Jeep's big updated Grand Cherokee is now on sale in Australia, following its international debut at January's Detroit Auto Show.
The 2014 model-year update brings a number of styling and interior tweaks, but most important is the upgrade to ZF's eight-speed automatic transmission.
The price of entry in the Grand Cherokee range has also fallen, thanks to the debut of the new 4x2 Laredo model, priced at $45,000 drive-away.
The Laredo can also be had in 4x4 form, priced at $46,000 (plus on-roads) in petrol form and $51,000 for the diesel. Limited and Overland models sit further up in the range, and the top-shelf SRT performer is priced at $77,000.
Four engines are available with the Grand Cherokee, made up of three petrol mills and one diesel.
All are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, which double as the speed selectors when using the descent and ascent control systems in models equipped with Selec-Speed.
Opening the range is the 3.6 litre 'Pentastar' petrol V6, producing 210kW and 347Nm. Fuel consumption is listed at 10.1 l/100km with the 4x2 Laredo, and 10.4 l/100km for 4x4 models - the latter marking a 5.4 percent improvement.
The 3.0 turbodiesel V6 produces 184kW and 570Nm, and fuel consumption has improved by 10 percent to land at 7.5 l/100km.
Limited and Overland models can be had with both V6 engines, along with a 5.7 litre 'Hemi' V8 that offers 259kW and 520Nm. Fuel consumption with this engine is listed at 13.0 l/100km.
Topping the range is the SRT-powering 6.4 litre 'Hemi' V8, which delivers 344kW and 624Nm but lists a thirsty fuel consumption figure of 14.0 l/100km. On the plus side, it promises a 0-100km/h time of just 4.8 seconds.
There's three 4x4 systems available, depending on the model and specification, along with Quadra-Lift air suspension, Selec-Terrain and Selec-Track traction management systems.
Laredo 4x4 models get the full-time Quadra-Track II system with a two-speed transfer case, while the Overland models get Quadra-Drive II with an electronic limited-slip rear differential.
In SRT form, there's the on-demand Quadra-Trac system. When tyre slippage is detected, the system can transfer up to 100 percent of available torque to one rear wheel with better grip.
The transfer case also enhances handling by proportioning torque between the front and rear axles to maintain the driver’s intended path.
There's also variable-height air suspension, which can adjust ground clearance from 221mm to 287mm. This system is standard on Overland, but optional with Laredo and Limited models.
All but the Laredo 4x2 get Jeep's Selec-Terrain system, offering driver controls for sand, snow, mud and rock. An automatic mode is also featured.
Braked towing is rated at 2812kg for the petrol V6, "up to" 3500kg for the diesel and 5.7 V8 models, and 2949kg for the 6.5 V8.
Standard features in Laredo models includes 18-inch chrom wheels, bi-xenon headlights with auto high beam, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, auto-dimming interior mirror, power-adjusted and heated front seats, leather steering wheel and dual-zone climate control.
The Laredo also features a touchscreen display (5-inch in 4x2, 8.4-inch in 4x4), 7-inch instrument display, voice-controlled Bluetooth, and auto wipers.
Safety features include seven airbags, rear-view camera, tyre pressure monitor and hill descent control.
In Limited models, there's also 20-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, nine speakers, leather seats (also heated at the rear), heated leather steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors.
The Overland models add a dual-pane sunroof, tinted glass, Nappa leather seats and leather trim in the cabin, ventilated front seats, wood and leather steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and forward-collision warning.
The top-shelf SRT adds adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a vented bonnet, Nappa leather sports seats, flat-bottom sports steering wheel, SRT performance functions in the infotainment unit, and the option of a Harmon Kardon 19-speaker system.
Pricing (excludes on-roads except where noted)
- Laredo 4X2 3.6 petrol $43,000 ($45,000 driveaway)
- Laredo 4X4 3.6 petrol $46,000
- Laredo 4X4 3.0 diesel $51,000
- Limited 4X4 3.6 petrol $56,000
- Limited 4X4 3.0 diesel $61,000
- Limited 4X4 5.7 V8 petrol $61,000
- Overland 4X4 3.6 petrol $66,000
- Overland 4X4 3.0 diesel $71,000
- Overland 4X4 5.7 V8 petrol $71,000
- SRT 6.4 Hemi V8 petrol $77,000
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