The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee feels like the most comprehensive version of the popular mid-size SUV to have ever been released by its corporate parents at Chrysler. Newly updated for the current model year, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee adds sophistication, class, and efficiency, all without sacrificing the go-anywhere capabilities that have long defined the people mover as a dual-purpose off-road chariot. The Grand Cherokee isn't just for those seeking rugged daily transportation anymore, either - in its higher trim levels, it challenges luxury suvs in terms of comfort and content.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
01. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Has Been Given Fresh Interior Styling
At first glance, it's easy to recognize the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee as the logical evolution of the styling cues that have always served to delineate the mid-size SUV. A closer look reveals that the devil is in the details when it comes to separating the 2014 edition of the Jeep Grand Cherokee from the model that came before it. LED running lights and tail lights add extra jewelling to the Grand Cherokee's front and rear end, and the vehicle's grille has also been cut down and widened, giving the Jeep a more aerodynamic appearance to go with its similarly re-sized headlights. New fonts are also used in identifying the words 'Jeep' and 'Grand Cherokee' on the automobile's body panels.
02. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Offers A Revamped Interior
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee brings much greater change to its passenger compartment, where Jeep designers have worked hard to create a premium environment for driver and occupants. In addition to upgrading the vehicle's Uconnect infotainment system to the latest and greatest version (featuring an 8.4-inch touchscreen), the Jeep Grand Cherokee now boasts a number of new color, fabric, and trim packages that include high end leathers, classy-looking wood options, and an overall presentation that is clean and inviting - and far above the vehicle's utilitarian roots. This is especially true when considering the higher trim levels available with the Jeep.
03. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Features A Practical Cabin
It would be a mistake to think that just because the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a more premium interior that it has left any of the practicality it has long been known for on the table. The Jeep Grand Cherokee resists the temptation to stuff a third row of accommodations inside its generous cabin, which means that second row passengers enjoy ample leg room as well as a respectable amount of cargo storage when the vehicle is carrying a full load. 36.3 cubic feet of space can be found between the rear seatback and the Jeep's liftgate, and folding that set of accommodations forward reveals a very usable 68.3 cubic feet of total interior cargo room.
04. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Comes With Two Gasoline Engine Options
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee starts out with a 3.6-liter V-6 under the hood, and this engine has been tuned to provide a healthy 290 horsepower along with 260 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for the unit is listed at 17-mpg in city driving and 24-mpg on the highway. Upgrading to the vehicle's available 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 introduces 360 horses and 390 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to give the Jeep Grand Cherokee a maximum tow rating of 7,400 lbs (about 1,200 lbs more than the V-6). Fuel mileage for the eight-cylinder Jeep checks in at 14-mpg around town and 22-mpg during highway cruising.
05. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Now Delivers Turbodiesel Power
The biggest drivetrain news associated with the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the return of a turbodiesel option. Much more advanced than the diesel motor that was briefly available with the Jeep Grand Cherokee at the end of the last decade, the new unit is sourced from Fiat and makes full use of direct fuel injection technology. Displacing 3.0-liters, the six-cylinder turbodiesel produces 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, numbers that help the SUV accelerate with authority and match the vehicle's eight-cylinder tow rating. The best part of the turbodiesel Grand Cherokee, however, is its best-in-class efficiency: the Jeep turns in mileage numbers of 21-mpg in stop and go driving and 30-mpg on the highway.
06. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Features An Updated Transmission
Adding to the excitement of a turbodiesel edition of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the fact that this model comes yoked to a state-of-the-art eight-speed automatic transmission. In fact, this gearbox has become standard across the entire Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup, which accounts for many of the improvements in fuel mileage that is offers for 2014. Not only is the eight-speed unit better at reducing the SUV's monthly gas bill, but it also provides much smoother shifting as well as improved gear selection when towing, accelerating hard, or heading off of the beaten path. This eight-speed unit is currently spreading throughout the Chrysler lineup, where it is replacing less-efficient gearboxes like the five-speed and six-speed units that were previously offered with Grand Cherokee.
07. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Offers Extensive Off-Road Capability
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is far more serious about off-roading than almost any other SUV in its class. This is clear right from the moment you see that its options sheet contains three unique four-wheel drive systems. Those seeking wet and snowy weather capability will want to stick with the always-on Quadra Trac I system, but moving to Quadra Trac II installs low-speed gearing that allows the Jeep to blast over difficult off-road obstacles. Hardcore trail junkies will appreciate Quadra Drive II's electronically-locking rear differential. The latter two systems also feature Selec Terrain, which provides drivers with the ability to dial in Sand, Mud, Rock, and Snow settings for the transmission, throttle, stability and traction control, and off-road systems. It also comes with a Select-Speed Control creep feature, which maintains forward momentum at a walking pace. Finally, Quadra Lift adds air suspension with adjustable ride height to the Jeep Grand Cherokee's all-terrain package.
08. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Offers Four Trim Levels
The entry-level 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo delivers a respectable amount of standard equipment, including dual climate control, power windows and door locks, cruise control, 17-inch rims, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, a touchscreen audio system, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Stepping up to the Limited trim adds a power liftgate, heated seats front and rear, a heated steering wheel, a louder stereo, and a remote starter, while the Grand Cherokee Overland provides 20-inch rims, a panoramic sunroof, HID headlights, ventilated leather seats, a navigation system, and rain-sensitive windshield wipers. The top-of-the-line Summit trim fills the Jeep to the brim with all of the above plus a Harmon Kardon audio system and a raft of advanced safety features (including forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control).
09. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Is Available In SRT Trim
A fifth version of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is also available for drivers who want bragging rights at the local drag strip. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT installs a 470 horsepower, 6.4-liter eight-cylinder engine under the hood, one that also generates 465 lb-ft of torque, and combined with the vehicle's unique all-wheel drive system this allows the SUV to leap to 60-mph in just 4.8 seconds. The eight-speed automatic transmission is in its element when mated to the fire-breathing Hemi V-8, and the Grand Cherokee SRT also comes with upgraded suspension and brakes, a slick-looking body kit, and the new Performance Pages feature that can track g-forces and acceleration statistics (and even share them online).
10. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Competes Hard On Price
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo starts out at an MSRP of $28,795, which is competitive in its segment. The Jeep Grand Cherokee's real value, however, comes at the upper end of its model range. The Grand Cherokee Summit's $47,995 price tag might not seem like a 'bargain,' but when compared against vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz M-Class that starts at just $700 less, a more intriguing picture begins to emerge.
Is it fair to compare the Grand Cherokee Summit to a Mercedes-Benz? Not really - because the M-Class (and other luxury SUVs like the BMW X5) are at a disadvantage when it comes to equipment level and driving dynamics. You have to spend a lot more money on a European premium people mover before you approach what the Grand Cherokee has to offer for roughly $50,000, which indicates just how far Jeep has managed to muscle its way into luxury territory.