Jeep may have created a little backlash when it modernized the Grand Cherokee, but it also resulted in an excellent and capable luxury SUV. The newest update for 2014 brings in a few more high-tech elements, including an LCD speedometer and Internet-connected cabin electronics.
In Summit trim, the Grand Cherokee comes in at over $50,000, but this vehicle compares well with the Range Rover, a much pricier SUV.
An air suspension results in a very comfortable ride that smooths over long freeway miles. Jeep also uses the air suspension to lower the vehicle at speed so as to improve fuel economy. Off-road, that air suspension is used to raise the ride height and automatically level the vehicle.
The boxy design allows for a decent-sized cargo area.
In Summit trim, power-adjustable seats include heating and ventilation, while matte-finish wood trim in the cabin shows a nice grain.
The rear seat is a typical bench with room for three.
Jeep uses an electrohydraulic power steering system, which keeps boost even. This Grand Cherokee's turning radius is excellent, better than that of some compact cars.
Oddly, the upper cruise control button activates standard cruise control, while the lower one turns on adaptive cruise control.
This LCD speedometer can show a variety of different information for the driver, from off-road settings to music mode.
Here, the LCD speedometer is showing parking sensors.
The console holds the shifter for the eight-speed automatic transmission and Jeep's Selec-Terrain controls, which let you choose the current off-road conditions.
The rearview camera lacks any trajectory or distance lines, which could come in handy.
Jeep uses Garmin software for navigation, which includes perspective-view maps that show traffic and renderings of buildings in some downtown areas.
The destination icons should be familiar to anyone who has used a Garmin navigation device. I found that the touch-screen reaction time could occasionally be a little slow.
Surprisingly, the Jeep's cabin electronics incorporate an apps section, complete with an app store for loading new features.
Sirius Travel Link, which brings in gas prices, movie times, and weather, is included as an app.
Bing local search allows free-form searches to turn up local businesses. Each listing is integrated with the navigation system.
The Grand Cherokee includes a hands-free phone system with all the typical features. To use voice command to make calls, you need to push a separate button from the one that activates voice command for navigation and music.
HD Radio is included as standard.
The interface for digital audio shows album art, when available.
A module at the bottom of the console includes ports for USB and SD cards.