2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Performance
As appropriate considering Jeep's reputation for ruggedness, reviewers feel that the 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee has excellent off-road handling. "Grand Cherokee drives and handles well," says, "with a slightly rubbery feel to the suspension to accommodate its superior off-road abilities."
Acceleration and Power
The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a choice of five engines: A 3.7-liter V6 is standard in the Laredo, but there's also a 6.1-liter V8 in the SRT-8, a 5.7-liter V8 with multi-displacement technology in the Overland, a new 3.0-liter common-rail diesel (CRD) engine (optional), and a new flex-fuel-capable 4.7-liter V8 engine in the Limited. Reviewers largely prefer the V8s over the V6. The 3.0-Liter V6 is Jeep's first diesel engine and has the best EPA fuel rating of any of the Grand Cherokee's engine choices: 18 city/23 highway. This engine generates 215 horsepower and 376-pound-feet of torque, which MSN calls "impressive." Edmunds says "those wanting better fuel economy will likely enjoy the new diesel engine."
At 210 horsepower, reviewers find the 3.7-liter V6 engine weak but adequate. "Based on our initial drive," says Edmunds, "buyers can expect adequate power from the V6, despite the fact that the Grand Cherokee gained about 500 pounds in the redesign (regardless of configuration)." Consumer Guide adds that "[t]he V6 is too weak for this vehicle's weight." The EPA gives the 3.7-liter V6 a rating of 15 city/20 highway.
MSN calls the 4.7-liter 235-horsepower V8 engine "the best all-around engine for this Jeep...It provides strong acceleration [and] virtually loafs at 2000 rpm at 65 mph." It has an EPA rating of 14 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. This engine is also available in a flex-fuel capable model, which can run both on gasoline and ethanol. That version has an EPA rating of 9 miles per gallon in the city and 13 miles per gallon on the highway.
Consumer Guide wasn't impressed with the acceleration on the V6: "Acceleration with the V6 feels sluggish on takeoff, has little passing-power reserve, but is OK in freeway cruising." However, CNET says of the 5.7-liter V8"...we found the acceleration impressive and had no problem getting up to freeway speeds, even on fairly short on-ramps."
Kelley Blue Book calls the 5.7-liter 330-horsepower V8 HEMI engine "powerful...The 5.7-liter HEMI turns the Grand Cherokee into a drag racer." This variable displacement engine can switch from four to eight cylinders as needed, which can improve the fuel economy by as much as 20 percent. It has an EPA rating of 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway.
The SRT-8's 425-horsepower 6.1-liter HEMI V8, which Jeep says can go from zero to 60 in less than five seconds, is the most powerful of the Grand Cherokee engines. Edmunds says that "raw power is not an issue" with this one. The EPA rates the 6.1-liter engine at 11 city/14 highway. MSN adds that "[p]ower junkies will love the SRT-8." New Car Test Drive says that "[w]e loved the sound [of the 6.1 liter V8] and found ourselves accelerating harder than necessary just to hear. Throttle tip-in seems overly sensitive at times, causing us to leap off the line more abruptly than desired. At other times, it seemed slow on the uptake, but eventually we recalibrated our feet to enable smooth takeoffs from intersections."
The Grand Cherokee's engines are paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with optional overdrive. Reviewers find the transmission to be smooth and effective, and Cars.com notes it "performs well on steep upgrades by downshifting promptly when you push the accelerator." Edmunds, however, picks a few nits: "At times, we felt the five-speed automatic transmission could have been quicker to come up with downshifts, but shift quality was refined. As in the Dodge Durango, there's a tow-haul mode that keeps the transmission from upshifting prematurely when pulling a heavy load." The transmission includes a manual shift mode.
Handling and Braking
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is fairly carlike in its ride, but according to reviewers, it isn't perfect. "The long-travel suspension that makes it so tough on 4x4 trails leads to a moderate amount of float and bob over bumps and freeway expansion joints," says Edmunds. However, the reviewer adds that "the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is a fine handler. It felt especially secure around high-speed curves." It accelerates well, but don't expect a drag racer.
The Grand Cherokee's tight turning radius makes it fairly nimble both off-road and in parking lots. "Turning radius has been improved too," says the, "making tight U-turns and tight parking lots at the mall much less of an ordeal [than in earlier models]."
The Jeep Cherokee's front and rear disc brakes get mixed reviews. According to Edmunds, "We also noted improvement in the all-important area of braking, never a strong point of the old model. The brake pedal's long stroke can take a little getting used to, but its progressive action is ultimately reassuring in the cutthroat environment of urban freeways. We were, however, disappointed by the Jeep's behavior during a few simulated emergency stops."
Reviewers find the 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee solid for both off-road and on-road driving. New Car Test Drive says that "Jeep Grand Cherokee combines mountain-goat agility in rugged terrain with stable and responsive handling on the paved roads where most buyers will spend most of their time." While the majority of reviewers find it decent for highway driving, its real strength is boulder crawling: "The Grand Cherokee isn't just another conservatively handsome midsize SUV," writes the reviewer for MSN, "because it has impressive off-road prowess."