Sleek-looking Jeep Grand Cherokee sheds its mediocre past
Updated January 16th
This time the folks at Jeep got it right. They've done a great job of remodeling the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which had been rated high in the past on my least-likely-to-buy sport utility vehicle list.
Appearance alone accounted for a dim view of this longtime SUV. The design was extremely basic and possessed little personality. Toss in the fact that the Cherokee was under-performing in many areas and it's no wonder it resided on the least favorite list.
Well, that has all changed. The sleeker-looking 2013 Cherokee with its very cool black exterior is cool, not just in appearance, but many other areas as well. And the Cherokee still can be rugged, doing quite well on a visit into snow country.
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Performance: 3.6-liter, V6, 290 horsepower; 5.7-liter, V8, 360 horsepower; 6.4-liter, V8, 470 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 17-23 mpg
- Price: $27,495 to $59,995
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/100,000 miles; corrosion 5 years/100,000; roadside assistance 5 years/100,000
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 two years 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 2013 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 $27,495 sticker price. Don't be fooled into thinking that this same bargain price also applies to the other three main 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 17-23 mpg.
The lineup for 2013 also includes a high-performance Grand Cherokee that may intrigue some car shoppers. But beware of the high price - the SRT8 goes for $59,995. And what are you getting for that major hike? A powerful SUV that features a 6.4-liter, V8 that elicits 470 horsepower and 465 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 Cherokees. The poor gas mileage isn't surprising because the SRT8 goes 0-60 mph in a very quick 5.1 seconds.
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, comparing it to two primary competitors - Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner. The base model Cherokee 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 HeadlinesHeartstoppers Haunted House ReturnsYou will be scared out of your wits for a good cause this October as the Heartstoppers Haunted House returns to the former Mine Shaft venue
Sierra College CACT Training October 8 & 22 Employees can learn Practical Problem Solving skills at the October 8 & 22 training conducted by Sierra College Center of Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT ) with the Continuous Improvement Network
Governor Brown Signs New Gun Control Bill Into LawCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the "Gun Violence Restraining Order (AB 1014)" that will allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to remove firearms from someone temporarily
Placer County Tourism Gets Boost Placer County organizations team up to promote tourism in the region.
Want to Buy a Home and Need a Rich Uncle?Mortgage Alternative Program (MAP)- Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville writes about new program to help get families who can't currently qualify for a mortgage into homes of their choice and on the road to homeownership.
U.S. HealthWorks Offers Onsite Flu Shots U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, a leading operator of occupational healthcare and urgent care centers in the nation, said today it is offering to visit businesses on-site and provide flu vaccination shots
Roseville Police Bust Nets $40,000 Cash, Guns and MethRoseville narcotics detectives suspected that Joshua Holmboe was both selling illegal drugs directly to users and also supplying lower-level drug dealers, and that some of those drugs were then being sold and used in Roseville.
Governor Brown Signs Bill to Help Disabled VeteransLegislation sponsored by George Runner to protect California's disabled veterans has become law. Senate Bill 1113, authored by Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley),
Roseville Chamber Events October 2014Roseville, CA -- The Roseville Chamber of Commerce featured events for the month of October 2014.
Sacramento Area Gas Prices Down AgainAverage retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.61/g yesterday, according to
Nontraditional Employment for Women Event in RocklinSierra College seeks sponsors for the second Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) event on October 17
$160,000 for Scholarships Raised at WJU Anniversary GalaJessup's Gala Honored 75th Anniversary and those who brought the Growing University to Placer County