Grand Cherokee is ready for anything
Now comes a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, dubbed the Orvis Edition, for the sports equipment manufacturer.
We can only guess at what's next. Maybe a K mart version of the Geo Metro?
The fact is, the Orvis Edition Jeep is simply a $663 option package tacked onto the top-line Grand Cherokee Limited. It adds a special dark green paint job, red and green trim on the door panels and leather seats, a towing package, and a heavy-duty off-road suspension system with skid plates and tow hooks.
It's almost ridiculous, sort of like a gift for the person who has everything. That's because the vast majority of buyers who can afford more than $32,000 for their sport-utility vehicles seldom subject them to anything more strenuous than an occasional sprint to the money machine.
The power gets down through a four-speed automatic transmission and a sophisticated system that uses a center differential so the four-wheel drive works all the time. The only time you need engage the manual shifter is to gear down into low range.
With the wheels always connected to the power source, the Jeep Orvis inspires confidence in virtually any driving situation. It's stable in ordinary freeway driving, though there is some tendency to wander, and when the going gets slippery the Jeep gets going. Anti- lock brakes are standard.
The interior is as plush and comfortable as expected, given the high-altitude price. The main drawback is in the cargo area, where a covered full-size spare wheel eats up a substantial chunk of space. Still, there's about 40 cubic feet left, enough to swallow a substantial load of luggage.
One disappointment was the infra-red remote control for the door locks. It worked only close to the car, and sometimes got frustrated by dirty windows.
Siteby Kevin J. McDermott