It delivers consumers an extraordinary combination of best-in-class fuel economy and driving range, a choice of leading powertrain options, legendary benchmark capability, world-class craftsmanship, premium on-road driving dynamics and a host of advanced user-friendly technology and safety features.
The drive took place in the UAE starting from Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. For 2014, the Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine delivers up to 9.8 liters per 100 km highway and a driving range of more than 965 kms, while the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 now achieves up to an estimated 11.76 liter per 100 km highway - both engine options being paired to a new 8-speed transmission.
Legendary Jeep capability comes courtesy of two available 4x4 systems (Quadra-Trac II and Quadra Drive II), Jeep's Quadra-Lift air suspension system and class-leading Selec-Terrain traction management system. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee also boasts best-in-class towing of up to 3,266 kgs and an improved crawl ratio of 44.1:1. In addition to enhancing fuel economy, the new, robust and durable eight-speed transmission delivers quicker acceleration and precise, smooth shifting, enhancing ride quality to luxury car levels. An additional benefit is a lower crawl ratio of 44.1:1 to aid in climbing over or through tough obstacles, when equipped with a two-speed transfer case.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee rises above the road and rocks with the rugged, class-exclusive Quadra-Lift air suspension system that features five height settings for optimum ride performance:
-Normal Ride Height (NRH): 8.7" (220.98mm) of clearance offers improved fuel economy as well as improved aerodynamics during on-road driving.
-Off-road 1: Lifts the vehicle an additional 1.3" (33mm) from NRH for added height in clearing obstacles (10.0"/254mm).
-Off-road 2: Delivers legendary Jeep off-road capability and provides an additional 2.6" (66mm) from NRH for 11.3" (287mm) of ground clearance.
-Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle 1.6" (40.6mm) from NRH for easy ingress/egress. NRH and Park Mode are driver selectable allowing the driver full control over vehicle ride height.
-Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle 0.6" (15.24mm) from NRH. Aero Mode is controlled by vehicle speed and adjusts for optimal performance and fuel economy - the vehicle also lowers to Aero Mode when in Sport Mode.
When the vehicle is operating in Eco Mode it lowers itself to Aero Mode, further enhancing the Grand Cherokee's aerodynamics for optimum efficiency.
The Selec-Terrain system has been refined for 2014 and offers five different driving conditions to achieve the best driving experience on all terrains:
-Sand: Traction control and Quadra-Lift operate with sensitive response to wheel spin, and torque tuned for optimal performance in sand.
-Mud: Traction control and Quadra-Lift operate with sensitive response to wheel spin, and torque tuned for optimal performance in mud.
-Auto: Automatically adapts to any on- or off-road situation.
-Snow: Vehicle traction adjusts for ultimate performance over snow-covered roads.
-Rock: Quadra-Lift air suspension system raises to maximum height of 11.3" (287mm), while the transfer case, differentials and throttle coordinate to provide low-speed control.
-Sport Mode, previously found on the Selec-Terrain controller, is now engaged with the shift lever and provides enhanced on-road "fun-to-drive" capability.
Selec-Terrain, coupled with the Quadra-Lift air suspension, offers drivers an adjustable suspension span that delivers Trail Rated performance. New Selec-Speed Control with Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control allows drivers to control Grand Cherokee's speed both up and down steep, rugged grades with the steering wheel paddle shifters - without the need for throttle or brake pedals.
A new, refined exterior design, complete with new bi-xenon headlamps with signature LED daytime running lamps (DRL) on all models, provides an even more premium appearance.
The rear of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee features new, larger tail lamps with signature LED lighting, a larger, more aerodynamic rear spoiler and a re-sculpted tailgate that offers greater visibility. A more pronounced Jeep badge is now found directly on the tailgate between the tail lamps. Lower rear fascias are now model-specific, and dual exhaust tips are standard on all Limited, Overland and Summit models.
A key exterior feature of the new 2014 Grand Cherokee is signature front and rear LED lighting - bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps that are outlined with signature LED running lamps. These unique lights, standard on all models, make Grand Cherokee instantly recognizable, night or day, from a great distance.
Interior luxury is achieved with premium amenities including Natura leather, exotic open-pore wood trim and new color offerings. The award-winning interior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is clearly one of the most technically advanced, well-crafted interiors in the industry. Immediately noticeable is the revised center stack featuring new Uconnect 8.4" (213.36mm) touchscreens. Controls for the radio and climate are found below the screen and have easily identifiable knobs and buttons. Following the centre stack down onto the centre console reveals a new leather-wrapped E-shifter for the eight-speed transmission.
Another recognizable change is a new three-spoke steering wheel. Wrapped in leather, it features sections of wood on Overland and Summit models. All Grand Cherokee models include standard paddle shifters mounted on the back of the new steering wheel - which perfectly frames the new curvilinear gauge cluster that features the 7" (177.8mm) customer-configurable multiview display.
Each Grand Cherokee model has its own unique style of luxury and ambiance based on materials and color patterns. Laredo and Limited models feature dark wood trim on the dash and doors. Door handle and dash vent bezels, as well as the trim on the centre console, feature a slight gold hue to their brush aluminium look. Limited models also have bright insert doorsill scuff plates and bright metal accents that run along the bottom of the wood trim and that adorn the cargo bay. Premium cloth seating is standard on Laredo while Capri leather seating is standard in Limited.
Overland models have several modern luxury touches not typically found on high-end imports. A standard stitched-leather instrument panel and available open-pore wood are two of the prominent interior design cues that add a distinct touch of modern luxury. Wood trim is also found on the top portion of the leather-wrapped steering wheel. A final touch is the addition of rear-seat foot well and rear door-pocket ambient lighting.
2012 brought record sales for the Jeep brand worldwide, with Grand Cherokee contributing approximately 220,000 units globally, with 52,000 units from international markets. The current-generation Grand Cherokee may very well be the most flexible vehicle in existence, being equally suited for towing, off-roading, comfortable traveling and outings to the dance. I am looking forward to what Jeep does next with the Grand Cherokee.