By Zach Vlasuk
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
Just a few years following its triumphant return to glory in the U.S. marketplace, the Jeep Grand Cherokee goes under the knife once again in an effort to maintain a competitive standing among segment standouts like the Toyota 4Runner, Nissan Pathfinder, and Volkswagen Touareg. Given that its framework is shared in large part with the latest Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the Grand Cherokee looks and feels remarkably upscale for a mainstream SUV. And unlike many of its domesticated challengers, Jeep engineers managed to improve the on-road manners of the 4th-generation Grand Cherokee without sacrificing off-road capability. At the top of the Grand Cherokee ladder is the equally-new Grand Cherokee SRT, which delivers a level of performance rivaling that of the road-burning BMW X5 M and Porsche Cayenne GTS for thousands less.
If you are on the prowl for an American-made 5-passenger SUV with high-style and genuine off-road chops, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a solid choice. Thanks to an alluring new array of in-vehicle electronics, the Grand Cherokee is also one of the most technologically advanced entrants in the category.
All-terrain bragging rights aside, most of today's SUVs never venture off the pavement. That's why staunch urbanites might prefer the low cabin noise and superior ride comfort offered by the Volkswagen Touareg. Additionally, families in need of a 7-8 passenger carryall should look to the Nissan Pathfinder or Honda Pilot.
Noteworthy revisions for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee include a new fuel-efficient EcoDiesel engine, a standard 8-speed automatic transmission for every powertrain, freshened exterior styling, and next-generation infotainment. Also new to the roster is a premium Summit model grade, refreshed interior colors, and a Forward Collision Warning system that alerts the driver to potential collisions.
Driving Impressions The highway ride – where we predict the 2014 Grand Cherokee will spend the bulk of its service – is surprisingly resilient and far more composed than its rugged demeanor...suggests. The electric-assisted steering is light during low-speed maneuvers, yet weights up appropriately at speed. While there, however, the Jeep Grand Cherokee's large, square mirrors and boxy shape create noticeable wind noise. When the asphalt ends, the 2014 Grand Cherokee impresses with its ample ground clearance, abundance of traction, and innovative off-road tech. As for power, all three engine choices are highly-competitive in terms of performance and fuel efficiency. But despite our affection for diesel technology, the new EcoDiesel's $4,500 premium combined with pricey urea exhaust fluid refills every 10,000 miles makes it a tough pill to swallow. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 470-horsepower 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT proves that utility and eye-popping performance can indeed go hand in hand. And while a rather stiff ride limits its appeal as a daily-driver, most drivers will find the SRT's compelling driving dynamics worth the sacrifice in ride comfort.
Arguably the most intuitive infotainment system available, UConnect Access offers cutting-edge connected car technology in a format that doesn't require an engineering degree to operate. Via the 8.4-inch touch panel or voice-recognition, users of all skill levels can access innovative features like UConnect mobile apps (Bing Local Search, Pandora and more), 3D navigation maps, and hands-free text messages (not compatible with iPhone).
QUADRA-LIFT AIR SUSPENSION
Complementing the Grand Cherokee's trio of 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems, the optional Quadra-Lift air suspension provides Jeep owners with five selectable vehicle height settings. When fully raised, the system creates a lofty 10.6 inches of ground clearance, which bests even the Wrangler Rubicon. The system can also be lowered, improving aerodynamics as well as facilitating ingress and egress.
Contemporary and functional, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee's cabin is a well-finished space with accommodations for up to five adult-sized passengers. Soft-touch surfaces are plentiful, accented by tasteful wood trims. The optional UConnect system is easy to operate, though we appreciate the fact that Jeep provides an accompanying collection of redundant physical controls for technophobes. Regarding storage, the Jeep Grand Cherokee can swallow 68.7 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded, while offering 35.1 cubes with the seats upright (both figures are on par with the Ford Edge and VW Touareg, but considerably less than Toyota's 4Runner).Exterior
The 2014 Grand Cherokee projects modernism and sophistication while at the same time conveying Jeep's distinguished off-road theme. The signature 7-slot grille, front bumper cover, and headlights have been reshaped for a more cohesive look. Higher-end Grand Cherokee models feature extra helpings of chrome along with new front and rear LED light pipes. Although its traditional SUV profile affords a high seating position for a more comprehensive view of the road, the step-in height remains relatively low, making it convenient for the vertically-challenged. Conversely, the liftgate can be a bit difficult to reach when fully extended. Thus, if you're of short stature, we recommend opting for the power-operated liftgate.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in four trims: Laredo, Limited, Overland and Summit. Entry-level Laredo models feature dual-zone climate control, a digital instrument cluster, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 6-speaker audio system with a 5-inch touch screen. The volume-leading Limited grade adds larger 18-inch wheels, leather and heated front seats, while a panoramic moonroof, UConnect Access infotainment, and xenon headlights come as standard issue on Overland models. At $49,000, the Grand Cherokee Summit is crammed with virtually every high-end feature on the menu. Standard safety features for all models includes six airbags, a raft of stability control systems, and UConnect emergency assistance with a complimentary trial subscription.
Quadra-Lift air suspension coupled with the top-spec Quadra-Drive II 4-wheel-drive system are essential for any hardcore off-road enthusiast. Family-minded buyers looking to keep their backseat youngsters occupied will appreciate the Blu-ray entertainment center. As a bonus, the system is compatible with most gaming consoles. Because visibility with the standard halogen headlights is middling at best, drivers who frequently travel at night should consider the optional xenon setup. Finally, in a true sign of the times, a CD player has been relegated to the options list for 2014.
Engine choices include a standard 3.6-liter V6, 5.7-liter Hemi V8, and a new 3.0-liter diesel V6. The sole engine offering in the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is a monstrous 6.4-liter V8 that pushes a whopping 470-horsepower to all four wheels through a rear-biased 4WD system. For non-SRT models, rear-wheel drive is standard across the board, with three 4-wheel-drive systems optional. Every 2014 Grand Cherokee, including the SRT variant, is fitted with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. As a result, the complete lineup of 2014 Grand Cherokee models sees modest improvements in acceleration and fuel economy. Furthermore, V6 towing capacity has been increased from 5,000 to 6,200 pounds.
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4.800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (4x2), 17/24 mpg (4x4)
360 horsepower @ 5,150 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 mpg (4x2), 14/20 mpg (4x4)
3.0-liter diesel V6
240 horsepower @ 3,600 rpm
420 lb-ft of torque @ 2.000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg (4x2), 21/28 (4x4) mpg
470-horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
465 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 mpg
Base prices for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee range from just shy of $30,000 to roughly $52,000. The Grand Cherokee SRT begins right around $64,000 and tops out near $68,000. Adding a Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, or Quadra-Drive II 4-wheel-drive system will cost you an extra $2,000, $2,500, or $3,500, respectively. The less-capable Ford Edge opens around $28,500, with the Toyota 4Runner coming in closer to $32,000. The Volkswagen Touareg carries a starting price of nearly $45,000, but includes a more extensive set of standard features and luxury-car ride quality. Most 7-passenger SUVs like the Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Explorer share a similar base price with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Before buying, take a look at KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page to see what others in your area are paying for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. When it comes time to sell, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is expected to hold slightly above-average resale values, higher than the Nissan Pathfinder and VW Touareg, but falling well short of the Toyota 4Runner.
By Nana on Monday, April 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,900overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "$ for $ best car on the road!!!"
Cons: "I don't have a sun roof!!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Owned all kinds from luxury to budget (when kids were in college) and the Jeep is my favorite around town and trip vehicle. Easy to drive, park and handle. Rarely needs anything done except to be diligent in routine servicing."
By Tuvya on Saturday, April 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "well built, drives great, great gas classy design"
Cons: "no roof top parallel bars"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The driver seat position feels great when looking forward. The increased height makes it an outstanding view for all around sight of traffic. This Larado trim has got to be one of the best Jeep has ever made. Is very comfortable to drive and handles great. The only con is that there are no roof top parallel rails to use as tie downs with a cargo carrier. This car seems to be made for looks rather than practicable. But it is well built with a classy chrome design."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Fair on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,300overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "nice interior"
Cons: "transmission shudders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Transmission shudders at speed over 40 mph under mild acceleration. After two fixes involving software, the problem has not been solved."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Rachelle on Tuesday, April 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, beautiful design, safe,"
Cons: "Low gas mileage 14-18 per gallon."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I absolutely love this and driving it is such a pleasure. It feels very stable and also responsive. I often drive it in sport mode, it flies off the road. The car is equipped to handle a variety of environments from snow, sand, etc.... I have a Red Grand Cherokee Overland, it's beautiful to look at. I use the panoramic sunroof everyday. I have driven Cadillac SRX crossover, BMW, and a few other cars since I have purchased that car and every time I transition I can't believe how stiff all these cars feel compared to mine. I love love love love my car. And I am here writing this review because I am trying to establish how the value of my car might diminish from an accident I was involved in yesterday. The other driver rear ended me at full speed at a red light, the muffler of the car suffered sever damaged but if you look at the car physically it looks like only the very bottom bumper was damaged while the other car is pretty much destroyed. I am bummed this happened to me but the state of the car is testament to the robustness of the car."
7 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Jonathon on Monday, March 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned several suv's including a few other Jeeps. The Overland is the best SUV ever built by Jeep or any other manufacturer in this class. The Hemi is strong and powerful. I tow a 25 foot boat with ease evn up steep inclines. The stitched leather interior is both beautiful and comfortable. The built in safety features like early brake warning system and adaptive cruise control provide a comfortable quiet and safe ride. This is an all around great vehicle."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By VillyG on Saturday, March 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Worst quality car ever. 8000 miles and so far we had to deal with: Random error messages on the screen Nav that thinks it is 100 yards from the current location most of the time Flickering backup camera Doors that the don't close unless the last one is slammed shut or a window is down Cruise control that turns off by itself Sticking buttons Voice control that cannot recognize anything"
17 people out of 29 found this review helpful