Almost everyone knows that Jeep builds some of the most capable off-road rides around, and has in fact been doing so since its inception in 1941. What fewer people understand, however, is that even Jeep’s most family-friendly and luxurious models are cut from the same mold as the iconic Wrangler when it comes to their all-terrain prowess. This includes the recently-revised 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the flagship model from the domestic SUV producer that squashes preconceptions about what a full-size sport-utility vehicle can accomplish when put to the test far off of the beaten path.
I was recently given the chance to pilot several models of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee on a trail outside of Austin, Texas that offered obstacles ranging from dry, sandy river beds to nearly vertical cliff faces. The experience was a definite eye-opener, and the Grand Cherokee’s dual personality as a comfortable daily commuter and rugged rock-crawler was underscored by its impressive performance on the drive to and from the trailhead.