2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 EcoDiesel
Cohesive, but rough around the edges.No Comments
With a slew of parking sensors and a hood that doesn't drop off into no-man's land, it's quite easy to drive and know where all your corners are.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is on a roll. Since Chrysler and Fiat secured their merger, they've put together a good deal of European-bred technology that will make its way to the United States. There are whole cars, like the ProMaster van series (derived from Fiat's vans) and the Alfa Romeo 4C. There are also some new powerplants headed our way, one of which is already here - the Italian-designed EcoDiesel V-6.
RAM made a big deal of the EcoDiesel's inclusion in its lineup, as its near-30-mpg highway gas mileage gives it a nice, green advantage over the competition. But that's not all the EcoDiesel has up its sleeve. It's also an optional engine for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, bestowing the SUV with car-like gas mileage. Sure, it's a little rough around the edges, but on the whole, it's a cohesive package that I think will pull more attention Jeep's way.
The diesel engine doesn't help either. It rumbles the body at idle, although the optional Hemi V-8 does the same thing, but the Grand Cherokee is a good deal noisier than similar diesel engines from, say, Volkswagen AG. When you have the music turned all the way down, it sounds a bit truck-ish. Not like a RAM, but rather like a Peterbilt. Maybe the Italians dig that rough nature, but compared to a TDI engine, it just seems crass and less refined on the whole.
On the whole, it's a solid sport ute. It drives nicely (if a bit soft), it's endlessly capable in all manner of weather conditions, and it's got enough space for the whole family and the dog. Not that I would know - Chrysler forbids pets from entering press cars. But either way, if you're looking for a large five-passenger SUV that does more than just mall-crawling (even if it's used for mostly that), look to the EcoDiesel option to give you some financial relief at the pump. However, it's a pricey option to tack on, so you may need to do some calculations to see if it will be worth it in the long run; on our Limited tester, the EcoDiesel motor is a $4,500 option. Recouping that cost might take a while, but if you're a long-term owner, it's worth it.
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Power Output: 240 hp / 420 lb-ft
Fuel Economy: 21 city / 28 highway
Base Price: $38,095
As Tested: $48,785 (incl. $995 destination)
Luxury Group II: 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment with optional navigation, automatic high beams, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, rain-sensitive wipers, Nappa leather-trimmed ventilated seats, power tilt/telescope steering column, dual-pane panoramic sunroof
Trailer Tow Group IV: Tow hitch, rear load-leveling suspension, full size spare, heavy-duty alternator, heavy-duty engine cooling, seven-and-four-pin wiring harness
Off-Road Adventure I: Front suspension skid plate, fuel tank skid plate, transfer case skid plate, underbody skid plate, full size spare, 'Trail Rated' badge
Off-Road Adventure II: Off-Road Adventure I plus Trailer Tow Group IV, four-corner adjustable air suspension, electronic limited-slip differential, crawl-mode speed control
Advanced Technology Group: Adaptive cruise control with stopping capability, advanced braking assistance, auto-dimming exterior passenger mirror, blind spot detection, forward collision warning