The Grand Cherokee sticks to its guns and does not offer a third row, like most SUVs of this size, instead focusing on comfort for the folks in the two rows and maximizing storage space. 5 people fit comfortably in the Grand Cherokee.
There are lots of options to upgrade, including the nearly $4,900 Customer Preferred Package — with highlights such as: 20-inch granite crystal aluminum wheels, gloss black exterior accents and rails, dual dark chrome exhaust tip, granite crystal exterior accents, granite crystal black grille, headlamp washer, premium LED fog lamps, steering wheel-mounted shift levers, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, LED daytime running headlamps and all-season performance tires
HOW’S THE RIDE?
The Grand Cherokee I tested featured the base powerplant: A 3.6-liter, V6 engine that was paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Numbers were 295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5.7-liter V8 option features 360 hp and 390 lb.-ft.
Moving up the ladder, an SRT version offers a 6.4-liter V8 with 475 hp, 470 lb-ft of torque). Last but not least, the high-end Trackhawk includes a 6.2L supercharged V8 with a whopping 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque.
Towing numbers on the Grand Cherokee range from 3,500 pounds to 7,200 pounds, depending which version you choose. Both RWD or 4WD versions of the Grand Cherokee are offered.
In my time with the Grand Cherokee, I found acceleration to be decent and the V6 proved itself a powerful ride, but not overly strong. There are, of course, plenty of more aggressive engines options if you are power-hungry.
The Sport mode increased the fun factor of the ride in the Grand Cherokee, and it had a nice growl and respectable acceleration. Love it or hate it, most Grand Cherokees will get the stop-start technology to help on fuel savings.
The vehicle comes equipped with electronic stability control, hill start assist, and its Selec-Terrain system, which allows to adjust the setup depending on type of terrain you’re on.
Settings include Auto, Sand, Snow, Mud and Rocka and these adjustments affect how the steering, suspension, transmission, and 4WD systems perform.
Overall, you get a very enjoyable driving experience in the Grand Cherokee, definitely moreso that you would in a standard Jeep offering lower down the lineup. It’s got some basic off-road capabilities, but can also function very well and comfortably as a daily grocery-getter, which can’t be said of all Jeeps.
The technology in the 2019 Grand Cherokee is very strong here, as per usual with FCA vehicles.
Standard features include: A full complement of airbags, ParkView rear back-up camera, ParkSense Rear Park-Assist with Stop, Blind-Spot and Cross-Path detection, Keyless enter and go, Remote-Start system, Anti-lock brakes, and more.
On the infotainment side, the UConnect system with 8.4-inch display can stake a claim as one of the best systems in the business, possibly the best overall. It comes with one year of SiriusXM radio (which is worth keeping afterward), is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, and listens to Bluetooth voice commands. You get 2 USB ports, one AUX port, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot option.
Among your options are the impressive Jeep Advanced Active Safety Group ($1,495), which features: Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop; Advanced Brake Assist; Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus (an effective system that warns loudly if it senses anything in your path); LaneSense Lane Departure Warning Plus; Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist and Rain-sensitive windshield wipers.
Music lovers also get the option to upgrade to a 9-speaker system with subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier for $795.
The official fuel mileage numbers on the Grand Cherokee are 18 city/25 highway/21 combined These are good numbers compared to other SUVs in this class, including Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia and Toyota 4Runner. In reality, I only averaged 17.1 mpg during my testing, though of course it depends how you drive.
My test vehicle, the Limited trim level, was priced $49,630 after all options, and the higher-powered options are a lot more; But the base price for the Grand Cherokee starts at $31,695. This makes for one of biggest price ranges in the business, due to a wide variety of trim levels and powerplant options.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a powerful, well-refined and versatile vehicle, and among best in category for tech. It’s one of the best SUVs you can buy, year-in and year-out, especially if you’re a Jeep fan and want something being just the off-road capability.
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Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.