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

Meet Jeep's Refreshed 2014 Grand Cherokee

Before the United States Military had the Hummer H1 as its vehicle of choice, there was the Willys Jeep. That brand remains iconic in America, having proven itself in World War II and earning a reputation for excellent off-road prowess. Of course, ownership of the Jeep name has changed hands multiple times. Previously, you have Willys-Overland, Kaiser-Jeep, AMC (American Motors Corporation), and its current owner, Chrysler. There was that sleazy affair that Jeep’s parent company had with Daimler in the late '90s to 2000s that introduced us to the poorly-conceived Compass. But that's an era we'd rather scrub from our memories. Fortunately, Chrysler’s Italian sugar-daddy is doing a great job turning the company around and revamping its product line-up.

And that brings us to the focus of today's article: the latest and greatest 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4. We drove the Grand Cherokee during NWAPA Mudfest 2013 (Mudfest 2013: Tom's Hardware Helps Test 23 SUVs) and decided that the SUV (along with its Uconnect Access system) deserved a closer look. We booked it for a week of on-pavement and light off-roading antics.

The 2014 Grand Cherokee offers a host of styling changes that soften its exterior to look more luxurious. The headlights are smaller and feature LED running lights, the front and rear fascia receive several subtle tweaks, there’s added chrome on the tail lights, and you'll find a paint-matched seven-slot grille with chrome inserts. I’m usually not a fan of chrome work, but our test platform pulls it off deftly. 

The fresh styling pays homage to Jeep’s history, too. Each headlight has a little detail that recognizes the company’s roots and history. The driver's side lamp states matter-of-factly “Since 1941,” a tribute to the first year Jeeps were manufactured. Look closely on the passenger-side light and you'll find a silhouette of the original Willys Jeep. If you're not an enthusiast, you'll probably overlook those subtleties. But they remind us that Jeep's Grand Cherokee still has the spirit of its predecessors, despite refinements make it more comfortable for grocery trips, rather than running recon on the battlefield.

  • 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