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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Refined Just Right; Raw Where It Counts

Music Features And Rear Seat Amenities

Uconnect Access enables fairly standard music features. You get playback through USB flash drives and iOS devices, auxiliary input, SiriusXM, and HD Radio. Jeep exposes an SD memory card slot in the cluster of connectors as well.

Knowing that the slot was available, it worked out really well to load music onto a dedicated SD card during our week with the Grand Cherokee. The card doesn't stick out as far as a flash drive, and it kept the USB port open for my phone charger. Regardless of whether you go the USB drive or SD card route, navigating attached storage is easy. Simply browse by folder, artist, or album, and select the track you want to listen to. If album art is available, that gets displayed.

SiriusXM is also easy to move around and through, thanks to direct station tuning and category displays. Uconnect Access also supports radio time-shifting, so you can replay your favorite Nickelback song to your heart’s content. HD Radio is even simpler by virtue of standard radio controls and support for sub-stations. There is no iTunes tagging with Uconnect Access’ HD Radio feature, but this isn't something we really miss anyway. Rarely, if ever, have we wanted to tag a song and then go home to buy it.

Each music playback mode gives you the option of displaying the navigation map without switching completely over to the navigation menu. It’s a small touch, but we do appreciate the freedom to look over at the map and our radio presets at the same time.

If for some reason you still enjoy buying CDs, jumping in the car, and throwing them into a disc changer, you're going to be disappointed to find out that the Grand Cherokee doesn't have a CD or DVD player. You'll need to go home and rip your music onto a USB flash drive or SD card first. Not a big deal, as far as we're concerned. Still, it's interesting to see compact discs going the way of the cassette tape.

Fans of Internet radio have to wait for proper integration. Again, Chrysler is claiming support for Pandora, iHeartRadio, Aha, and Slacker, but they're still coming soon. Once they're ready, each app will connect through your mobile device, and not the integrated Sprint connection.

Rear Seat Amenities

Rear passengers are presented with two USB ports, a 115 V outlet, and heated seats. No, you can't hijack the sound system by plugging your own flash drive into one of the USB ports; they're for charging only. Still, that's a nice addition if your guests find their phones or tablets running low on charge. Jeep even adds lighting to the ports, making them easier to see at night. The integrated inverter delivers up to 150 W, which is plenty for even the heaviest-duty notebooks.

  • cheesyboy
    I hope the sponsorship money from Jeep helps pay for good stuff elsewhere on the site, because this was a damned boring article.
    Reply
  • sanilmahambre
    other then all those tech-check the actual thing that attracts customers towards Jeep is the front trademark spiral grill.
    I drove it in Far cry 2
    Reply
  • vertexx
    What's up with the miss-fitting front lighting? It looks like they re-designed all the front lighting and didn't bother fitting the front-end cutouts to the new lighting. Looks terrible.
    Reply
  • MU_Engineer
    This has to be the only car review article where the only performance graphs are for how quickly the infotainment system starts up. At the very least time it going 0-60 (it *does* have a Hemi after all), do a slalom test to see how well you can avoid text-addled drivers weaving in and out of their lane at 50 mph on the interstate, and see how many Antec 1200s fit in the back. (shakes head)
    Reply
  • poik
    How do the gauges work with polarized glasses?
    Reply
  • tuanies
    11512660 said:
    This has to be the only car review article where the only performance graphs are for how quickly the infotainment system starts up. At the very least time it going 0-60 (it *does* have a Hemi after all), do a slalom test to see how well you can avoid text-addled drivers weaving in and out of their lane at 50 mph on the interstate, and see how many Antec 1200s fit in the back. (shakes head)

    We do not have a track to test 0-60 on while maintaining consistency, nor do we have accurate equipment to test such feats. Speed limit here is 60 and most people do 70-80 weaving in and out of traffic ;). I deny going those "speeds" but the Jeep is quite competent and that HEMI, every press of the gas pedal makes me shed a tear for the fuel economy while enjoying the thrust. Either way we have a SRT8 booked next month for a quick follow up. Hopefully the Pandora and other apps work by then.

    I don't have enough Antec 1200s to test, but that's a pretty good idea for testing methods :).

    11512907 said:
    How do the gauges work with polarized glasses?

    I do not wear polarized glasses so I can't really tell you - mine are just transitions. I don't see them being a problem though. You could always just turn up the brightness on the LCD. It gets very bright.
    Reply
  • cheesyboy
    11512660 said:
    This has to be the only car review article where the only performance graphs are for how quickly the infotainment system starts up. At the very least time it going 0-60 (it *does* have a Hemi after all), do a slalom test to see how well you can avoid text-addled drivers weaving in and out of their lane at 50 mph on the interstate, and see how many Antec 1200s fit in the back. (shakes head)

    Slalom test, you say? Hope it does better than its predecessor;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaYFLb8WMGM
    Reply
  • rezzahd
    I honestly feel like this article is a waste of time. not on my part for reading it, but on Tom's part for producing an article on a site that attracts people more towards hardware specs. If I wanna read I car review I will go to Car & Driver not Tom's Hardware.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    11513248 said:
    I honestly feel like this article is a waste of time. not on my part for reading it, but on Tom's part for producing an article on a site that attracts people more towards hardware specs. If I wanna read I car review I will go to Car & Driver not Tom's Hardware.

    We have 6 pages dedicated to the tech inside the car that traditional publications just gloss over...
    Reply
  • rezzahd
    11513294 said:
    11513248 said:
    I honestly feel like this article is a waste of time. not on my part for reading it, but on Tom's part for producing an article on a site that attracts people more towards hardware specs. If I wanna read I car review I will go to Car & Driver not Tom's Hardware.

    We have 6 pages dedicated to the tech inside the car that traditional publications just gloss over...

    Okay, sorry got a little ahead of myself. I was just saying when I think car reviews in general I just mean there are other sources I would go to. I tend not to look at the tech in cars. I actually prefer to see how well things like the motor and transmission are built over how fast boot times are for a camera.
    Reply