4×4 Limited Grand Cherokee Welcomes 2017 and a Very Moody Mother Nature
It feels good to welcome the new year happy and invigorated, but whether that feeling actually lasts past the first week or so, that’s another story. It’s no secret that the holidays are an exhausting time of year, financially and emotionally. Personally, we were insanely busy up until Christmas, when were finally able to unplug for a day or two, but then it was back to business right after that. Back to business with a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee!
The Grand Cherokee is a staple of the Jeep lineup. Comfortable, good looking, and hugely capable, there are few things not to love about this proper SUV. In fact, many often forget it features a third row, perhaps because it’s not as long and hefty as other three-row SUVs. That means that you can cary up to seven passengers, or in our case, our two girls plus some of their school buddies. That being said, the Grand Cherokee has gone without major changes since 2011, and the family-friendly Jeep enters its sixth year looking the same, more-or-less. Does it have what it takes to compete?
As you may already know, SUVs and crossovers rule the roads nowadays. They exist in all sizes, shapes, and of course — prices. Our 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4 test car came in Granite Crystal Metallic, and featured black leather interior. A 3.6 liter V6 engine sat under the hood, and inside, the excellent Uconnect 8.4 system we’ve grown accustomed to. Bling was kept to a minimum, though the Limited trim does feature just about everything you could imagine. As a result, this Jeep came with a hefty $47,900 price tag. With most fully-loaded foreign SUVs coming in at $44 to $46 grand, this was slightly more expensive.
We’ve already reviewed most of the Jeep lineup for you, yet the Grand Cherokee is the one we’ve driven the least. As a result, we were in for a surprise. Immediately after hopping on the driver’s seat, we were rewarded with a solid and hefty feeling at the wheel—the kind of feeling that inspires confidence and security while driving down the road, and that’s always nice when transporting children. The engine felt plenty powerful, and delivered smoother acceleration when compared to other V6 engines found in the likes of the Honda Pilot or Ford Explorer.
Going back to the Uconnect 8.4 — it’s easy-to-use, intuitive, and perhaps one of the friendliest systems for “non-techy” people. We embarked on a 400 mile trip to Michigan during our test of the Grand Cherokee, and managing the Uconnect, the adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beam system proved to be rather simple. On top of that, the built-in 4G LTE Hot Spot allowed me to get some work done while on the road, and the kids stream their shows. As you could imagine, driving to the great white north in the month of January can be treacherous, and it was, certainly enough to enjoy the Jeep’s toasty attributes such as the heated seats and steering wheel.
Speaking of attributes, the backseat is spacious and comfortable for long trips. It features reclining seat backs, and due to the “Limited” trim, heated seats for added comfort, something which the kids really appreciate when it’s negative 20 degrees out. The trunk spans 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space, and features metal sliding rails to help slide gear in. All-in-all, a very well rounded road trip SUV.
I couldn’t help but ask myself the following question during our test: Why choose this over other SUVs? Eventually I was able to answer that question. The Grand Cherokee is the actual definition of SUV. It’s not lightweight, it’s not small, and it’s certainly not overly fuel-efficient. It delivered 16 mpg city and 21 highway during our test. That’s short of the 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway stated by the EPA. In addition, due to frigid weather and most places being closed during the holidays, we didn’t get a chance to put its many off-road bells and whistles to the test.
The Grand Cherokee proves that being big and bulky pays off. That skipping fashionable 20 inch wheels and low-profile tires delivers excellent ride quality. Lastly, it proves that if “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
Bad luck struck when our Sony A6000 digital camera suffered a malfunction, and lost our photoshoot images. We managed to rescue a couple from our iPhones, but we apologize for the lack of visuals!