Picture taken while in Louisiana on the Golf Coast during the road trip back home
Picture taken outside Hannibal Missouri overlooking the Mississippi River Basin during the road trip back home
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ecodiesel Review
After a 1650 mile trip, here is my review on our new 2014 Ecodiesel Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with ORII and the advanced tech package.
My wife and I flew to Houston Texas, and Brainstormer and his son picked us up and took us to the hotel. The first thing in the morning, we picked up the Jeep. We were only at the dealer for just over an hour, and the transaction went smoothly. After that, we were on our way. We took a road trip from Houston to New Orleans. The next day, we drove up to St Louis, and on the last day, drove back up to Lakeville Minnesota. It was a long journey, but I can’t imagine a better vehicle to drive for the trip.
At the dealer, I did not get the $500 discount, but my dealer was able to arrange 3 free oil changes that I can get at any jeep dealer. The urea tank was filled, and the only thing I noted wrong was the rubber seals around the windows were not folded in, but that was a quick fix. The dealer paid for a diesel fill up since we were from out of state. He also threw in slush mats, but since I already had the Husky mats, I talked him into changing them to mats for my wife’s 07 Wrangler. The Jeep was well prepped, and was ready to go. It was a seamless transaction at the dealer
Dealer rating 10/10.
I filled the tank 3 times during the trip. I filled when the tank was around ¼ full, but still showed a range of about 200 miles left. I fueled up out of habit of fueling when I am down to a quarter tank, but I will change my practice, as my old Jeep only had a 200 mile range when it was full.
For the first partial tank of fuel, the I varied the speed for a break in period. Driving about 450 miles, the EVIC showed 29.4 mpg with an actual 28.07 mpg. I made it from Houston to New Orleans with EVIC showing 30 mpg, but that slightly dropped when I actually filled for the second time.
On the second fill, EVIC showed 28.2 mpg, with an actual of 28.63 mpg
The third fill EVIC showed 29.4 mpg with an actual of 28.13 mpg.
Interior: Design is great. Love the fit and finish. Only things missing are a side upper latch in the rear for a cargo net to go along the side in back, and spots up front to put change and other small items. Everything is placed for easy access and I am very impressed with the overall interior. Heated wheel is quick to heat. Rating 9.5/10
Seating/comfort: The seats do not hug me like the ones in my 2004, and it seems more like you sit on top of the seats rather than in the seats. After driving 1650 miles in 72 hours, I can honestly say these are the most comfortable seats I have ever had. Heated seats heat quickly. Vented seats cool quickly - much faster than I thought they would. Rating 10/10
Exterior: Nice looking, great paint job (after 2000 coats, it should be). Everything fits well, with a very very slight bulge in the rear lift handle – so small that I don’t know if I will even pursue having it fixed. Sharp looking Jeep. Only flaws noted were the rubber seals on the sided of the door. Half hung over, and half tucked in. Not sure which way is correct, but wound up tucking them all in. Everything, including the seams in the rear lights are aligned correctly. Rating 9.5/10
Lighting: Interior lighting is really nice. Love the way every button and feature is highlighted. Ambient lighting with the overland is really nice, and helps find things in the dark. Exterior lights are great too. Puddle lights are a nice feature, and I love the daytime running lights. The headlights are incredible. The self leveling is very impressive, and you will notice when you start your car first thing in the garage. Also, watch where your headlights land on a car in front of you at a stop – very definitive cutoff line. 1650 miles, and not a single person flashed me. Used the auto high beams, and they are very accurate. I did notice condensation in the headlights, and it does go away. It comes back, but will go away again. Rating 10/10
Engine/Turbo/Torque/Transmission: Incredible power and torque. Diesel clatter is less than I thought, till I got to a colder climate, then it increases, but I love that sound. The clatter then decreased as the Jeep warmed up. Turbo lag is present, but is minimal. The difference between Eco mode and regular mode is minimal – slightly better with the eco off, but not enough for me to keep the eco off. I will be driving with the eco mode on. Takes a little time to get used to driving with the turbo lag, but once mastered, it is a pleasure to drive. This thing will smoke the tires. Transmission is smooth as silk. You can’t even tell when this thing shifts – very seamless. Tried the sport mode, and it is more responsive, but you do notice the transmission shifts more, and the engine definitely revs higher in this mode. I also used the paddle shifters. They are fun to use, but I don’t think I will use them often. The only time I could see using them is to down shift when going up a hill while towing. Even then, this thing has so much torque, I don’t think it will drop speed going up hills. Rating 10/10
Select Trac/Air Suspension/Hill Descent: I took the Jeep on an easy off road trail when we were by Hannibal MO, overlooking the Mississippi River. The select trac was easy to use, and the shifting from 4 high to 4 low was quick and easy. Air suspension works well, and gives a very smooth ride. Takes a minute to raise and lower, and noticed a smoother ride when going off road. The hill descent control was cool, and took me down a very steep hill with no problem. Almost seemed too slow, but increased the speed with the paddle shifters. The whole system worked very well. Slight groaning and noise when starting down the steep hill, but the sound quickly abated. Rating 10/10
Adaptive Cruise/Adv Tech: This is something I was not sure I wanted, but is by far one of the most used and neatest features on the Jeep. The adaptive cruise with stop is amazing. Try it, and you will be hooked. The blind spot monitoring is nice, and helps since this has bigger side pillars than my last Jeep. The forward collision warning is nice too. Was looking down once at the Uconnect for a little too long, when the car in front of me slammed their brakes on. All of a sudden, I heard a very loud chime. I was able to react and brake before the Jeep needed to take action. It did stop a possible accident – it also reminded me to keep my eye on the road, and off the Uconnect. Rating 10/10
Driving/Handling: This thing has great maneuverability and is very smooth both on and off road. Smooth steering, and drives more like a sports car than a SUV. Slight shimmy noted above 70 mph, but no rhyme or reason. Some roads having a shimmy, some roads smooth. The one thing I noticed was no shimmy, then I got off the road to gas up. Upon getting back on the same road 5 minutes later, the shimmy came back, but lessened in a short time. I would rate this 10/10 except for the shimmy. Rating 9.5/10
Uconnect: What can I say. This is by far the most advanced system on the market. This thing can do almost anything. Just when you think you found every feature, you find a new one. You go through the settings screen, and set everything up. Then you are on another screen, and find another setting screen with different features. Navigation is very accurate, and has nice features. During the long trip, it found road work and re-routed us several times to save time. Controls are very easy to find, and are right at your fingertips. The only thing wrong with this is you will find yourself staring at it when your eyes should be on the road. Rating 10/10
Sound System: Decent sound system on the Overland, but I think the system in my 2004 Grand Cherokee is better. Sound distorts at higher levels. Jeep could have done better in this area. Radio and ipod sound are much better than the satellite radio. This system should have more than a 3 band equalizer. Rating 8/10
Fuel/Urea: Gas mileage is incredible. Often find myself well over 30 mpg, but then it drops when stuck in heavy traffic, or driving over 70 mph. Fueling up was no problem with the cap-less filler. Just have to consciously look to make sure I am putting in diesel, and need to break the old gas habit. Slight smell when driving, and it does decrease with time. However, when driving hard, you still may get whiffs of the smell, even after 1650 miles. I joke and say cat piss smell, but it is not that bad. It is just a smell that you will realize, but it will not offend you. Rating would be a 10/10 except for the smell. Rating 9.5/10
Overall Impression: When I decided I wanted this vehicle over a year ago, I knew I was taking a chance on something sight unseen. When I ordered on August 9th, I was nervous about buying a 50K vehicle without so much as a test drive. I have owned numerous Jeeps over the years, and have not been disappointed before, so I put a lot of stock in that. When I took delivery, sat in the drivers seat, buckled up, and hit the road, it did not take long for me to realize I made the right decisions. It took less than a minute to have a big grin on my face, and 1650 miles and 72 hours later, the grin is still there. This is a big hit for Jeep, and I highly recommend this Jeep to others.
Only a few small things that were wrong, or not designed as I would like, but they are minor at best.
I put a lot of thought into this review, and tried to be as honest as possible. I tried to hit every system I used, and I tried to use all the systems so I could give an accurate review. I really hope this review helps you, especially if you were undecided on getting one.
OVERALL RATING: 9.75/10 (only a Lamborghini and Ferrari get a 10
I’m off to play with the new Jeep.