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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 Limited 4×4 – ‘Unlimited Fun and Adventure’

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The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4 improves the formula and delivers the ultimate combination of Jeep 4X4 capability and on-road refinement with the latest in luxury and high-technology features found only in more expensive sport utility vehicles.

Improved fuel efficiency with the all-new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6, that I tested, delivers up to 23mpg/highway enabling the new Grand Cherokee to cruise more than 550 miles between fill-ups.

Every surface of the all-new Grand Cherokee is new and treated for aerodynamics.  This improves fuel efficiency and puts more fluidity into the design while delivering an 8.5% improvement in drag compared to last year’s model-0.37 verses 0.40.  This new Grand Cherokee is more refined, focused and sportier than ever with classic Jeep Grand Cherokee styling with sculpted athletic exterior refinements.

The front includes Jeep’s classic seven-slot grille, round HID headlamps and trapezoidal wheel arches.  The removable lower front fascia delivers improved fuel economy, on-road performance and off-road capability.  The lower front fascia features a large chromed appliqué that showcases the tow hooks.  From the side, the new Grand Cherokee features an athletic, muscular profile.  A full-perimeter chrome strip wraps around the greenhouse, the black appliqués on B-pillars give the bright daylight openings an aerodynamic, modern appearance and a sleek profile augment with the steeply raked A-pillars and lower side extensions. The power-dome hood features a scalloped center channel to increase downforce.

The chromed/heated/self-dimming side mirrors and door handles add to the profile and further enhance the luxurious look.  The Limited’s 18X8in. chrome wheels wrapped with Michelin Latitude Tour all-season radials stuff the flared fenders.

At the rear taillamps wrap from the rear quarter panel to the back of the vehicle and create a solid form which achieves a more upscale appearance.  Up top is a spoiler that enhances downforce at cruising speeds.  The Limited model that I tested came with the power liftgate that makes loading and unloading cargo easy, plus the tinted flipper glass opens with a push of a button hidden in the space just below the Jeep badge.  The bold step-up bumper has rubber inserts that make standing easy or more stable.  Under the bumper is a single, 3in. wide chrome exhaust tip.  If you order the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 you get dual, 3.5in. chromed exhaust tips.

The all-new interior features rich materials and elegant appointments as well as more room for both passengers and cargo.  It is a step up to a higher level for the Grand Cherokee thanks to the work of the Chrysler/Jeep Advanced Interior Design Studio.

One highlight is the optional all-new CommandView dual-pane sunroof that provides twice as much glass surface than a standard sunroof and extends from the windshield to the rear of the vehicle.  The front panel may be opened rearward, providing additional light and fresh air to first-row passengers.  The rear panel, which is fixed, allows sunlight and open viewing for second-row passengers and comes standard with a power sunshade.

Inside you’ll notice a smaller, sportier leather-wrapped steering wheel with power tilt/telescoping function along with buttons for the cruise-control, trip computer, audio and Bluetooth systems.  The leather trimmed front bucket seats feature 8-way power and lumber adjustments and are heated and ventilated.  The rear seats of the Limited model also feature heated adjustments.  The new instrument cluster is easy to see and understand with driver and system readouts scrolled from the steering wheel buttons.

The new dashboard features wood, aluminum and chrome trim pieces with a great attention to detail.  The dashboard is soft-to-the-touch and is a great improvement from the last model.  The new center aluminum and chrome finished center stack flows smoothly into the new center console with a storage bin down below, a padded two-tier storage compartment and dual cupholders.  The shifter gate is now lined with chrome giving the interior a further luxury look.  The shifter matches the steering wheel’s leather and is easy to operate.  The four air-vents are also finished in aluminum trim making this all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited as luxurious as any mid-size sport utility on the market.

The vehicle’s 114.8in. wheelbase is 5.3in. longer than last year’s model and contributes to an overall vehicle length that is 1.8in. longer than the prior model.  The longer wheelbase creates more interior room and gives passengers an additional 4in. of rear-seat knee and legroom.  The vehicle is also 3in. wider for improved handling and packaging.

Larger front door openings (1.9in. wider/2in. higher) and rear doors that open 78-degrees (compared to previous model’s 67-degrees) provide better access to the interior.

For maximum cargo and passenger comfort, rear seat backs move a total of 12-degrees front to back.  Cargo volume behind the second-row provides an additional  5.6cu.ft. (35.1cu.ft. total) compared to the previous model.  The well-appointed rear cargo area includes a storage unit with a removable/rechargeable flashlight and new and improved grocery hooks on both sides.  The spare tire compartment includes removable dual storage bins for secure storage of muddy gear or other items.  Chrome tie-downs front and rear plus polished aluminum slats on the floor further aid at keeping your larger cargo items from moving around.

Continuing to build on the Jeep’s brand’s legendary off-road capability, the all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee adds premium on-road performance to complete the package.

The new Grand Cherokee’s premium SUV on-road manners and legendary Jeep ruggedness is achieved with more than 5,400 welds in the body alone.  Torsional stiffness is 146% stiffer than before and stiffer than the BMW X5 and Toyota Highlander for improved durability and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).  More than 3,700mm of arc welding and 100m of structural adhesive augment the welding.  This marks a 53% increase in spot welds, a 42% increase in arc welds and a 38% increase in structural adhesive.

Powering the new Jeep Cherokee Limited is a choice of two powerful engines: the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 making 360hp has been available for the past two years but the big news is the all-new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine.  This is the first application of the all-new 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine.  This all-new flexible-fuel 3.6 liter V6 engine is standard and features an all-new design with DOHC’s and a high-pressure aluminum cylinder block in a 60-degree configuration.  It also features variable-valve timing and delivers 290hp at 6,400rpm and 260lb.ft. of torque at 4,800rpm.  The all-new V6 engine improves fuel economy up to 11% compared to the last V6 engine.  It is coupled with the proven W5A580, a five-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth shifts and optimum fuel economy.  The five-speed W5A580 transmission includes adaptive electronic control or electronic range select (ERS) driver-interactive manual control and an electronically modulated torque converter clutch.  Trailer-tow capability when equipped is 5,000lbs. with the new V6 engine.

Also under the skin and out-of-sight is the new Select Terrain and new Quadra-Lift Air suspension system that further set the Jeep Grand Cherokee apart from the competition.

These two new systems allow you to choose the drive system that best matches on-or-off road driving conditions.  The all-new front and rear independent suspension setups deliver premium on-road handling and comfort you expect from a luxury sport sedan.

Up front is Short/Long arms, coil springs, gas-charged twin-tube coil-over shocks, upper and lower control arms and a stabilizer bar.  The rear multi-link setup features coil springs, twin-tube shocks (including load leveling for towing), aluminum lower control arms, independent upper links (tension and camber) plus a separate toe link.  Precise steering control comes from the proven power-assisted rack & pinion steering system.

When off-roading the optional Quadra-Lift air suspension system takes you further with enhanced safety.  The Quadra-Lift air suspension system features five height setting for optimum ride performance: Normal Ride Height-8.1in. of clearance offers improved fuel economy and improved aerodynamics during off-road driving: Off-Road 1-Lifts the vehicle an additional 1.3in. for added height in clearing obstacles (9.4in.); Off-Road 2-delivers legendary Jeep off-road capability and provides an additional 2.6in. of height for 10.7in. of ground clearance; Park Mode-lowers the vehicle 1.5in. from the normal ride height for easy entry and exit and roof rack loading.  Normal Ride Height and Park mode are driver-selectable, giving you control over vehicle height; Aero mode-lowers the vehicle 0.6in. from the normal ride height.  Aero mode is controlled by vehicle speed and adjusts for optimal performance and fuel economy.

Quadra-Lift adds up to 4.1in. of lift span that is supported by four-corner air springs that provide a cushioned, premium ride.  Quadra-Lift operates automatically, or may be controlled manually via console controls.  This new system enables you to conquer more off-road challenges like no other mid-size sport utility can.

Further increasing the new Grand Cherokee’s off-road capability is the all-new Selec-Terrain traction control system that lets drivers choose off-road settings for the optimum experience on all terrains.  This feature electronically coordinates up to 12 different powertrain, braking and suspension systems, including throttle control, transmission shift, transfer case, traction control and electronic stability control.  The console-mounted control dial allows you to choose from five driving conditions in order to achieve the best driving experience on all terrains: Sand/Mud-Traction control and Quadra-Lift operate with sensitive response to wheel spin, and torque is tuned for optimal performance; Sport-Provides enhanced on-road fun-to-drive capability; Auto-Automatically adapts to any on-or-off-road situation; Snow-Vehicle traction adjusts for ultimate performance over snow-covered roads; Rock-Quadra-Lift air suspension system raises to maximum height (10.7in.) and the transfer case, differentials, and throttle coordinate to provide low-speed control.

Selec-Terrain coupled with the all-new Quadra-Lift air suspension system offers drivers an adjustable suspension span that delivers world-class capability.  With the front airdam removed, and the available Quadra-Lift air suspension system, the all-new Grand Cherokee features a 34.3-degree approach angle (compared to 32.3 previously), a 29.3-degree departure angle (compared to 27.5 previously), and 23.1-degree breakover angle (compared to 20.4 previously).

The all-new front and rear suspensions setups feature isolated front and rear suspension cradles.  Variable-rate rear springs deliver improved on-road handling and comfort that complements the vehicle’s off-road capability.  The new rear suspension allows the spare tire to be stored inside the vehicle as opposed to underneath for ease of changing a flat tire.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers three 4X4 systems (Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II.  Quadra-Trac I delivers full-time four-wheel drive without any switches or levers to pull.  The system provides smooth operation over a variety of road conditions.  This lightweight single-speed case is both proven and highly efficient for enhanced fuel economy.  Quadra-Trac II’s two-speed transfer case uses input from a variety of sensors in order to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action.  The system uses Throttle Anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximizes traction before slippage occurs.  When tire slippage is detected, as much as 100% of available torque is instantly routed t the axle with the most traction.  Quadra-Drive II with a rear electronic limited-slip differential, delivers industry-leading tractive capability.  The system instantly detects tire slip and smoothly distributes engine torque to tires with traction.  In some cases, the vehicle will anticipate low traction and adjust in order to proactively limit or eliminate slip.  Selec-Terrain is standard with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II.  These systems are the ultimate in off-road capability and each model proudly wears the ‘Trail Rated’ badge on the driver’s side fender.

Safely slowing the all-new Grand Cherokee down from speed as all of these systems provide forward motion, are new, larger four-wheel steel disc brakes.  Up front are 12.9in. vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.6in. solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  Standard ABS, traction control and electronic stability control systems help to keep you in control on-road or off-road.

Standard safety features include advanced multi-stage front airbags, side-curtain front and rear airbags, front seat side airbags, LATCH system for child seats, 3-point safety belts for all five seating positions including pretensioners/load limiters up front, security alarm, front/rear crumple zones and steel beams in each door.

Standard features not mentioned above in the Grand Cherokee Limited includes ParkView rear backup camera, ParkSense rear park sensors, push-button start-stop, keyless enter and go, hill start assist, hill descent control, trailer sway damping, cruise-control, remote start, rain-sensitive wipers/washer, rear wiper/washer, heated front seats, heated second-row seats, power 8-way driver’s seat with two-person memory, front passenger 4-way power adjustments, 60/40 split rear seat back, pull-down rear armrest with dual cupholders, dual-zone climate control with air filter/rear air-ducts behind the center console, electronic vehicle info display with reconfigurable display, power windows with front express up/down, power door locks, 2-12-volt auxiliary outlets, 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, Uconnect hands free phone with voice command, 9-premium speakers with 506-watt amp and subwoofer/AM-FM-CD/MP3/DVD audio system, USB port for mobile devices, premium front/rear floor mats with logo, foglamps, Bi-Xenon headlamps with auto leveling system, daytime running lamps, dual map lights, cargo lights, second-row lamps, grab handles at all four doors, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, polished steel slats on the cargo floor, and dual, lighted vanity mirrors.  Options on board my Grand Cherokee Limited model included ventilated front seats, power liftgate, heated steering wheel, skid plate group, tow hooks, GPS navigation, iPod control, SIRIUS satellite radio with SIRIUS Traffic.

The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited is the ultimate on-road/off-road performance sport utility vehicle with a more refined exterior, more luxurious and contemporary interior and new off-road systems to take you further on your off-road adventures.

COPYRIGHT:2011:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Jeep Grand Cherokee $30,215 As-Tested $42,840
  • Wheelbase: 114.8 inches
  • Total length: 189.8 inches
  • Total width: 76.3 inches
  • Total height: 69.4 inches
  • Track: f/r-63.9/64.1 inches
  • Headroom: f/r-40.0/39.3 inches
  • Legroom: f/r-40.3/38.6 inches
  • Cargo volume: behind rear seat-35.1cu.ft./behind front seats-68.7cu.ft.
  • Turning circle: 37 ft.
  • Fuel tank: 24.6 gallons
  • Curb weight: 4,850 lbs.
  • 0-60mph:  8.7 seconds (1-foot rollout)
  • EPA mileage: 16mpg/city, 22mpg/highway

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