MSRP for the model tested: $50, 620.00; the base 4X4 model sits at $37, 995.00.
Competition in its class: Ford Explorer • Honda Pilot • Hyundai Santa Fe • Nissan Murano • Toyota Highlander
When I was ten I was certain one day I would own a Jeep Cherokee. To this day they remind me of summer vacations with my aunt, driving north for camping trips.
That was 1989 and today’s Jeeps are very similar to what I remember: roomy, comfortable, and rugged. The appearance has varied slightly over the years, but the Grand Cherokee holds true to its strong and robust appearance giving in only slightly on the squareness of its predecessors. Its trademark grille is still a very dominant feature which makes it simple to spot.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a strong member of the Jeep family and comes with a great number of features as standard. It sits at a comfortable height to allow the driver a great view of the road ahead and has minimal blind spots, thanks in part to the ParkView Rear View Camera and ParkSense Rear Park Assist System with provides four ultrasonic sensors located at the rear of the vehicle. Objects as close as 10 inches and as far away as 59 inches can be detected and should they be detected, an audible beeping with alert the driver.
The spacious interior seats five with a 40-60-split backbench seat. Cargo space is substantial allowing for varying ill-packed items to be thrown in at random, which is convenient when you’re attempting to load children, a stroller and various other small children necessities while stuck in a downpour. Not to mention, the power lift gate: so wonderful!
The smooth-riding Grand Cherokee is stylish and sleek with beautiful chrome-like finishes and comes with variable terrain options allowing for 4-wheel drive in steep, muddy or snow covered conditions and allows for a sporty option for regular road driving. With comfortable steering and contoured bucket seats, the Jeep was really relaxing while out on daytrips, even during a torrential downpour, it held strong and trekked through.
The fuel economy of this model is far better than it used to be, but with prices where they are today, the 8.9L/100km (32 MPG) on the highway and 93L (25 gal) tank made me weep a little when filing it up.
All Jeeps come equipped with advanced multistage airbags and supplemental side curtain airbags for both the front and backseat passengers. The child seat anchorage includes the standard LATCH system and top tether for front-facing car seats. The top tethers mount behind the seats leaving for optimal cargo space.
One feature, which also comes standard, and I was pretty comfortable with very quickly is the Keyless Enter-N-Go System which allows for the driver to get in, press a button and go. No more searching your purse for keys trying to remember if they’re there or in your jacket pocket. As long as the sensor keychain is within the vehicle it can be driven.
Speaking of no longer searching for keys: even upon approach to the vehicle one-touch of the handle unlocks the doors allowing for all passengers to gain access to the cabin as quickly as possible; again, a great feature when stuck in a downpour (notice a trend here?).
Once inside, the Grand Cherokee definitely has comfort in mind. Roomy, comfortable leather trim seats, heated front seats and steering wheel: two of my most favourite options. The model tested included the beautiful Command View Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof, which, I absolutely love; I can’t have enough natural light in the car, it drives my husband insane.
The backseat is comfortably large and allows for a least two adults to sit for a long duration. Though, again, we found that the placement of the seat belt buckles made it tricky for my five-year-old to manage the buckling on his own. The fact that they are flush with the seat cushions makes it difficult for him to reach that far down to fasten the belt.
With a nine-speaker multimedia system including CD/MP3/HDD and Sirius Satellite Radio, there is no shortage of passenger-occupying devices in this vehicle. Even two small children were completely entertained with a parent-pleasing distance between them, even though there was no DVD player, much to my 5 year old’s chagrin (though it is an option if you don’t have the Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof).
Overall, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a really comfortable ride for those looking for an SVU. It’s bright spacious interior makes it feel a lot larger than it actually is. Plus, the kids love how high it is and that they can actually see everything around them.
To see more photos of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, please feel free to pop by my flickr page.
If you would like to contact me regarding an opportunity to review a vehicle, please send me an email at sam [at] urbanmoms [.] ca.