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.
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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.
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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.
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The boxy design allows for a decent-sized cargo area.
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In Summit trim, power-adjustable seats include heating and ventilation, while matte-finish wood trim in the cabin shows a nice grain.
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The rear seat is a typical bench with room for three.
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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.
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Oddly, the upper cruise control button activates standard cruise control, while the lower one turns on adaptive cruise control.
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This LCD speedometer can show a variety of different information for the driver, from off-road settings to music mode.
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Here, the LCD speedometer is showing parking sensors.
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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.
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The rearview camera lacks any trajectory or distance lines, which could come in handy.
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Jeep uses Garmin software for navigation, which includes perspective-view maps that show traffic and renderings of buildings in some downtown areas.
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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.
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Surprisingly, the Jeep's cabin electronics incorporate an apps section, complete with an app store for loading new features.
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Sirius Travel Link, which brings in gas prices, movie times, and weather, is included as an app.
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Bing local search allows free-form searches to turn up local businesses. Each listing is integrated with the navigation system.
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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.
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HD Radio is included as standard.
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The interface for digital audio shows album art, when available.
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A module at the bottom of the console includes ports for USB and SD cards.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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