“Yo Vinnie! Waddya Drivin’ This Week?” is a first look/first impression of the review vehicle I am driving this week for a future “Drivetime Road Test” auto review.
PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Well it looks like the folks at Jeep have gone and done it again. Gone and improved what was a great original. Found a hundred ways to make it even better than it was and that’s a good thing, no?
From the outside front you immediately notice the smaller grille. Lots of Jeep purists are moaning about it because it is less prominent, less a badge of ownership. The fact that this Jeep cuts a well designed profile with front effects and rear spoiler (taken from the SRT) added to give it a lower leaner look doesn’t mean much. They are mad about the grille.
I am really impressed with the interior of the Grand Cherokee in a number of ways. Most of all in comfort. A longer wheelbase and wider opening doors mean more leg room and ease of getting in and out. If you are buying one of these it should be roomy and Chrysler got the message. The interior is very nicely done with quality materials and trim all around. The dash is easy to read, traditional but yet modern with a big nav screen parked right in the middle. Internet hot spot with the UConnect system was pretty cool to have as well.
With the possible exception of a fully equipped Land Rover there is nothing that goes off road better than a Jeep and the Grand Cherokee is no different. Mud, grass, wet road, rocks, high water, it took it all on and kept it’s demeanor about it. It does fool you as you start to think it is too nice to take up the side of a hill but the Jeep just says hit the gas and i’ll do the rest with its Quadratrac II 4WD system. add to that a number of other improvements to the off road capabilities like the SelectTerrain system and there ain’t nowhere this baby ain’t going to take you!
On the road the Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with the 290 horsepower Pentastar V6 is vamoose quick as well as hearty. The 8 speed VF transmission shifts smooth and never strains even when put through it’s paces by the shift paddles in my hot rod hands! It has a towing capacity of 6200 lbs for the V6 and 7400 for the Diesel.
There are several engine configurations for the Grand Cherokee…from this Limited to the SRT that will get you to the mountaintop quicker than Zeus! The model I am driving has a $45,580 sticker, 17 city 24 highway MPG. I am very excited to drive the Diesel version which Chrysler says should get you over 700 miles on a tank of fuel!
This is one of the best SUV’s you will find out there in every facet of the game. What is most impressive on the Grand Cherokee though is the attention to detail. You know if it is a Jeep it’s going to go. Its the little things that let you know you are going to get there in style.
I don’t care how many ports on the grille it’s still a Jeep to me!
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Get more reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.