Rugged Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk loaded with smart tech
This is the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee, not only that it's a Trailhawk which means it's the Jeepiest Grand Cherokee we could find.
But it ain't no Wrangler and the reality is that most Grand Cherokee buyers are going to spend most of this Trailhawk's miles along the very well beaten path.
So let's take it for a spin on the road and see how well it does as a daily driver, shall we?
One of the first things that separates a Trailhawk from a standard Grand Cherokee is that you Uses stage 2 of the automakers quadri-drive 4 x 4 system.
That means it's 4-wheel-drive set up is full time, not on demand like other Grand Cherokee models.
And that it features a limited slip differential on the rear axle that could send up to 100% of available torque to either of the rear wheels if all other three wheels are slipping.
That's really good for crawling over very low traction surfaces.
We've also got this select terrain system that allows us to correctly set up the car for different terrain types.
Things like sand, snow, mud, those type of loose surfaces you'll be driving across.
Overall, it adjusts things like the differential setup, the throttle response, the suspension setup.
All in 15 different vehicle systems get changed every time you twist your wrist to turn that knob, admittedly that's a bit overkill for your average small parking lot, but drivers who live in rural areas with a lot of dirt roads who experience weather like rain or snow or both will definitely appreciate the extra sure footedness that you gain here and the confidence you get with this system.
We've also got the quadra lift air suspension, which allows us to raise or lower the ride height at the touch of a button.
At its highest off road two setting we get a whopping 10.8 inches of ground clearance.
And when we're on the highway at highway speeds like this, it'll automatically lower itself just a tad below the standard ride height.
So we cut through the air a little bit more smoothly, reaching up to 25 miles per gallon on the highway.
And when it comes time to park the car, there's even a park setting that will drop it all the way down, so you can get in or out of this vehicle very easily, or slide it into a low garage.
Now the ride is Fine.
Nobody buys a Jeep Grand Cherokee for its handling prowess but it's a pretty decent handling car.
I don't think most people would complain too much about the floaty drive.
They'll probably be spending more time appreciating the way it just soaks up the pot holes and just completely ignores cracks and expansion joints on the highway.
It's a very smooth and very comfortable ride.
Under the hood we've got the 3.6 liter Pinta Star V6 engine, pretty much the same V6 you'll find throughout Fiat, Chrysler's lineup in all sorts of vehicles.
Here it males 295 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque, which is decent.
It's mated with an eight speed automatic transmission that's the only gearbox option that you get and we have a two speed transfer case for when it comes time to crawl over those rocks You can switch into low mode.
Around town, it's actually a pretty peppy engine.
It feels very responsive off the line.
It turns out that same low gearing that you need for high torque for rock crawling, really works out for being really peppy around town.
However, the V6 does tend to run out of steam when you get to the top end of the tachometer swing.
So if you've go a very heavy right foot and do a whole lot of passing, you'll definitely want to at least test drive the the new V8 option before you hit the road.
Overall I feel like the V6 is probably the best for most people with a really good blend of performance and fuel economy.
Even Jeep acknowledges the Grand Cherokee trail hog needs to be the kind of SUV that is comfortable to drive on a daily basis So they've outfitted it with all sorts of cool technologies, creature comforts, and driver eight features.
Things like the Uconnect Internet connected infotainment with its Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.
We talk more about that in a separate video.
We've also got driver aid technologies, like adaptive cruise control, lane departure prevented steering system, and automatic parallel parking.
this is a thoroughly modern vehicle.
And though some of those systems are starting to feel dated, it doesn't come with the nitpicks that have plagued other expensive SUVs I've tested.
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee starts at around $47,000, or fully loaded like we've got it here closer to 50 grand.
Yeah, pricey, but lower than the starting price of a Land Rover Discovery and in a lot of ways this is the frugal mans Land Rover Jokes about both brands reliability aside, the Jeep offers similar, arguably better, dash board and driver rated tech.
And under the conditions that most drivers are gonna experience, it's comparably capable and rugged.
Sure, it's less luxurious, but maybe that'll make you less precious about actually getting it dirty every now and then.