2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited EcoDiesel 4X4

“The Most Awarded SUV Ever”
By Durhl Caussey, Epoch Times Contributor
January 20, 2014 Updated: January 20, 2014

Before I discuss the user-friendly technology, superb craftsmanship, and benchmark on-road refinement, I want to tell you about the new 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine that delivers best-in-class 21 city and 28 highway mpg, coupled with a towing capacity of 7,400 pounds. The engine comes with an 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission with E-Shift. 

The EcoDiesel produces a class-leading 240 horsepower and massive 420 lb.-ft. torque. The 24-valve, dual-overhead-cam features a block and bed plate crafted from strong, compacted, graphite iron, which contributes to stiffness without penalizing performance.

With weather temperatures so extreme this week, I was a little concerned about the diesel engine. But Jeep engineers had addressed high and low temperatures by developing a new engine turbo that is water cooled to handle soaring heat, while low voltage ceramic glow plugs accommodate quicker starts in cold weather. Even on the week’s coldest day, I still ventured out without a problem.

My favorite restaurant in Dallas is a quaint place called Pollo Campero, owned by brothers Ram and Kris Daswani. While I feasted on Latin flavored Guatemalan pressure-cooked chicken, the brothers took inventory of the Jeep. While they were enjoying driving the Jeep, I was enjoying my second helpings of Yucca fries, sweet plantains, and caramel flam. 

Upon their return, they continued to talk about how well the vehicle rode, and how impressed they were with the heated front seats and second row seats. Apparently the Morocco black Nappa leather trimmed ventilated seats only added to their comfort. 

When I told them the base price was less than $38,000, they both smiled broadly. 

The brothers had more questions than I could answer or remember, so I just told them to drive the Cherokee some more and let the vehicle answer for me. 

Once I got the Cherokee back, I reset the 8-way power seat with memory, plus lumbar support, then channeled off their station back to the 60s station. 

Speaking of the radio, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen display, 7-inch reconfigurable in-cluster display center, and Uconnect Access which also adds cloud-based voice recognition capacity across the system. 

This new Jeep is designed somewhat differently outside than the traditional models. The upper grille is shorter in height and the headlamps are slimmer. The lower front fascia has been slightly elevated, and fog lights have been raised making them more pronounced. The 18-inch X 8-inch polished aluminum wheels, LED tail lamps, and dual bright exhaust tips make the outside even dressier. 

The Cherokee has a thick steering wheel, which adds balance and felt-control to its movement. Wearing gloves is not a hindrance in the process. 

The instrument panel is easily read. 

Seats are spacious and comfortable. Storage places for personal and business items are readily available throughout the cab and there are enough cup holders to handle drinks for a bottler convention. 

The Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced in 1992. Nearly five million have been sold since then. 

The new Jeep Cherokee is built in Detroit and available in Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit models. There is also a performance-oriented SRT model that puts down 470 horses.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.