A month into the Grand Cherokee's stay with us, staffers have already been impressed with the vastly improved interior materials, not to mention the confidence the Jeep has instilled throughout the winter snowfalls. However, the logbook isn't filled only with praise for the new Jeep.
Having made peace with the fact that the navigation unit in our early-production car was not the more advanced one that is supposed to be in Overland models, we turned our critical eye to the antiquated five-speed automatic transmission. Associate editor Eric Tingwall criticized the spacing of its top three gears, which are too close together, and added: "the transmission is also hesitant to downshift, which is contrary to the calibration of pretty much every other new car that features a smaller, more efficient engine." Tingwall also griped about the pedals being too far to the left, making stop-and-go city driving a chore. Tingwall is six-foot-three, but his sentiment was echoed by copy editor Rusty Blackwell, who is of average height. As Tingwall points out, "this is an ergonomic foible that can really make an owner resent the vehicle."
Blackwell did, however, sing some praises for the Jeep after spending a snowy night with it. "This is a fabulous choice for snowy evenings. Sure, there's the electronic four-wheel drive and its variable modes. But what I'm talking about is that awesome heated steering wheel, the heated seats, and the heaven-sent remote-start system!"
As for the wrinkled leather on the dash that we reported last month? The Grand Cherokee has been so popular during our fierce Michigan winter, we've been loath to drop it at the dealer to see what might be done to rectify the situation. We'll have an update on that front next month.
|Our Test Results|
|0-60 mph:||9.1 sec|
|0-100 mph:||24.7 sec|
|1/4-mile:||16.9 sec @ 86 mph|
|30-70 mph passing:||9.7 sec|
|Peak acceleration:||0.52 g|
|Speed in gears:||1) 54; 2) 88; 3) 113; 4) --; 5) -- mph|
|Cornering L/R:||0.74/0.72 g|
|70-0 mph braking:||184 ft|
|Peak braking:||0.98 g|