Jeep's flagship is a handsomely styled midsize SUV that's built its reputation on traditional SUV values. While body-on-frame SUVs like the Grand Cherokee have faded from popularity, its maneuverable size, comfortable ride, luxurious interior and refinement road manners have kept it a desirable option for buyers.
For 2017, Jeep continues to expand the Grand Cherokee's horizons with two new trim levels that build on its strengths in off-road ability and luxury.
The new off-road-oriented Trailhawk trim for the Grand Cherokee features Jeep's top-notch Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system, an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a tweaked four-corner air suspension system which offers more suspension travel and improved articulation off-road. As with the Trailhawk trim on the Cherokee and Renegade, the Grand Cherokee gets unique exterior trim including a different grille, red front and rear tow hooks, matte-finish hood decals, red-finish Trailhawk and Trail Rated badges, gray mirrors and roof rack. A choice of 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels are available; both come wrapped in kevlar-reinforced Goodyear off-road tires. Inside the Trailhawk features new menus for the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system with off-road specific displays, sports seats with superior bolstering, red accent stitching for the interior trim, and piano-black gloss interior trim. Leather upholstery is standard.
While the Grand Cherokee range is already full of premium trim level models including the Limited and Overland, the Summit takes luxury to - pardon the terrible pun - new heights. Glove-soft Nappa leather wraps the dashboard, centre console and door panels, while the seats are finished in supple Laguna leather upholstery. Two Summit-specific interior colour schemes are available too, Indigo and Ski Grey. As the range-topping model, the Summit comes fitted with all of Jeep's technology features including an acoustic windshield, suede-like headliner, active noise cancellation, Berber carpets, radar cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, plus the top-of-the-line Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system with four-corner air suspension. The Summit features a new front bumper and grille design, plus LED foglamps and 20-inch alloy wheels.
There's plenty of choice with the Grand Cherokee for powertrain options. The standard engine is a 293-horsepower version of Chrysler's Pentastar V6 engine. It produces 260 lb-ft of torque. For those needing a bit of extra power, a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 is available, which develops 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. V8s are a relative rarity in this segment. The Grand Cherokee is the only SUV in its class to offer diesel power, too. The Italian-built 3.0-litre produces 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, which provides it with a range of 1,100 km and the ability to tow up to 7,200 lbs. Each one of these engines is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
There's also the Grand Cherokee SRT, the high-performance track-oriented version. It packs a burly 6.4-litre Hemi V8 with 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, track-optimized air suspension. While it trails the Range Rover Sport SVR, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and BMW X5 M for outright power, it handles very well and is still incredibly rapid, taking less than five seconds to hit 100 km/h.
Pricing for the 2017 Grand Cherokee starts at $43,695 for the entry level Laredo, with the range-topping Summit selling for $67,995. The hi-po SRT sells for $71,695 - a fraction of what its premium-branded rivals sell for.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed