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I've been driving a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee part-time for almost two years. My fiancée leases one and it is a decent hauler even with its base V6 engine and constant brake issues. The brand new, redesigned 2005 Grand Cherokee that was recently dropped off is a different beast entirely. Immediately you realize you're in a much larger vehicle.

Sure five inches might not seem like much but the hood definitely seems bulkier as it stretches out before your eyes. Maybe it needs to be that big to fit the optional 5.7 liter Hemi engine. Our tester comes with the Hemi but there is no Hemi badging on the exterior of the vehicle. There?s a ?5.7 Liter? a ?Limited? and the ?Trail Rated? badges but no Hemi. I had to open the hood just to double check and there in big print was the word Hemi.

The other reason I had to open the hood to check was because the SUV sure didn?t make me feel like I had 325 horses at my command. At low speeds the transmission searches for the next gear, displays little torque and a sense of power only comes at higher speeds.

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Inside the feel is overwhelmingly plastic. Much like the Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300C there are huge chunks of plastic making up the dash and doors. The center console and leather seats are pleasantly of a higher class as are the improved gauges.

Besides the amazing sound system (I didn?t get a sticker with the tester but I?m guessing this is the Boston Acoustics set-up) I?m not impressed yet. But there are still a few more days of testing to come. 

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