Chrysler's iconic Jeep division gives its flagship SUV a bit of an update, and its first diesel available in America.
Jeep didn't get to be Jeep - that is, one of the most recognizable names in off-roading - by letting others forge ahead while it stands still. So while its flagship SUV has only been on the market since 2010, it only makes sense that Chrysler's iconic 4x4 division has already introduced a new Grand Cherokee. The 2014 model being unveiled today at the Detroit Auto Show is mostly the same as the existing one, but benefits from a number of upgrades to keep it on the trail ahead of the competition.
Most noticeable may be the revised face that carries over the styling of the existing model but with a shallower version of Jeep's signature seven-slot grille, flanked by squintier headlamps. The front bumper also looks higher, and the rear end has similarly been revised with larger taillamps, a reshaped liftgate and fatter exhaust tips. The cabin is mostly the same as the existing GC, and that's no bad thing as it ushered in a new era of style and quality for the entire Chrysler group. The dashboard, however, has been reshaped to accommodate bigger touchscreens, and the steering wheel and instrument cluster are new.
While the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 (with 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque) and 5.7-liter Hemi V8 (360 hp and 390 lb-ft) carry over unchanged, Jeep is offering the new Grand Cherokee with a diesel - the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque - for the first time in America. There's a new SRT8 as well with details to follow. All engines are mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission, there are three all-wheel drive systems, an available height-adjustable air suspension and such off-road assistance systems as Selec-Speed and Selec-Terrain. Buyers will also be able to choose between Laredo, Limited, Overland and Summit trim levels.
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