So we got a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

So we got a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

Few cars we test ever attract an obscene amount of attention from bystanders. But that’d require something like a Challenger or a CTS-V Coupe. So it may be a bit of a surprise that our 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee caused such a ruckus everywhere it was parked.

We then realised that most of the people peeking into the windows of this 4×4 are usually walking towards their own older Jeeps. Expectedly, they are all either Europeans or Levantine Arabs, and of all age groups, from young men to families and even their kids taking a look. Also expectedly, Indo-Asians don’t give it a look at all while heading towards their leaning Prados.

Our review could be very biased, considering how I own a 2002 version, but the truth is this new one is an extremely good vehicle. No one can argue that it is anything but attractive inside and out.

The interior features soft-touch upper trim everywhere, and even comes with a stitched leatherette dash on this Overland trim. It also features the UConnect multimedia-communications touchscreen system that works so well in all previous times we’ve tried it out. We’ve gotten used to Bluetooth-pairing phones using voice commands.

The spacious front seats offer power adjustability and ventilation fans, as well as engraved “Overland” logos on the leather.

After years of limited rear legroom, space in the back is finally as it should be in a midsize SUV, especially since the Grand Cherokee has grown in size thanks to its modified Mercedes-Benz ML-based platform. Those seat-backs can tilt backwards or fold flat too.

The lack of third-row seating also means cargo space is abundant. Nice touches include chrome rails on the floor, a cargo net and an electric-opening tailgate.

The GCC-spec Overland model gets its fair share of tech, with a rear DVD screen, HID headlights, navigation, height-adjustable suspension, keyless start, rear camera, terrain-select system and what not. Things like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, remote start, panoramic glass roof and pre-crash braking are all optional, though not fitted in our tester. One can even replace the 20-inch Overland alloys for basic 18-inch ones if extreme offroading is a concern.

This will be our most comprehensive road test yet. We’ve already driven variants of the 2011 Grand Cherokee in the desert before and it did the job just fine, even in basic trim. Offroading now in these winter months is not really a challenge, considering the firm wet sand.

We can also attest to the fact that our height-enhanced Grand Cherokee can tackle any of the watery jungles that are cropping up in Dubai’s neglected freehold districts.

More in the full review.

What do you think?



  1. Hahaha leaning Prado’s, nice one Mash.

  2. Just yesterday I saw a previous generation Grand Cherokee stuck in those very wet sand. Must be a douche bag. Anyway I like the way this car looks…

  3. Any idea when we can expect the SRT version of the new Jeep…!

  4. Correction: Also expectedly, Indo-Asians don’t give it a look at all while heading towards their ‘WHITE color’ leaning Prados

  5. For generations, this Jeep has proven that Japanese 4x4s are actually boring, handle poorly and are quite overrated. Jeeps are tough, good handling and durable 4x4s. Almost anyone who owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee will tell you its one of the finest SUVs they ever drove.. With exception for that 2005-2010 model they launched, it was a disgrace..
    The new one is awesome but its price tag is depressing..

  6. Jokes apart, I test drove this vehicle as well. Great offroader and a lot of improvement with the interior quality and finish when compared against the previous generation. Only one thing was the slight wobbly on road feel and the outdated sat nav.

    Prospective buyers should opt for the new saddle trim leather interior which looks gorgeous.

    • Author

      It’s more of a mild jitteriness than a wobble, due to the firmer suspension needed for the good handling. You’ll notice jitteriness in an X6 too. A Prado wobbles (until the KDSS steps in).

    • ^^and overcomes the wobble with a lean 😀 😀

  7. With the recent takeovers i guess a lot of input in all the Chrysler line up is from FIAT

  8. @GTMashyBoy ^^
    mmm… if by mild jitteriness you mean quick wobbles, then yes… and the same goes for the leaning prados which by the way has KDSS acive at all times & which is why it awkwardly leans to one side even in non-running condition … 😉

    Hope Toyota is reading all this and instead of cursing the crap out of us takes some action ;D .. lol

  9. Question: Whats Jeep’s approved wading depth with maximum height enhanced on the Grand?

  10. it is a nice car, but according to dodge-chrysler, they said developing a new transmission needs big investments and money so they went for the old 5 speed, I beleive any car now should have speed for comfortable highway cruising and reduced fuel consumption, also the engines are still carryover and I think they are underpowered from jeep and dodge in general (Example: The challenger 6.1 liter …. again 6.1 liter generates just over 400 bhp while the new mustange 5.0 generate 415 bhp). other than that, I liked the car and from the photos, the interior materials look very nice and high grade

  11. i really like this suv.i would prefer this to a prado anyday.

  12. i assume that the srt version is gonna be sick !!!

  13. The Fiat-Chrysler empire is going to build some monster SUV’s. 2012 is lined up for a Maserati SUV built on a this Jeep Grand Cherokee body with a Ferrari engine. It official….google 2012 Jeep Maserati SUV!

  14. not a bad one!!

    anyone has any first insights on doability in desert environment of the laredo and limited version (so the ones w/o the lift kit)?

  15. japanese cars r the best dont even compare this jeep or any american car for that matter to a toyota or any japanese car i think a suzuki suv is better if you buy a jeep today tommorrow itll breakdown or somthing will happen to it anyway american cars cant stand the heat of our gulf countries 🙂 good job indians and asians lol

  16. I am a new resident to UAE, and I had read the first test drive of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee which Mash had published in Drive Arabia. I have been reading the reviews of all the SUV’s in Drive Arabia for the last 3 months to make sure that I select the right vehicle when arriving in Dubai (reviews were a great help in making up my mind). Based upon Mash review I went straight to the Jeep dealer and took it for a test drive. Great drive and great vehicle! Mine will be arriving end Feb.

  17. thanks Mash!!!

    must have overseen that passage in your outline

  18. i don’t think there was any need for you to be racial in this. Indo Asians are smart as they think from a long term perspective and so choose japanese vehicles which are reliable( am sure anyone would agree with this).

    i suggest to keep race out of such reviews in future.

    • John, Mash isnt picking on any race, take a chill pill.

    • I don’t think he means to be racist, each group of population with certain thing in common would have preferences when choosing cars, it is good to know people well. Japanese well known for low cost maintenance and good resale value but the don’t pursue taste of certain people.

    • however lately, Indo-Asians are getting hit with their smartness and trust..Japanese being reliable and trustworthy enough is a chapter in the latest edition of CBSE’s history text books!..And add to it the fact that people pay stupid prices for such badges just because a ’90s Cruiser and early 2000s Prados run without problems – come on! Finally, when they get hit with brake problems, transmission problems, a/c problems and what not, they say “aah, something minor” and move on with the ever blind trust, calling it smartness (yeah right!). But if a Jeep has a blown tail lamp, they are still unreliable and horrible as hell just because they saw a 1990’s Jeep broken down on the highway! And if you are telling me that the Jap cars are cheap to maintain, then either you don’t visit the Jap car dealers or you haven’t owned a European or American vehicle during the past 4-5 years!

    • oh yes, I am an Indo-Asian by the way and no offence to anyone. Jus wanted to say that there was no racist thing involved in that comment..If my interpretations are right, it was just a very short way of saying that products from some well known Japanese badges are these days not any better, if not nowhere near, to what the Americans and Europeans have to offer.

  19. Vivek and Anil. I chose the 3.6 l V6 , Limited Edition (Nav and leather seats standard) with chrome package and paint protection (extras). Came to AED 166.000. I would recommend going to the Trading Enterprises website for the maintenance packages, however the vehicle comes with 5 year warranty cover. No free maintenance package.
    Laredo model (3.6 L V6): AED 139,500
    Limited (3.6 l V6): AED 149,000 (without extras)
    I didn’t enquire on V8 or Overlander models

    • Author

      Indeed, it looks like prices are a fair bit higher in Dubai than what was announced at the initial launch event.

  20. 140k start price, i go for prado…. re-sale is important..

    • Indeed it is, ask me, Im ‘Indo-Asian’ too. As much as I like this Jeep, in the end, Id like resale value too; Infact, I too may end up one day with a ‘NON-LEANING’ white prado and yeah, Im sure even my dad would say something like what Lucid added above. 😉

    • its a personal choice rather i feel..I myself would prefer a TX-L Prado over the Jeep GC Limited only because it can seat 7 and has a better engine. Reliability will be a concern though – but if Al Futtaim can provide unlimited warranty for 5 years and a service & maintenance contract for a good price until 120k kms, Prado should be fine. That said, if the price tag of the GC goes below 140, I’ll consider it over anything anyday!

  21. ^^^^

    fully agree. i m in the market for a 2nd 4×4 in a few months and seriously considered the GC, but looking at these new prices, i would also opt for a prado or even a LC/ patrol (aed 166k for a limited to too much and only 14k short of a patrol)!!

    let’s see whether they can maintain that sort of prcing strategy..

  22. Japanese cars have become overpriced and overrated.. Lets face the reality..

  23. ^

    also agree, but still. resale, quality, etc. are arguments that speak for them at least in this part of the world..

    • its upto you…want resale or the lean?? 😀 😀 and with those random electronics malfucntion happening with Toyotas over the world (including my personal experience), I wouldnt trust the Prado for it’s reliability and safety..If it had a Nissan badge, i would probably consider it!

  24. ^^^

    they solved the issue i understand.
    also, i would opt for the VX instead of the vx-L anyways i guess )simply prefer the wheel rearmounted)

  25. This jeep looks very nice, do they offer 5 years unlimited mileage warranty like toyota?

  26. are there any newer quotes on pricing? there seems to be quite a delta between the prices in AD and Dubai + what was assumed initially vs what is current reality..

    any updates especially on limited and overland versions?

  27. HI guys

    We most probably will be going in for a Limited

    Although holding back cause the engine problems

    Of the rumors that’s the grand cherokie is plagued with engine problems.
    Also does anyone know if special permission is required from the RTA to lift a 4wd

  28. I reside in Dubai, UAE and purchased this vehicle after reading reviews and watching several adverts about how the car performs well off-road. The truth – it cannot do well on major sand dunes. Around 10+ of these have had damaged radiator/condenser units after being driven offroad because of sudden jumps. Even the Overland model has had bad luck here. Thru insurance i got my radiator replaced, but weeks later overheating problems occured for which Jeep/Chrysler could not figure out why – so they changed the whole engine under warranty! Still didnt fix the issue! Later found that the coolant compartment was leaking! Apparently after replacing the engine, the service center technicians did not fix the coolant hoses correctly, as a result of which my engine temperature gauge would show 2 bars below “H”. The coolant temperature under System information on the Dashboard system would show 112-115 degrees celsius which is very high.

    Extremely poor reliability (in terms of off-roading) of this vehicle. Jeep UAE admits it shamelessly. You are better off with a Wrangler.

    Overall, great audio system in the Laredo model, great dashboard look, great on-road handling. Comfy seats. As long as this car is on road, it’s the best ride ever. Steering wheel is a bit hard to turn, but thats done so as to improve stability at high speeds.

    Suggested Improvements:- The Radiator/Condenser unit has been placed just behind the front bumper, exposing it to the ground, such that during offroading if the car were to jump and hit the ground, this would damage the condenser. The ride height of this vehicle is extremely low and the clearance not good enough. This is the major problem on this vehicle. Jeep UAE has asked Jeep USA as to why this has been built like this, and apparently this would only be fixed in the next model release!!

  29. See more information poping up, this is somehwat similar to what instructor and other jeep owners told, I almost convinced my wife to buy GC saying it’s a very good offroader + family vehicle and not to buy a Wrangler, but she insisted on buying wrangler after couple of offroad sessions, I am glad that we bought Wrangler, we are very happy with it. One of GC which broke down during offroad training refused to switch back to 4×4 mode, the instructor gave his Wrangler unlimited to GC owner and asked him to drive it, while he drove the GC in 2wd mode in desert, in the whole process of coming out from deep desert to normal road, he choose smaller dunes, took long roads where there were less humps and if GC got stuck we would use one of the Wranglers to tow it up, we kept doing this till we reached on road. Even the GC owner told he felt wrangler as so light and agile over desert and how we would love to switch to an unlimited version.

Browse archives

Share This