By KBB.com Editors
The Grand Cherokee is legendary for its rugged off-road ability, sensible size and car-like ride and interior. While most SUVs have grown to near-gargantuan proportions, the Grand Cherokee remains true to the original model. Engine choices, however, have grown larger and include a fuel-efficient V6, a powerful HEMI V8 and, new for 2007, a torque-happy turbodiesel, a first for the Grand Cherokee line. The introduction of the 3.0-liter Common Rail Diesel is another benefit resulting from the merger between Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz. Jeep also offers a choice of three four-wheel-drive systems, ranging from a basic shift-on-the-fly high/low transfer case to a permanently-engaged system capable of sending power to whichever wheel has traction.You'll Like This Car If...
If you like the idea of owning a rugged SUV that offers a luxurious interior, lots of power and doesn't fill your entire garage, the Grand Cherokee should be at the top of your shopping list. The Grand Cherokee is the only SUV in its class to offer a diesel engine option.You May Not Like This Car If... What's Significant About This Car?
A new 3.0-liter Common Rail Diesel promises both strong towing ability and excellent fuel economy. Also new are a Flexible-Fuel version of the 4.7-liter V8 capable of running on gasoline or E85, standard side-curtain airbags and the rearview back-up camera system.Driving It Driving Impressions
The Grand Cherokee retains the off-road ability of its predecessor, and gains strength in the areas of ride comfort, steering and handling. However, we didn't much care for the brakes or, more precisely, the mushy brake pedal that needed to travel quite a distance before attaining the desired affect. Seating comfort is supreme, with excellent neck protection provided by the forward-leaning headrest.
On the road, the V6 feels as though it has its work cut out for it, and it's not as inspiring as the old in-line six that had seemingly unending reserves of low-end torque. The 4.7-liter V8 is a much better choice and, if you can swing the extra cash, the 5.7-liter HEMI turns the Grand Cherokee into a drag racer. Off-road, we were amazed by the grip that the Quadra-Drive II displayed. When so equipped, the Grand Cherokee seemed oblivious to deep mud, insanely steep slopes and wildly uneven terrain.
Six-Disc MP3 CD Changer
The six-disc MP3/CD changer can hold up to 600 songs.
The Grand Cherokee's Quadra-Drive II is the best off-road system ever to wear the Jeep Trail Rated badge.
Jeep has done an outstanding job with the Grand Cherokee's interior. Quality materials abound, and the layout, execution and attention to detail are all first-rate. The Grand Cherokee can accommodate four adults in comfortfive in a pinch. In comparison to the previous version of the vehicle, there is a noticeable improvement in rear-seat legroom as well as ease of entry and exit, thanks to the longer rear doors.Exterior
The Grand Cherokee's handsome lines have been given the straight-edge treatment, and the trademark Jeep grille and tail are in place, as are the flared wheel arches and aggressively styled wheels. Styling for the base Laredo is simple and clean, while models such as the Limited and Overland have more ornate treatments, including body-colored cladding, fancier wheels and more bright work.Notable Standard Equipment
The Grand Cherokee Laredo comes with a 3.7-liter V6 engine, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), five-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, overhead and floor consoles, keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with CD, split folding rear seat, eight-way power driver's seat, rear spoiler, tilt wheel, side-curtain airbags, stability control, a rear wiper/washer and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The Limited trim adds a 4.7-liter V8, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear cargo cover, fog lights, memory for power driver's seat, pedals and mirrors, AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer and MP3 capability, leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with touch controls. Overland models feature a 5.7-liter HEMI V8.Notable Optional Equipment
Options include three different four-wheel-drive systems: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. Also on the list is a 5.7-liter HEMI V8, a 3.0-liter Common Rail Diesel engine, rearview back-up camera, a DVD navigation system, heated front seats, UConnect communications system, Rear Park Assist, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, locking rear axle and a power glass moonroof.Under the Hood
Though it helps make the big Jeep more affordable, the V6 engine has a tough time moving the Grand Cherokee's weight, especially when loaded and trying to pass at highway speeds. Despite their thirst for gas, the Grand Cherokee's V8 engines are much better suited to moving the big Jeep through traffic and underbrush.
210 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/22 (2WD), 17/21 (4WD)
3.0-liter V6 Turbodiesel
215 horsepower @ 3800 rpm
376 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600-2800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/23
235 horsepower @ 4500 rpm
305 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 10/14 (E85 2WD), 10/13 (E85 4WD), 15/20 (Gasoline)
5.7-liter V8 HEMI
330 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
375 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 (2WD), 14/19 (4WD)
A two-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee Laredo has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $28,360, while the four-wheel-drive version has an MSRP of $30,330. A four-wheel-drive Limited starts at $38,015 and the Overland is $43,385. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price paid for the Grand Cherokee in your area, so be sure to arm yourself with this figure before you begin negotiating. The Grand Cherokee is projected to retain an average value over five years, with the V6 model losing more of its value than the V8. The Grand Cherokee's projected 24-, 36-, 48- and 60-month residual values are better than the Nissan Pathfinder, on par with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and well below the Toyota 4Runner.