Chrysler’s 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee appealing abundant adored the company’s bacon as it struggled to cull itself out of a demoralizing bankruptcy. Now Jeep is presenting a active 2014 Grand Cherokee alike as the old one is still affective the cast to almanac sales numbers, and the botheration is this: How do you advance on what is already a acceptable thing?
The 2014 Grand Cherokee is a attenuate refresh, with money spent artlessly on what bare improvement, and the aftereffect is now one of the best cartage Jeep has anytime made.
I activated assorted trim levels and all four accessible engines, including the high-performance SRT Grand Cherokee.
The bigger changes to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee over the antecedent archetypal are automated (click actuality to analyze 2013 to 2014 models). Two engines are agitated over from 2013: a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 authoritative 290 application and 260 pounds-feet of torque and a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 pumping out 360 hp and 390 pounds-feet of torque. Now added to the mix is a new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, authoritative alone 240 hp but churning out a huge 420 pounds-feet of torque. All engines are now teamed with Chrysler’s added accepted 8-speed automated transmission, replacing the beforehand six-speed. Both the EcoDiesel and the Hemi are tow-rated to 7,200 pounds in 4×4 versions or 7,400 pounds with rear-wheel drive, but the diesel’s advantage will be ammunition economy. Preliminary estimates put Hemi breadth at 14/22 mpg city/highway (4×2) and 14/20 mpg (4×4), but the agent is accepted to about-face in a beauteous 22/30 mpg (4×2) and 21/28 mpg (4×4) with a ambit of added than 730 miles.
As with the accepted Grand Cherokee, the 2014 archetypal boasts three alternative four-wheel-drive systems, an accessible adjustable air abeyance and a absorption administration system. Quadra-Trac I provides full-time all-wheel drive; Quadra-Trac II adds a two-speed alteration case with a low range; and Quadra-Drive II builds on that by abacus an cyberbanking limited-slip differential. The Quadra-Lift air abeyance raises the Grand Cherokee’s arena approval by 3.9 inches from its accustomed acme to 11.3 inches for off-road use or bottomward 0.6 inch for accelerated aerodynamic improvement. It can appear bottomward accession abounding inch back anchored to acquiesce easier entry, avenue and loading.
The Selec-Terrain arrangement has bristles driver-selectable area modes that accord to abeyant conditions: Sand, Mud, Auto, Snow or Rock. Each electronically activates the adapted aggregate of 12 altered powertrain, anchor and abeyance settings to optimize absorption and arena clearance.
I sampled both the EcoDiesel and Hemi V-8 on-road and collection the V-6 Pentastar in Jeep’s off-road testing avenue at a columnist accession in the acropolis country about Austin, Texas. The Hemi is powerful, clear and bland with the new eight-speed automatic. But the agent is the one to accept — as an advantage on the Limited, Overland or Summit trim levels alone — admitting a ample upcharge: $4,500 added than the V-6 and $2,300 added than the Hemi option. The adjacency of the diesel’s torque is impressive. One never forgets that this is a diesel; while Jeep has done a admirable job damping the characteristic ballyhoo from the motor, full-throttle applications complete like a tractor-pull at the canton fair. The affair is, in a big SUV like this, that agent boom actually puts a beam on your face. In artery canoeing situations, the agent is buzz quiet and unobtrusive. Combined with its best-in-class artery ammunition economy, it could prove to be a accepted advantage for buyers absorbed in able towing or artery commuting.
In accustomed driving, there’s a fair amount of anatomy roll, and the abundant barter tends to understeer through corners. The Grand Cherokee in its Accustomed approach is acquainted added for a adequate ride than for able-bodied moves. But Action approach is now accessible beyond the lineup, affianced with a cull on the manual handle. In Grand Cherokees able with the air suspension, Action approach wakes up the barter and transforms it significantly, alteration about-face patterns, abeyance settings and ride acme to abbreviate anatomy cycle and actualize a added surefooted achievement in fast twisties. In models afterwards the air suspension, alone the manual behavior and burke acknowledgment change. Steering-wheel paddle shifters are additionally present. The Grand Cherokee exudes a quiet bendability behindhand of trim level; alike in our preproduction analysis vehicles, annihilation squeaked, ashamed or contrarily acquainted misassembled. If these aboriginal body cartage are an indication, affection should be top notch.
Off-road, the Grand Cherokee charcoal one of the best able all-terrain-vehicles anytime fabricated — not that 99% of Grand Cherokee owners will anytime acquaintance this. The V-6 accepted affluence powerful, and the selectable-mode four-wheel drive enabled me to drive up and bottomward a 43-degree bedrock face, not to acknowledgment added area you would accept agitation alike walking over.
The bigger ache about the antecedent model’s autogenous has been quashed — gone is the old, abhorred touch-screen system, and in its abode is the Chrysler ancestors Uconnect 8.4-inch touch-screen that has won our acclaim in added applications like the Dodge Dart (see an evaluation) and Charger. It charcoal one of the best systems on the market: big, accessible to use, quick and uncomplicated. This is how to do in-vehicle connectivity right. Surrounding that awning is an adapted apparatus console with alike nicer materials, including some appealing adventuresome blush options. Check out the chestnut brownish trim. Or how about Indigo Blue leather? Accessible in the newest top-of-the-line trim level, alleged Summit, these options accommodate a high-quality attending to an already absorbing autogenous covered in stitched accoutrement and open-pore copse trim. Accession aftereffect from the Dart is the reconfigurable centermost barometer array with a 7-inch LCD affectation awning and actually agenda speedometer, which displays far added advice than the archetypal disciplinarian is acceptable to need.
The seats are all-day comfortable, avant-garde and rear, accessible in top-quality exceptional leather, with added alternative stitched accoutrement covering the birr in college trims. The rear seats affection a 60/40 fold-down breach to actualize a collapsed amount floor, with 68.7 cubic anxiety of burden allowance with the seats bankrupt and 35.1 cubic anxiety with the rear seats in place. There are no chiffon controls or stalks, no complicated or chaotic buttons and, frankly, actual little to criticize. The Summit trim alike has a suedelike amateur and a astounding 19-speaker Harman Kardon complete arrangement that ranks as one of the best I’ve anytime heard in an automobile. These are actively nice trucks, alike in abject Laredo trim, adopting the criterion for affordable SUV interiors yet again.
As abundant fun as the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is off-road, there’s additionally a new SRT high-performance artery adaptation accession aloof one ages afterwards the added accepted versions hit the streets. The 2014 SRT Grand Cherokee (the “8” has been alone from the name) is aloof apparent wicked. Its administration is attenuate with a blacked-out grille and smoked headlights and taillamps, alternative atramentous chrome wheels, a lower attitude and added auto and tires. Its affability makes it one of the best abandoned American achievement cartage on the market. Power comes from a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 agent authoritative 470 hp and 465 pounds-feet of torque delivered through the eight-speed automated to all four wheels. Jeep ante the SRT Grand Cherokee at 4.8 abnormal from aught to 60 mph, but I apparent that this is a bourgeois figure: Using the SRT’s onboard software and a appropriate barrage button, I was able to consistently rip off 4.5-second zero-to-60 times, and SRT engineers say that they’ve been able to accomplish 60 mph in 4.2 abnormal beneath absolute conditions.
On accessible roads, SRT Grand Cherokee’s attendance and bluster are formidable. Its bi-weekly attitude and fat tires amalgamate with the actually age-old bark from its Hemi agent to accomplish every accepted assignment an event. The suedelike action seats are amazingly adequate and grippy yet not bedrock solid and adamant or too attenuated and overbolstered like so abounding added high-performance vehicles. Copse trim is replaced by appropriate carbon fiber, and a appropriate apartment of SRT applications for the 8.4-inch touch-screen accompany all sorts of appropriate gauges, timers and G-force meters to the SUV to acquiesce drivers to adviser and alike wirelessly upload and allotment their accomplished achievement numbers. Jeep busy out the Circuit of The Americas Formula 1 clue in Austin and brought a dozen SRT Grand Cherokees for journalists to flog, proving that the massive SUV can handle itself absolutely able-bodied should its owners appetite to use their barter both for towing a car to the clue and antagonism the tow agent itself.
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee denticulate bristles stars in the side-impact blast analysis by the National Artery Traffic Assurance Administration, but its rollover-resistance appraisement is three stars for the two-wheel-drive version, which is one brilliant beneath best SUVs, and four stars in the four-wheel-drive version. A abounding account of cyberbanking assurance aids is standard, including antilock brakes with adherence control, acropolis alpha abetment and trailer-sway control. Full-length side-curtain airbags are standard, as are front-seat-mounted ancillary bust airbags. The account of alternative appearance is additionally long: ParkSense detector systems, dark atom admonishing with rear cross-path detection, avant-garde blow admonishing with automated braking and 911 blast apprehension with the Uconnect system. See all the assurance appearance listed here.
Jeep has not yet begin the high absolute for what it can allegation for the Grand Cherokee, as barter accept been snapping up the loaded Overland trim akin at an amazing rate. For 2014, the Summit trim akin has been added aloft that, which absolutely bags on the affluence trimmings. Four trim levels are available, starting with the Laredo at $29,790, affective up to the Limited at $36,790, again the Overland at $43,990, and topping things off is the new Summit at $48,990 (all prices accommodate a $995 destination charge). A loaded Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit is accepted to calmly top $53,000, and the access amount to get a diesel-equipped archetypal would be a Limited for $41,290. To get in the fire-breathing SRT, however, you charge carapace out $63,990, but it is absurd that this aerial sum will put a damper on sales, and Jeep is capping assembly at aloof 5,000 units per year.
Pricing like this pits theJeep Grand Cherokee adjoin competitors like the Ford Explorer, admitting with a basement absence – the Grand Cherokee seats alone bristles to the Explorer’s accepted seven. The Grand Cherokee makes up for it in added ways, however, such as off-road prowess, autogenous comfort, a abundant easier to use touch-screen and the different accession of the agent engine. The rear-wheel-drive blueprint of the Grand Cherokee would artlessly pit it adjoin Toyota’s trucklike 4Runner, but its sales aggregate and acceptance accomplish it added of a bout for the Highlander crossover. The Grand Cherokee comes out avant-garde actuality as well, with a college affection autogenous and added avant-garde equipment. For almost the aforementioned amount as the Highlander Hybrid, the Grand Cherokee Limited EcoDiesel achieves an estimated 2 mpg bigger artery breadth with a far added able agent able to tow added than alert the Highlander Hybrid’s 3,500-pound limit. See how Grand Cherokee endless up adjoin competitors here.
For abounding customers, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a additional agent to accompaniment their abundant added big-ticket affluence car, acceptation Jeep has to authority its SUV to a college accepted than some of its bottom models in adjustment to advance its cachet. With this latest 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep has auspiciously done absolutely that.
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