2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland 4X4 (1152)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland 4X4. I believe consumers attach themselves to a particular brand very early on in their lives. But many factors change how the car buyers move to other brands along the road. The cars they buy in their family years means they buy utility or convenience as they take care of responsibilities of children. A commuter, a family mini-van to shuttle the kids off to soccer or little league, and all the rest.

I’m guessing, like me, budget influenced your early decisions on what car to own and of course your need at the time.

But then when people get older they tend to become kids again and get back to their youth that so impressed them. They, necessarily, have a different motivation in later life. Consider that older generation who accumulate a stable of classic cars that impressed them early in their lives. One restored Chevy or Ford or Pontiac or whatever all the way to larger collections that were simply impossible in their youth.

Go to any car show, car night at drive-in restaurants, and the like and you find auto lovers proudly parading their cars with that gleam in their eyes remembering those Happy Days of youth. Then they return their show pieces to their garages, not so different from Jay Leno’s Garage which, of course, is extensive. Then they get into their daily driver for the usual, knowing they still have the exceptional parked for that next drive down memory lane.

Yes, to one extent or another many of us have an Automotive Love Affair for our own reasons. But surely it has little to do with ‘transportation’.

General Information: It is assembled in Toledo, Ohio, USA. Parts – US/Canadian 69%, Mexico 18% Engine and Transmission – USA; Classification is Small SUV. Cars from Jeep: Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Renegade & Wrangler.

Handling & Performance:

Outstanding … (not exceptional, but outstanding)

Styling:

Consummately Jeep.

Fit and Finish:

Very good. Jeep has been improving over the many years I have been driving them… and nearly all other cars made for human consumption.

Cost:

I’m wondering if there isn’t a good explanation for pricing in most segments of the market to be nearly identical. You might think there is price fixing going on, but my take on the reason for the closeness in pricing is that all cars today are made by way of CAD (computer aided design) systems. That leaves very little to chance in the creation to significant cost differentiation. Thus the only reason why some will be more competitive falls on how efficient the company is; how good the management is, how in touch with the consumer demand they are and of course how much advertising they do to communicate the value. Such matters are what make pricing variations possible for one company over another.

Conveniences and comfort:

Smart cruise is good on this Jeep, but I have tested cruise versions on other cars that operate more smoothly and seamlessly.

But Jeeps version does include a stop and start feature in traffic and that is very cool. You literally can set the speed and just monitor conditions while touching neither the brake or the gas pedal. It reduces stress for me and that is worth the price of admission (for me). That was one of the options that was on my test vehicle, and I always appreciate having the feature and miss it when the next car doesn’t have it.

Instrumentation and electronics generally are all very good and Bluetooth is super easy to set up.

Lane assist and blind spot detection are special and two of my favorites.

Consumer Recommendation:

Smart cruise included in the Technology Group should be considered. I believe it will one day soon be standard on all cars. It has many benefits and one of better utilizing the highway space. I’ll give the details in a future Opinion segment of the column.

Recognized Competition:

Jeep Cherokee Overland $39,000, Audi Q3 $40,000, Acura RDX $43,000, BMW X3 $40,000, Lexus NX $40,000, Land Rover Discovery Sport $47,000, Lincoln MKC $50,000, Mercedes Benz GLC $42,000, Volkswagen Tiguan $37,000, Volvo XC60 $39,000.

Good News:

Priced right for the standard features and affordable extra safety features, comfortable ride.

Bad News:

Only average fuel economy in class.

Standard Equipment:

3.2 literV6 engine with stop/start, 9-speed automatic transmission, front, side curtain front and rear and supplemental rear seat side airbags plus driver and passenger knee airbags, hill descent control, hill start assist, off road suspension, rear back up camera, parksense rear park assist system, blind spot and cross path detection, keyless enter and go passive entry, remote start system, traction control, stability control, 4-wheel ABS disc braks, leather wrapped shift knob and instrument panel, heated wood and leather wrapped steering wheel, Uconnect Nav and access, 7” color display, HD radio, SiriusXM satellite radio with 9-speakers, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, A/C dual zone climate control, power driver and passenger seats with power 4-way lumbar support, heated and ventillated front seats, 18” polished aluminum wheels, Bi-Xenon High intensity headlights, LED tail lamps, fog and cornering lightspower liftgate and heated power mirrors.

I recommend the ‘Technology Group’ that includes: forward collision warning with active braking, parallel and perpendicular park assist, adaptive (smart) cruise control with stop and go, advanced brake assist, rain sensing wipers, auto high beam headlights, lane sense lane departure warning with lane-keep assist. All this adds $1,495 to the MSRP. A bargain.

Gas Stats:

$2.85/ Gal avg. August 7, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

19 City 26 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $38,395.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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