Saturday, February 5, 2011

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

Fundamentally, you wouldn't recognize the Grand Cherokee as a country cousin of a Mercedes. The Grand Cherokee also marks the debut of Chrysler's first new V-6 engine in a decade.

Chrysler's survived—and it's incredible the Grand Cherokee has turned out so well, considering all the corporate agita.

Americans love comeback stories. Conveniently, the previous Grand Cherokee had this covered. Overall, Jeep has done well here. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a five-passenger midsize SUV that comes in Laredo, Limited and Overland trims. The Limited gets all the Laredo's optional equipment plus 18-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, driver memory functions, heated front and rear seats and a leather-wrapped shift knob.

The Luxury Group II gets you a power tailgate, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats. Big 20-inch wheels are also optional. The Off-Road Adventure II package includes all the above items plus an air suspension, towing equipment (available as a separate package), an electronic limited-slip differential and the Quadra-Drive II 4WD system. The Limited and Overland can be equipped with a rear-seat entertainment system with Sirius Backseat TV. Every 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes standard with Chrysler's new 3.6-liter V6 good for 290 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. Fuel economy with four-wheel drive is an estimated 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Rear-wheel drive is standard; three different four-wheel-drive systems are optional. The Laredo comes standard with Quadra-Trac I, which essentially functions as all-wheel drive.

The "2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee" comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Grand Cherokee earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection.

Get behind the wheel and you'll immediately notice that the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee drives considerably better than before.

With a redesign for 2011, the Jeep Grand Cherokee bridges the gap between luxury SUV and rugged four-wheeler. CNET concludes that the Grand Cherokee “has few equals in the luxury SUV segment for off-road prowess. The Grand Cherokee’s fuel economy continues to disappoint. Jeep estimates that base two-wheel-drive models will net 16/23 mpg city/highway, while 4WD models will net 16/22.

If you want an off-road vehicle with better fuel economy, consider the Jeep Patriot--The Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in four trims -- the base Laredo E, Laredo X, Limited and top-of-the-line Overland.

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