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Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited vs. Overland vs. Summit

1. Overview

One of the differences that we can see is in the exterior's design color. The Limited model comes with bright color design, the Overland with the two-tone color, and the Summit with the monochrome. It's not a really big deal for some people, but for those who really concern the appearance of their vehicle might consider this as their first priority. In terms of the lights of the vehicle, the Overland and Summit both are equipped with Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlamps. This item will be very useful when driving at night and especially in difficult terrain. It will guarantee the driver's safety. This Bi-Xenon HID for the Overland is a plus compared to the previous model. The Summit comes with new design High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with auto leveling, LED Daytime Running Lamp, and Black headlamp bezels. Then if we look to the tires, the Limited and Overland use 265/60R18 BSW All Terrain Tires and 265/50R20 BSW All Season Tires. Summit uses the 265/50R20 BSW All Season Tires with an optional 265/50R20 OWL All Season Tires, it can be selected based on the user's needs. By the tire size, we can say that the Summit has a plus value compared to the previous models because it is using the same tire width but with bigger rims. This would affect the braking and the grip of the tire to the terrain.

Jeep Grand Cherokee was first introduced in 2011 by Jeep, which is a part of Chrysler Group LLC. The vehicle falls in the categories of SUV and 4×4. The Grand Cherokee is much the same in comparison between its previous models, i.e. Laredo, Limited, and Overland. However, there are new features that come with the new model, which talk about the latest models when it first launched. This time, we will talk about the comparison between Limited, Overland, and Summit. Limited, Overland, and Summit come with advanced new features, but based on the capabilities it shows that the Overland is much better compared to Limited and Summit.

1.1. Introduction to Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Overland model is decent in terms of additional features. The main advanced feature that it includes is the rear auto-leveling suspension. This makes the vehicle height lower when entering and increases when leaving. Overland and Summit also include Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, which are high-intensity discharge. The major purpose of these lamps is to get a much brighter and wider view at night for safer driving. These different features can be beneficial for different customers, but the features of the Limited model tend to please most average customers.

Jeep introduced the 1st generation Grand Cherokee in 1993 and production still continues today. However, we will only be comparing the 2018 models. The 2018 Limited model includes an 8.4" touchscreen, whereas 2018 models of Overland and Summit include an 8.4" display. The differences between touchscreen and display are that the screen on Limited is high resolution, and this is not the case with Overland and Summit. Limited also has a larger screen without actual buttons on the side, whereas the display on Overland and Summit is embedded into the center console with buttons on the side. All models have heated front and rear seats, a steering wheel warmer, and dual climate control. For audio, Limited has 6 speakers and the other models have 9 speakers. Wireless phone connectivity, a video monitor, and GPS antenna input are only available on Limited. [1][2]

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a sophisticated and capable off-roader. Thanks to its famous off-road capable features, it can tackle any terrain it comes across. The Grand Cherokee is a 5-passenger, midsize SUV that is available in 3 different models: Limited, Overland, and Summit. Each model is available in 4x2 or 4x4, but prices will vary. This paper will compare the key differences of Limited, Overland, and Summit to assist potential purchasers in making a decision.

1.2. Key Differences between Limited, Overland, and Summit

The Limited features Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, Quadra Trac II (4x4 System), and is available with an engine option to the 5.7L HEMI. The Overland has all the same features as the Limited, but adds the Quadra Drive II System, as well as Quadra Lift air suspension, hill descent control, and a Selec Terrain system allowing the driver various terrain options. The Summit has mostly all the same features as the Overland, but it adds the advanced technology features and safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, full-speed collision warning, blind spot detection, and cross path detection. The Summit also has an option for an advanced tech package adding features such as parallel and perpendicular park assist and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

The Limited is the base model, but it's still a very nice car. All of the Limited GCs come with 4x4. The Overland is a step up, offering some luxury features and more off-road capability (with the 4x4 Quadra-Drive II system). The Summit is the top of the line model, offering every feature available in the GC including advanced safety features and a 19-speaker, 825-watt Harman Kardon sound system.

2. Features and Performance

Compared to the V6 engine, which has 4x2 and 4x4 systems available, the V8 comes with a 4x4 system to improve its towing capabilities. Both V6 and V8 engines also come with a new start-stop system that shuts down the engine while the vehicle is stationary in order to save fuel. While Chrysler claims this adds up to 0.6 miles per gallon in fuel efficiency, likely not every consumer would appreciate having this feature on during rush hour traffic. Ideal for towing, the Grand Cherokee sports a towing capacity of up to 7,400 pounds on V8 models.

All three versions of the Grand Cherokee come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine driving a surprisingly familiar 290 hp and 260 lb-ft through an 8-speed automatic transmission. While the standard V6 should be powerful enough for most consumers, the Limited, Overland, and Summit models all offer an upgrade to a 5.7-liter V8, which churns out 360 hp and 390 lb-ft. The V8 upgrade comes with an Eco mode that Chrysler claims will save up to 20% more fuel when engaged. Though the Summit is a bit more aerodynamic, all models manage to get around 14-17 mpg in the city and 20-25 mpg on the highway.

2.1. Engine Options

The gas and diesel engines are refined and durable, the transmissions are smooth shifting, and the ride quality is comfortable.

The standard engine on the Summit model is the 5.7L V8 VVT engine. The standard engine on the SRT model is a 6.4L V8 SRT Hemi MDS engine. Finally, the engine on the high-performance model, the SRT, is the most powerful engine available in a Grand Cherokee. The 6.4L V8 is very powerful and helps the SRT tow more than the others, at a maximum of 7200lbs. The engine has cylinder deactivation and can go from 8 cylinder mode to 4 cylinder mode in order to increase fuel economy. The 6.4L V8 Hemi engine is the more advanced version of the 5.7L Hemi engine. The SRT engine uses premium high octane gas, which is why it is listed as a separate option.

The standard engine on the Overland model is the 3.6L V6 VVT engine. The available engine is a 5.7L V8 VVT engine, which is more powerful. This engine is more fuel efficient than the SRT model but can generate similar acceleration due to the V8 engine in the SRT being heavier.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers four different engine options. The standard engine on the Limited model is the 3.6L V6 VVT engine. The available engine is a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, which has great fuel economy. However, due to the lower price of regular gasoline compared to diesel, the Limited model is the only model available for this engine.

2.2. Interior Features

More specific to the Overland edition is the standard inclusion of a dual-screen Blu-ray and DVD player, a feature not available for the other two trims. This enhances the back-seat entertainment system from the Limited edition, which only includes the option of the single screen. Furthering the contrast of interior options on the Limited edition compared to the Overland and Summit editions, there is also the option of the light beige interior, an option that is not available to the Overland or Summit editions. Although this is not a matter of quality, the Limited edition is the only of the three trims to offer the option of a 2nd-row bench seat, increasing total seating to 7 people. An alternative available for the other two trims, and not the Limited edition, is the option of the 5.7L V8 engine to receive an upgraded sound system from the standard 6-speaker to a 9-speaker audio system with subwoofer.

All three trims have many of the same interior options, including leather seating, heated seats, folding rear seating, and the option of a dual-pane sunroof. But, the higher you climb in the trims, the more the quality of the features increase. This is most apparent in the Overland and Summit editions, both of which have more colors available for the leather, and more options for style including the choice of different wood finishes for the steering wheel. In specific contrast though, the Summit edition offers a higher-quality leather, and real open-pore wood trim, an option not available for the Overland edition. Additionally, the Summit edition also comes standard with a suede headliner, an unequalled feature by any other trim in the Jeep Grand Cherokee line.

2.3. Exterior Design

This is certainly not the most exciting chapter, that's for sure. A few contrasts in this category are quite boring, but I promised at the beginning that I would hold nothing back. No glossing over or sugar coating anything. The truth is, all three of these models look almost exactly the same. There are a few different colors available on the higher end models, and a couple different wheel designs, but for the untrained eye, they look almost identical. One big feature in the Summit is that you can get a 3-pane sunroof, as opposed to the rather average two pane in the lower end models, but in terms of standing out and making a statement, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has surprisingly little options. I feel like this area of the vehicle is one with a lot of untapped potential. A few body additions here and there like a skid plate or a bull bar would make the basic Laredo look a little more rugged, and the availability on the higher end models would truly hit a sweet spot with today's consumers. But that is the very reason why the Grand Cherokee line has a trim level like the Trailhawk, so for those who desire a more rugged look to their Jeep, the options are still there. Now one item that deserves some attention is the headlamp technology on the Overland and Summit models. Yes, the Laredo and Limited are available with a High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps option, but the Overland and Summit come standard with Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge headlamps. They're not just headlights, they are a work of art. That may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but they are certainly attention grabbing and they have a few features like auto-leveling and LED daytime running lights that add function to go with the form. These are not the type of details that jump out at you when you're looking at a car on the lot, but I recommend that you at least poke around a bit on one of the higher end models at night because the advancement in lighting technology is something a bit foreign at first, but it is still quite intriguing. You will also notice that the taillamps on the Overland and Summit are LED, whereas all other models come with a standard red bulb. Both front and rear lamps are not a make or break deal in terms of the car's overall appearance, but they are nice touches and they will likely be integrated across all models in coming years. LED taillamps are becoming an increasingly popular safety and style feature in the auto industry. In time, it will be difficult to find a car with standard red bulbs. [3]

2.4. Off-Road Capabilities

If you want the best off-road system that Jeep has to offer, you need to get a 4WD Trailhawk with Quadra-Trac II and select the air suspension. The air suspension system is an excellent feature for off-road driving as it allows for extra clearance when driving over rough terrain. The system will also lower the vehicle at high speeds to increase aerodynamics and will also lower the vehicle for ease of entry and exit. The air suspension system is a complex system and cannot be retrofitted to models that were not originally equipped with it from the factory.

Selec-Terrain allows the driver to choose a setting for the type of terrain they are driving on. Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud modes are available, and the system will change the power distribution and ABS settings to cater to the driver's selection. Rock mode is available only in the Trailhawk and is an excellent mode for off-road use. This is the first time that the Trailhawk has been released in Australia on a Grand Cherokee model, and it is designed for those who are serious about off-road driving.

The Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV ever and has a long history of off-road capability. The Laredo, Limited, Overland, and 2WD Trailhawk come equipped with Quadra-Trac I full-time 4WD, which is an AWD system. The best system for off-road is the Quadra-Trac II and Selec-Terrain, which comes standard on the 4WD Trailhawk and is optional on the Limited, Overland, and Summit. The Quadra-Drive II system is also equipped with an ELSD (Electronic Limited Slip Differential), which is the best system for off-road, but it is only included on 4WD Trailhawk models. This explains the differences between Jeep's various 4WD systems.

3. Technology and Safety

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited is equipped with more technology features than any other in its class. The Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen system is standard. This system includes Navigation, Siri, SiriusXM Guardian, and a 5-year trial on SiriusXM Traffic. The Overland and Summit are both equipped with Uconnect 8.4 with Navigation/SiriusXM, SiriusXM Guardian, and a 5-year trial on SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link. Also standard on the Limited is a 6-speaker sound system, an SD card slot, and a 12-volt power outlet in the front and rear of the vehicle. The Overland adds 3D GPS navigation, HD radio, and a standard Alpine 9-speaker, standard subwoofer 506-watt amp audio system. The Summit adds an available 19-speaker high-performance audio system with an 825-watt amp available on the Platinum series. Another technology feature that is standard on the Limited and Overland is the rearview camera and the rear park assist system. The Summit adds a little something extra, the available parallel and perpendicular park assist system. This system will automatically detect the parking space size and using cameras around the vehicle will guide the driver into the parking spot. This is an excellent feature for those of you who have trouble parallel parking!

3.1. Infotainment System

The difference in the Uconnect systems lies with the Limited. The Summit and Overland come with a Uconnect 8.4 NAV system, whereas the Limited comes with a regular Uconnect 8.4. Both have the same process and accessibility to the HD radio, the navigation apps, and the Siri features. However, the 8.4 NAV system has a built-in navigation system, thus eliminating the need for a GPS mounted on the dashboard. Ultimately, the difference is marginal in comparison to the similarities the two Uconnects share.

The Summit, the Overland, and the Limited all come with Jeep's Uconnect 8.4, which has been lauded in the car world for its simplicity and ease of use. This particular Uconnect operates on an 8.4-inch touch screen and allows drivers to customize its apps for the features they use the most. An example of this would be if a driver listens to HD radio more than the regular AM/FM radio, they can remove the shortcut for the regular radio and replace it with the HD radio app. Also, SiriusXM Guardian is compatible with this Uconnect system (complimentary for 1 year on brand new vehicle purchases) and offers an assortment of valuable vehicle security features, driver alerts, and remote accessibility. This includes everything from Roadside Assistance Call and SOS Call to stolen vehicle assistance and detection. SiriusXM Guardian also includes My Family Drive Alerts, which are sent to your email or phone to let you know if your vehicle is driven too fast, too far, or if vehicle boundaries set by a secondary driver are crossed. The Uconnect is also an update in the 2019 model Jeep Grand Cherokees and provides both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An available option in the Limited is the Premium Alpine Speaker System.

3.2. Advanced Safety Features

The vehicles come with numerous advanced safety features. The Limited comes standard with advanced multistage airbags, stability control, and rear back-up camera. Also available as an option is an advanced technology package that includes blind spot and cross path detection, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with crash mitigation. The Overland adds to the Limited offerings, with an advanced technology package that includes advanced brake assist, the last order features, and a new one called pre-crash which readies the vehicle for impact once a frontal crash is detected. The Summit comes standard with just about all the advanced safety features. The only package available is the California Green Ready and Safety Package, which includes adaptive cruise control, advanced brake assist, blind spot and cross path detection, and forward collision warning with crash mitigation. With the Summit's California Green Safety Package, a driver can expect their vehicle to be as safe as possible when on the road. These vehicles come with just about every safety feature that Jeep has to offer. Depending on what the driver wants out of the vehicle, any of the safety packages would be a great addition to any of the vehicles. With the advanced safety features found in these vehicles, a driver can feel good knowing that they are driving one of the safest vehicles on the road.

3.3. Driver-Assistance Systems

The Summit's standard parallel and perpendicular Park View Rear Back Up Camera with ParkSense Front and Rear Park Assist provides a complete view of the vehicle's surroundings, making parking easier and safer. The Summit also includes ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors to guide the driver into parking spaces. When the driver engages the system, the vehicle will detect an open parking space and provide simple, easy-to-follow instructions on the driver information cluster to help park the vehicle. Additionally, the Summit includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, which maintains the distance between the driver's vehicle and the vehicle in front of it. By using throttle control and limiting the jeep's speed, the system helps the driver avoid potential collisions. If there is an object in the way, the jeep will automatically brake until the driver uses the accelerator or the brakes to regain the pre-set speed. This system is a convenience feature for the driver and is not a substitute for active driver involvement. The driver must remain aware of the traffic conditions and be prepared to use the brakes to avoid collisions.

4. Pricing and Conclusion

Long story short, there's a fairly significant price jump to step up from the Limited to the next level of Overland, and it's not quite reflected in the amount of added features and refinement that you get. Step up again to the Summit, and you're mainly just paying for luxury and safety features rather than more capable 4x4 hardware. So all in all, the Limited looks to be a fairly well-placed model in the Grand Cherokee range in terms of balanced value.

The Summit is only available with a diesel engine, and it's chock full of luxury and safety features, but with pricing starting at $75,000, it's a bit too steep to really be a good value proposition. Finally, there's the SRT, which is another entity in itself, and it's also the second most expensive way to get into a Grand Cherokee.

Case in point, if you want to add the Off-Road Adventure II package to the Limited (which adds front suspension, underbody and transmission protection, height-adjustable air suspension, and most importantly the two-speed transfer case), then you'll be forking out close to $60,000, which is a fairly significant increase. The Overland starts at a higher point of $67,000, and it's essentially a tarted-up Limited with a few luxury features, some visual tweaks, and more on-road biased 20" wheels. So it offers less in terms of true 4x4 ability, and you'll be spending more money to essentially get less of a 4x4 wagon, so in our opinion, that's a bit of a fail in terms of value.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is offered in four main trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Overland, and SRT. The model we've reviewed here is the Limited, which is priced at $52,000. That's a reasonable whack of coin, and our feeling is that the Limited is probably the sweet spot in the Grand Cherokee range in terms of the amount of kit you get for your money. It's also the first rung on the ladder in terms of getting a decent 4x4 drivetrain with the two-speed transfer case because the base Laredo model is a bit of a soft roader in comparison with the Limited.

4.1. Price Comparison

The Limited, Overland, and Summit each have their own price that affects their cost to own over 5 years. The Limited starts at $34,595, with the 4x4 model adding $2,000. The V-8 adds another $3,000, taking the price to $39,595 and $41,595 respectively. The cost to own is $42,595 because there is only a 4x4 model available, effectively the MSRP is the same as Limited V-8 4x4. Over 5 years, the Limited's cost to own ranges from about $49,000 to $55,000 because of the various models available and equipment taken. The Overland's cost to own is almost on par with the Limited, ranging from $49,000 to $57,000, but is slightly more expensive if bought new. This is because the Overland begins at $44,595 or $46,595 for the 4x4 model. The V-8 adds $2,000, making its cost $46,595 or $48,595 respectively. The Overland takes place as the most expensive WK2 model, and the cost comes remarkably close to the Summit's. The Summit is the most expensive of the three models, starting at $49,995 or $51,995 for the 4x4. The price of admission for a V-8 model ranges from $52,995 to $53,995. Over 5 years, the Summit's cost to own will range from about $55,000 to $65,000, being the most expensive WK2 model.

4.2. Pros and Cons

The Summit model comes with a big price difference (approx. $8k USD) from the Overland but does not offer too much more in terms of luxury. An additional $8k is a steep price to pay for features which are not going to be practical additions for everyone. The Summit features polished 20-inch aluminum wheels, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Advanced Brake Assist System, the California package (additional chrome exterior mirrors, body-color door handles, body-color and chrome grille), Black Olive Ash Burl interior wood trim, the Summit all-season floor mats, and Jeep’s Active Noise Cancellation system (ANC). With the exception of the Active Noise Cancellation System, most of these features are more luxury enhancements and do not add to the performance or overall comfort of the ride, which is a determining factor for purchasing a Jeep Grand Cherokee in the first place. In a sense, the Overland offers the best value for money in the range of Grand Cherokees.

The Overland holds a price that is similar to most fully loaded cars in its class. It does not come cheap, but what it does bring may be worth some consideration. The Overland comes with a Quadra-Lift Air Suspension – a smart system that raises the car at freeway speeds to help with fuel economy, Nappa Leather Trimmed Seats, Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge Headlamps, CommandView Dual Pane Panoramic Sunroof, and Jeep’s Uconnect 8.4AN Am/FM/SiriusXM/HD/BT/Navigation Media Center. The Overland holds a host of features, and the air suspension is a great feature adding driving comfort to its list of pros.

4.3. Final Verdict

The final verdict of the Jeep Grand Cherokee three-way comparison is quite simple. All three of these vehicles have excellent build quality and that shows throughout. The Limited, Overland, and Summit trims of the Grand Cherokee all come at various price points, and these are tailored to people with different budgets. The mid-level and top end of the spectrum are the Overland and Summit, and the main difference between these is the interior quality and features. The Summit is Jeep's attempt to break into the luxury SUV market, and it is not a bad attempt at all. The features that you get with the Summit and the comfort level are great. The only hindrance is obviously the price, but if you are willing to spend over $50,000 on a Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Summit is the way to go. This is by no means taking anything away from the Overland, which is also a great vehicle, but if you can fork out some extra cash, the Summit is worth it. Coming in at a lower price, the Limited is great value for money at the entry level of the Grand Cherokee spectrum. Consider the type of features and comfort level that you want in your next mid-size SUV and spend accordingly. All in all, the Grand Cherokee is an excellent choice no matter what trim level, and you are sure to get a great vehicle that will last.


[1] M. H. A. M. Hindam, "Development strategies for a new product in the automotive sector: The Jeep case," 2020. polito.it

[2] K. B. Ronspies, "Evaluation and Update of MASH Test Vehicles," 2020. unl.edu

[3] L. Anderson, "Cop Stories," 2022. [HTML]