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

Benchmark Results

So much of what we do at Tom's Hardware centers on benchmark results. As such, we've developed a test suite that covers some of the tasks and processes that are important to a driver using his car's technology package. The tasks we measure include: boot-up time, time to connect to a paired phone, the time it takes to start music playback after booting the infotainment system, and lastly, how long it takes to actually add a phone to the system. We chose these measurements because they affect everyday use.

We perform the tests by recording video of each action and reviewing the footage in an editor to establish the exact point the system was turned on, and when the tasks are completed. The result is accurate; these aren't stop watch-timed tests. Our results from previous car reviews are included as well.

Uconnect Access doesn't cold-boot very quickly. It trails every competing infotainment system we’ve tested in the past, including Parrot's Asteroid Smart. The system takes two times longer than Chrysler's 430N (RHB), which is found in lower-end vehicles. At least Uconnect Access gives you access to the heated seats and steering wheel controls as it's starting up.

Despite the slow result we generated, the process isn't as jarring as you might think. There's a pre-boot sequence that warms the system up before you even start the SUV. In my case, loading a two-year- and four-month-old, the system comes on almost instantly by the time I'm in the driver's seat.

Music playback is affected by the system boot time, which is why it takes more than 23 seconds, again making Uconnect Access the slowest solution we've tested. We're not surprised; the system has a lot to load, even tying in with the Grand Cherokee's LCD gauge cluster.

Uconnect Access takes its sweet time pairing up with your phone as well. We measured more than 51 seconds to link up with our phone, barely outperforming Parrot's Asteroid Smart by six seconds. In reality, though, unless you’re trying to call someone as you start the car, waiting a bit shouldn't be too debilitating.

The back-up camera delay time is once again second-slowest. Sure, it takes almost three times as long to fire up as the camera in Kia's 2012 Soul, but you should find it ready to go once you get seated, start the car, and sip on your beverage of choice.