Last week I got the chance to take a very quick spin in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4×4. While I didn’t have time to test her off road abilities, I did get her on the twisty pavement on the back roads of West Virginia.
The Grand Cherokee is available with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 and a 5.7L V8, but I was lucky enough to get in the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. This motor produces 240 horsepower and an incredible 420 lb/ft of torque. Power goes to the wheels via a new 8 speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for this engine with the 4×4 powertrain is 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined.
The Grand Cherokee has a right height of 8.7”, and the Quadra-Lift air suspension system will raise it for off roading, or lower it 0.6” when it reaches speed. This Jeep can kneel down up to 1.6” when parked for easy ingress/egress.
Hidden deep in the the press kit for the Grand Cherokee is the fact that this engine is a turbo diesel, but it becomes evident upon first acceleration. It’s fairly blah until 2000 rpms, when the turbo spools up and all the torquy-ness is unleashed. That’s when things get fun.
The new automatic transmission shifts smoothly and you get full control via the paddle shifters. Sport mode tightens up the steering and throttle noticeably. While it can be vaguely frightening to attack corners in a vehicle weighing over 5,000 pounds, the Grand Cherokee handles the turns with aplomb, never feeling out of sorts. Steering gives enough resistance in high speed cornering while still offering a good feel at lower speeds.
Regardless of what you think about the new front fascia, which I personally find to be quite good, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee has terrific on-road manners. Additionally, this EcoDiesel can tow a maximum of 7,400 pounds. Towing your toys has never been so easy.
Check out the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee off-road in this TFL Car First Drive Review.