Our Four Seasons Grand Cherokee has now passed the half-way mark in its stay with us. Since its initial cool reception, our feelings have warmed up toward the Jeep, and the logbook has been filling with almost nothing but praise.
Almost. Art director Matt Tierney found out during a recent road trip that the rear-seat entertainment system is not functioning correctly. “The first DVD plays, but subsequent discs fail to display on the screen, and play sound only. I can’t figure out what the problem is, but it makes for some grumpy kids. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the Sirius Backseat TV function provides three kids’ channels that stopped the whining, but tortured those up front with the sounds of Nickelodeon.”
After coming back from New York and making a few journeys to northern Michigan, the Jeep is due for its regular service again, so we’ll make sure to have the DVD player checked out as well.
Speaking of trips up north, associate editor Eric Tingwall used the Grand Cherokee as a support vehicle for the Great Lakes Relay, where he and nine friends ran the 273 miles from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. “Our Grand Cherokee was a rolling haven with its generous rear-seat room for tired legs, 120-volt household outlet for charging phones and cameras, ventilated front seats to rejuvenate sweaty runners, and, occasionally, the Disney Channel to distract from throbbing calves.” Maybe that Backseat TV isn’t so bad after all.
Tingwall and his cohorts were thoroughly impressed with the Grand Cherokee, asserting that it could easily sell for another $15,000 with nothing more than a German badge on the hood. “It certainly isn’t going to topple an Audi Q7 or BMW X5, but it’s still impressive that the Grand Cherokee not only plays in the same league, it actually competes,” notes Tingwall.
We turned to our logbook to see how much we’ve spent on gas during the Jeep’s stay with us so far. The EPA rates the annual cost of fueling our V-6-powered, four-wheel drive Grand Cherokee at $3086 and $81.92 to fill up from empty. At just under 18,000 miles it had cost us a total of $3513.11 to fuel up; although our most expensive fill-up ran a healthy $93.04. Thanks to an observed average fuel economy of 19 mpg -- exactly in the middle of the EPA 16/22 city/highway rating -- we are right on target with the government estimates, even with our collective lead foot.
Check back next month as we continue our travels with the Grand Cherokee.
|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 |