American Icon: The 2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland 4X4

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland
The 2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland.
Okay, so the styling is still somewhat (!) controversial.  It's been four years since I saw the first one and the front end is still something I haven't warmed up to.  But the current-generation Jeep Cherokee is what it is and, Godzilla grille aside, it is the right car in the right segment at the right time.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland
2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland.
Funny how, even if you're not among those voting with your wallet, when mass tastes change, it can affect your view of things.  The Jeep Grand Cherokee, surrounded by compact SUVs, now seems a little big.  Odd, considering that five years ago, we looked at it in sea of Chevy Tahoes and considered it trim.

With bigger fish and smaller all around, the Cherokee now slots into "right-sized".  Its dimensions seem spot-on regardless of your opinion of the styling.  And there's been no small amount of effort put into refinement of the Cherokee, to the point that you'd be excused for thinking you were in the Grand Cherokee.

Of course, a chunk of that premium feel comes from the trim level, and our tester was the Overland.  $37,695 buys you the basics (3.2-liter V6 with nine-speed automatic, a combo that gets an EPA estimate of 18 city/26 highway) pus Bi-Xenon high intensity discharge headlamps, Selec Terrain all-wheel drive, hill start assist, an off-road suspension, a rear backup camera, ParkSense rear park assist system, blind spot and cross-path detection, the premium insulation group, keyless Enter-N-Go, electronic stability control, remote start, all-speed traction control, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, steering wheel (heated and partially wood) and shift knob,  a Uconnect nine-speaker audio system with HDRadio and XMSirius Satellite radio, integrated voice command, dual-zone climate control, memory for radio, driver's seat and exterior mirrors, heated and ventilated power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjust, premium Berber floor mats, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, LED daytime running headlamps and taillamps, body-colored fascias, a power liftgate and heated exterior mirrors.

Interior view of 2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland
2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland interior.
That level of standard equipment is such that our tester didn't need much in the way of options. It had three:  The Technology Group (Full speed collision warning with crash mitigation, parallel and perpendicular park assist, adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go, advanced brake assist, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, automatic high beam control and lane departure warning) for $1,645; the Heavy Duty Protection Group (a front suspension skid plate, fuel tank skid plate shield, transmission skid plate, underbody skid plate and a full-size spare tire) for $435; and the nine-speed automatic transmission with hill descent control and Jeep Active Drive II for $1,205.

With $995 destination charge, bottom line was $41,975.  Not cheap by any means, but good value for a well-equipped, right-size SUV that bears the Jeep nameplate and the off-road and foul-weather prowess that involves.

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