2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4×4 –Road Test and Review

By Jonathan Spira on 11 July 2013
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The original Jeep Grand Cherokee, which had the distinction of being DSC_5339the first Chrysler-badged Jeep product when it debuted at the 1992 North American International Auto Show, helped the then-struggling automaker regain profitability when it made its appearance as the then-nascent SUV market was just starting to take off.  The current generation Jeep Grand Cherokee was unveiled in 2009 at the New York Auto Show and went on sale in the summer of 2010 as a 2011 model.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is offered in multiple flavors including gasoline-powered V6 and V8 engines as well as rear- or four-wheel drive models, has been refreshed for 2014 and with that refresh comes a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6, which we will be taking a look at later this summer.

The mid-life update includes a new look front and rear, an updated interior, and new exterior lighting.

DSC_5364While we’re waiting for the diesel, we spent a week with the V6 model to get better acquainted with the basic vehicle.


Inside, the seats are firm yet comfy.  The Quadra-Lift air suspension made for a comfortable ride and the four-wheel-drive system, which I didn’t have the opportunity to try out with this car but have driven on the pre-refresh model (which remains unchanged in this area), gives the car strong off-road capabilities.

The smooth ride derives mostly from the independent suspension Jeep introduced in the redesigned model in 2011, when it also added electronic off-road settings.  The air suspension automatically keeps the vehicle level and articulates the wheels.DSC_5356

The interior of the Grand Cherokee Summit could best be described as utilitarian luxury.  It has excellent materials and leathers, the wood trim has a natural appearance to it, but not over the top.  The front seats are both fully (power) adjustable and have heating and venting controls.  The rear seats are heated as well, but not vented.

The Jeep came equipped with just about every useful driver assistance technology I could desire, including front collision warning, blind spot detection, cross-traffic detection (rear), adaptive cruise control, and a rear-view camera.  One thing I found a bit odd was that there were two buttons for cruise control: one would activate normal cruise and one was for the active cruise system.

The navi turned out to be a mixed bag. The interface is excellent and it uses software from Garmin for navigation, but the touchscreen itself as well as voice command reaction time can at times be a bit slow.

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