We seem to have come to agreement at 120 East Liberty Street on how we feel about our Four Seasons Jeep Grand Cherokee: we are going to miss it dearly once it leaves. However, as we head into the end of our year-long test, a new wear-and-tear issue has arisen.
Our worst issue to date, the battery in the keyless entry keyfob seems to be dying. At least, that seems to be the culprit. "The proximity key less sensitive than before, but also the range of the keyfob itself is quite dismal," points out associate web editor Evan McCausland. The system's lethargy also angered copy editor Rusty Blackwell: "Why is the push-button keyless lock on the outside chrome door handle so slow/temperamental to react?" We will make sure to have the fob's battery checked out at the next service interval.
Speaking of service, the Grand Cherokee went in for its 25,000-mile service over the course of the last month. Despite some complaints about tire tread wear, the dealer checked them out and all looked fine; in preparation for winter we'll be swapping out the Jeep's stock tires for a set of snow tires, however. A quick multi-point inspection, oil and filter change, and tire rotation, and the Grand Cherokee was back on the road again. The service cost a very reasonable $50.84.
As we've grown accustomed to it, our unanimous love for the Jeep has waned a bit. Associate web editor Jake Holmes has had enough of the over-sensitive blind-spot monitoring system: "Bing-bing, bing-bing, bing-bing! That's what I hear when driving the Grand Cherokee in traffic. The blind-spot warning system is so sensitive that when I make a turn in town (while still signaling), the system detects cars behind me and thinks I'm about to cause a horrific pileup."
Senior web editor Phil Floraday's feelings are also cooling on the Grand Cherokee -- he notes that the Jeep lineup is now split between the mediocre Compass, Patriot, and Liberty and the extremely competent Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. However, now that the Wrangler has the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that we have in our car along with a new interior, Floraday says he would pick the Wrangler as "it's cheaper, more utilitarian, and rides incredibly well given its underpinnings and off-road capability."
Not all staffers have started to sour; in fact, quite the opposite. The logbook is filled with cries of how much we enjoy driving the Jeep, how usable it is, how luxurious it is, and how reliable it's been. Says McCausland, "I'm really going to have to brace myself for when this vehicle leaves our fleet. This has been a stalwart, sumptuous, four-wheeled companion over the past four seasons. It's pushed the bar to new levels for not only Chrysler's powertrain and interior designs, but also the Jeep brand altogether. I'll be sorry to see it go, but I can only hope our time with the Grand Cherokee is indicative of what we can expect from Jeeps to come."
Check back next month to see what happens during our final weeks 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|
|Base price: (with dest.)||$42,690|
|Body style:||4-door SUV|
|Displacement:||3.6 liters (220 cu in)|
|Power:||290 hp @ 6400 rpm|
|Torque:||260 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm|
|Turning Circle:||37.1 ft|
|Suspension, Front:||Control arms, coil springs|
|Suspension, Rear:||Multi-link/ coil springs|
|Brakes F/R:||Vented disc/disc; ABS|
|Tires:||Michelin Latitude Tour|
|Headroom F/R:||39.9 / 39.3in|
|Legroom F/R:||40.3 / 38.6 in|
|Shoulder Room F/R:||58.7 / 58.0 in|
|L x W x H:||189.8 x 84.8 x 69.3 in|
|Track F/R:||63.9 / 64.1 in|
|Weight Dist. F/R:||51.4/48.6%|
|Cargo Capacity:||36.3 / 68.3 cu ft (rear seats folded)|
|Fuel Capacity:||24.6 gallons|
|Est. Range:||440 miles|
|Fuel Grade:||87 octane|
|STANDARD EQUIPMENT||3.6-liter V-6 engine 5-speed automatic transmission Quadra-Trac II 4WD system Hill descent control Electronic stability control Selec-Terrain system Quadra-Lift air suspension ParkView rear backup camera ParkSense rear park assist system Trailer tow group Keyless enter-n-go Hill start assist Trailer swap damping Remote start system Rain-sensing windshield wipers Heated front and rear seats Vented front seats 8-way power front seats 60/40 rear split/fold seats Dual-zone automatic climate control Uconnect hands-free phone system 30 GB hard drive with 6700-song capacity 9 premium speakers with 506-watt amp and subwoofer Sirius satellite radio Heated steering wheel with audio controls Wood/leather wrapped steering wheel Power tilt/telescoping steering column 115-volt auxiliary power outlet 20-inch wheels Command view dual-pane panoramic sunroof Power liftgate Smartbeam headlamps Bi-Xenon headlamps with auto-leveling Power heated mirrors with memory Daytime running lights|
|Rear DVD entertainment center||$1,495||Rear overhead console Rear seat video overhead system Power single-pane sunroof|
|Advanced warning and adaptive cruise control||$1,295||Blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection Adaptive speed control Forward collision warning|
|Off-Road adventure II package||$295||18 x 8.0-inch aluminum polished wheels P265/60R18 on/off-road tires Skid plate group Tow hooks Trail rated badge|
|Engine block heater||$50|