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 |