Jeep has lifted the veil off of the redesigned 2014 Grand Cherokee at the North American International Auto Show when the doors were opened this morning in Detroit, Michigan. Still based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the new Grand Cherokee gains a redesigned front end with a softer overall look. A revised bumper slopes upward towards the front corners of the ‘ute, and Jeep’s familiar seven-slot grille is surrounded by a new body panel that extends under the headlights. But really, that’s a minor point; this American icon takes a step away from compromise, thanks to new eight-speed automatic transmissions across the lineup, a new EcoDiesel V-6 that achieves up to 30 mpg on the highway, refreshed interior materials and trims, and new active-safety features and connectivity features.
The new EcoDiesel makes 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, and it has a best-in-class towing capacity of 7,400 pounds (same as the V-8), while the V-6 models have gotten a boost to 6,200 pounds. Output for both the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 remain the same (290 horsepower and 360 hp, respectively) although the new eight-speed automatic should yield better performance on the road, as well as higher mileage in both instances. Reported fuel consumptions numbers are promising with upwards of 25 mpg on the highway for the V-6 or 21 mpg highway for the V-8 being reported.
Inside, the new Grand Cherokee gets a little more fashion-forward, too. Interiors have been refreshed with all new materials and trims, like Natura leather and open-pore wood trim; cabin color palettes are new as well, with some of them inspired by nature scenes. Even the cargo bay is now sided with wood trim in some models. The steering wheel has a new three-spoke design, and a new ‘E-shifter’ (shift lever) is on the center console, just behind a center stack with new Uconnect screens.
The Grand Cherokee’s Uconnect center stack benefits from either a 5- or an 8.4-inch touch screen depending on the trim level. The SUV runs Chrysler’s third-generation Uconnect infotainment which features voice recognition, WiFi hotspot capability and 3D navigation. A new multimedia input includes a USB port, a SD card slot and an auxiliary jack, while a 12-volt outlet lets passengers charge mobile devices. Other tech highlights for the new Grand Cherokee include an much improved ford sync like, natural-language voice controls, and a back-seat Blu-Ray entertainment system, with 825-watt Harmon Kardon audio system.
The 2014 Grand Cherokee will go on sale across the North America in a matter of weeks. Pricing information will be available closer to its launch date as no Canadian figures have been announced.