skid plate, which is good enough to earn the company’s trail rating won over the Rubicon Trail in Nevada, one of the most testing off-road challenges in the US. 

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 6

What we like?

  • Sharp looks
  • Top-notch nappa leather
  • More interior space
  • Air suspension

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 7

What we don’t like?

  • More expensive
  • No diesel option
  • Only four stars for safety
  • Inconsistent lane assist
  • Lower grades lack low range

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 5

The bottom line?

The new Grand Cherokee Overland won’t be every rusted-on Jeep fan’s favourite.

But could attract the attention of a more discerning soft-road adventurer.

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4


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Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, priced from $98,450
  • Looks - 8/10
  • Performance - 6/10
  • Safety - 7/10
  • Thirst - 5/10
  • Practicality - 8/10
  • Comfort - 7/10
  • Tech - 8/10
  • Value - 5/10

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