THE PROS & CONS
- What’s best: There’s something for everyone in the Grand Cherokee lineup, including the ultra luxurious Summit model tested.
- What’s worst: Making a choice may be difficult when you consider the trim levels, powertrains and options available.
- What’s interesting: The Grand Cherokee Summit has an upscale cabin, yet the vehicle is trail-ready for those who enjoy off-roading. It’s a perfect vehicle for heading to the cottage or the ski hills.
Yes folks, it is possible to have the best of all worlds in an SUV that offers big-city polish combined with go-anywhere off-road prowess.
There’s all this and more in the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee that has a lineup chock full of trim levels and powertrains. The Grand Cherokee is the crème de la crème when it comes to the Jeep world.
Tested here is the upscale Grand Cherokee Summit that for 2017 offers a new and even more luxurious handcrafted leather interior along with a new exterior look that features a new front fascia, fog lamps and grille.
Prices for the Grand Cherokee Summit 4×4 with the 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine start at $68,495, but with options and other charges, ours nudged in at just below the $80k mark.
Our test vehicle came dressed in the new-for-2017 Indigo full-wrap leather interior with Sky Gray seats.
Indigo is one of four new colour schemes offered on the Summit. This sumptuous interior boasts a Nappa leather-wrapped dashboard, centre console and door panels and Laguna leather seats with edge welting.
It is beautiful and part of the Signature Leather-wrapped interior package, priced at $4,995,
The Summit is also loaded with technological goodies including lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning with active braking, hill start assist and hill descent control, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection, advanced cruise control with stop and Parkview rear back-up camera.
The Summit is one of six models in the Grand Cherokee lineup for 2017 with the entry-level Laredo starting at $44,195, jumping all the way to the performance-leading SRT model with its 475 hp 6.4-litre Hemi V8. It is priced from $72,195.
The Grand Cherokee Summit proved to be an ideal vehicle for our week chauffeuring around friends from ‘Down Under’ in Perth, Australia.
Already Jeep aficionados with a 2014 Grand Cherokee Overland diesel parked in their garage, Anna and Eko were suitably impressed with the new model and its luxury features.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see them visit a Jeep dealership shortly after they return home.
Now we didn’t get to take Grand Cherokee Summit off-road and probably the majority of Summit owners won’t either.
But for those who do, Jeep offers a new Trailhawk edition for 2017 with the Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system and the Quadra-Lift air suspension.
But this model is much more than a one-trick pony. It is off-road ready, yet still comes with such upscale features as the 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen, ventilated Nappa-leather front seats and a nine-speaker Alpine premium audio system.
Speaking of entertainment units, our Summit model had the optional rear DVD entertainment centre ($2,150), perfect for keeping the youngsters entertained on their trip up to the cottage or ski country. The Harmon Kardon audio system itself boasts 19 speakers and an 825-watt amplifier.
Powering our Summit was the 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine, putting out 360 hp and 390 lb/ft of torque and mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Other engines available on the Summit are the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 or the 3.0-litre Ecodiesel V6, which is a torque beast with 420 lb/ft of it. The 3.6-litre is standard on all models except the SRT.
The Grand Cherokee is a big mass, weighing in at 2,367 kg (5,192 lb) as tested. But with the powerful 5.7-litre Hemi, it will tow a ton— actually more than three tons to be specific with a tow rating of 3,265 kg (7,200) lb.
Acceleration is pleasantly surprising when you consider the size of the Grand Cherokee. However, in navigating tight parking lots you soon realize the size of the vehicle as you do on tight corners out in the country.
On the highway, though, the Grand Cherokee’s cabin is comfortable, quiet and luxurious— an absolutely wonderful place to pass the time, making this a great vehicle for road trips as we discovered with our Aussie friends.
Over the years, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has become an icon in the SUV market and there’s no doubt the popularity will continue when you look at the trim levels offered.
From the base level Laredo, to the off-road leading Trailhawk, up to the luxurious Summit and then the high-performance SRT, there’s a Grand Cherokee to fit every taste and every budget.
Also Read: Street Wolf in Three-row SUV Clothing
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
BODY STYLE: four-door, five-passenger sport utility vehicle.
DRIVE METHOD: front engine, four-wheel drive.
ENGINE: 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 (295 hp, 260 lb/ft of torque); 5.7-litre Hemi V8 (360 hp, 390 lb/ft of torque); 3.0-litre DOHC Ecodiesel V6 (240 hp, 420 lb/ft of torque) all with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
TOW RATING: 3.6-litre 2,812 kg (6,200 lb); 5.7L 3,265 kg (7,200 lb); 3.0-litre Ecodiesel 3,264 kg (7,200 lb).
FUEL ECONOMY: 3.6-litre 12.8/9.5/11.3 L/100 km city/highway/combined; 5.7-litre 16.7/10.7/14 L/100 km city/highway/combined; 3.0-litre Ecodiesel V6 11.2/8.4/9.9 L/100 km city/highway/combined.
CARGO CAPACITY: 1,027 litres behind second-row seats; 1,934 with second row seats folded.
PRICE: Laredo, $44,195; Limited $52,495; Trailhawk $57,495; Overland $61,345; Summit $66,345 and SRT $72,195. As tested, $79,525 including $1,795 destination charge.
WEB SITE: www.jeep.ca