With the huge array of SUV’s on the market, would you believe Jeep’s Grand Cherokee was the top selling SUV last year. And to maintain that distinction, the new 2014 Grand Cherokee will have some notable features. Foremost of which is a new 3.0-liter, V6 diesel engine that reportedly produces 240-hp and a whopping 420 lb/ft of torque when coupled to a new 8-speed automatic transmission. The combination is expected to have EPA mileage ratings of 21 city, 28-highway mpg for the 4X4 model, and 22/30 for the 4X2 with a best-in-class driving range of 730 miles. The new Grand Cherokee will also have a best-in-class towing capability of up to 7,400 pounds.
Prior to this, the Grand Cherokee had a similar turbo diesel option with 215-hp, but it was discontinued back in 2006 according to Lisa Barrow, Chrysler northeast media relations manager.
Jeep says that the diesel’s fuel economy is 43 percent better than competitive gasoline-powered V8 SUVs in the segment. It will, however, add $4,500 to the cost of new the Grand Cherokee.
In addition, a 3.6L, 290-hp (260 lb/ft of torque) Pentastar V6 will still be offered as will the 5.7L, 360-hp (390 lb/ft of torque) V8. Fuel economy improvements were made across the board and in fact there’s even a new Eco Mode for 2014. This mode optimizes the transmission’s shift points, and in V8 models, Fuel Saver cylinder deactivation is standard and helps to conserve fuel.
While in Eco Mode, the system also activates Grand Cherokees’ air suspension (Quadra-Lift) by lowering it to “Aero Ride Height” when the vehicle remains at speeds between 52 and 56 mph, or exceeds 56 mph. Quadra-Lift, incidentally, adds up to 4.2 inches of lift automatically or may be controlled manually with console controls. With the front air dam removed, the air suspension allows a 35.8-degree approach angle, a 29.6-degree departure angle and 23.5 breakover angle, undercarriage clearances offroaders crave.
While the exterior of the 2014 Grand Cherokee will receive some tweaks by adding LED lighting, new fascia trim and resculpted tailgate, the interior has a revised center stack featuring Uconnect 5-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreens, while the rear-seat footwell and rear door-pockets now have ambient lighting.
As for safety systems, the 2014 has more than 60 features including Front Park Assist, Forward Collision Warning and Crash Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Select-Speed Control plus cloud-based voice texting on the infotainment side.
Aside from these and other upgrades, the 2014 Grand Cherokee will be offered in a new “Summit” model that joins the Laredo, Overland and Limited models.
The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be in dealers’ showrooms this spring.
Then there’s the newly resurrected 2014 Cherokee. While it won’t be unveiled until the upcoming New York Auto Show, the photos Jeep put out show a sexy, striking SUV that should be a tad smaller than the Grand Cherokee and at less cost.
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