I have always been a fan of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and when I reviewed the new redesigned 2011, I became a bigger fan. One thing Chrysler has done a great job with is changing and updating the Grand Cherokee every year, and the changes are always an improvement.
Now comes the 2014 version of the Grand Cherokee. It has a freshened exterior while still staying true to that classic Jeep look. The interior has been redone as well, and this 2014 has the updated Uconnect infotainment system, which is efficient and one of the easiest to operate systems I have seen.
My evaluation vehicle is the Laredo package, which is the bottom of the line package for 2014, a fact I had to research because upon a glance, I would have thought this was one of the middle packages. Inside and outside, it is a very attractive 5-passenger SUV.
For 2014, you can choose among three engines. The entry-level engine is the 3.6-liter V6, there is a 5.7-liter Hemi, and there is going to be a diesel variant. If you go to the SRT8 version, the standard engine is the massive 470-horse 6.4-liter V8. All Grand Cherokees come with the 8-speed automatic transmission.
My tester has the 3.6-liter V6, it is a 4×4, and it is rated at 290 horses. The engine is smooth and the transmission is flawless. Acceleration is adequate, but you are in no danger of getting a whiplash when you floorboard it. This Jeep is very quiet inside and the cloth seats are comfortable and easy to adjust.
Interior surfaces are attractive and accented by wood trim. Regarding storage, the Jeep Grand Cherokee can store 68.7 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded, while offering 35.1 cubes with the seats upright. The rear cargo area is neat and well organized, with a full sized spare underneath.
If you are an off-road type, Jeep vehicle capability improves with the Selec-Terrain traction control system, giving you five modes to tackle any condition, including snow. Traction is also enhanced through the available Quadra-Trac II system, which is what I am driving, or Quadra-Drive II 4WD systems. As well, the Jeep Quadra-Lift air suspension features five height settings for optimum ride performance, but even without that, ground clearance is very good.
Even on this lower line model, the standard equipment level is very good. At no charge, you get dual climate controlled air conditioning, keyless entry, push button start, voice command with Bluetooth, and much more. Even with the 6-cylinder, this rig has a 6200-pound trailer towing capacity.
Some of the options my evaluation vehicle has include a power liftgate, heated steering wheel, power moonroof, heated seats, remote start, and hill descent control.
I am impressed with the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It drives great and handles and steers like a champ. The lack of acceleration is offset but really good fuel economy for a 4-wheel drive SUV. Looking at the pricing, this is an exceptional value.
What I liked most: The exterior and interior changes, and fuel economy.
What I would change: More acceleration would be nice.
MSRP: $30,795 base price, $37,530 as equipped.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 17 City and 24 Highway, and doing slightly better.
Warranty: 3 year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain, and roadside assistance.
2014 Grand Cherokee in a few words: Capable and refined, this is the best Grand Cherokee ever.