THE 2014 GRAND CHEROKEE IS AT THE TOP OF THE HILL ON OR OFF THE ROAD
Coming soon... the DRIVETIME ROAD TEST 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel Overland Edition.
Well it looks like the folks at Jeep have gone and done it again. Gone and improved what was a great original. Found a hundred ways to make it even better than it was and that’s a good thing, no?
Of course with Jeep's history...the originals were built in Butler and it is a favorite here in Western PA it is no surprize that you see so many on the roads. It takes more than history though. The Jeep has to deliver not only as a luxury SUV but as a vehicle that gets the job done off road, in all kinds of weather and all kinds of terrain. It delivers big time.
From the outside front you immediately notice the smaller grille. Lots of Jeep purists are moaning about it because it is less prominent, less a badge of ownership. The fact that this Jeep cuts a well designed profile with front effects, rear spoiler (taken from the SRT) and softer lines that while make good sense to cut down on drag and deliver better gas mileage give it a lower leaner look doesn’t mean much. They are mad about the grille. I guess you can't please everybody.
I am really impressed with the interior of the Grand Cherokee in a number of ways. Most of all in comfort. A longer wheelbase and wider opening doors mean more leg room and ease of getting in and out. If you are buying one of these it should be roomy and Chrysler got the message. The interior is very nicely done with quality materials and trim all around. The dash is easy to read, with the speedo screen able to be configured many ways to get you the info you need. Still the dash keeps the tradition but becomes modern with a big nav screen parked right in the middle. Internet hot spot with the UConnect system was pretty cool to have as well.
With the possible exception of a fully equipped Land Rover there is nothing that goes off road better than a Jeep and the Grand Cherokee is no different. Mud, grass, wet road, rocks, high water, it took it all on and kept it’s demeanor about it. It does fool you as you start to think it is too nice to take up the side of a hill but the Jeep just says hit the gas and i’ll do the rest with its Quadratrac II 4WD system. add to that a number of other improvements to the off road capabilities like the SelectTerrain system and there ain’t nowhere this baby ain’t going to take you!
On the road the Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with the 290 horsepower Pentastar V6 is vamoose quick as well as hearty. The 8 speed VF transmission shifts smooth and never strains even when put through it’s paces by the shift paddles in my hot rod hands! It has a towing capacity of 6200 lbs for the V6 and 7400 for the Diesel.
There are several engine configurations for the Grand Cherokee…from this Limited to the SRT that will get you to the mountaintop quicker than Zeus! The model I am driving has a $45,580 sticker, 17 city 24 highway MPG. I am very excited to drive the Diesel version which Chrysler says should get you over 700 miles on a tank of fuel!
This is one of the best SUV’s you will see out there in every facet of the game. What is most impressive on the Grand Cherokee though is the attention to detail. You know if it is a Jeep it’s going to go. Its the little things that let you know you are going to get there in style.
The Grand Cherokee is one of the cars that changed what we see on American roads. It brought together the concept of off road and soccer mom in a single vehicle. Macho enough for dad to take hunting...easy to drive enough that mom could feel ok trading in the mini van for a four wheel drive.