Our Four Seasons Jeep Grand Cherokee spent a month-long stay on the East Coast, where it spent much of its time as senior editor Joe Lorio's daily driver. He came away overall with a positive impression of the Jeep, echoing much of the past sentiments of those here at 120 East Liberty Street.
"Unless you're towing something really heavy, I can't see the need for the V-8 anymore, as the new six is plenty adequate," he said. Lorio praised the steering for its "natural and progressive effort," though he wished for more feedback. He was enamored of the Grand Cherokee's maneuverability. "The tight turning circle, which is one advantage the Jeep has over many transverse-engine crossovers, makes this vehicle easy to navigate around town." He was critical, however, of the way the fat pillars hinder the view out. "Outward visibility has declined precipitously compared to the earliest Grand Cherokee," he noted.
Speaking of the first Grand Cherokee, Mrs. Lorio owned one back in the day, so he put her behind the wheel of the new version to get her take. "She thought it felt taller, larger, and heavier. But at the same time, she found the handling still to be nimble and the powertrain a lot more responsive. And of course, compared to her '96, this interior is much nicer, particularly in Overland trim."
The Lorios ferried the Grand Cherokee to The Elegance at Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania, handing it off to Editor-in-chief Jean Jennings, so she could bring it back to Michigan. On the trip to Pennsylvania, Lorio once again found the Grand Cherokee to be "a pleasant highway cruiser." As was the case with our Four Seasons Chrysler Town & Country, the Sirius Backseat TV -- which has kid-friendly but adult-averse live streams from Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon -- proved to be a big hit with its intended audience.
After receiving the keys from Lorio, Jennings commented that the Grand Cherokee became almost invisible while parked next to the Bentley Mulsanne she had driven there. Go figure.
The Grand Cherokee is "a very versatile, livable, everyday companion," noted Lorio. "I'll miss it." Sorry Joe, but those of us in Ann Arbor can't get enough of the Grand Cherokee either.
|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 |