Perennial best-selling model in its lineup, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee gets a major mid-cycle upgrading that adds style, luxury and functionality to this legendary SUV. In addition to gaining a host of premium creature features, the revised Grand Cherokee offers new and more fuel-efficient powertrain combinations highlighted by an EcoDiesel V6 engine that endows it with class-leading economy, range and towing capacity.

Even at a glance, the 2014 Grand Cherokee has a more sophisticated appearance, each model differentiated by minor design variations. All trims - Laredo/Laredo E/Limited/Overland/Summit - boast revamped front fascias with a more elegantly rendered signature 7-slot grille, slimmer headlamps and repositioned fog lamps. It's a similar story out back, where a restyled tailgate, new rear spoiler and larger taillamps - which like the headlights are enhanced with LED elements - help bolster curb appeal.

Already well-appointed, the 5-passenger cabin of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee benefits from a similar kind of focused remake. Here too, each model gets its own specific trim elements in addition to a new leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with shifter paddles, restyled instrument cluster and a more user-friendly center console that now includes either a 5.0-inch or 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen. At Overland and Summit levels, the standards include yards of premium leather, real wood and a CommandView dual-pane sunroof, with the latter top-line Grand Cherokee also brining a 19-speaker/825-watt Harman Kardon surround sound audio system.

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While the 290-horsepower/3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter/360-horse Hemi V8 carry over unchanged, both now are now backed by Chrysler's 8-speed automatic transmission that features a new driver-selectable ECO mode that can optimize shift patterns and engage Fuel Saver cylinder deactivation circuitry on the V8. It also incorporates an even lower 44.1:1 crawl ratio on 4-wheel-drive models with a 2-speed transfer case. The new addition to the Grand Cherokee lineup is the eagerly-anticipated 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6. Expected to earn a class-topping 30-mpg highway rating, it makes 240 ponies but a stout 420 lb-ft of peak torque - same as the 5.7-liter V8 with which it also shares an equally best-in-class 7,400-lb tow rating.

As in the past, Grand Cherokee buyers can step up from rear drive to three different 4-wheel-drive systems (Quadra-Trac I/Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II) as well as opt for Jeep's height-adjustable Quadra-Lift air suspension and an even more refined Select-Terrain system. On the safety front, the 2014 Grand Cherokee expands its already extensive list of passenger protection features with new Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation and Selec-Speed Control that integrates both the Hill-ascent Control and Hill-descent Control systems.

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is due at dealers sometime late in the first quarter of this year. Pricing will be released closer to the actual on sale date.



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