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

A Seven-Inch LCD Gauge Cluster

Our previous encounters with LCD-based gauge clusters were not very positive. Usually, the graphics are badly aliased. Or, they try to mimic analog gauges and fail miserably. The Grand Cherokee gets us thinking otherwise, though. Instead of just swapping the conventional gauge cluster for a large display, Jeep features a seven-inch LCD that can convey vehicle information or simply operate as a speedometer. The LCD is accompanied by traditional gauges, creating a cluster that's familiar to the less tech-inclined, while introducing new features, too.

There are two main display templates for the Grand Cherokee’s LCD gauge cluster. One emulates an analog dial speedometer, while the other is a digital readout of your speed. As computer enthusiasts, the faux analog speedometer is pretty disappointing. The graphics are noticeably jaggy, and can use some anti-aliasing. Switching over to the digital readout yields much smooth graphics. That became our preferred display output during our time with the Grand Cherokee.

The LCD cluster can tell you far more than just your speed, though. It's also an excellent off-road driving aid, displaying power distribution to each wheel in any given situation, transmission temperature, engine oil temperature, oil pressure, and 4WD terrain mode. There’s also a very cool mode that shows the wheel articulation angles, which we found useful during our off-road adventure with the Jeep.

When you're on-road, the display conveys music playback information, turn-by-turn directions, and adaptive cruise control status. There’s even a fuel economy readout, which is mildly depressing, given the 5.7 L V8 under the hood. Jeep is to be commended for not going overboard with LCD gauge. It's a nice balance between old-school analog and the usefulness of a configurable digital output.

System Settings

Once upon a time, programming simple functions like automatic door locks required a trip to the dealership. But through Uconnect Access, Jeep gives you access to driving aid warnings, lights, comfort, and door lock settings from the infotainment touchscreen. Beats the heck out of paying ridiculous dealer labor charges just to program something simple, like locking the doors when the vehicle is in motion.

  • 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