For all the press surrounding the new Jeep Grand Cherokee the real world results are pretty simple to sum up. It's better than the previous generation but not for all the reasons we're being given. Sure the improvements to ride, rigidity and performance are remarkable but it sure isn't nimble. And I'll say again the V8 engine might not be needed for the casual driver.
I?ve read elsewhere the highway noise is horrendous. I wish I could find the review that mentioned that because the SUV seemed to cancel out road noise extremely well and wind noise didn?t invade the cabin either. The new Jeep is a road warrior like the new ads say. I didn?t test it off-road so those looking for more data on how rugged it is will have to go elsewhere. Sorry.
The car?s steering was crisp and had much more feel than our 2004. The SUV still felt a lot bigger though, and it didn?t handle parallel parking as well as the 2004 does. City bumps were noticeable and the rigid frame translated the imperfections pretty exactly but not without some jolts through the seats.
But really what wins me over is the cargo capacity and how easy it was to get the rear seats down as I showed everyone yesterday. The nicer center stack and controls were also needed improvements. And if it was a purchase I?d probably go with cloth interior and the bare basic Laredo so the plastic wouldn?t seem as glaring as it does in this $39,805 version(estimated price from me building a similar version online, no sticker was provided with our vehicle). I built a Laredo too with nothing but a sunroof as an option and the price came to $29,865. And that?s with $2,000 in rebates. But Jeep is popular enough that with the new styling and improved ride that it will probably sell a lot of SUVs at that price, even if the Grand Cherokee isn?t perfect.