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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

2014-Jeep Grand Cherokee

This 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee overview explains changes for the model year, provides a summary of the 2014 Grand Cherokee, and includes Jeep Grand Cherokee safety, reliability, and fuel economy information.

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 What is the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The Grand Cherokee is a five-passenger SUV designed for true off-road capability. While it can go places you’d never imagine a car could travel, it doesn’t punish people who use it to explore the urban jungle.

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 What’s New for 2014?

The big news for 2014 is the addition of the Grand Cherokee SRT8 model to the Jeep lineup. This performance-tuned version of the Grand Cherokee features the most powerful engine ever installed in a Jeep, a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 making 470 horsepower. Jeep has also revised the Grand Cherokee’s feature packaging to lower the base price of the Laredo model.

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 Trim Levels and Features

Last year, the Grand Cherokee Laredo was offered in Laredo E and Laredo X models, the latter available with leather and several premium upgrades. For 2014, the strategy has changed and the Laredo’s price is lower, but it loses the formerly standard dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and ignition, power driver’s seat, satellite radio, and roof rails. Those are now optional as part of the Laredo E Group. If you want leather, well, you’ll need to buy the Grand Cherokee Limited.

Highlights of the Laredo’s standard equipment list include air conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, power heated side mirrors, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Grand Cherokee Laredo also comes standard with automatic headlights, fog lights, dark tinted privacy glass, flip-up rear window glass, a fold-flat front passenger’s seat, a trip computer, and a six-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player.

For additional features, try the chrome-encrusted 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. It has leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, heated front and rear seats, memory for the driver’s settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a premium hard-disc sound system. UConnect Bluetooth hands-free calling is also included on the Limited model, along with Keyless Enter-N-Go technology, remote engine starting, rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera. Believe it or not, there’s more, including auto-leveling and auto-dimming Xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic sunroof, a Garmin navigation system, and polished 18-inch alloy wheels. Choose the Limited 4WD model, and you’ll get a two-speed transfer case and Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system, which modifies powertrain response depending on the type of surface the Grand Cherokee is traversing.

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The Grand Cherokee Overland takes the luxury quotient up a notch. It’s got premium piped leather upholstery, real wood cabin trim, heated and cooled front seats, a heated power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel wrapped in leather and wood, a hard-disc navigation system, a power liftgate, and 20-inch alloy wheels. An advanced Quadra-Drive four-wheel-drive package and a Quadra-Lift air suspension system come standard on four-wheel-drive versions of the Overland.

The Grand Cherokee Overland Summit is appropriately named, as it sits atop Jeep’s luxury SUV mountain of models. A chrome mesh grille, chrome tow hooks, a two-tone Saddle and Black interior with embroidered leather seats, and a unique set of 20-inch wheels set the Overland Summit apart visually. The Overland Summit also comes with standard Blind-spot Warning and Rear Cross Path Detection technology, an Adaptive Speed Control system with Forward Collision Warning, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and a power sunroof.

An entirely different beast, the new-for-2014 Grand Cherokee SRT8 is fully loaded and offered only with a handful of options. Unique features include a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, a hood punctuated with functional heat extractors, high-performance brakes with Brembo front calipers, an adaptive-damping SRT-tuned suspension, SRT-tuned steering, and Selec-Track dynamic tuning with Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow modes. Bi-Xenon headlights and LED running lights offer additional identification cues, while the interior gets Nappa leather seats with suede inserts, paddle shifters, carbon fiber trim, a 180-mph speedometer, and a Performance Pages section within the vehicle information center. A free one-day SRT Track Experience driving school is also included in the purchase price.

Extras for the SRT8 model include a rear DVD entertainment system, a power sunroof, a power liftgate, and an extended leather interior treatment. Buyers can upgrade to an 825-watt, 19-speaker SRT High Performance Harmon/Kardon audio system with 30-gig hard drive and GreenEdge technology, and swap the standard all-season rubber for Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires. The SRT8 is also available with an Adaptive Speed Control system with Forward Collision Warning and a Blind-spot Monitoring with Cross-Path Detection system.

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Under the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Hood

All 2014 Grand Cherokees (except the SRT8) come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine cranking out 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Jeep says that 90 percent of peak torque is made between 1,600 and 6,400 rpm, which means the engine delivers strong response throughout the rev range. A five-speed automatic transmission delivers power to the rear or all four wheels, and fuel economy is rated 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway (16 mpg in the city with 4WD). Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds with the V6 engine.

A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 rated at 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque is optional on Limited, Overland, and Overland Summit models. A cylinder deactivation system, which allows the V8 to operate on just four cylinders under certain conditions, contributes to fuel economy ratings of 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway (13 mpg in the city with 4WD). A five-speed automatic is standard, driving the rear or all four wheels, and with this engine the Grand Cherokee is rated to tow up to 7,400 pounds.

Exclusive to the Grand Cherokee SRT8, a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with cylinder deactivation makes 470 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque operating on premium fuel, with 90-percent of twist on tap between 2,800 and 6,000 rpm. Gas mileage ranks in you-don’t-want-to-know territory at 12 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, but the benefit is acceleration to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph. The SRT8 model can also tow 5,000 pounds, something the previous version couldn’t do.

In addition to engine variety, Jeep offers three different four-wheel-drive systems on the 2014 Grand Cherokee. Quadra-Trac I employs a simple single-speed transfer case to provide full-time four-wheel-drive capability. Quadra-Trac II features a two-speed transfer case and constantly monitors wheel slip to send as much as 100 percent of the engine’s power to the front or rear axle. Quadra-Drive II uses a rear electronic limited-slip differential to detect slip and redistribute power to the individual wheels with the best traction.

Another feature offered on Grand Cherokees with 4WD is new Selec-Terrain technology, which adjusts drivetrain calibration and response based on the driver’s selection of five different settings: Auto, Snow, Sport, Mud/Sand, and Rock. Grand Cherokee Overland models also have a Quadra-Lift air suspension system with Normal, Off-Road I, Off-Road II, Park, and Aero modes. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 features a Selec-Track system that calibrates driving dynamics according to Auto, Sport, Track, Snow, and Tow modes.

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 Safety and Reliability

Jeep endows the 2014 Grand Cherokee with a long list of standard safety features. Key among them are six airbags, stability and roll stability control systems, brake traction control, antilock brakes with rough road detection, and braking system enhancements including brake assist, brake override, rain brake support, and ready-alert braking. Additional features include trailer sway control, rear park assist sensors, a reversing camera system, and hill-start assist. An Enhanced Accident Response System shuts off the fuel supply to the engine, unlocking the doors, and turning on the interior lighting in the event of an airbag deployment. Additional safety technologies include Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning, and Blind-spot Monitoring with Cross-Path Detection.

Just in case all this stuff doesn’t help you avoid an accident in the first place, it is helpful to know that last year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee a Top Safety Pick rating. The IIHS has not rated the 2014 model as this review is written. Results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are incomplete as we publish this review, with the NHTSA assigning a 4-Star rating for frontal-impact protection and no rating for side-impact crashes. Rollover resistance is rated 3 Stars for the rear-drive Grand Cherokee and 4-Stars for the 4WD models.

When it comes to reliability, neither J.D. Power and Associates nor Consumer Reports are making predictions for the Grand Cherokee as this report is compiled. Last year, J.D. Power predicted that the Grand Cherokee would provide average dependability over time.

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Fun Facts

In case you’re wondering, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is built in Chrysler’s Jefferson Avenue North assembly plant in the city of Detroit. If any city in the nation needs help keeping its residents employed, it’s this one. The standard V6 engine also hails from the Detroit area, while the Hemi V8s come from Mexico.

The Grand Cherokee features a minimum of 8.6 inches of ground clearance at the front axle (8.3 for the SRT8). Get the available Quadra-Lift air suspension, and maximum clearance measures 12 inches at the rear axle.

Today’s Grand Cherokee offers more cargo space than ever, at 35.1 cubic-feet behind the rear seat and 68.7 cubes with the rear seats folded.

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