Jeep Grand Cherokee offers much more refinement
When it arrived on the scene nearly two decades ago, there was plenty of interest in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Sales people were making a nice living off this rugged sport utility vehicle throughout much of the mid-to-late 1990s when sales were exceeding 300,000 per year.
However, when gas mileage became more of an issue and crossover SUVs came into vogue, sales of the less-refined Grand Cherokee dipped. Jeep was slow to make significant changes until a year ago when a major redesign made a dramatic refinement statement that Jeep hopes will send sales heading upward again.
The changes that came in 2011 shouldn't alarm loyal Grand Cherokee owners. One of its core traits remains - off-road features. The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee provides generous ground clearance (10.7 inches maximum) with its optional adjustable air suspension and another available upgrade is the sophisticated four-wheel drive system. The Grand Cherokee has climbing power and a drive-mode selector that makes it more efficient in taking on specific types of terrain.
For car buyers who care very little about off-road capability, the new Grand Cherokee should be appealing as well. It features a roomier interior, a more performance-laden engine, and the ride is much improved, with handling similar to crossover SUVs.
The Grand Cherokee base model is offered at a very reasonable $27,195 sticker price. Don't be fooled into thinking that this same bargain price also applies to the other three trim models, which rise significantly.
The standard powertrain for three of the trim models is an efficient 3.6-liter, V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The rear-wheel drive Grand Cherokee accelerates from 0-60 in approximately 9 seconds, which is slower than most rivals. Gas mileage has been improved to 16-23 mpg.
The lineup for 2012 also includes a new high-performance Grand Cherokee that may intrigue some car shoppers. But beware of the high price - the SRT8 goes for $54,670. And what are you getting for that major hike? A powerful SUV that features a 5.7-liter, V8 that elicits 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, plus a sizable list of luxury features.
The SRT8 can tow up to 7,400 pounds, but note that its gas mileage (12-18 mpg) is less than traditional Grand Cherokees. The poor gas mileage isn't surprising because the SRT8 goes 0-60 mph in a very quick 5.1 seconds.
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Performance: 3.6-liter, V6, 290 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 16-23 mpg
- Price: $27,195 to $39,895
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/100,000 miles; corrosion 5 years/100,000; roadside assistance 3 years/36,000
Previous Grand Cherokees were devoid of a sophisticated interior and hard plastic was more the rule than the exception. The new models feature softer material and a more appealing look, including wood trim on all but the base model. The Grand Cherokee also provides comfortable seating for both front and back seat folks, and lots of convenient storage areas.
There are several negatives that should be noted. The Grand Cherokee has no third row, so the maximum seating is five people. The cargo space is fairly limiting, but the split back seats do fold nearly flat to greatly increase the cargo capacity. The optional navigational system has a tiny screen and is very unintuitive.
There are plenty of reasons to give the new Jeep Grand Cherokee a look. The base model comes at a great price and the other trim models feature that rugged off-road experience that can't be found these days in many SUVs.
About Weidel on Wheels
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesWINEderlust Renegade Wine Festival August 26thPLACERVILLE, CALIF. - El Dorado Winery Association is proud to present its first-annual celebration of renegades, rebels and rabble-rousers at the WINEderlust Renegade Wine Festival
Roseville Flash Crime Report (7.21.17)Digest summary update of Roseville police activity for the period covering July 6- 17, 2017.
John Adams Academy Expanding with Lincoln CampusLincoln, CA - Officials from John Adams Academy (JAA) charter school announced they have secured a site in Lincoln to house their public charter school program
WJU Athletics Sign Jaydon ClarkROCKLIN, Calif. - The Warriors men's basketball program led by head coach Lance Von Vogt welcome freshman Jaydon Clark to the 2017-18 recruiting class.
Santucci Memorial Golf Tournament slated for SeptemberRoseville, Calif., - The 14th annual Bill Santucci Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Friday, Sept. 29 at Sierra View Country Club in Roseville.
PlacerArts Presents the 24th Annual Auburn Art WalkAuburn, CA - The annual Auburn Art Walk presented by PlacerArts will take place on Friday, Aug. 4
Celebration for New Roseville Center for Sierra CollegeRoseville, Calif., - Sierra College invites the public to see its state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities at the new Roseville Center location in the heart of Roseville's Town Square
Paul Bancroft appointed to Sierra College BoardTruckee, CA -Kings Beach resident Paul Bancroft has been appointed to the Sierra College Board of Trustees. Bancroft will represent Area 2 and replaces Dave Ferrari who retired
Walmart Pays to Resolve Allegations of Violating Federal False Claims ActSACRAMENTO, Calif. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has paid $1.65 million to resolve allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act when it knowingly submitted claims
Viva la Tomato at the Midtown Farmers MarketSACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Midtown Association (MA) is pleased to announce exciting special activities happening in July - many designed to celebrate Sacratomato Week
Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard Expansion in RosevilleRoseville, CA- Expect delays for the next few months if you plan on traveling down Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard.
Granite Arch on Alzheimer's Memorial Wall a Tribute to President Ronald ReaganSacramento, CA - East Lawn Memorial Park is proud to unveil a granite arch on its historic Alzheimer's Memorial Wall on Saturday, July 22 at 10 a.m
NEWS: In Case You Missed It