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Arrival: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee


The 2011 Grand JEEP CHEROKEE is easily the most important vehicle Jeep has launched in the past few years in terms of finances and image. It had to not only be capable enough off-road to silence the purists who balked at its unibody construction and lack of solid axles, but also refined and luxurious enough to appeal to the broad range of demanding customers in its cutthroat midsize SUV segment. Given the shortage of angry Internet posts about its TrailRated badge and 68-percent year-on-year sales increase in 2010, Jeep seems to have hit the mark.

While we've had some experience with the latest and greatest Jeep-we gave it the trial-by-fire treatment against a Land Rover LR4 and a Toyota 4runner (October 2010) and tortured it at Sport/Utility of the Year (December 2011) -- we wanted to spend some more time with one, so we hit up Auburn Hills and convinced Jeep to part with one for a year. We all know the Hemi V-8 is good, so we asked Jeep to send us a version equipped with the shiny new Pentastar V-6 (ruling out the V-8-only range-topping Overland model). Jeep promptly obliged and handed over the keys to a nicely equipped silver-on-black Limited 4x4.

 This flavor of Grand JEEP CHEROKEE starts at $39,995, but ours came with a few extras. Making things more comfortable for us is the $1495 Luxury Group II package, which provides a heated steering wheel, the ever-convenient power tailgate, power-adjustable steering column, and cooled front seats that will surely prove useful when the thermometer hits triple digits. Jeep also figured we'd be taking it off-road, so the equipment list includes skidplates, off-road tires, and a full-size spare via the $650 Off-Road Adventure I package. With destination, the total price is $42,040.

One detail we couldn't option out was a replacement for the standard five-speed automatic. We've docked the Jeep points in the past for its shortage of cogs, and that's sure to be a common point of conversation during its stay. We'll find out in the coming months if the Jeep's overall appeal and balanced combination of luxury and capability will be enough to overlook this shortcoming and turn the whole staff into fans. For now, we're just getting acquainted. Again.
.hdr {color:#ffffff;font:bold 12px verdana,arial,helvetica;background-color:#343434;} .hdr1 {color:#000000;font:bold 09px verdana,arial,helvetica;background-color:#aba9a9;} .hdr2 {color:#000000;font:09px verdana,arial,helvetica;background-color:#dddddd;} .hdr3 {color:#000000;font:09px verdana,arial,helvetica;background-color:#FFFFFF;} Our Cars Base price $39,995 Price as tested $42,040 Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV Engine 3.6L/290-hp/260-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6 Transmission 5-speed automatic Curb weight (f/r dist) 5016 lb (51/49%) Wheelbase 114.8 in Length x width x height 189.8 x 76.5 x 69.3 in 0-60 mph 8.7 sec Quarter mile 16.6 sec @ 86.5 mph Braking, 60-0 129 ft Lateral acceleration 0.76 g (avg) MT figure eight 28.6 sec @ 0.57 g (avg) EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16/22 mpg Energy cons, city/hwy 211/153 kW-hrs/100 mi CO2 emissions 1.06 lb/mi Total mileage 3883 mi Average fuel econ 16.7 mpg

(Source)


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