Chrysler is pushing luxury, refinement, and power past anything they’ve built before. The biggest news is Chrysler’s 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel pumping out 240 hp and a stump-pulling 420 lb-ft of torque.
Mated to Chrysler’s new 8-speed automatic, the Grand Cherokee Diesel is expected to return 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway – respectable numbers for a full-size SUV. Even more respectable is the 730-mile range on a single tank. Those numbers are best in class, as is the 7,400 pound towing capacity.
The 8-speed automatic transmission now carries throughout the lineup to encompass the 3.6-liter V-6 and the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8. Both will see marginal improvements in fuel economy to the tune of 25 mpg highway for the 3.6-liter and 21 mpg highway for the Hemi. The new tranny also brings a lower crawl ratio of 44.1:1.
Keeping with Jeep tradition, three 4×4 systems are offered: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II. The SRT-8’s Selec-Track has also been reworked for 2014 so more torque is sent rearward when the track mode is selected. The Quadra-Lift air suspension and Selec-Terrain traction management system return as well.
Inside cabin of the new Grand Cherokee feels more like Range Rover than Jeep as everything is bathed in high-quality soft-touch materials. An 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system presides over the center console and includes Chrysler’s Uconnect and cloud-based voice texting.
The central gauge cluster gets its own 7-inch display that’s configurable to the driver’s liking. The premium feel continues with Natura leather seats and open-pore wood trim. Chrysler brings its E-Shifter from the 300 for an added touch of posh.
The exterior received some attention with optional bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights. All headlight options have a new look within the revised grille work. Features like Front Park Assist, Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control and Selec-Speed Control help drivers stay out of trouble.
The Grand Cherokee will come in Laredo, Limited, Overland and –new for 2014 – Summit trim levels. Staying true to Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” ad campaign, the Grand Cherokee is built in Detroit.
Overall, it’s plain to see that Jeep is greatly benefiting from Chrysler’s dealings with Fiat. If Jeep keeps trekking down this trail, it stands to be a leader in off-road luxury, and not just in the American market.