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Jeep was one of the pioneers in the sport-utility segment before it exploded, yet when the train left the station, the iconic rough-and-tumble brand seemed to have been left behind. But now even while the band plays on the sinking deck of the SS Chrysler, Jeep is trying to catch up and stay afloat with this new offering lining up for the privilege.
According to the latest spy shots and reports, the next Jeep Grand Cherokee looks prone to grow a bit grander. Once considered the sportscar of the SUV segment, the 2010 Grand Cherokee will have a noticeably longer wheelbase, longer rear overhang and likely third-row seating. As the project was likely started while under Daimler's wing, the new Grand Cherokee is anticipated to borrow architecture from Mercedes SUVs like the ML and GL. Although Chrysler apparently killed off the diesel option on the current model for the new year, it may return for the new model, joining the same range of V6 and HEMI V8 engines that may expand to include a HEMI hybrid (Hymi, anyone?), though don't expect a successor to the hot-rod Grand Cherokee SRT8 any time soon. The design, meanwhile, will still include such trademark styling cues as the seven-slat grille, four round headlights and squared-off wheel arches, but expect the overall shape to borrow from the Trailhawk concept from the Detroit Auto Show of two years ago. The new Grand Cherokee may make its debut later this year at either the Chicago or New York show, so stay tuned.

[Source: Car and Driver]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Congrats Jeep, you've just lost me as a customer. Jeep if your listening I have owned 5 Grand Cherokees because of the off-road abilities. Now since you insist on making the Grand Cherokee into a mini van, I will now look elsewhere.

      One more sign that the worst thing to happen to Jeep was the Daimler merger.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can only hope that when they put it together, that they leave the smartbeam headlights on the assembly floor. Those are the WORST part of that vehicle...at leave for oncoming vehicular traffic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why do they want to go larger with the new 2010? That can't help the manuverability. I like the smaller wheel base. It would be nice to have that extra row of seats however. Why can't they put those in the JGC Limited? Also I like the 4.7L V8. They get carried away with their so called improvements. If they could just think practical. That's why we like the Jeep.
      • 6 Years Ago
      When I saw the profile in the spy shots, the first thing I thought of was Acadia/Enclave...which isn't a bad thing. The Lambdas are some of GM's best vehicles on the road right now.

      I can't wait to see what they do with this new Grand Cherokee.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hate to say this but who says the car is bigger? The spy photographers? Autoblog? Whoever is saying that is wrong.

      I work on this car, and I've sat in it. I also own a current gen WK. This car is about the same size, if anything it rides much lower to the ground. The cargo area is smaller, the current ones will not fit 3 rows, unless you have 2 foot tall people with no legs.

      There will be a larger version if the market demands, but as of right now the 5 seat Jeep version is the only one planned, the Dodge is still in approval phases as it won't be until 2012.

      The interior looks like an M-Class with the usual Chrysler uConnect radio instead of MB's radio stuff. The seats are quality and have nice bolsters. You will all get to ogle at the car in April @ New York.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's so terrible about the 05+ other than the tiny rear seat? They ride well, the V8s have plenty of power, they aren't too expensive (except to fill up)...

        • 6 Years Ago
        It's not a bad car at all. Sitting next to my '98 Durango though, it shares many of the same proportions.

        Too bad the only diesel option for it was that giant blutec, not a sensible smaller diesel for those looking for efficiency instead of stump pulling.

        That cherokee would look pretty good if they squashed it a bit into wagon form...same thing for the dead in the water commander.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think Jeep should just keep all the truck based SUVs, sans perhaps
      the Durango, although a Commander the size of the Durango as a
      replacement could possibly work.

      The unibody SUVs then should be left for the Dodge brand, to make
      them drive and car-like as possibly, befitting of Dodge's "sportier"

      Or perhaps give the mid-size and larger unibodies to Chrysler, and leave the small ones and minivans to Dodge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "But now even while the band plays on the sinking deck of the SS Chrysler" Can we just get the news without this kind of crap?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This thing has been nothing but a disappointment since the 99'-04' MY. Lets hope they get it right this time.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Umm, why are they making a larger SUV? How well did the Commander do? I know many Grand Cherokee buyers who liked the previous generation a lot and their only gripe was interior quality...Then they released the current gen and turned off a lot of folks. If they can improve the styling this time around, maybe they can lure those folks back. Not sure the increased size fits what those previous gen buyers are looking for.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Its incredible how shortsighted Chrysler is. Simply amazing. The titanic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The only thing that's a disappointment about the Grand Cherokee is that there's not a base Cherokee anymore to do real off road work.

        My family owned a Cherokee. The Liberty never was and never will be a great replacement. It's a good vehicle in many respects and it's got the off road capabilities, but it's just not the same. Especially in the styling, the Cherokee looked more simple.

        But, of course, at least they've got the Patriot. It's not as off road capable but at least it's fuel-efficient and small enough to feel like it's not a tank.

        I think a three-row Grand Cherokee is good. Now we just need a regular Cherokee so we know why the Grand Cherokee is so... well, grand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wasn't the Grand Cherokee also the only unibody SUV for a long time?

      And now it's going to borrow from the body-on-frame ML and GL? That seems both rather difficult and the wrong direction to go.
        • 6 Years Ago
        IIRC, the current ML and GL are both unibody construction.
        • 6 Years Ago
        All new Jeep vehicles other than the Wrangler have been unibody since the XJ Cherokee was introduced in 1983. When the original ZJ Grand Cherokee came out in 1993, it was unibody. When the KJ Liberty replaced the Cherokee for 2002, it was unibody. The Patriot and Compass are both unibody. This newest Grand Cherokee will still be unibody, as will the next gen Durango/Aspen.

        I don't believe the ML has ever been BOF. I think you're thinking of the G-Wagon.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The GC is growing to compensate for the death of the Commander, and hopefully be able to site people more comfortable than the Commander or current GC.

      Also the Durango is switching to the GC platform, so while the GC may be growing, the Durnago will be shrinking some.

      If its using parts from the ML and GL that should mean improved and handling characteristics, while still being able to travel off the beaten path.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Also the Durango is switching to the GC platform, so while the GC may be growing, the Durnago will be shrinking some."

        The D is going back to it's original size, like my 2003. That's where it should have been. If it has a third row it will not be ginormous, but it wont' be cramped like the current Commander.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yep! Seems like the right move to me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't know why they're making it bigger, giving the failure that was the Commander.
      Also, the Grand Cherokee has been unibody since the beginning of its existence, so I find it highly unlikely that it would move to the ladder-frame Durango/Aspen platform.
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