Review and photos by Paul Williams

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Austin, Texas – The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee arrives in late March/early April 2013 with a diesel engine option, new exterior and interior trim, descent and ascent control, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and new wheels and lighting. Even though this is not an “all-new” Grand Cherokee, the differences are significant enough to call the 2014 model a “major refresh.”

Along with the drivetrain enhancements, Jeep designers have more clearly delineated the different trim levels of the five-passenger Grand Cherokee, emphasizing its luxury, off-road and performance characteristics.

The Laredo, Limited and Overland remain, joined this year by the high-luxury Summit trim level. The SRT (no longer SRT8) returns with startling performance, better towing, and special design. In fact, each of the trim levels now wears a distinctive front fascia, and is equipped with specific wheels (17-, 18- or 20-inch) along with variations of front and rear lighting.

First Drive: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee jeep first drives First Drive: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee jeep first drives First Drive: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee jeep first drives
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Click image to enlarge

Three four-wheel-drive systems continue: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II, supplemented by the available Quadra-Lift air suspension and Selec-Terrain traction management system. All Canadian Grand Cherokee models are four-wheel drive.

Starting at $39,995, the Laredo is powered by a 3.6-litre “Pentastar” V6 engine making 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. Fuel consumption for this engine is rated at 12.4/8.5 L/100 km, city/highway (the Grand Cherokee is fitted with a huge 93 L gas tank).

Standard equipment includes the new-to-Jeep ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission, projector fog lamps and LED tail lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power driver’s seat, dual zone automatic climate control, a seven-inch reconfigurable in-cluster display, 17-inch aluminum wheels, five-inch “Uconnect” display with satellite radio, keyless start and capless fuel filler. The new radios in the Jeep Grand Cherokee can stream music through a paired Bluetooth compatible phone.

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