The first thing you notice about the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is that it’s pretty subversive. Off-road-on-road SUVs aren’t flourishing, but the grand Cherokee lets its unique flag fly high. Featuring an interior that’s as luxurious as laying in a bed made of cream and silk, an engine lineup rivaling most so-called sports sedans, and off-road capabilities that extend far beyond high ground clearance, a 4×4 system, and a sonorous V8. From the passenger seat, the GC very comfy- soft, supple leather and pale blue lighting greet the eyes and the body.
The large, optional panoramic sunroof lets light pour into a cabin put together with the meticulous detail and precision of a Swiss watch. There are six trim levels, and all but one are available with either a 3.6-liter 290 horsepower, 260 lb-ft V6 or a monstrous 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that churns out 360 horsepower and a seat-slamming 390 lb-ft of torque. The V6 has a nice growl to it but the V8 burbles with a commanding roar and provides some serious thrust that us passengers can feel quite nicely as we are thrown backwards into the seats.
Gas mileage isn’t a standout, but the titanic gas tank provides some pretty useable highway driving miles, making this a suitable luxury liner. The V6 gets marginally better fuel economy with some extra highway miles. Everything should be drastically improved with the addition of the new eight-speed automatic transmission coming awfully soon.
The ride from the new four-wheel independent suspension is impressive. It soaks up bumps in the road whilst avoiding the stereotypical bouncy and floaty ride of a luxury vehicle. The suspension also manages to retain its flexibility off-road. The grand Cherokee never feels top heavy or unstable- from the passenger seat, this jeep feels tight and stable, and it never wallows. What don’t I like? The trunk isn’t cavernous, and the back seats are stiff, albeit roomy.
The GC is feature-packed, with a sweet-sounding nine-speaker Alpine Premium Audio
system, navigation with UConnect Calling, dual-zone climate control, heated mirrors, and far more convenient luxury features. Not to mention the optional heated seats get toasty quite briskly. With a Top Safety Pick Award and a Safest SUV in America award by MSN Autos under its belt, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is no slug in safety anymore. Overall, the new Grand Cherokee a revolution for its nameplate- safe, comfy, and a solid on-and off-roader that’s truly a Jeep at Heart.
About the Author: Colin Chambers, age 13, has been writing car reviews since a very young age. He has been invited to many different car crash test facilities and has a strong passion for cars, sparked by his mom and dad.