The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a four-door, five passenger SUV with Jeep's trail-bred off-road ability. It's available in rear- and four-wheel drive, with a range of V-6 and V-8 engines. The newest Grand Cherokee is fresh-faced, but still bears a strong stylistic link to its predecessors. The main rivals to the Grand Cherokee are the Toyota Highlander, Toyota 4Runner, Nissan Pathfinder, and Honda Pilot. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is priced between $31,000 and $44,000.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee was first sold in 1993, and featured a range of engines and drivetrain options much like today's SUV. The 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder stuck around through the second generation, which ended in 2004, but the V-8 engines saw lots of turnover during the first 11 years of production. The Grand Cherokee's offroad ability is due in part to the Command-Trac and, later, Selec-Trac four-wheel drive systems. Two-wheel drive models were also offered, with seven different trim levels offered over the 1993-1998 first-generation model run, ranging from bare-bones hauler to semi-luxurious leather tourer. The second generation Grand Cherokee, which ran from 1999-2004 brought a more modern, rounded look and a new five-speed automatic transmission paired with a new automatic four-wheel drive system called Quadra-Drive and a revised range of engines. Like the previous version, the second generation Grand Cherokee was available in a wide range of trims to suit most tastes, and could be fitted with two-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The current Jeep Grand Cherokee started its model run in 2005, doing away with the previous inline six-cylinder engine in favor of a new 3.7-liter V-6, while the 5.7-liter and 6.1-liter HEMI V-8s also joined the range. A diesel engine was offered in the CRD model through 2009, but was dropped for the 2010 model year. The new HEMI engines saw the introduction of the SRT8 model with the 6.1-liter engine in 2006, and an upgraded Limited and Overland trim-level engine option in the form of the 5.7-liter HEMI.

Trim levels include the Laredo, Limited, and SRT8, each available in two-wheel drive except for the SRT8, which is four-wheel drive only. Key features found across the Grand Cherokee range include a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo, cloth seating (some models feature standard leather-trimmed seating), power adjustable driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The Limited adds to the Laredo's base package with electronic stability control, standard Sirius Satellite Radio, a Boston Acoustics sound system, leather-trimmed bucket seats, heated front and rear seats, and a range of power and automatic accessories. Upgrading to four-wheel drive on either model also adds standard four-wheel traction control, Quadra-Trac full-time automatic four-wheel drive, and electronic stability control standard. The Grand Cherokee SRT8, in addition to its standard 425-horsepower 6.1-liter HEMI engine, adds most of the Limited's equipment range, plus larger 20-inch alloy wheels, high-performance run-flat tires, a beefed-up rear axle, sportier suspension, and a more aggressive appearance.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is set for a completely new model once again, with a thoroughly modern yet still iconically Jeep design, a new 3.6-liter Phoenix V-6 base engine that's more fuel-efficient, a revised version of the optional 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that's up to 360 horsepower, and an optional Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system to help the newest Grand Cherokee be one of the most capable off-roaders of its line.

source:http://www.thecarconnection.com/cars/jeep_grand-cherokee

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