The 5.7-liter, 330-horsepower Hemi that powers the 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland sounds like a tree hugger's nightmare. But fear not, because this engine employs the Multiple Displacement System, meaning it shuts down half its cylinders in situations (such as highway cruising between 40 and 60 mph) where running on half-power is sufficient.
The Grand Cherokee achieved 5 stars in NHTSA's series of crash tests, but what's in there that makes it such a safe set of wheels? Aside from its suibstantial structure, there are driver and passenger air bags and side-curtain air bags as well as knee bolsters to protect occupants in a collision. The front air bags are the multi-stage variety, meaning that they sense the collision's severity and inflate to the appropriate degree.
But then, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is there to see to it that you avoid the collision in the first place. It consists of traction control, brake assist, and Electronic Roll Mitigation. The system senses the need for braking and power reduction at each wheel and transfers the appropriate response wherever necessary.
And with a full slate of skid plates and electronic limited slip rear differential on both axles, the Overland is ready to let its Quadra-Trac II Full-Time 4WD take you off-road - not just across that unpaved parking lot at the Little League field, but really, truly off-road.
Now, get a load of these goodies that come standard on the Overland: a remote starter, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a leather-wrapped wood steering wheel, a Boston Acoustics sound system, SmartBeam self-adjusting headlamps, and the ParkView rear park-assist camera system, which works in conjunction with the GPS Navigation System, piece of standard equipment on this trim.
Technophiles will also appreciate the included UConnect communications system, whose integrated components (there's a mic in the rear-view mirror, for instance) make hands-free phone calls second-nature.
About the only thing left optional on this extremely well-appointed rig is the Infotainment System for the rear seat. If you have kids and they just plain refuse to play Car Bingo, you may need to shell out the extra bucks for this feature.