Jeep is taking the Cherokee compact crossover upscale with the new Overland package, which will be available in the spring.
Based on the same principle as the Grand Cherokee Overland, the package adds luxury features for a more premium feel and also adds in all of the off-road capability available in the Cherokee.
On the outside, the Overland is differentiated by a new lower front fascia with chrome accents, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, HID headlamps and the requisite “Overland” badge on the rear hatch.
Inside, the Cherokee’s interior is upgraded with a new wood-trimmed steering wheel, leather instrument cluster surround, and Nappa leather seats with heating and cooling. It also has the top-of-the-line Uconnect system and other convenience features like a power liftgate and driver’s aid options like blind spot monitoring and backup assist. Extra insulation keeps the interior quiet.
Along with the luxury appointments, Jeep added in all the off-road options available on the Cherokee line. Standard is the Active Drive II all-wheel-drive system that has a two-speed transfer unit, a low range and a disconnecting rear axle to improve fuel economy when all wheel drive isn’t needed.
The system also has a terrain selector switch that optimizes the system for snow, sport, or sand and mud. The Selec-Terrain, as it’s called, uses the car’s electronics to provide the best traction under different conditions.
The Cherokee Overland uses the same 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 and nine-speed automatic transmission as other Cherokees. The engine, one of the best V-6s on the planet, makes 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy numbers for the Overland weren’t released, but other V-6 Cherokees with Active Drive II are rated at 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined, so the Overland’s numbers should be close.
MSRP for the Cherokee Overland starts at $35,690 with destination included.
The Cherokee was always the most off-road-capable of all the compact crossovers, but with the new Overland package it competes well with the Land Rover Discovery Sport, another luxury compact crossover with real off-road capability. The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in the Disco makes slightly less horsepower and gets slightly better fuel economy, but the Brit is also more expensive. The base Discovery Sport SE starts at $37,445, but the options on the Overland make it closer to the mid-level HSE, which starts at $41,995.
Check out this TFLcar video of the Jeep Cherokee Overlander concept, not to be confused with the Overland package: