Test Drive: 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8 car test drives reviews jeep
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Greg Wilson

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2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January is generating a lot of excitement because it will be available with a new optional diesel engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, plus some important new safety and technology features. But while it’s a step up from the current GC, it’s essentially a mid-cycle redesign that shares most of its underpinnings with the current Grand Cherokee. After all, it was only two and a half years ago that the Grand Cherokee underwent a major redesign using a platform shared with the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class SUV, a nice piece of German technology that Chrysler obtained while it was still part of DaimlerChrysler.

As we reported in our First Drive and Test Drive reports, the current Grand Cherokee is a comfortable and luxurious SUV that’s equally capable on and off-road, and for the price, seems like a better all-around value than many expensive luxury competitors from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

The 2013 Grand Cherokee lineup starts with the Laredo E ($36,295), Laredo X ($41,495), Limited ($45,595), Overland ($48,595), and the high-performance SRT ($53,945). Those prices are between three and five percent lower than last year and include a $2,500 discount that Jeep is currently offering on 2013 models. I wouldn’t be surprised to see steeper discounts on 2013 models as the 2014s arrive.

All but the SRT (formerly SRT8) come with a standard 290-hp ‘Pentastar’ 3.6L DOHC V6 and a five-speed automatic transmission, while all but the Laredo E and SRT can be had with the optional 360-hp 5.7L OHV V8 and a six-speed automatic. The SRT comes only with the outrageous 470-hp 6.4L OHV V8 Hemi engine mated to a heavy-duty five-speed automatic.

Test Drive: 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8 car test drives reviews jeep Test Drive: 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8 car test drives reviews jeep Test Drive: 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8 car test drives reviews jeep
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8. Click image to enlarge

Our test vehicle is a well-optioned Grand Cherokee Overland decked out in an attractive combination of Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat paint with a copper brown “New Saddle” leather interior, light burl walnut trim and subtle use of satin steel and chrome trim; it’s really quite a stunning exterior/interior colour combination.

Our tester was also equipped with $5,180 worth of options. The optional 5.7L V8 and six-speed automatic transmission package ($2,150) also includes more robust mechanical bits: a 220-amp alternator, heavy-duty engine cooling, Quadra-Drive II 4WD system, 230 mm rear axle, 3:45 rear axle ratio, electronic limited slip rear differential, Trailer Tow Group 4, heavy duty four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and dual chrome exhaust tips. Our test vehicle also had the Off-Road Adventure II package with Michelin P265/60R18-inch OWL all-season on/off-road tires (replacing the standard 20-inch tires), 18×8-inch aluminum polished wheels, front skid plate, fuel tank skid plate, transfer case skid plate, underbody skid plate, and tow hooks ($500); advanced warning & adaptive cruise control, blind spot and cross path detection, forward collision warning ($1,250); Mopar Chrome Edition Group: chrome tubular side steps, front and rear door entry guards ($1,085); and the deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat ($195).

Add to that a $1,595 Freight charge, a Federal green levy of $1,000, and $100 air conditioning tax, and the as-tested price came to $58,970.

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