The 2014 Grand Cherokee adds relatively significant upgrades and options that push the Grand Cherokee’s appeal higher than ever before. On the exterior you’ll notice the new grill plus new LED tail lamps.
The visible changes are few compared to the updates in running gear. For starters, a new eight-speed automatic boosts mileage in all powertrains. The base 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 carries over, making 290 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque but now rated up to 25 mpg on the highway—for more than a 600-mile range. The HEMI V-8 still makes 360 hp, but now gets 21 mpg on the highway. Towing is up to 6,200 pounds or 7,400 pounds, respectively. The optional air suspension has a new Eco mode for reduced ride height at speed, and steering gets electrohydraulic actuation on all versions except the V-8s.
The truly important news under the hood is the Grand Cherokee Ecodiesel. The 3.0-liter V-6 earns an estimated 30 mpg on the highway, and has a stated range of about 730 miles on a single tank to go with best-in-class towing capacity of 7,400 pounds.
Oh, did we forget the SRT? It’s missing its “8” appendix, but still scorches along with a 470-hp HEMI and a 0-60 mph time of about 4.8 seconds. With launch control and a sporty 70-percent torque split to the rear in Track mode, it’s one of the best-handling SUVs we’ve driven.
The Grand Cherokee still has a fluid feel on pavement, but it’s also vastly talented off-road. The most advanced versions can still clamber over boulders and logs with ease, and the new automatic enables a lower crawl ratio that suits the Ecodiesel especially well. The Quadra-Lift air suspension continues, as do the three four-wheel drive systems—Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II—as well as the Selec-Terrain management system, which automatically caters the powertrain settings for the terrain (Sand, Mud, Auto, Snow, and Rock).
Interior space is still quite good, and if anything, fit and finish has gotten better. New color schemes and new trim options, like open-pore wood, push the Grand Cherokee ever higher into luxury-vehicle terrain, though it doesn’t have the third-row seating or funky-flexible interior of some bigger crossovers. It has hill ascent control which maintains steady throttle to effortlessly scrabble up surfaces a Flex or Enclave can only dream about.
On the infotainment front, the Grand Cherokee stays in front with new Uconnect screens (five-inch or 8.4-inch) and its cleaner, simpler interface. Piped-in 3G data adds cloud-based services like voice-to-text and natural-language navigation via voice commands. Finally, there’s a Summit edition with every feature imaginable, including a 19-speaker, 825-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, including 12-channel amplifier and three subwoofers.
Come visit Brown Motors today to check out the Grand Cherokee for yourself!