2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland
Luxury-like vehicle amenities are becoming evermore popular these days, with automakers putting more opulent cabins inside vehicles that, a decade ago, would have otherwise done well to have leather seats as an option. Small crossovers top that list.
Furthering the trend, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles just announced the addition of the Overland trim level on the 2016 Jeep Cherokee. Topping the range of trims that include Sport, Latitude, Limited, and Trailhawk, the Overland features a trim-exclusive exterior appearance and interior refinements. Of course being a Jeep, the Overland-equipped Cherokee can be optioned with 4WD, giving it respectable all-weather and moderate off-roading capabilities.
Beyond the cosmetic upgrades, the 2016 Cherokee Overland will feature the same drivetrain and suspension parts as the standard (non-TrailHawk) Cherokee. The MultiAir I-4, Pentastar V-6, and nine-speed transmission work well in this five-passenger crossover, so there’s no reason to change.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland.
Horsepower @ RPM:184
Torque @ RPM:171
0-60 time:8.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:115 mph (Est.)
Layout:Front Engine; FWD, 4WD
Aside from the Overland badge that graces the tailgate, spotting an Overland-trimmed Cherokee is most easily done by the body-colored fascia and trim, along with the chrome front grille rings and front chin. The body-colored trim includes the door cladding and wheel flairs. Trim-exclusive 18-inch bright alloy wheels match the upgraded chrome trim. HID bi-xenon headlights, otherwise and option on lesser trims, becomes standard equipment.
Optional on 4WD models is the Heavy Duty Protection package. It includes all the needed hardware fore tackling the unbeaten path. That means a full skid plate package protects the powertrain and undercarriage, while adding a full-size spare tire.
The Cherokee otherwise remains unchanged. Some complaints can still be heard about the unusual front grille design, though it has become more accepted over since the Cherokee’s introduction for the 2014 model year.
Jeep says much of the inspiration for the Cherokee Overland came from its big brother, the Grand Cherokee Overland. That’s easy to see upon closer inspection of the cabin. A wood-trimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel is present. The leather wrappings continue onto the instrument panel and all five seating positions. The front seats also get power operation with four-way lumbar support and heating and cooling functions. Berber floor mats and bright door sill plates, finish off the look.
Entertainment wise, FCA’s award-winning Uconnect system with its 8.4-inch touch screen inhabits the dashboard. The infotainment system includes Bluetooth, Navigation, HD Radio, SiriusXM, and a memory function for the driver’s seat radio presets, and exterior mirrors. The Overland trim also makes standard an Alpine Premium audio system, power liftgate, blind spot monitoring and rear crosspath detection, Parksense rear backup assist system, and the premium insulation group.
The Cherokee Overland can be had with either of the Cherokee’s available engines. Coming standard is the 2.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine that makes 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. Optionally, the 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 can be had. It produces 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to Jeep’s nine-speed automatic transmission.
While FWD is standard, those wanting better traction in bad weather or actually want to hit the trail with their Jeep will want the optional Active Drive II 4WD system. It includes a two-speed transfer case with both low and high ranges. When not locked in 4WD, the system automatically disconnects the rear axle for improved fuel economy.
The Jeep Cherokee is full of active and passive safety systems. On the active side, it comes with Forward Collision Warning-Plus, which can automatically apply the brakes should the driver fail to before a collision; Lane Departure Warning with LaneSense; available Adaptive Cruise Control with full Stop and Go abilities; Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist with ParkSense; Blind Spot Monitoring; and Cross Path Detection.
If a crash does happen, 10 standard airbags with a full-length side-curtain and thorax airbags help keep passengers safe. Automatic headlights and a backup camera help the driver stay out of trouble.
The 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland will go on sale in the spring of 2016 with a base MSRP of $34,495, plus a $995 destination fee. Adding options obviously raises the price.
Those options include the Heavy Duty Protection package, the V-6 engine, 4WD, and the nearly all-inclusive Technology Group. Check that box on the order form and you get advanced Brake Assist, auto high beam headlamp control, LaneSense Departure Warning Plus with Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Warning-Plus with crash mitigation, Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, ParkSense front and rear park assist with rear stop, rain sensitive windshield wipers, wireless charging pad, remote CD player, engine block heater and sunroof.
The Honda CR-V is a tough competitor to the Cherokee. It’s firmly entrenched in the market, having been selling for more than a few decades. The latest generation of CR-V, which debuted for the 2015 model year, grows in size and adds a touch of luxury. A highly functional interior with ergonomic controls and tons of storage space makes it a great choice for small families.
The CR-V’s 2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder provides plenty of power – 185 horsepower, to be exact, and 181 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a CVT transmission that helps it achieve up to 34 mpg on the highway in FWD form. The CR-V is also available in AWD for those who regularly tackle bad weather conditions. Unlike the Jeep, the CR-V isn’t nearly as trail-ready. Nevertheless, it’s a capable vehicle. Prices start at $23,595.
Read our full review on the Honda CR-V here.
The Toyota RAV4 is yet another stalwart in the compact crossover segment. Like the CR-V, the RAV4 has been around for decades and comes finely tuned after several generational changes. The latest change came in the 2014 model year, with a complete redesign inside and out. The engine, however, is the tried and true 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. A traditional six-speed automatic does the shifting, putting power down to the front wheels. AWD is an available option.
As with the CR-V, off-roading isn’t really the RAV4’s thing, though it will go anywhere the vast majority of crossover buyers would dare venture. Prices for the RAV4 start at $23,680.
Read out full review on the Toyota RAV4 here.
Jeep’s addition of the Overland trim helps elevate the Cherokee crossover into new territory. Those who would have otherwise counted the Cherokee out may now consider it thanks to the added luxuries and features. The range-topping trim also makes a slew of optional extras available for purchase not otherwise available on lesser models.
All told, the Cherokee Overland makes an excellent addition to the lineup and should help further sales of the already-popular crossover.