If you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Jeep Grand Cherokee, you are not alone. There is a lot to love about this vehicle and much of it has to do with performance. There are three engines available for 2014, and they all bring something special to the table. First is the 3.6-liter V6 engine that is good for 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It can accelerate zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds. Although this is a little slower than other similar equipped SUVs in this segment, fuel economy is respectable. Even as a four-wheel drive, you enjoy 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Next is the legendary 5.7-liter V8 that mates to a brand new eight-speed automatic transmission to deliver 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. An EcoMode helps it achieve as much as 21 mpg on the highway, and it offers exceptional Best-In-Class towing at a 7,400-pound capacity. Lastly, there is a new engine creating quite a buzz. A 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 also gets an eight-speed automatic to produce 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. It can tow 7,400 pounds and achieve 30 mpg on the highway. It also delivers clean diesel technology, offering low CO2 emissions. As you would expect, Grand Cherokee still delivers smooth and stable on-road performance, but its off-road capabilities really capture the attention of most.
• Uconnect® - The updated Uconnect® system gets a massive and crystal clear 8.4-inch touchscreen. It includes SiriusXM®, navigation with 3D graphics, HD radio, voice-activity, climate and radio controls and more. It can even be equipped with Wi-Fi.
• Audio - An available nine-speaker system comes with a touchscreen interface, digital music storage, satellite radio, USB/iPod interface and more.
• Navigation - An optional Garmin® navigation system is available to help get you where you need to go. There is a rumor that there could be an upgraded navigation system available as well but this is not confirmed.
• Remote Engine Start - Never get into a cold vehicle in the middle of winter again with this feature that lets you start your vehicle without walking outside.
Grand Cherokee shines when it comes to safety; the 2014 model is no exception. Although crash tests have not been done, it should receive top scores like its predecessor did from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The vehicle boasts more than 60 safety and security features, including a 911 call button on the rearview mirror to request help immediately. Other safety features worthy of a mention include:
• ParkView® Back Up Camera
• Forward collision warning
• Brake drying
• Stability control
• Self-leveling headlights
• Rear door safety locks
• Post-collision safety system
• Traction control
• Engine immobilizer
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Child seat anchors
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Remote anti-theft alarm
• High pressure washers headlamps
Jeep has certainly done everything right once again with the refreshed exterior design Grand Cherokee receives for 2014. It includes a restyled upper grille, slimmer headlights with LEDs and a revised taillight design. Of course, the iconic seven slats still remain in front, and there are some intoxicating wheel designs, especially the 20-inch wheels polished with mineral gray pockets.
One of the key selling points has always been its roomy passenger cabin; this has not changed a bit. Front seats are unbelievably comfortable and supportive and the backseat offers more than enough space for adult passengers to get comfortable. 2014 brings a refined suede-like headliner and open pore accents with either chrome or copper trim accents. The first thing you notice when you slip behind the wheel is the personalized instrument cluster with a 7-inch multi-view display and TFT technology. All the information you need is right in view from a full speed gauge to the Selec-Terrain® system.
With the rear seat in place, you enjoy 35 cubic feet; an impressive amount. However, Grand Cherokee falls short in this segment, when it comes to overall cargo capacity at only 69 cubes.