Striking a good balance between off-road ability and on-road comfort is not easy. The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4×4 appears to have done just that. While I didn’t get a chance to take the ute off-road, it excelled at cruising the concrete—which is what the vast majority of these well-equipped SUVs will spend their time doing.
The 2017 Grand Cherokee’s styling is a mixture of muscular aggressiveness and luxurious suppleness. Bulging fenders command presence in the parking lot with Platinum Chrome trim offering more elegant packaging. 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, polished dual exhaust tips, and LED lighting contribute to the rugged yet refined look.
This dualistic nature remains inside with chunky but easily operable infotainment controls, polished aluminum paddle shifters, and thick wood and leather wrapped steering wheel. The supple Sky Gray quilted leather seats and chrome trim-accented door panels make for a thoroughly luxurious ecosystem. In Southern California, it also never hurts to have ventilated front seats.
The Grand Cherokee offers the driver a commanding vantage point above the surrounding traffic. Despite the height, the standard Quadra-Lift air suspension keeps body roll in check and lends itself to tidy and comfortable ride.
Power comes from a 3.6-liter V-6 making 295 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Under full throttle, the Grand Cherokee accelerates up to speed with ease and the 8-speed transmission provides decent and predictable shifts. The package is great for cushy freeway cruising but maintains enough nimbleness to navigate dense traffic.
Being the range-topping version unless you count the SRT and Trackhawk, the Grand Cherokee Summit also comes standard with a battery of safety tech. Parking assist sensors err on the sensitive side but the backup camera is clear. The lane departure system also kicks in a little more often than desirable leading to corrections that interrupt the car’s natural motion on the freeway. Forward collision warning is calibrated well and I never experienced any unwarranted alerts.
The Uconnect system’s 8.4-inch touchscreen is responsive and offers Android Auto and AppleCar. The layout is comprehensive and the screen is of high-enough resolution and always legible. The 7-inch instrument cluster display integrates well with the center screen and can be easily customized to show the driver necessary information.
2017 Grand Cherokees start at $53,495 and as tested, ours was optioned up to $60,580 including destination charge. It’s a worthy entry in its segment and offers a combination of luxury and utility that solidifies its fitness as a daily driver.
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4×4 Specifications
|PRICE||53495/60580 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||3.6L DOHC 24-valve V6/293 hp @ 6400 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, 4WD SUV|
|EPA MILEAGE||18/25 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||191.3 x 67.6 x 77.1 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.1 sec|
|TOP SPEED||118 mph|