Jeep Grand Cherokee

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a luxury vehicle in addition to being a solid highway cruiser and a capable off-road machine. The current-generation Grand Cherokee was introduced for the 2011 model year.

For 2016, Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in a new High Altitude edition based on the top Overland trim. Electric power steering is new for 2016, and the 2016 Grand Cherokee SRT gets a revised instrument cluster.

Seating five passengers in two rows, the Grand Cherokee features a richly furnished, luxury-level cabin with ample interior space. Superior capability is the rule. Not only does a Grand Cherokee ride comfortably, it handles and performs well. The powertrain lineup ranges from a fuel-efficient EcoDiesel V6 to gasoline V6 and V8 engines, topped by the outlandishly quick Grand Cherokee SRT.

Three engines are available for the Grand Cherokee, four if the SRT is counted. Base models use a 3.6-liter V6, which makes 295 horsepower and is fitted with fuel-saving engine stop-start technology. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 generates 360 horsepower. The most fuel-efficient option is the EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V6, producing 420 pound-feet of torque. Estimated at 30 mpg on the highway, it stretches range per tankful to 730 miles.

Each engine mates with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Grand Cherokee promises best-in-class towing capacity, at up to 7,400 pounds.

Jeep also offers a fourth powertrain, in the performance-focused SRT, whose 6.4-liter Hemi V8 now whips up 475 horsepower. All that energy reaches all four wheels, whereas other Grand Cherokees can have either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

An available air suspension can improve gas mileage further by lowering the vehicle at highway speed. The 8-speed transmission allows a lower crawl ratio, which matches the EcoDiesel especially well. Buyers choose from three four-wheel drive systems. Selec-Terrain automatically alters powertrain settings according to the surroundings.

Gasoline V6 versions include new engine stop-start technology. With rear-wheel drive, the V6 has been EPA-rated at 17/25 mpg City/Highway. EcoDiesel is EPA-rated at 22/30 mpg City/Highway. Rear-drive Hemi V8 models earn an unappealing 14/22 mpg. But its the SRT that guzzles, at 13/19 mpg.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the Grand Cherokee either four or five stars overall, with five stars for frontal and side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated it Good in all but the tougher small-overlap test.


2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee is the flagship of the brand and for many years was the quintessential SUV. Today, the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee seats a family of five, drives well on road or off and sports classic good looks.

There have been few changes for 2015 following a major refresh for 2014 that included exterior and interior upgrades, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the addition of a diesel engine.

New for 2015: A new Summit California Edition appearance package is available, along with an optional Argentina Tan leather interior. Active Noise Cancellation is standard on 2015 Grand Cherokee Summit models. Engine output for the 2015 Grand Cherokee SRT has increased to 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque; and theres a new special-edition Red Vapor version. The other 2015 Grand Cherokee models carry over unchanged from 2014. The last time Grand Cherokee was completely redesigned was for the 2011 model year.

Rear-wheel drive comes standard on most models. Rear-wheel-drive versions account for a small fraction of sales, and we think they miss the point, but of course they do get better fuel economy than the four-wheel-drive versions.

Four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available, depending on whether the driver needs outstanding capability for rugged terrain or wintry weather, respectively. Four-wheel drive, low-range gearing, and a full-size spare tire, all required for genuine off-road activities, are available and there is a choice of suspensions.

Four engines are available. Chryslers 3.6-liter V6 engine is standard and more than sufficient for anything but heavy towing. EPA estimates for the 3.6-liter V6 with 4WD are 17/24 mpg City/Highway.

A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is available, useful for towing with 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. A Grand Cherokee with the 5.7-liter V8 and four-wheel drive is EPA-rated at 14/20 mpg.

Diesel power is available. With 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the EcoDiesel engine delivers effortless power for towing or traversing rugged terrian. The EPA estimates for the diesel with four-wheel drive are 21/28 mpg City/Highway. EPA estimates for diesels tend to the pessimistic side, counter to ratings for gasoline and hybrid vehicles, which can be optimistic.

In its current form, Grand Cherokee displays a cleaner, more integrated look than in the past. You can trace some development of the Grand Cherokee back far enough that it paralleled the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, but with the latest electronics it will feel familiar to drivers of other Chrysler products. (The diesel engine hails from VM, part of Chryslers Fiat link). If theres a safety feature you want that isnt standard, you can often get it as an option.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee competes against a spectrum of vehicles including four-wheel-drives such as the Land Rover LR4, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Toyota 4Runner and Land Cruiser. Rivals also include compact-to-mid-size crossovers and niche models, and to a lesser extent, the big Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition. If you want seven-passenger seating, the closest choice is the Dodge Durango.

SRT is a standalone brand within Chrysler, but we include the Grand Cherokee SRT here because it is essentially a faster Jeep Grand Cherokee for on-road use and it can be purchased at any Jeep dealership. This steroidal performance wagon competes against the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5M and X6M, Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, and perhaps the Audi SQ5 or Cadillac CTS-V wagon. Its the fastest, most expensive, thirstiest Grand Cherokee, and the last one you want to use in the same sentence with off-road. It isnt a rational choice, but we dont believe choosing a car must be rational. We have irrational vehicles in our own garages and we love them.


2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2014 marks a mid-life refreshment for Grand Cherokee. All 2014 Grand Cherokee models come with a new 8-speed automatic transmission, replacing the previous 5-speed. And a new EcoDiesel V6 engine is available that provides good performance and fuel economy. Inside, the 2014 Grand Cherokee gets updated electronics. To mark these changes, the 2014 Grand Cherokee gets mild exterior styling changes and the interior gets some new color schemes.

In most cases the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is more expensive than last year, but it also offers more equipment (in some other Chrysler products the 8-speed automatic is a $1,000 option). Every model except the SRT is offered with rear-wheel drive or all- or-four wheel drive. The rear-drives account for a small fraction of sales, but they get better fuel economy and claims of 30 mpg Highway is worth a small fortune to Jeep.

This is a sport-utility for a family of five. They will fit better than four big adults, yet the Grand Cherokee offers competitive cabin and cargo dimensions. Trim varies from cloth upholstery and faux wood to piped, perforated leather with real open-pore wood and suede-like headliner. Upgraded electrical systems mean additional infotainment choices and more owner configurability.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee five-passenger sport-utility drives well on the pavement and off it.

Four-wheel drive, low-range gearing, and a full-size spare tire required for genuine off-road activities are optional. A variety of drive systems and two suspension arrangements are available.

Chrysler's 3.6-liter V6 engine is standard and more than sufficient for anything but heavy towing. For towing, they offer the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and, at a higher price point, the new EcoDiesel. With 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the EcoDiesel's effortless nature is ideal for a big-wheeled heavy box like this. The diesel's EPA City rating matches the V8's Highway rating; and EPA ratings for diesels tend to the pessimistic side, counter to ratings for gasoline and hybrid vehicles.

The restyle applied to the 2014 Grand Cherokee gives it a cleaner, more integrated look, while sophistication increases with price. You can trace some development of the Grand Cherokee back far enough that it paralleled the Mercedes-Benz M-Class but with the new electronics it will feel familiar to drivers of other Chrysler product (and the diesel engine is now from VM, part of Chrysler's Fiat links). If there's a safety feature you want that isn't standard you can often get it as an option.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee competes against a spectrum of vehicles including four-wheel drives such as the Land Rover LR4, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Toyota 4Runner and Land Cruiser, any number of compact-to-mid-size crossovers and niche models, and to a lesser extent with the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition. If you want a seven-seat Grand Cherokee the closest thing is the Dodge Durango, but that does not yet offer the diesel or an SRT version.

Although SRT is now a standalone brand within Chrysler we include the Grand Cherokee SRT here because it still says Jeep on it and can be purchased at any Jeep dealership. This steroidal performance wagon competes with the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5M and X6M, Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, and might get some Audi SQ5 or Cadillac CTS-V wagon shoppers. It's the fastest, most expensive, thirstiest Grand Cherokee, and the last one you want to use in the same sentence with off-road; in an SRT off-road means you missed the braking zone on a racetrack.


 

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