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.
Print This Article
Placer County News HeadlinesCalifornia Statewide Fire Summary Over the weekend the state's fire activity increased significantly. The drought dry conditions coupled with high temperatures and low humidity allowed several new large wildfires to grow quickly
Sierra Stories at Rocklin CampusLocal Author Gary Noy to Present 'Sierra Stories' Rocklin Campus, September 19 at 7:30 pm
Multiple Sclerosis: Sleep Disorders Widely Undiagnosed In what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at UC Davis have found that widely undiagnosed sleep disorders
Hoy for the Hall of FameI guess every year you'll just have to get used to reading about William Elsworth "Dummy" Hoy, a deaf professional baseball player from 1888-1902
Placer County Fairgrounds: In a State of FluxRoseville, CA -- After a detailed presentation and lively discussion among the Supervisors, staff and the public, the Placer County Board of Supervisors this week directed Facility Services staff to
Suspect Sought in Granite Bay Bank RobberyPlacer County sheriff's detectives are asking the public's help in identifying the suspect who robbed a Granite Bay bank on the morning of September 12, 2014.
Placer County's Annual Recover Happens September 20thPlacer County's 14th annual Recover Happens celebration, a community event open to all, will take place this year in Auburn's Recreation Park, 123 Recreation Dr., near Old Town
Placer County's Criminal Justice System: A Master PlanPlacer County staff recently presented the Board of Supervisors with an update on the Criminal Justice Master Plan.
Acorn Harvesters Needed: Do You Have What It Takes?The Sacramento Tree Foundation is recruiting acorn Harvesters for the fall 2014 Acorn Harvest. Training to be held in Rocklin.
Roseville to Host USA BMX State FinalsRoseville, CA - The USA BMX Northern California State Finals are coming to Oak Creek BMX again for 2014.
Placer County's $798 Million Budget Gets Supervisors ApprovalAuburn, CA -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved the county's final 2014-15 budget, giving the OK to the $798 million spending plan.
Thunder Valley Donating Paper to Local SchoolsThunder Valley Casino Resort will deliver over 800 reams of office paper to the Western Placer Unified School District on Wednesday, September 10.