Jeep Grand Cherokee Performance
Test drivers say that the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee combines a comfortable on-road ride with legendary off-road capability, which makes it one of the best-driving SUVs in the segment. For 2014, the Grand Cherokee gets a new eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as an optional turbodiesel V6, which earns praise for its impressive fuel economy, as well as its strong off-road and towing abilities.
- "Although the new diesel V6 has a low horsepower rating, its high torque output makes it ideal for big-league towing jobs and off-road use. Meanwhile, its high fuel economy ratings will appeal to anyone looking for a downright efficient Jeep with impressive cruising range." -- Edmunds
- "In highway cruising situations, the diesel is whisper quiet and unobtrusive. Combined with its best-in-class highway fuel economy, it could prove to be a popular option for buyers interested in efficient towing or highway commuting." -- Cars.com
- "Why anyone would opt for anything but the new EcoDiesel engine is beyond us; mated to all of the available off-road bells and whistles, it makes for a torque-filled, highly capable all-terrain SUV." -- MSN
- "Its air suspension gives it a comfortable ride, while four-wheel-drive systems give it strong off-road capability." -- CNET
Acceleration and Power
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive and a new eight-speed automatic transmission are standard. The EPA reports that the 2014 Grand Cherokee gets up to 17/25 mpg city/highway, which is a bit less than the estimates that affordable two-row SUVs like the Ford Edge and Toyota Venza earn, but also better than the fuel economy of off-road SUVs like the Toyota FJ Cruiser. A 360-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine is optional, as well as a new 240-horsepower, turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6, which offers the best fuel economy in the lineup at 22/30 mpg city/highway.
The high-performance Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is powered by a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that produces 470 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 465 pound-feet of torque at 4,300 rpm. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.
Many reviewers agree that the Grand Cherokee’s base V6 engine will provide enough power to keep most drivers happy, and the new eight-speed automatic transmission earns praise for its quick shifts and smooth operation. The available turbodiesel V6 is also well-liked by the automotive press for its strong power delivery and good fuel economy estimates. Still, one test driver writes that the diesel-powered Grand Cherokee doesn’t feel as quiet or refined as other diesel vehicles.
- "Our initial impressions of the EcoDiesel are a mixed bag. The engine is not as smooth or as quiet as other modern diesels on the market, a characteristic most noticeable at idle and on partial throttle openings when accelerating away from stops; it's light-years ahead of its predecessor but feels more ‘diesely’ than what we have become accustomed to. That said, it's impossible to ignore its towing grunt and solid mileage." -- AutoWeek
- "The new eight-speed automatic transmission is a great addition, as it's much smoother and quicker-shifting than the five- and six-speed automatics offered last year. Most people will be satisfied with the base gasoline V6." -- Edmunds
- "The immediacy of the diesel's torque is impressive. One never forgets that this is a diesel; while Jeep has done a commendable job damping the distinctive clatter from the motor, full-throttle applications sound like a tractor-pull at the county fair. The thing is, in a big SUV like this, that diesel rumble actually puts a grin on your face." -- Cars.com
- "When I hit the gas for a passing maneuver or a merge, the V-6 delivered decent acceleration, good enough for traffic but not enough to be impressive." -- CNET
Handling and Braking
Test drivers say that the 2014 Grand Cherokee offers a comfortable, quiet ride and composed handling. A few reviewers also like the Grand Cherokee’s accurate steering and small turning circle, which make it easy to maneuver on the street or the trail. An available Quadra-Lift air suspension system offers selectable ride heights, which can improve ground clearance for off-road use, or lower the Grand Cherokee to improve fuel economy.
- "The steering is accurate and nicely weighted, and the suspension takes a predictable set when you enter a curve, yet the ride won't splash your latte." -- Car and Driver
- "Driven on paved roads, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is comfortable, quiet and stable around turns." -- Edmunds
- "The highway ride - where we predict the 2014 Grand Cherokee will spend the bulk of its service - is surprisingly resilient and far more composed than its rugged demeanor suggests." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The steering … moves with little effort and the turning radius seems better than on some compact cars. That tight turning radius helps in the city, crowded parking lots, and on the trail." -- CNET
The Grand Cherokee is available with a number of systems that enhance its off-road ability. Quadra-Trac I is essentially an all-wheel drive system, which routes power to all four wheels through a single-speed transfer case. Quadra-Trac II adds a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing and Quadra-Drive II includes a rear electronic limited-slip differential to further improve traction. Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system comes with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II, and offers drive modes that improve grip in variety of road and terrain conditions.
Test drivers say that when properly equipped, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most capable SUVs you can take off-road. They note that the Grand Cherokee’s new transmission enhances its off-road performance, and that tackling rocks or difficult terrain is easy with the Grand Cherokee’s four-wheel drive system.
- "We climbed impressive rocks with the 2014 Grand Cherokee, and it was as easy as slipping into a parking spot at Nordstrom's." -- Car and Driver
- "Off-road, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is at the top of the mountain for its class. The new transmission is also beneficial for off-roading, as it improves refinement and drivability in the dirt." -- Edmunds
- "The V-6 proved plenty powerful, and the selectable-mode four-wheel drive enabled me to drive up and down a 43-degree rock face, not to mention other terrain you would have trouble even walking over." -- Cars.com
- "Some of the challenges we saw the 2014 Grand Cherokee take on during our press drive would stump all but the most ruggedly equipped Wranglers." -- MSN
Next Steps: Jeep Grand Cherokee
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