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  • SUV Comparison, Round One: 2010 Land Rover LR4 HSE V8 vs. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8

SUV Comparison, Round One: 2010 Land Rover LR4 HSE V8 vs. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8

Can Jeep hold its own against the luxurious LR4?

Allyson Harwood
Aug 6, 2010
Photographers: Julia LaPalme
There was supposed be a heat wave, yet Santa Barbara was socked in. It was cold and moist, and if not for the taillights of the vehicle ahead, we couldn't see the sharp turns in the twisty two-lane road. For those without the capability of getting above the clouds, that would make for a miserable day. But it wasn't long before things got better.
Photo 2/30   |   Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland And 2010 Land Rover LR4 Rear Views
Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 Overland
Going uphill, these sport/utes nosed their way out of the fog, and we finally had the chance to get up to speed. The Jeep performed well on the smooth tarmac. The low-slung, muscular Grand Cherokee responded quickly to driver input, whether accelerating, braking, or changing direction. It feels like an overenthusiastic puppy, eager to please.
Photo 3/30   |   2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Front View In Motion
Its 360-horsepower, 5.7-liter engine and five-speed automatic have no trouble bringing the relatively lightweight sport/utility up to speed. The Grand Cherokee reached 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. But while on-road feel and gut instinct suggest the Grand Cherokee is outperforming the Land Rover, in actuality, the LR4 is faster to 60 and in the quarter mile. So the lighter, smaller SUV with Hemi power was left in the Land Rover's dust -- and took 20 more feet to stop from 60 mph.
Photo 4/30   |   2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Center Console
The Overland Grand Cherokee has an impressive air suspension that comes standard with this topline trim level. Selec-Terrain is incredibly easy to use and the Grand Cherokee continues to excel as an off-roader. There are plenty of goodies here to help when off-road, including hill-descent control, hill-start assist, and an altimeter within the navi system that shows the vehicle's current elevation.
The Quadra-Trac II four-wheel-drive system provides plenty of confidence in the rough, and it's easy for drivers of all experience levels to operate. It can raise the ground clearance from 8.5 to 13.2 inches, making it easier to clear rocks on trails, or provide a lower ride height from improved wind resistance on the freeway. Quadra-Trac II also allows for excellent versatility on- and off-road. But even with this, testers noted that the LR4's air suspension damping was slightly better tuned, and the Jeep let in harsher impacts. Ride quality in the Jeep was also not as at ease on the freeway, and there was more wind and road noise.
Photo 8/30   |   2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Suspension Controls
The cabin is comfortable and genuinely attractive. Controls are also more intuitive than in the Land Rover, so the learning curve isn't nearly as severe. But there isn't as much space inside the Grand Cherokee, for people or gear, and the Jeep's maximum towing capacity is 7200 pounds, lower than the Land Rover's 7716.
Photo 9/30   |   2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Side Profile View
Land Rover LR4 HSE V-8
Where the Jeep is low, and eager, the LR4 is tall and stately, a buttoned-down opposite to the Grand. Our Land Rover LR4 came equipped with the seven-seat HSE Plus package, navigation system, harman/kardon audio, 19-inch wheels, and air suspension. Its as-tested price was $54,010, higher by far than that of the Grand Cherokee Overland, but delete the seven-passenger HSE Plus package and the prices are much closer (the Overland's $44,915 as opposed to a five-passenger LR4's $48,100). Yet you do get what you pay for. The LR4 is a quiet, solid, spacious vault, its interior draped in elegant leather and high-quality materials. When the doors shut, you feel sealed in, the cabin quiet and secure.
Photo 16/30   |   2010 Land Rover LR4 Front View Off Roading
On the freeway and surface streets, ride was comfortable, yet the air suspension reacted quickly and competently to changes in road quality and sudden changes in direction. Comfort isn't exclusive to the front row, either: Passengers were impressed by the spacious legroom, foot room, and shoulder room in the second row, and those sitting outboard have features like climate control and two-mode seat heaters too.
Photo 17/30   |   2010 Land Rover LR4 Side Profile View
The Landie feels substantial (read: heavy), yet its 5.0-liter, 375-horsepower engine, new for 2010, gets the LR4 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds -- 0.4 faster than the 500-pound-lighter Grand Cherokee. The engine reacts quickly to driver input, yet it and the transmission provide a sense of effortlessness. Shifts are deliberate yet unobtrusive, power comes on subtly, but it's easy to drive well above the speed limit. And on the twisting two-lane, the LR4 exhibited little body roll and never felt out of sorts.
Material quality and the posh cabin would suggest this is a vehicle meant strictly for the boulevard, yet the LR4 is just as comfortable on the trail. But it was during the transition from street to dirt where the drivers had the biggest complaint -- it takes a little time to learn the controls. Once you understand them, though, venturing off-road is simple. The LR4 provides plenty of ground clearance, as much as 9.4 inches, and ride comfort is still top notch. Its Terrain Select allows drivers of all levels to get over/through obstacles by matching the pictogram to the terrain you're facing, yet staying in Auto mode, allowing the vehicle to choose the right program, will often be just as effective.
Photo 21/30   |   2010 Land Rover LR4 Terrain Response Knob
The LR4 also works hard on road: It's roomier inside and can carry more than 90.3 cubic feet of gear to the Grand Cherokee's 68.3 -- and the Land Rover is only 0.3 inch longer overall. Towing capacity is also higher (7716 pounds, over 500 pounds more than with the Grand). The LR4 is simply better packaged to accommodate people and gear.
It's clear the new Grand Cherokee is a huge improvement over the previous generation. This is the closest Jeep has ever gotten to competing with the luxury models from Land Rover. It's faster, quieter, and, even though it still looks generally like it did before, the new styling makes it much more upscale. And while the Grand is much more luxurious than before, and provides a lot for the money, that's just not enough to win here.
Photo 28/30   |   Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland And 2010 Land Rover LR4 Rear View
For its combination of on-road finesse and off-road capability, the LR4 is the champ. It's faster on-road, its suspension is better tuned for all terrains, it has higher towing, payload, and cargo capacities, and is more comfortable, luxurious, and refined.
1st Place: Land Rover LR4
The higher cost brings more capability, more luxury, and more comfort. The Land Rover performs better on- and off-road, tows more, and has a nicer cabin.
2nd Place: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
It's attractive, easy to operate, highly capable, and offers value and quality, yet the Jeep is neither as luxurious nor as strong a performer as the Land Rover.

  2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 2010 Land Rover LR4 HSE
Drivetrain layout Front engine, 4WD Front engine, 4WD
Engine type 90-deg V-8, iron block/alum heads 90-deg V-8, aluminum block/heads
Valvetrain OHV, 2 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
Displacement 345.1 cu in/5654 cc 305.1 cu in/5000 cc
Compression ratio 10.5:1 11.5:1
Power (SAE net) 360 hp @ 5150 rpm 375 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 390 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm 375 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
Weight to power 14.6 lb/hp 15.3 lb/hp
Transmission 5-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
Axle/final/low ratios 3.47:1/2.32:1/2.72:1 3.54:1/2.44:1/2.93:1
Suspension, front; rear Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar Control arms, air springs; control arms, air springs
Steering ratio 15.7-18.9:1 19.4:1
Turns lock-to-lock 3.7 3.3
Brakes, f;r 12.9-in vented disc; 12.6-in disc, ABS 14.2-in vented disc, 13.8-in vented disc, ABS
Wheels 8.0 x 20-in, cast aluminum 8.0 x 19-in, aluminum
Tires 265/50R20 107T M+S Goodyear Fortera HL 255/55R19 111V M+S Continental 4x4 Contact
Wheelbase 114.8 in 113.6 in
Track, f/r 63.9/64.1 in 63.2/63.5 in
Length x width x height 189.8 x 76.3 x 69.4 in 190.1 x 75.4 x 74.1 in
Ground clearance 8.5-13.2 in 7.3-9.4 in
Apprch/depart angle 26.6-34.3*/26.5-28.0 deg 32.2-37.2/26.7-29.6 deg
Turning circle 37.1 ft 37.6 ft
Curb weight 5252 lb 5744 lb
Weight dist., f/r 54/46% 49/51%
Towing capacity 7200 lb 7716 lb
Seating capacity 5 7
Headroom, f/m/r 40.0/39.3/ -- in 40.4/42.4/40.1 in
Legroom, f/m/r 40.3/38.6/ -- in 42.4/37.6/36.3 in
Shoulder room, f/m/r 58.6/58.0/ -- in 59.0/59.2/42.8 in
Cargo vol behind f/m/r 68.3/36.3/ -- cu ft 90.3/42.1/9.9 cu ft
Acceleration to mph
0-30 2.6 sec 2.2 sec
0-40 3.8 3.6
0-50 5.2 5.2
0-60 7.3 6.9
0-70 9.5 9.2
0-80 11.9 11.9
0-90 14.7 14.9
0-100 NA 18.2
Passing, 45-65 mph 4.0 sec 3.4 sec
Quarter mile 15.4 sec @ 92.2 mph 15.3 sec @ 91.2 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 138 ft 118 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.74 g (avg) 0.74 g (avg)
MT figure eight 28.2 sec @ 0.58 g (avg) 28.3 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)
Top-gear revs @ 60 mph 1500 rpm 1750 rpm
Base price $41,900 $51,750
Price as tested $44,915 $54,010
true car truevalue price** $42,470 $52,530
Stability/traction control Yes/yes Yes/yes
Airbags Dual front, front side, f/r curtain Dual front, front side, f/m/r curtain
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 5 yrs/100,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance 3 yrs/36,000 miles Unlimited
Fuel capacity 24.6 gal 22.8 gal
EPA city/hwy econ 13/19 mpg 12/17 mpg
CO2 emissions 1.28 lb/mile 1.40 lb/mile
MT obs fuel econ 11.0 mpg 10.5 mpg
Recommended fuel Unleaded midgrade Unleaded premium
*Air dam removed
** Accurate at time of printing.



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