A true flagship.
The flagship Jeep retains uncompromising off-road capability, thanks largely to a trio of available four-wheel-drive systems and an optional air suspension that offers five height settings. Selec-Terrain electronically calibrates the vehicle to handle different conditions via a five-position dial. The Grand Cherokee will spend most of its time on dry, paved roads, though, where it behaves like a typical luxury SUV. The base engine is Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, which offers a respectable 290 hp. The optional 5.7-liter V-8 makes 360 hp and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower fans will likely opt for the SRT8 model and its 470-hp, 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine. Surprisingly — at least to those familiar with past Grand Cherokees — interior quality and execution are the biggest strengths of the new version, with standard features such as keyless ignition and satellite radio and optional features that include a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and a navigation system. Jeep has covered all the mid-size-SUV bases with the efficient V-6; the optional 5.7-liter V-8 that can tow up to 7400 pounds; and the track-tuned SRT8 model that can blast from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, run a thirteen-second quarter mile, and reach 160 mph.
new for 2013
Overland Summit models now include front park assist, power-folding mirrors, and headlight washers as standard equipment. Shoppers looking to maximize off-road capability will be interested in the limited-edition Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, which includes rock rails, skid plates, and other off-road-specific equipment, as well as minor visual distinctions from the rest of the range.
Front and side air bags, traction and stability control, roll mitigation, ABS, brake assist, and hill-start assist are standard. An optional tow package adds electronic trailer-sway control. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, and rear cross-path detection are optional.
SRT8 burns rubber
Trailhawk needs no pavement
Still not great on gas
Base Price Range: $28,420–$60,990
DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: Laredo 4x2, Laredo 4x4, Laredo X 4x2, Laredo X 4x4, Altitude 4x2, Altitude 4x4, Limited 4x2, Limited 4x4, Overland 4x2, Overland 4x4, Trailhawk, Overland Summit 4x2, Overland Summit 4x4, SRT8
BODY STYLE: SUV, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 3.6L V-6, 290 hp, 265 lb-ft
5.7L V-8, 360 hp, 390 lb-ft
6.4L V-8, 470 hp, 465 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 5- or 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 105.4 cu ft
CAPACITIES: Towing 5000–7400 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 35.1/68.7 cu ft