2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee V-6 and V-8 First Tests – Truck Trend

1 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee V-6 and V-8 First Tests – Truck Trend

We Try Out the Versatile SUVs at the Heart of the Market, This Time With the V-6 and V-8 Engines

There aren’t that many sport/utility vehicles on the market today that offer the bandwidth of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. There are four versions: the fuel-sipping diesel, value-minded V-6, Hemi-powered V-8, and hi-po SRT. When we had the opportunity to test two of the Grand Cherokees in the lineup, we’ll admit we chose based on emotion, specifically trying out the new EcoDiesel Grand Cherokee and SRT.

We know that, even though we love the diesel and the SRT for very different reasons, most people aren’t going to buy either of those models. So this time around, we are focusing on the heart of the market: the Grand Cherokees that are powered by the 3.6-liter V-6 and the 5.7-liter V-8.

Starting up the Limited (and by that we mean pushing a button), we observed that the Pentastar, backed by an eight-speed automatic for 2014, has plenty of power off the line. Whether you’re getting to speed on the freeway or stepping on the throttle when the light turns green, there is a lot of power. However, the oomph of the V-6/8A combination begins to wane when you have gotten up to freeway speeds and want to pass someone.

The Pentastar is rated at 290 hp and 260 lb-ft, but the peak horsepower isn’t until 6400 rpm and the engine is a little lacking in torque. Those wouldn’t be an issue in other vehicles, but it’s powering a 4903-pound SUV (as tested). We find this engine is terrific, and we doubt it would’ve worked at all well in the Grand Cherokee with a lesser transmission; but the eight-speed ensures this combo is a viable one on the daily commute.

Most people will be very happy with the combination of around-town power and overall fuel efficiency (17 mpg city/24 mpg highway). The ride was cushy and comfortable on the highway, and everything about this vehicle feels solid.

So what happens when you step up to V-8 Hemi power? Well, for starters, we stepped up in trim level as well, so the Overland 4×4 we chose was a touch more expensive: $52,475 as tested. The Overland is beaten only by the Summit for topline status in the Grand Cherokee line.

With an Overland, you get features like heated power-folding side mirrors, attractive open-pore wood accents, nine-speaker sound system, power and leather everything in the cabin, and ours served as a wi-fi hot spot. It also had the excellent Selec-Terrain 4WD system, which allows you to match the type of terrain you are going to drive over, with the description on the knob. (Hence the name.) And, as you would expect, the four-wheel-drive system is excellent off-road.

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