2015 Jeep Renegade Preview,

Review, Information and Dealer Brochure

Available for Louisville Kentucky, KY Drivers,

Buyers and Dealers

Fast Facts:

  • New compact SUV sold globally
  • Gasoline or diesel 4-cylinder engine
  • Available 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Choice between two 4WD systems
  • Available Selec-Terrain technology
  • Trail Rated 4WD capability in Trailhawk model
  • Numerous infotainment and safety systems
  • Built in Italy

Introduction

Jeep says that it seeks “youthful and adventurous customers” with the new 2015 Renegade, a compact SUV that will be available to buyers around the world. Designed in the United States and built in Italy, the new Jeep Renegade is expected to arrive in the fall of 2015.

Exterior Features

Signature round headlights, a 7-slot grille, and trapezoidal wheel arches instantly identify the new 2015 Renegade as a Jeep. The Renegade Trailhawk sits higher, provides greater ground clearance, and gets revised front and rear styling in order to improve approach and departure angles–features off-roaders will appreciate. Observers can identify the Renegade Trailhawk by its red front tow hooks and unique 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires.

Interior Features

“Rugged and functional,” according to Jeep, the new Renegade’s interior is crafted with what the automaker characterizes as “high-quality materials” and “inspired colors.” A passenger grab handle is present on the dashboard, and the front passenger’s seat folds forward in order to maximize cargo-carrying capability. The driver grips a thick-rimmed steering wheel.

Optional Features

The 2015 Jeep Renegade can be optioned with numerous upgrades. Highlights include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, color-coordinated interior accent trim, and a 7-inch information display in the vehicle’s gauge cluster. Two different MySky sunroof options are available in the form of a manual canvas or dual-panel power glass opening. Jeep also offers its Uconnect Access system for the Renegade, featuring 911 Connect, text-messaging capability, an Assist button to summon roadside assistance, and more.

Under the Hood

A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard for the 2015 Jeep Renegade. This is the same engine that is included in the larger Jeep Cherokee, where it is rated to make 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. Jeep confirms that a 9-speed automatic transmission can be installed in the new Renegade, but does not state whether it is standard or optional equipment.

Jeep does confirm that it will offer a 2.0-liter diesel engine in the 2015 Renegade, that the diesel engine will be available with the 9-speed automatic, and that it will be able to tow up to 3,300 lbs. With either engine, the transmission offers manual gear selection by pushing up on the shifter to execute a downshift, and by pushing down on the shifter to execute an upshift.

Jeep Renegade buyers will be able to choose between an Active Drive 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system and an Active Drive Low 4WD system that features a 20:1 crawl ratio. Both 4WD systems include Selec-Terrain technology with Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud, and Rock settings, and can deliver up to 100% of engine torque to a single wheel. To improve fuel economy when a Renegade isn’t off-roading, a rear-axle disconnect system reduces friction in the drivetrain.

A 4-wheel independent suspension is standard for the Renegade, and offers up to 8.1 in. of wheel articulation. Jeep uses Koni frequency damping front and rear struts for the suspension, and the Renegade Trailhawk model rides higher and delivers 8.7 in. of ground clearance in combination with greater approach, breakover, and departure angles, according to the automaker.

Thanks to these upgrades, Jeep says the Renegade Trailhawk model provides best-in-class off-road capability. Jeep Active Drive Low is standard for this version of the SUV, which rides on 17-in. aluminum wheels with all-terrain tires, gets a set of skid plates, can ford 19 in. of standing water, and includes standard hill-descent control technology.

Safety

In addition to 7 standard air bags, the 2015 Renegade is available with several safety-related technologies including Forward Collision Warning Plus, LaneSense Departure Warning Plus, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, and a reversing camera.

Technology

Two different Uconnect infotainment systems are available for the 2015 Renegade, ranging in screen size from 5 in. to 6.5 in. The larger version can be equipped with Uconnect Access, a subscription-based upgrade that provides access to text messages and can read them to the driver over the stereo speakers. This system also includes a 911 Connect button to summon rescuers in an emergency, and provides the ability to contact roadside assistance for help when needed.

7 Things You Should Know About the 2015 Jeep Renegade in Louisville , KY Dealer Showrooms and Sales Floors

The ultra-adorable Jeep Renegade is the latest off-roader in a long history of Jeep 4x4s. But there’s a problem — people are critical as to whether the Renegade has the merit to wear the Jeep badge with pride. But before you make judgement on the mini-SUV, here’s seven important facts you should know:

It’s Capable

05-Jeep Renegade

The first thing that you, or anyone really may ask is can it get over hills, rocks, and or dirt? The answer is yes.

 See more of the 2015 Jeep Renegade

Some of the features include a four-wheel independent suspension, electric power steering and driving steering torque, Jeep Active Drive Low, hill-decent control and 17-inch off-road tires. It’s like any other capable Jeep, just smaller.

It’s Trail Rated (in Trailhawk guise)

02-Jeep Renegade

Following up on the capable note — it is trail-rated if you go for the Trailhawk spec. Like any Jeep, the Renegade had to take on the world’s toughest obstacle course in order to be given the Trail-Rated stamp of approval.

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Like the Wrangler or the Grand Cherokee, the Renegade passed (assumedly) with flying colors.

It Has Standard All-Wheel Drive

00-Jeep Renegade

Unlike some softer front-wheel drive SUVs, the Renegade comes will all-wheel drive — standard. Further giving merit to its off-road capabilities.

It Has a Manual Transmission

01-Jeep Renegade

Along with the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission on an SUV, the Renegade comes with two manual transmission options and a dual-dry clutch transmission.

It Will Come With a Diesel (but not in the U.S.)

Jeep Diesel

Yes, your diesel wishes have been answered. Problem is, you have to live in Europe to cop one. While Jeep boasts that the Renegade will use both gas and diesel engines, U.S. buyers are stuck with the standard Chrysler MultiAir engines, which are not always very lively when paired to an automatic. The manual will be a must to get the most from these diminutive mills.

It Was Designed in the U.S., Built in Italy

04-Jeep Renegade

Designed at home and built abroad, the Renegade uses daddy Fiat’s 500X “small-wide” platform. The same one used on the current 500L.

It’s A Jeep, Plain and Simple

03-Jeep Renegade

All that being said, there’s one thing you can’t discount — it’s a Jeep, through and through. Like any modern Jeep, it has the design and the capabilities you would expect. It can ford through rivers, tackle tough terrain, all the while, keeping you cool and comfortable in the cabin.

We’re excited to hit the trails in this little thing.

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee for Sale at Louisville Kentucky, KY

After two decades of assembling its Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle, the American automaker has finally delivered a world-class off-roader capable of taking on everything in its segment – and more – with a high likelihood of coming out on top.

And if you drove last year’s model, it’s time to climb behind the wheel again as Jeep has significantly updated the SUV for 2014 with a bold new exterior appearance, an upgraded interior with enhanced electronics and a new transmission that completely transforms the way it drives.

We recently spent a full week with a dark blue reviewing, diagnosing and driving the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4×4, a well-optioned model fitted with the standard gasoline-fed V6. While it didn’t have the punch of the range-topping V8-powered SRT8, or the fuel-sipping economy of itsnew EcoDiesel sibling, the high-volume variant left us quite impressed.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee OverlandWithout question, the 2014 is significantly improved over its predecessor.
Slightly more than 20 years ago, Jeep launched its all-new Grand Cherokee for the 1993 model year.
The current chassis is its fourth-generation iteration (known as the WK2 to brand purists), which made its debut at the 2009 New York Auto Show, but it didn’t go on sale until the following summer as a 2011 model. Three short years later, Jeep has introduced the revised 2014 model with a slew of significant upgrades.Jeep is offering its 2014 Grand Cherokee in no fewer than six different models (listed in order of increasing base price): Laredo, Laredo E, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT. Depending on the model, there are three engine choices (3.6-liter V6, 5.7-liter V8 and the new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesel) and several powertrain choices (4×2 and three different 4×4 systems). While the aforementioned diesel and high-performance SRT models capture most of the spotlight, the standard gasoline-powered V6 models comprise the bulk of sales – more than justifying this review.As indicated, Jeep made several improvements to the Grand Cherokee for the new model year. Mechanically speaking, a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the outgoing five-speed gearbox and the four-wheel-drive system has been improved with new modes. Cosmetically, the front fascia has been redesigned and there are new taillamps, a larger liftgate spoiler and more wheel choices. Jeep didn’t leave the interior alone either, as the 2014 models are fitted with a new steering wheel with paddle shifters, revised instrument cluster, redesigned center stack with the company’s larger 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, upgraded Uconnect Access and other enhanced interior materials. Without question, the 2014 is significantly improved over its 2013 predecessor.

The Overland in standard configuration is fitted with a very high level of equipment.

 

Our particular 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4×4, painted in True Blue Pearl over two-tone Vesuvio Indigo Blue and Jeep Brown interior upholstery, started with a base price of $45,995. Few would blame the owners who add absolutely no options, as the Overland in standard configuration is equipped with a very high level of equipment that includes leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-operated eight-way driver and front passenger seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Chrysler’s Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, 506-watt audio package, heated steering wheel, power liftgate, bi-xenon headlamps and more. Even so, our tester was upgraded with the Customer Preferred 23P package ($1,695), which included adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, advanced brake assist, blind spot and rear cross path detection. The bottom line on our SUV’s window sticker, including the mandatory $995 destination charge, was $48,685.

Like most late model Grand Cherokees on the road today, our vehicle featured Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, rated at 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. New for 2014 is a standard ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic that provides not only improved fuel economy and better acceleration, but a new lower crawl ratio of 44:1 to aid off-road prowess when equipped with the two-speed transfer case (Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II is standard on the Overland). The EPA rates the SUV at 17 miles per gallon city and 24 mpg highway, which is a slight improvement over last year’s 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. The engine is also E85 compatible, but burning the ethanol fuel blend delivers reduced economy.

The 2014 Grand Cherokee starts off strong even before the engine is started.

Underpinning the Grand Cherokee is an independent suspension mounted to a steel unibody chassis shared with the current-generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class (consider it a gift from the earlier DaimlerChrysler days). The front features upper and lower control arms while the rear is fitted with a multi-link design. Twin-tube, gas-charged shock and coil springs round out the package. The Quadra-lift air suspension, with four drive heights and a low Park mode to ease ingress/egress (4.1 inches of total travel), is standard on the Overland. The steering is electrically assisted, and the Grand Cherokee requires just 37.1 feet to turn curb-to-curb. Our Overland was equipped with 20-inch cast aluminum wheels, wrapped in 265/50R20 Goodyear Fortera HL all-season tires.

First impressions mean quite a bit in the automotive world, especially when emotion sells more vehicles than any pushy salesman. In that regard, the 2014 Grand Cherokee starts off strong even before the engine is started.

The exterior refresh is attractive, as it maintains the Jeep’s obligatory aggressive and capable appearance while losing some of the shiny chrome in the process. Headlights are now sleeker and more detailed, and the lower fascia receives the same attention. The alterations to the back of the vehicle are less obvious, but Jeep has repositioned some of the flashy trim and cleaned up its overall appearance.

All of the touch surfaces feel substantial and of high quality, solving that common complaint.

While the contrasting dark blue and chocolate interior would not be our first choice, the white piping on the seats and wood on the dashboard provided an upscale appearance. All of the touch surfaces feel substantial and of high quality, solving that common complaint. The front seats are comfortable, with nice bolsters, long lower cushions and good lumbar support, and the driving position fit your editor’s six-foot two-inch frame well. A bright and very legible multi-configurable instrument panel is easy to see, even through polarized glasses, and the Garmin-based Uconnect navigation was intuitive for all who used it (although we didn’t like how many of the seat heat/cooling functions required more than a few actions to access). To ease connectivity, the driver and front passenger are offered an AUX, USB, SD and 12-volt DC power outlet in a panel at the bottom of the center stack.

Second row passengers were equally as content, with acceptable leg, knee and toe room; large tinted windows; and plenty of power to charge their own personal electronics (Jeep has put twin USB ports and a 115-volt outlet on the rear of the center console, exclusively for their use). When the center armrest is raised, the cushion beneath it is flat to make a comfortable fifth seating position.

A lack of a third row Dodge will sell you a Durango for that role means there are no bulky hide-away cushions to prevent the 60:40 split second row from folding, thus creating a flat and expansive cargo area. The front passenger seat folds flat to increase cargo space, too. There are also four metal rails, and steel tie-downs, to help secure larger loads and grocery bag hooks to keep the little things from rolling around (another 12-volt DC outlet is in the rear cargo hold).

The push-button stop/start is carried over from last year. The more significant news is the new electronic shift lever replacing its gated predecessor on the center console. Seemingly lifted right out of the current-generation Audi A8 sedan – they are virtually identical as both share the same ZF eight speed transmission – the stubby T-handle only requires a nudge to engage the gear. In practice, the gear selector requires a slight learning curve, and it cannot be rushed without drawing profanities, but it works well after a bit of familiarity.

Our initial positive impressions of the exterior and interior are complemented by the Grand Cherokee’s new driving dynamics.

The V6 will never match the brawn of the SRT’s V8 (or even the Hemi), and nobody should expect it to, but the new lower first gear allows the volume model to leap off the line with newfound energy. The Jeep weighs 4,984 pounds, which is about average in this segment, but a happy marriage between the six-cylinder Pentastar and the ZF eight-speed transmission (it reportedly has 90 different shift algorithms from which to choose) means the SUV will hit 60 miles per hour in about seven seconds flat. On the road, the power seemed to fall off at higher speeds, but it was more than adequate for most passing maneuvers. According to Jeep, our test car will tow 6,200 pounds (those seeking more pulling capability should look at the diesel or SRT, as those are both rated to pull 7,200-plus pounds).

The SUV excels on the open road, especially at speed.

Once at speed, extensive soundproofing and thick door seals kept wind noise to a minimum. Unlike the beastly SRT8, docked points for road noise in our recent review, the narrower all-season rubber on this four-door never howled on the open road. While it likely doesn’t help lower cabin noise, the air suspension automatically lowers the vehicle at highways speeds to improve the vehicle’s overall aerodynamics and aid fuel economy (the Grand Cherokee earns a drag coefficient of 0.37).

Tuned for on- and off-road travel, the ride was on the firm side yet its damping response aligned with our expectations – softer than the SRT8, but still maintained a sporty edge. Its European-bred chassis is stiff and responded well to steering requests. Even so, we found ourselves skipping the tight mountain curves where the Jeep began to feel a bit awkward, and taking the highway routes to make good use of the excellent radar-based adaptive cruise control. The SUV excels on the open road, especially at speed.

It appears that Jeep has finally delivered one of the best overall vehicles in the midsize SUV segment.

Sadly, and despite setting a day aside for it, we never had the chance to take the Grand Cherokee off the pavement and try its Select-Terrain system (our planned trip to an off-road park was pushed off the schedule when another automaker was late with a vehicle delivery). Based on previous experience, the new revisions will only improve its competence after the concrete ends.

As you have likely concluded, we really enjoyed our time with the improved Grand Cherokee. It appears that Jeep has finally delivered one of the best overall vehicles in the midsize SUV segment. In base form, the $31,000 Laredo version competes exceptionally well against the Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer – we’d likely choose it over all four if a third row of seating weren’t required, and especially if off-road excursions were on our extended menu.

Yet more impressive than beating a typical mid-priced soft-roader is the Overland’s ability to be a worthy lower-cost alternative to the widely praised BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. The American beats both in content, equals them in ride quality and is more capable on rough terrain. Thanks to a host of new cosmetic and mechanical upgrades for 2014, the Grand Cherokee has emerged as America’s new midsize SUV standard of excellence.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Louisville Kentucky KY, Grand Cherokee Reviews

Full 2014 Jeep Wrangler Review

The 2014 Jeep Wrangler is a no-nonsense vehicle that’s at its best when the pavement ends. This classic SUV will climb over rocks, cross streams and frolic in the sand dunes whenever you please, thanks to its standard four-wheel drive and high ground clearance. Just don’t expect too many comforts along the way. Although the current Jeep Wrangler is the most civilized version ever, it’s still noisy, rough-riding and nothing at all like the compact and midsize crossover SUVs that dominate this price range. However, if your weekend plans include off-roading, this Jeep is arguably the most capable utility vehicle you can buy.

It’s also among the most versatile. Not only can you choose a Wrangler with two or four doors, you can remove the roof, doors and even the windshield if the mood strikes (and you have the right tools). Although, in practice, you probably won’t care to drive the Wrangler for sustained periods of time without these components. We’d recommend the soft top over the (heavy) hardtop if you plan to drive your Wrangle al fresco on a regular basis, but keep in mind that it makes your Jeep more vulnerable to thieves and still requires considerable time and patience to remove and reinstall. Whether you see this as one of the Wrangler’s quaint charms or an unnecessary hassle largely depends on your expectations.

Of course, some of the Wrangler’s issues can’t be brushed off as easily. Braking distances are long, and handling on paved roads is far less steady and refined than other SUVs you might be considering. Still, there’s unexpected fun to be had in driving a Jeep Wrangler around town, as its short wheelbase makes it blissfully easy to maneuver in tight spaces if you don’t mind the slow steering. The V6 engine provides sufficient power, too, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for on the factory options list, the Wrangler enjoys massive aftermarket parts availability from both Chrysler’s in-house supplier Mopar and hundreds of independent companies.

If the Jeep Wrangler’s rugged image and off-road capabilities appeal to you, we’d recommend a lengthy test-drive. It’s not uncommon for shoppers to be drawn in by the Wrangler’s cool factor only to realize soon after they’ve purchased one that a compact crossover or a more livable off-roader like theNissan Xterra or Toyota FJ Cruiser would have been a better choice for driving to work every day. If you know what you’re getting into, though, the 2014 Jeep Wrangler is a wonderful way to get back to basics and back to nature.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Jeep Wrangler is a convertible SUV available in two-door Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited versions. Each comes in Sport, Sahara and Rubicon trims.

The Sport comes sparsely equipped with 16-inch steel wheels, front and rear tow hooks, foglamps, a removable black soft top, crank windows, manual locks and mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, CD player and steering wheel controls. The Unlimited Sport gets four doors, a bigger gas tank, more backseat and trunk space, air-conditioning and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. The Power Convenience Group adds heated power mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power locks and windows and keyless entry. Air-conditioning (for the two-door), satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels are also optional.

Pricing options for the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee available at Jeeps for Less .com. The Sahara adds the above options plus 18-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded suspension, under-hood insulation, side steps, automatic headlamps, body-colored fender flares, power windows and a six-speaker Alpine sound system.

The Rubicon is not the most abundantly equipped trim level; instead it boasts the most robust off-road credentials. On top of the base Sport equipment, the Rubicon adds special 17-inch wheels, 32-inch tires, heavy-duty axles and transfer case, electronic front and rear locking differentials, a disconnecting front sway bar, rock rails, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio. The previously mentioned Power Convenience Group (heated power mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power locks and windows and keyless entry) is an optional extra on the two-door Rubicon, but it’s standard on the Rubicon Unlimited.

The Connectivity Group is available across all trims and adds Bluetooth, a USB/iPod interface, an upgraded trip computer and a tire pressure monitoring display, as well as a leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob on the Sport and Sport Unlimited.

Also optional on all trims is a multi-piece removable hardtop with a rear defroster and wiper; you can buy it in addition to, or instead of, the standard soft top. The default color on the hardtop is black, but you can also get it in body color on the Sahara and Rubicon. Jeep also offers a premium version of the soft top made of nicer material; it’s available on all trims.

Optional on the Sport and Sahara is a limited-slip rear differential, while the Sport and Rubicon can be equipped with half doors that include plastic side windows. The Sahara and Rubicon can be equipped with leather upholstery and heated front seats, automatic climate control and a navigation system that includes a touchscreen interface, digital music storage and real-time traffic.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Jeep Wrangler comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. So you would be getting the same vehicle in a used or pre-owned wrangler for sale.  Four-wheel drive is also standard and includes high- and low-range transfer case gears, though the Rubicon features an upgraded transfer case with extra-low gearing. A six-speed manual transmission with hill-start assist is standard, while a five-speed automatic with both hill-start assist and hill-descent control is optional. When properly equipped, the Wrangler Unlimited has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, while the two-door Wrangler tops out at 2,000 pounds.

In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped two-door Wrangler went from zero to 60 mph in a surprisingly quick 7.1 seconds. A heavier Wrangler Unlimited with the automatic transmission did it in 8.8 seconds, which is about a second slower than an equivalent Nissan Xterra. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the two-door is 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined regardless of transmission. The Unlimited is rated 16/20/18 with the automatic and 16/21/18 with the manual.

Safety

The 2014 Jeep Wrangler comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front airbags and hill start assist. Front side airbags are optional. In Edmunds brake testing, both two- and four-door Wranglers came to a stop from 60 mph in about 140 feet.

It should be noted that the Wrangler’s doors do not provide the same level of protection as regular doors do in a side crash. As such, it won’t surprise you that the Wrangler doesn’t fare well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s side-impact crash test. Without side airbags, the two-door Wrangler earned the worst rating of “Poor,” while the Unlimited got the second-worst “Marginal.” However, both the two-door and four-door Wranglers get the best possible rating of “Good” in the IIHS’s moderate-overlap frontal-offset test. The two-door Wrangler earned a Marginal rating in the Institute’s newer, small-overlap frontal-offset test (which concentrates crash forces on a smaller section of the front bumper), but in fairness, most compact SUVs have done poorly in this test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Though Jeep has refined and civilized the Wrangler over the years, there’s no hiding the fact that the Wrangler’s interior prioritizes function over comfort. Lean and durable, the cabin can be cleaned easily after a day spent in the dirt and dust. Despite the abundance of hard plastic surfaces, it’s fairly attractive, with rounded lines that give it a fluid, organic look.

With the two-door, you’ll find a backseat that seats just two passengers. Leg- and foot room in back are also pretty limited. If that isn’t sufficient, the Unlimited offers room for three and its extra set of doors provides easier access. There’s not much cargo room behind the two-door Wrangler’s backseat (just 12.8 cubic feet), but the four-door Unlimited offers a more useful 31.5 cubic feet. The four-door also offers a respectable 70.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded, compared to only 55.8 in the two-door.

Raising and lowering the soft top on any Jeep Wrangler takes time and patience. Storing cargo within a soft top is also risky, since the top is easily compromised by thieves, and only the meager glovebox and center console can be locked. The optional hardtop, which features removable T-top-style panels over the front seats, is a smart solution for those who don’t intend to go completely al fresco on a routine basis. Bear in mind, though, that the hardtop is heavy, so you’ll need a friend to help whenever you want to remove it.  For the best selection and inventory of Jeeps and parts, service, repairs and accessories it’s the Jeep Thing Blog website.

Driving Impressions

If your mission is to blaze trails off-road, you won’t do much better than the 2014 Jeep Wrangler. The Rubicon trim is especially capable, thanks to its specialized hardware. The Wrangler Unlimited four-door isn’t as nimble on tight trails as the shorter two-door model, but more generous cabin space means you can carry additional gear. The four-door also feels more stable around corners and on the highway. Nonetheless, all Wranglers suffer from tippy handling, a rough ride and slow steering that is kindly described as nebulous in feel. Road and wind noise are also excessive.

While the Wrangler won’t win any drag races, its V6 is capable and gets the heavy SUV moving briskly. The standard six-speed manual features precise but long throws, an easily modulated clutch and a hill start assist feature, which is a godsend for stopping and starting midway up hills while going off-road. The five-speed automatic, meanwhile, offers smooth shifts and good fuel economy. Acceleration can be sluggish in the heavier Wrangler Unlimited models, and when you factor in the automatic transmission’s slow gearchanges, passing maneuvers often require a bit more planning.

Full 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

What’s New for 2014

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee receives a host of changes this year. Highlights include a refreshed exterior design, a new 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and an updated interior with new technology features.

Introduction

If you haven’t been around a new Grand Cherokee in a while, you might be surprised when you slide behind the wheel of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Previous versions of the top Jeep took hits for their excessive fuel consumption and general lack of refinement, but the Grand Cherokee has rebounded in recent years with significant improvements to ride quality, fuel economy and interior accommodations. It’s one of our favorite midsize SUVs, and Jeep has made key updates for 2014 to address its few lingering faults.

The two biggest changes to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee are its eight-speed automatic transmission and a new, highly economical diesel V6. Jeep has fitted the eight-speed automatic to every Grand Cherokee model, and its smooth, refined shifts are a welcome improvement over the lurchy, indecisive behavior we noted with the five-speed automatic previously offered with the base V6 engine. Better yet, the new transmission brings better fuel economy across the board.

The new turbodiesel V6 marks the first time the Grand Cherokee has had a diesel engine option since 2009. It provides the highest fuel economy of all the available engines, and its ample low-end torque makes it the best option if you’re planning to tow or go off-road with your Jeep. The downside is that the diesel engine is more expensive than the JGC’s V8, but our math tells us that difference is made up at the pump in about 35,000 miles. If you can handle the upfront cost, the diesel engine is an outstanding choice on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Although the current-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee is much more comfortable and civilized in everyday driving than older versions, it hasn’t lost any of its off-road prowess. Jeep gives you several four-wheel-drive systems to choose from, and an optional off-road package provides an adjustable air suspension that can change the ride height on the 2014 Grand Cherokee from 6.6 inches for easy entry in garages with low vertical clearance to 11.3 inches for maximum ground clearance while on rough terrain. Alongside that, the Grand Cherokee’s upscale interior continues to be a draw, and it’s complemented this year by a new electronics interface with an available 8.4-inch touchscreen.

Add this up and you’re looking at one of the best picks for a do-everything midsize SUV. The Grand Cherokee’s closest competitor, the Toyota 4Runner, shares the Jeep’s off-road aptitude, but it doesn’t offer a V8 or diesel option, and its interior simply isn’t as nice. The price tag on the JGC, however, typically exceeds that of the 4Runner or popular crossover SUVs like the Ford Explorer or Honda Pilot. In that sense, the Grand Cherokee is similar to the Volkswagen Touareg, which also has a high-end cabin and offers a diesel engine option (though the VW is tuned more for on-road performance rather than off-road pursuits). Like the Touareg, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee feels as if it belongs in a higher class, and if you need or simply want all of its capabilities, you won’t mind paying a little more for it.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a five-passenger midsize SUV that comes in five trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT. Each is available with rear-drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD), except the high-performance SRT model, which is 4WD only.

Standard equipment for the Laredo includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, cruise control, foglamps, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, dual-zone air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a 5-inch touchscreen, a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Laredo’s optional Security and Convenience Group includes a power liftgate, remote engine start, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Also optional on the Laredo are 18-inch wheels, an eight-way power driver seat, satellite radio and Jeep’s new 8.4-inch touchscreen display with voice command.

The Limited trim level includes the Laredo’s standard equipment plus the contents of the Security and Convenience Group, 18-inch wheels, power front seats, driver memory settings, heated rear seats and a nine-speaker premium audio system.

With the Limited trim, two additional option packages become available: the Luxury II Group and the Advanced Technology Group. The Luxury Group II adds a panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, bi-xenon headlights, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The Advanced Technology Group includes Forward Collision Warning, rear cross path detection, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. The 8.4-inch touchscreen is again optional, though it can also be fitted with a navigation system on the Limited.

The Overland model features all of the standard equipment from the Limited, plus 20-inch wheels, the 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation and the contents of the Luxury Group II package. The Summit comes with the most standard equipment, as it includes all of the features from the Advanced Technology Group, along with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and polished 20-inch wheels.

The high-performance SRT model is equipped like the Summit model, but the panoramic sunroof moves to the options list. You also get an exclusive V8 engine, 20-inch forged wheels, LED running lights, an adaptive suspension, performance-tuned steering, Brembo brakes, a limited-slip rear differential, leather/suede sport seats and carbon-fiber cabin accents.

A Blu-ray-capable rear-seat entertainment system (with twin seat-mounted displays and HDMI and RCA inputs) is optional for the Limited, Overland Summit and SRT. The towing package that’s standard on the Overland and Summit models is available as an option on the Laredo, Limited and SRT trims.

Powertrains and Performance

Except for the SRT version, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is the only engine you can get on the Laredo, but two other engines are available on the Limited, Overland and Summit models: a 5.7-liter V8 rated at 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque and a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 that cranks out 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.

The SRT comes exclusively with a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 470 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque.

All 2014 Grand Cherokees use an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Cherokee SRT uses a heavier-duty eight-speed built to handle its more powerful engine. The SRT also features a specialized all-wheel-drive system tuned more for high-performance driving than off-road use.

The standard 3.6-liter V6 gets an estimated fuel economy of 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 combined mpg when equipped with four-wheel drive and 17/25/20 with rear-wheel drive (2WD). At the test track, a Grand Cherokee Overland V6 with 4WD sprinted from zero to 60 mph in a fairly quick 7.9 seconds. When properly equipped, maximum towing capacity for a V6 Grand Cherokee is 6,200 pounds in the 2WD and 4WD configurations.

The optional 5.7-liter V8 gets an estimated 14/20/16 mpg when equipped with 4WD and 14/22/17 with 2WD. Towing capacity for the 5.7-liter V8 Grand Cherokee is 7,200 pounds with 4WD and 7,400 pounds with rear-drive. Fuel economy is vastly improved when you select the new diesel engine, which is said to achieve 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway when paired with four-wheel drive and 30 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive. When equipped properly, tow capacity is the same as the V8.

The SRT V8 returns an estimated 13/19/15 mpg, a slight improvement on last year.

Non-SRT Grand Cherokees come with three available 4WD systems: the single-speed, light-duty Quadra-Trac I system (standard on the Laredo), Quadra-Trac II with a two-speed transfer case (optional on the Laredo, standard on Limited and Overland), and Quadra-Drive II with a rear electronic limited-slip differentia l (optional on Limited and Overland, standard on Summit). An adaptive air suspension (Quadra-Lift) and a driver-selectable traction control system that adjusts to different surfaces are also available (optional on the Limited, standard on 4WD Overland and Summit).

Safety

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, hill ascent control, hill descent control (optional on Laredo) front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The Advanced Technology Group (optional on the Limited and standard on Overland, Summit and SRT) includes forward collision warning, rear cross-path detection and blind spot monitoring.

In Edmunds brake testing, an Overland V6 4WD stopped from 60 mph in 134 feet. That’s about 10 feet more than average for this segment. However, if past history is any indicator, we’d expect the SRT to be very strong in this area.

In government crash testing, the Grand Cherokee earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Grand Cherokee received the highest possible rating of “Good” in the frontal-offset, side and roof-strength crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2014 Grand Cherokee’s interior looks similar to last year’s, but there are some useful upgrades. The dash now houses a standard configurable 7-inch screen that can be used to display a wide range of information. We also like the center-mounted 8.4-inch touchscreen that’s standard in all Grand Cherokees, except the Laredo. It features an easy-to-use interface and includes a WiFi hotspot and smartphone app integration, including media apps from Pandora and iHeartRadio. For great selection and inventory of Jeeps at the best prices from dealers in the Louisville, Kentucky area see Used Cars Trucks in Louisville, KY.  It also houses the navigation system if you select that option. Overall, the Grand Cherokee has one of the nicest interiors in its class.

While the Grand Cherokee has no third-row seat option, there’s ample room for a family of four or five, and you can order up a significant amount of luxury ambience, including ventilated front seats and a new dual-screen, Blu-ray-capable rear entertainment system with an HDMI input. Backseat passengers should be pretty comfortable, as the Grand Cherokee offers up considerably more rear legroom than the Toyota 4Runner. With the rear seats in place, the cargo bay measures 36.3 cubic feet. With the rear seats folded down, the Jeep has 68.3 cubic feet of storage space.

Driving Impressions

Driven on paved roads, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is comfortable, quiet and stable around turns. The new eight-speed automatic transmission is a great addition, as it’s much smoother and quicker-shifting than the five- and six-speed automatics offered last year. Given its generally smooth and spirited response, most people should be satisfied with the base gasoline V6.

Although the new diesel V6 has a low horsepower rating, its high torque output makes it ideal for big-league towing jobs and off-road use. Meanwhile, its high fuel economy ratings will appeal to anyone looking for a downright efficient Jeep with impressive cruising range.

The Grand Cherokee SRT is a tower of power that accelerates and stops at rates that will impress even the most seasoned sports car driver. It’s a sleeper performance vehicle if ever there was one, but its stiff suspension robs it of some of the comfort that makes the rest of the Grand Cherokee line so good.

For better websites and additional information on other Makes & Models of Cars, Trucks and SUV’s for Sale see the entire profile at GMRG Inc.

Off-road, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is at the top of the mountain for its class. The new transmission is also beneficial for off-roading, as it improves refinement and drivability in the dirt. Trail obstacles and steep hills are easily dealt with regardless of which engine you choose, thanks to the advanced four-wheel-drive systems and the Jeep’s generous ground clearance.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Laredo, Jeep Rubicon, Jeep Sahara, Jeep Parts Service & Repairs, Jeep Accessories, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, Limited 4WD Overland and Summit, Jeep Unlimited, Jeep Reviews & Rankings

Jeep Wrangler or 2014 Grand Cherokee?  A Louisville Kentucky Dealer and a blogger – help you decide.   In our First Drive article on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee we said, “our informal and thoroughly unscientific opinion is they’re going to sell tons of them. Why? Because it is very good.” So far, it appears the public concurs. Of course, it’s very early – the new compact utility has logged just one month of confirmed sales, but Larry Vellequette at Automotive News says dealers have told him that the second month of sales will be even better, a message that mirrors what we’ve heard from company execs.

In its first, severely truncated month on sale, the Cherokee sold 579 units. With all of November to play with, though, dealers moved 10,169 of them – compared to 11,753 Wranglers and 14,798 Grand Cherokees. That helped propel Jeep to a 30-percent year-on-year improvement for the month, Chrysler Group to a 16-percent improvement and the group’s 44th consecutive month of sales growth, exceeding analyst expectations in posting is best November numbers since 2007.

If it can just keep replicating the its first month of sales, the finalist in North American Truck of the Year voting will smoke the trade done by the outgoing Liberty, which didn’t break 7,900 units in a month in the last four years of its life (and normally didn’t get close to even that). In March this year, Chrysler said it wants to build 250,000 Cherokees in its Toledo assembly plant for global sales.  See more information and get reviews and ratings on both the Jeep Wrangler for Sale and Jeep Grand Cherokee at www.Jeep Reviews Rankings.com.   It’s early yet, but with second-month sales quoted as being as “strong as death,” the bookies might be resetting the odds.

I took delivery of a fully loaded up Trailhawk, granite crystal metallic with black leather interior.  The only option not checked was the black applique on the the hood.  I traded in an ’07 BMW X3 M-Sport.  I have had this Jeep for 4 weeks now and I have to say I could not be more impressed in every respect.
I love the way it looks and drives.  It recently handled an 8″ snowfall in the hilly southwestern Pennsylvania terrain with total aplomb. Will I ever take it off road? Probably not much more than the beach in NC or some fairly tame trails in WV, but who cares, off road is not where I want or need to go and that is probably true of 95% of potential buyers of this vehicle.I think Jeep hit a bulls-eye with this vehicle.  They are in the business of selling cars. This vehicle is so far advanced compared to what it replaces. I’m pretty sure its going to sell quite well. I had an ’04 Liberty Limited and it may have been the worst car I’ve ever owned.  This is light years ahead of that vehicle.  Good Riddance to the Liberty.

Is this car targeted toward the old Cherokee faithful?  Heck no, those things were boxy, utilitarian appliances, and this is so much more than that.  Using the name Cherokee may have been Jeep’s only mistake.  So, if you’re looking for the Jeep Cherokee of yore, you probably should not look at this because you’ll be disappointed.  Stick with a Wrangler Unlimited and you’ll be much happier with the classic, quirky uncomfortable ergonomics, ponderous on road performance, back breaking harsh ride, ear splitting wind noise at highway speeds and atrocious fuel mileage.

If you want something modern that is comfortable, good looking, drives superbly on road and is more than adequate for all but extreme off roading, then look at the new Cherokee.  If you’re looking for the best pricing on Jeep Wranglers and Grand Cherokee for sale – check out the link.  I’m confident you’ll be impressed. in the 4 weeks of driving I have been approached no less than 10 times in parking lots and gas stations. Most people are very positive on the looks. On guy said “It just looks really weird, but I like it”.  Personally, I think its the best looking, most up to date Jeep ever produced.

Jeep Wrangler for Sale, Jeep Grand Cherokee for Sale, Jeep Parts, Service & Repairs, Jeep Wrangler Louisville KY, Grand Cherokee Louisville Kentucky, 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Used & PreOwned Jeeps

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee


Jeep appears to have nailed it this time. After two decades of assembling its Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle, the American automaker has finally delivered a world-class off-roader capable of taking on everything in its segment – and more – with a high likelihood of coming out on top.
And if you drove last year's model, it's time to climb behind the wheel again as Jeep has significantly updated the SUV for 2014 with a bold new exterior appearance, an upgraded interior with enhanced electronics and a new transmission that completely transforms the way it drives.  Test Drive the New 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee in Louisville, KY.
 
We recently spent a full week with a dark blue 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4, a well-optioned model fitted with the standard gasoline-fed V6. While it didn't have the punch of the range-topping V8-powered SRT8, or the fuel-sipping economy of itsnew EcoDiesel sibling, the high-volume variant left us quite impressed.

Without question, the 2014 is significantly improved over its predecessor.
Slightly more than 20 years ago, Jeep launched its all-new Grand Cherokee for the 1993 model year. The current chassis is its fourth-generation iteration (known as the WK2 to brand purists), which made its debut at the 2009 New York Auto Show, but it didn't go on sale until the following summer as a 2011 model. Three short years later, Jeep has introduced the revised 2014 model with a slew of significant upgrades.
 
Jeep is offering its 2014 Grand Cherokee in no fewer than six different models (listed in order of increasing base price): Laredo, Laredo E, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT. Depending on the model, there are three engine choices (3.6-liter V6, 5.7-liter V8 and the new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesel) and several powertrain choices (4x2 and three different 4x4 systems). While the aforementioned diesel and high-performance SRT models capture most of the spotlight, the standard gasoline-powered V6 models comprise the bulk of sales – more than justifying this review.
 
As indicated, Jeep made several improvements to the Grand Cherokee for the new model year. Mechanically speaking, a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the outgoing five-speed gearbox and the four-wheel-drive system has been improved with new modes. Cosmetically, the front fascia has been redesigned and there are new taillamps, a larger liftgate spoiler and more wheel choices. Jeep didn't leave the interior alone either, as the 2014 models are fitted with a new steering wheel with paddle shifters, revised instrument cluster, redesigned center stack with the company's larger 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, upgraded Uconnect Access and other enhanced interior materials. Without question, the 2014 is significantly improved over its 2013 predecessor.  For Best Pricing on a New Grand Cherokee click the available link.

The Overland in standard configuration is fitted with a very high level of equipment.
Our particular 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4, painted in True Blue Pearl over two-tone Vesuvio Indigo Blue and Jeep Brown interior upholstery, started with a base price of $45,995. Few would blame the owners who add absolutely no options, as the Overland in standard configuration is equipped with a very high level of equipment that includes leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-operated eight-way driver and front passenger seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Chrysler's Uconnect system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, 506-watt audio package, heated steering wheel, power liftgate, bi-xenon headlamps and more. Even so, our tester was upgraded with the Customer Preferred 23P package ($1,695), which included adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, advanced brake assist, blind spot and rear cross path detection. The bottom line on our SUV's window sticker, including the mandatory $995 destination charge, was $48,685.
 
Like most late model Grand Cherokees on the road today, our vehicle featured Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, rated at 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. New for 2014 is a standard ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic that provides not only improved fuel economy and better acceleration, but a new lower crawl ratio of 44:1 to aid off-road prowess when equipped with the two-speed transfer case (Jeep's Quadra-Trac II is standard on the Overland). The EPA rates the SUV at 17 miles per gallon city and 24 mpg highway, which is a slight improvement over last year's 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. The engine is also E85 compatible, but burning the ethanol fuel blend delivers reduced economy.

The 2014 Grand Cherokee starts off strong even before the engine is started.
Underpinning the Grand Cherokee is an independent suspension mounted to a steel unibody chassis shared with the current-generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class (consider it a gift from the earlier DaimlerChrysler days). The front features upper and lower control arms while the rear is fitted with a multi-link design. Twin-tube, gas-charged shock and coil springs round out the package. The Quadra-lift air suspension, with four drive heights and a low Park mode to ease ingress/egress (4.1 inches of total travel), is standard on the Overland. The steering is electrically assisted, and the Grand Cherokee requires just 37.1 feet to turn curb-to-curb. Our Overland was equipped with 20-inch cast aluminum wheels, wrapped in 265/50R20 Goodyear Fortera HL all-season tires.
 
While the contrasting dark blue and chocolate interior would not be our first choice, the white piping on the seats and wood on the dashboard provided an upscale appearance. All of the touch surfaces feel substantial and of high quality, solving that common complaint. The front seats are comfortable, with nice bolsters, long lower cushions and good lumbar support, and the driving position fit your editor's six-foot two-inch frame well. A bright and very legible multi-configurable instrument panel is easy to see, even through polarized glasses, and the Garmin-based Uconnect navigation was intuitive for all who used it (although we didn't like how many of the seat heat/cooling functions required more than a few actions to access). To ease connectivity, the driver and front passenger are offered an AUX, USB, SD and 12-volt DC power outlet in a panel at the bottom of the center stack.
 
Second row passengers were equally as content, with acceptable leg, knee and toe room; large tinted windows; and plenty of power to charge their own personal electronics (Jeep has put twin USB ports and a 115-volt outlet on the rear of the center console, exclusively for their use). When the center armrest is raised, the cushion beneath it is flat to make a comfortable fifth seating position.
 
 
First impressions mean quite a bit in the automotive world, especially when emotion sells more vehicles than any pushy salesman. In that regard, the 2014 Grand Cherokee starts off strong even before the engine is started.
 
The exterior refresh is attractive, as it maintains the Jeep's obligatory aggressive and capable appearance while losing some of the shiny chrome in the process. Headlights are now sleeker and more detailed, and the lower fascia receives the same attention. The alterations to the back of the vehicle are less obvious, but Jeep has repositioned some of the flashy trim and cleaned up its overall appearance.

All of the touch surfaces feel substantial and of high quality, solving that common complaint.
A lack of a third row (Dodge will sell you a Durango for that role) means there are no bulky hide-away cushions to prevent the 60:40 split second row from folding, thus creating a flat and expansive cargo area. The front passenger seat folds flat to increase cargo space, too. There are also four metal rails, and steel tie-downs, to help secure larger loads and grocery bag hooks to keep the little things from rolling around (another 12-volt DC outlet is in the rear cargo hold).

The gear selector requires a slight learning curve, and it cannot be rushed without drawing profanities.
The push-button stop/start is carried over from last year. The more significant news is the new electronic shift lever replacing its gated predecessor on the center console. Seemingly lifted right out of the current-generation Audi A8 sedan – they are virtually identical as both share the same ZF eight speed transmission – the stubby T-handle only requires a nudge to engage the gear. In practice, the gear selector requires a slight learning curve, and it cannot be rushed without drawing profanities, but it works well after a bit of familiarity.
 
Our initial positive impressions of the exterior and interior are complemented by the Grand Cherokee's new driving dynamics.
 
The V6 will never match the brawn of the SRT's V8 (or even the Hemi), and nobody should expect it to, but the new lower first gear allows the volume model to leap off the line with newfound energy. The Jeep weighs 4,984 pounds, which is about average in this segment, but a happy marriage between the six-cylinder Pentastar and the ZF eight-speed transmission (it reportedly has 90 different shift algorithms from which to choose) means the SUV will hit 60 miles per hour in about seven seconds flat. On the road, the power seemed to fall off at higher speeds, but it was more than adequate for most passing maneuvers. According to Jeep, our test car will tow 6,200 pounds (those seeking more pulling capability should look at the diesel or SRT, as those are both rated to pull 7,200-plus pounds).

The SUV excels on the open road, especially at speed.
Once at speed, extensive soundproofing and thick door seals kept wind noise to a minimum. Unlike the beastly SRT8, docked points for road noise in our recent review, the narrower all-season rubber on this four-door never howled on the open road. While it likely doesn't help lower cabin noise, the air suspension automatically lowers the vehicle at highways speeds to improve the vehicle's overall aerodynamics and aid fuel economy (the Grand Cherokee earns a drag coefficient of 0.37).
 
Tuned for on- and off-road travel, the ride was on the firm side yet its damping response aligned with our expectations - softer than the SRT8, but still maintained a sporty edge. Its European-bred chassis is stiff and responded well to steering requests. Even so, we found ourselves skipping the tight mountain curves where the Jeep began to feel a bit awkward, and taking the highway routes to make good use of the excellent radar-based adaptive cruise control. The SUV excels on the open road, especially at speed.

It appears that Jeep has finally delivered one of the best overall vehicles in the midsize SUV segment.
Sadly, and despite setting a day aside for it, we never had the chance to take the Grand Cherokee off the pavement and try its Select-Terrain system (our planned trip to an off-road park was pushed off the schedule when another automaker was late with a vehicle delivery). Based on previous experience, the new revisions will only improve its competence after the concrete ends.
As you have likely concluded, we really enjoyed our time with the improved Grand Cherokee. It appears that Jeep has finally delivered one of the best overall vehicles in the midsize SUV segment.
Yet more impressive than beating a typical mid-priced soft-roader is the Overland's ability to be a worthy lower-cost alternative to the widely praised BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. The American beats both in content, equals them in ride quality and is more capable on rough terrain. Thanks to a host of new cosmetic and mechanical upgrades for 2014, the Grand Cherokee has emerged as America's new midsize SUV standard of excellence.  For more information see the site:  http://jeepthingblog.com.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Road Test:

There aren’t many obstacles that slow down a Jeep Wrangler. It can climb impossibly steep slick rock at Moab, bash its way up the Rubicon Trail, plow through mud or make its own trail across the desert.

But then there are those pesky paved roads. Those it doesn’t cotton to.

Enter the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. Like all Wranglers for 2012, it has an all-new engine and an interior that was completely redesigned just last year. It also offers a new five-speed automatic transmission if you don’t want the standard six-speed manual. Rest assured it can still do all those great things off road, but this time it promises good things on the road, too.

Pentastar to the Rescue
Even traditional Jeepers will admit the previous pushrod 3.8-liter iron-block V6 was a slug. It made adequate torque, critical when trying to climb up the face of a cliff in 4WD Low, but on city streets the Wrangler could barely get out of its own way.

For 2012, the Wrangler has been upgraded with Chrysler’s newest V6. Dubbed the Pentastar, the new 3.6-liter DOHC engine pumps out 285 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. Those are typical numbers for a modern V6 these days, but compared to the old 3.8 they represent an improvement of 83 hp and 23 lb-ft of added torque.

The all-aluminum Pentastar is also some 90 pounds lighter and 3.7 inches shorter than the outgoing 3.8-liter six. And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s more efficient, too, as the Wrangler gets an EPA rating of 16 city/20 highway mpg, a 1-mpg improvement over the previous numbers.

We averaged a less-than-stellar though not completely globally irresponsible 16.7 mpg during our two weeks with the Wrangler. Not terrible for a 4,493-pound vehicle with virtually no aerodynamic efficiency whatsoever.

Five Is Better Than Four
Jeep also replaced the long-outdated four-speed automatic transmission with the A580 five-speed ($1,125) found in the Grand Cherokee. A six-speed manual remains the standard transmission on the Wrangler, as does a low-range transfer case. Off-roaders fear not, as the new five-speed has a lower 1st-gear ratio than the outgoing tranny.

At the test track this combo of more power and an extra gear ratio netted a not-quite-as-underwhelming 0-60-mph time of 8.8 seconds (8.5 seconds with a 1-foot rollout like at a drag strip), a full 1.8 seconds quicker than the last four-speed automatic-equipped Wrangler Unlimited we tested. The quarter-mile came and went in 16.4 seconds at 85.1 mph.

Clearly, the Wrangler still won’t set your hair on fire with its breathtaking acceleration. It’s still slower to 60 than a Toyota FJ Cruiser (8.3 seconds) and the Nissan Xterra (7.6 seconds). One new SUV it can leave behind is the 2012 Ford Explorer with the EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder (9.1 seconds). Not exactly much of an off-roader, but still a vehicle that buyers of the four-door Wrangler might consider.

Out on the road, the new engine and tranny offer big improvements in terms of refinement. The engine is smooth, reasonably quiet and has a nice surge of power from 3,700 rpm to 6,400. The automatic offers supple shifts, but it’s not exactly eager to offer them up. We found ourselves dipping into the throttle deeper than we expected to get it to kick down. We’re guessing that Jeep’s goal of improving the Wrangler’s fuel economy no doubt contributed to that.

Handling? Don’t Talk About Handling
Despite its newfound refinement, this is still a Jeep Wrangler. Therefore, on-road handling is not its forte, even with its newly retuned suspension. Between the live axles at both ends and the recirculating-ball type steering system, the Jeep feels far more detached than most modern SUVs. The long-travel suspension allows lots of roll and the nonlinear, slightly overboosted steering provides little in the way of feedback. Fast corners require an extra correction or two because there’s a delay with each steering input.

Any hopes of legitimate numbers were quashed with the first run through our slalom course. The Wrangler’s insanely aggressive electronic stability control system can’t be fully defeated (except in 4WD at less than 35 mph), and it stabs the brakes at the slightest bit of roll angle or tire slide. Hence the pathetic 51.4-mph slalom speed and 0.63g of lateral grip. We didn’t sweat it much, though; it’s a Jeep after all.

With 11.9-inch rotors up front and 12.4s at the rear, not to mention its substantial weight, the Wrangler’s 138-foot stop from 60 mph isn’t half bad. We were less impressed with the Wrangler’s mushy pedal, considerable nose dive and noticeable side-to-side squirm that will grab your attention when you’re hard on the binders.

In Its Natural Habitat
You can’t do the Wrangler justice without taking it off-road. So we headed to the desert where we bashed around on rough fire roads, climbed rock-filled ascents and put the Wrangler’s hill descent control to use on a couple of steep downhills. Everything worked as advertised. In fact, it felt almost too easy sometimes.

Through it all its suspension easily soaked up everything we threw at it while the 10.2 inches of ground clearance kept us from touching down on any rocks. The Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system is a snap to use and the addition of the optional Trak-lok limited slip makes it that much more capable, even with the Sahara’s meager on-/off-road tires.

If there’s one downside to the 2012 Jeep Wrangler’s off-road prowess, it’s the difficulty in finding its limits. With most SUVs, it’s easy to predict what they’ll tackle with ease and what’s better left untouched. In the Jeep, you’re tempted to take on just about anything. And with the right driver and a good spotter, you’ll probably make it, too.

The Price of Progress
Although a base two-door Wrangler starts at just $22,845, pricing on our four-door 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara begins at $31,545 (including $800 destination). Yeah, four-door Wranglers with a healthy set of standard features aren’t cheap. With options such as the automatic transmission, navigation system and three-piece body-color hardtop, our Wrangler shot up to a whopping $37,200.

To anyone who hasn’t been in a Wrangler for awhile, that kind of money looks downright ridiculous for a Jeep. But get inside the latest version and it’s not so hard to believe. After a heavy interior redesign last year, the Wrangler now looks like a modern SUV inside. The materials quality has drastically improved, there are modern electronics and the cabin is relatively quiet with the hardtop in place.

It’s nowhere near the refinement you get in something like a Ford Explorer or Dodge Durango, but that’s fine with Jeep. The Wrangler will never be a crossover or even a truly mainstream choice. Even though the level of refinement has been raised yet again, the Wrangler is still authentic. In other words, the Wrangler is right where it was before: perfect for nontraditional SUV buyers and a stretch for typical SUV buyers.

The new engine is a huge improvement, but the 2012 Jeep Wrangler still isn’t the fastest or the most efficient vehicle in its class. It doesn’t have the most features either, or the most comfortable cabin.

What it does have is a combination of modern conveniences and legendary off-road abilities wrapped up in one of the most distinctive shapes on the road today. 

2012 Jeep Wrangler Review

2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon SUV

Though more civilized than ever, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler remains a no-nonsense American icon. Its quirky character and unique off-road abilities continue to hold appeal.

Superior off-road capability; strong engine; surprisingly fun to drive around town; two- and four-door variations; rough-and-tumble image; it’s a convertible.

Sport

  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Up to 17 cty/21 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)

Unlimited Sport

  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Up to 16 cty/21 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)

Sahara

  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Up to 17 cty/21 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite radio
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Navigation System (Optional)
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)
  • DVD player (Optional)

 

Rubicon
  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Up to 17 cty/21 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite radio
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Navigation System (Optional)
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)
  • DVD player (Optional)

Unlimited Sport RHD

  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • Automatic transmission
  • Up to 16 cty/20 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control

 

Unlimited Sahara

  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Up to 16 cty/21 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite radio
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Navigation System (Optional)
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)
  • DVD player (Optional)

Unlimited Rubicon

  • 3.6L V6 engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Up to 16 cty/21 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite radio
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Navigation System (Optional)
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)
  • DVD player (Optional)

 

Rarely does a car reviewed have as many pros and cons as the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. Most vehicles have a lot of one and not much of the other. The Wrangler, on the other hand, has a wealth of extremes. It has old-school solid axles at both ends and standard crank windows. It’s incredibly noisy and rough-riding. The soft top is a puzzle to operate and is basically a big “break in!” sign to potential thieves. Indeed, measured against virtually any other new SUV, the Wrangler is in many ways, well, terrible.

And yet the Jeep Wrangler not only remains appealing but remains one of the best-selling SUVs in the country as well. Part of the reason why is because some of those foibles are actually indicative of an incredibly honest, back-to-basics off-roader. Of course, the Wrangler also looks pretty cool and can dive headlong into places where few other vehicles would dare dip their toes. Plus, what other new car allows you to remove not only the roof, but the doors and windshield as well? The answer is none.

Of course, some of the Wrangler’s issues can’t be brushed off as simply “quaint.” The soft top’s issues are real, as are long braking distances and limited secured storage. But there is finally good news for what lies under the hood. Gone is the agricultural and gutless old V6, and in its place Chrysler’s new “Pentastar” 285-hp V6. Smooth, robust and reasonably efficient, this engine radically transforms the Wrangler. Boasting a whopping 83 more horses than the outgoing engine, the new V6 is more than a second quicker from zero to 60 mph. A newly available five-speed automatic improves power delivery and efficiency as well.

Whether you get a basic two-door Wrangler with crank windows and a soft top or a high-dollar four-door Wrangler Unlimited Sahara with heated leather seats and a hardtop, this iconic Jeep is without question a unique vehicle. However, we highly recommend taking it on a lengthy test-drive and paying attention to the above issues to see if you could really deal with them on a day-to-day basis. It’s not uncommon for folks to be taken in by the Wrangler’s cool factor only to quickly realize after purchase that a compact crossover or a more livable off-roader like the Nissan Xterra or Toyota FJ Cruiserwould’ve been a wiser choice.

If you know what you’re getting into, however, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is a wonderful way to not only get back to basics, but nature as well.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler is a convertible SUV available in two-door Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited versions. Each comes in Sport, Sahara and Rubicon trims.

The Sport comes sparsely equipped with 16-inch steel wheels, front and rear tow hooks, foglamps, a removable soft top, crank windows, manual locks and mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, CD player and steering wheel controls. The Unlimited gets a bigger gas tank, four doors, more backseat and trunk space, air-conditioning and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The Power Convenience Group adds heated power mirrors, power locks and windows, and keyless entry. Air-conditioning (two-door), satellite radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels are also optional.

The Sahara adds the above optional items plus 18-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded suspension, under-hood insulation, side steps, automatic headlamps, body-colored fender flares and a six-speaker Infinity sound system.

The Rubicon is not the most abundantly equipped trim level, per se, but rather the trim that boasts the most robust off-road credentials. It adds on top of the base Sport equipment special 17-inch wheels, 32-inch tires, heavy-duty axles and transfer case, electronic front and rear locking differentials, a disconnecting front sway bar, rock rails, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio. The Power Convenience Group is optional on the two-door, but standard on the Unlimited.

The following packages are available on all trims. The Connectivity Group adds Bluetooth, an iPod/USB audio interface, an upgraded trip computer and a leather-wrapped wheel on the Sport. A multi-piece removable hardtop with a rear defroster and wiper is optional with or without the standard soft top remaining. It comes standard in textured black, but can be had in body color on the Sahara and Rubicon.

Optional on the Sport and two-door Rubicon are a limited-slip differential and half doors that include plastic side windows. The Sahara and Rubicon can be equipped with leather upholstery and heated front seats, automatic climate control and a navigation system that includes a touchscreen interface, digital music storage and real-time traffic.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 285 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. Four-wheel drive is also standard and includes high- and low-range transfer case gears, though the Rubicon features an upgraded transfer case with extra-low gearing. A six-speed manual transmission with hill-start assist is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped, two-door Wrangler went from zero to 60 mph in a surprisingly quick 7.1 seconds. A much heavier automatic-equipped Wrangler Unlimited did it in 8.8 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the two-door is 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined regardless of transmission. The Unlimited is 16/20/18 with the automatic and 16/21 with the manual.

Safety

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, and hill start assist. Front side airbags are optional. In Edmunds brake testing, both two- and four-door Wranglers came to a stop from 60 mph in about 140 feet.

It should be noted that the Wrangler’s doors do not provide the same level of protection as regular doors do in a side crash. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it didn’t fare well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s side crash test. Without side airbags, the two-door Wrangler earned the worst rating of “Poor,” while the Unlimited got the second-worst “Marginal.” However, the Wrangler did get the best possible rating of “Good” in the frontal-offset test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Despite the increase in available niceties over the years, the Jeep Wrangler is still a vehicle meant to drive through dust, dirt and muck and then be easily cleaned afterward. Interior materials and switchgear were dramatically improved last year, and the design now has a rounder, more organic look.

The two-door’s backseat can host only two passengers and suffers from limited leg- and foot room. If that isn’t sufficient, the Unlimited has room for three and its extra set of doors makes for easier access. The four-door also offers 86 cubic feet of cargo space when the second-row seats are folded, which is quite substantial.

With any Wrangler’s soft top, however, storing cargo inside can be a risky situation since only the meager glovebox and center console can be locked. The soft top is also complicated to raise and lower, and requires you to store its bulky plastic windows somewhere inside the cabin (which is tough in the two-door). The optional hardtop, which features removable T-top-style panels over the front seats, is a smart solution for those who don’t intend to routinely go completely al fresco.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler is pretty much unstoppable in off-road situations, especially in Rubicon guise, thanks to its specialized hardware. The Wrangler Unlimited four-door isn’t as maneuverable on tight trails as the much shorter two-door model, but its roomier interior means you can carry more gear. It also feels more stable around corners and on the highway. Nonetheless, all Wranglers suffer from tippy handling, a rough ride and steering that is kindly described as nebulous. Road and wind noise are also excessive.

The Wrangler also used to be described as slow, but no longer. It won’t be winning any drag races, but the new V6 is a thoroughly modern engine that can actually get the heavy Wrangler moving briskly. The standard six-speed manual features precise but long throws and an easily modulated clutch. The automatic is now a much more modern five-speed unit that further aids power delivery and fuel economy.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Moab Road Test

April 5, 2013

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

The Easter Jeep Safari in Moab is a big deal. Jeeps and Jeepers take over the town for the week, which makes it a natural place for Jeep, the corporation, to wade in and mingle with the Jeep faithful.

Once I arrived I participated in some of these Jeep-organized Jeep activities, which means I would park our 2012 Jeep Wrangler while I Jeeped in some of Jeep’s Jeeps.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

But first there was a warm-up run over Hurrah Pass to Chicken Corners. This is an easy trail, but the scenery is stunning. I wouldn’t be surprised if our Honda CR-V could get here, but don’t take that as a guarantee that it’ll make it up here. There are rocks and ledges that require clearance along the way.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Next day we hooked up with Jeep to try some of their production equipment on Elephant Hill, a more difficult trail that is a good test of unmodified stock Jeeps.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

They brought a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel with the height-adjustable air suspension option, a combination I drove in Austin, Texas a month ago. But this trail was much more serious, despite the rather calm scene depicted here.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

The axle articulation isn’t huge, but the sophisticated 4×4 drive system makes up for it, at least on this trail. I glanced at the tachometer a few times while climbing some tough obstacles and noticed the engine was giving me everything I needed at just 1,100 or 1,200 rpm.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

There was a 2013 10th Anniversary Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The 10th Anniversary package combines all of the Rubicon stuff we’re used to, plus hill descent control and a TMPS system that finally displays all four individual tire pressures.

There are trick new bumpers, too. The front one can hold a winch and has removable outer ends that can be unbolted to create a “shorty” bumper for extra obstacle clearance. The rear one has a fitting to accept a swing-away tire carrier.

The tires are 32-inch versions of the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires on our own 2012 Wrangler project car. Two huge vents are built into the hood and the interior is dotted with 10th Anniversary touches.

Elephant Hill is far too easy for this one.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

I hadn’t driven the new-for-2013 Moab version yet, but we might have started with one of these if this model had existed when we began our 2012 Jeep Wrangler project.

Why? It’s pretty much a Sport with a rear locker, rock rails and a winch-capable front bumper (but not the unique configurable one on the Rubicon.) It has the same axles and 2.7-to-1 transfer case that we have, and the tires fall somewhere between the 29-inch rim protectors our Jeep came with and the knobbies found on a Rubicon.

That rear locker is very nice to have. And so are the rock rails, especially on this four-door Unlimited. And it’s nice to know that you don’t need to buy a new bumper if you want to add a winch.

Elephant Hill is not a terrible puzzle for this one, but the locker was necessary a few times. And the long Unlimited wheelbase required a few three-point turns in places where the two-door simply made the turn. The four-door’s less favorable breakover angle also puts it right on the edge of needing a lift for anything rockier than this.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Elephant Hill is an in-and-out trail with several one-way sections because it’s simply way too narrow to let others pass in many stretches. One of the viewpoints ends where a small hike leads you to the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers at the Center of the Park.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport

I don’t have pictures of the toughest obstacles because I was too busy driving over them. For example, there’s a whole switchback section that’s far too tight to make any turns. You drive forward up one switchback and then reverse up the next. I have some Go-Pro video that I’ll post when I get it edited and uploaded.

Elephant Hill is a beautiful trail in a stunning national park about 90 minutes drive south of downtown Moab. Go and do it sometime. You can rent a Rubicon right there in Moab if you don’t own one.

Review by Edmunds:

2013 Jeep Patriot Review

2012 Jeep Patriot Latitude SUV

  •  Pricing
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  •  Dealers
  •  MPG
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It may be billed as the cheapest SUV on the market, but the 2013 Jeep Patriot can’t match the space, refinement, quality and driving dynamics of its competitors.

  • Read Full Review of 2013 Jeep Patriot
  • Safety
  • Reliability

PROS

Above-average off-road capability; a few clever features.

CONS

Sluggish acceleration; disappointing fuel economy; poor braking distances; limited cargo space; substandard interior materials.

Sport

  • 2.0L 4-cyl. engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Up to 23 cty/30 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)

 

Latitude

  • 2.0L 4-cyl. engine
  • Manual transmission
  • Up to 23 cty/30 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)
  • DVD player (Optional)

View All Features & Specs

Limited

  • 2.4L 4-cyl. engine
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Up to 21 cty/27 hwy mpg
  • 4-wheel drive
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite radio
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Navigation System (Optional)
  • Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Side/Curtain Airbags (Optional)
  • DVD player (Optional)

2013 Jeep Patriot

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

What’s New for 2013

The Jeep Patriot is essentially unchanged for 2013.

Introduction

The Jeep Patriot checks in with a substantially lower price than any other SUV. However, take a look at its standard features list and you’ll understand why. The base Sport model, for instance, lacks air-conditioning, power locks or even power windows. Once you add those items plus some other common features, the Patriot ends up being more expensive than the 2013 Kia Sportage, the second least expensive compact crossover and a vastly superior vehicle. A similar point can be made about the Hyundai Tucson and 2013 Nissan Juke.

The Patriot does have something those other models do not — off-road capability. To achieve it, you must opt for the Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group that includes an upgraded four-wheel-drive system with a low range. It’d still be cheaper than a Jeep Wrangler, Nissan Xterra or FJ Cruiser, too. But it should be noted that those models are vastly more capable than the Patriot when the pavement ends.

If all you want is a new crossover SUV that can realistically do some light off-roading, the 2013 Jeep Patriot could make sense. But frankly, this seems like a very small potential buyer pool. In other words, look somewhere else.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Jeep Patriot is a compact crossover SUV that seats five people. It is available in Sport, Latitude and Limited trim levels.

The base Sport is very sparsely equipped with standard 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, foglights, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Power Value Group adds full power accessories, heated mirrors, keyless entry and additional body-color exterior pieces. Air-conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels and a six-CD/DVD changer are also available.

The Latitude gets all of the Sport’s options minus the CD changer, plus a height-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a reclining rear seat and steering wheel audio controls. Satellite radio is optional.

The Limited adds all the above optional items, plus automatic climate control, rear disc brakes (versus drums), upgraded exterior trim, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat (plus manual lumbar adjustment) and a trip computer.

The Latitude and Limited are eligible for several option packages. The Sun/Sound Group adds a sunroof and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system (available separately) with two drop-down liftgate speakers and satellite radio. The Security and Cargo Convenience Group adds adjustable roof rail crossbars, remote ignition, front side airbags, a tire pressure monitoring display, a cargo cover, Bluetooth phone connectivity (optional separately on all trims), a USB audio jack and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A touchscreen audio interface that includes digital music storage is also available and can be enhanced with a navigation system on the Limited.

All-wheel-drive models, regardless of trim, can be equipped with the Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group. This includes an enhanced four-wheel-drive system, special 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, hill descent control, tow hooks, skid plates and a height-adjustable driver seat on the Sport.

Powertrains and Performance

When equipped with standard front-wheel drive, the 2013 Jeep Patriot Sport and Latitude are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. Hill-start assist is also standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy with front-wheel drive and the CVT is 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined, which is disappointing given its lack of power. It’s marginally better at 23/30/26 with the manual.

The Patriot Limited and “Freedom-Drive I” all-wheel-drive models only come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 172 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque. It gets the same transmission choices as the 2.0-liter. The optional Freedom-Drive II four-wheel-drive system includes a low range.

In Edmunds performance testing, a Patriot Limited with Freedom-Drive II needed a very lengthy 10.3 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph — that’s one of the slowest times of any small crossover SUV. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 21/26/23 with Freedom-Drive I and the CVT. It goes up to 22/28/24 with the manual, but down to a poor 20/23/21 with Freedom-Drive II.

Safety

The 2013 Jeep Patriot comes standard with antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), traction and stability control, and full-length side curtain airbags. The Limited gets rear disc brakes. Front side airbags are optional on all trims either in the Security and Cargo Convenience Group or as stand-alone items.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Patriot Limited came to a stop from 60 mph in a poor 143 feet — about 20 feet longer than average.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Patriot the highest-possible rating of “Good” in the frontal-offset and roof strength tests. Patriots with the optional side airbags also get a “Good,” but it drops to a second-worst “Marginal” without the side airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

At first glance the Patriot’s interior looks nice enough, if a little utilitarian. On closer examination, however, the quality is disappointing due to extensive use of cheap, hard plastics. The base Sport’s lack of standard power accessories and air-conditioning will make it feel especially cheap. The front seats are comfortable enough, but rear seat legroom is tight in the outboard seats and virtually nonexistent in the center position.

Large, easy-to-read gauges and user-friendly controls are at least in keeping with Jeep’s off-road heritage, though the available touchscreen electronics interface is rather antiquated. There are a couple clever features such as the cargo area lamp that pops out to become a rechargeable LED flashlight and the optional Boston Acoustics speakers that flip down from the raised liftgate to provide tunes for your next tailgate party.

You’d better not plan to bring a lot to that party, though. With just 23 cubic feet of space behind the 60/40-split rear seats and 53.5 cubic feet with both sections folded down, the cargo area is significantly smaller than almost all crossover competitors. The Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester in particular are about 20 cubes bigger.

Driving Impressions

Of the 2013 Jeep Patriot’s two available engines, even the larger 2.4-liter is underwhelming when it comes to highway power. The CVT does them no favors and their loud droning noises will have you reaching for the radio volume. At least the availability of a five-speed manual transmission makes this vehicle somewhat capable for off-road adventures.

Since the available Freedom Drive I all-wheel-drive system is really only meant to provide added peace of mind when roads turn slippery, it’s the Freedom Drive II system you’ll want if you expect to be spending much time in the dirt. At the same time, this dimension of off-road capability takes a significant toll on fuel economy and ride comfort. The handling and general driving experience of any Patriot also greatly trails its competitors.

The 2013 Jeep Patriot comes with a four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Some test drivers say that the Patriot offers adequate power, though the bulk of reviewers agree that the Patriot is sluggish from a stop and underpowered on the highway. A more powerful engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are available, but test drivers say that even with the added horsepower, the Patriot doesn’t accelerate as well as they would like. The Patriot gets up to 23/30 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for the class. However, models equipped with all- and four-wheel drive see lower EPA estimates. Most critics say that while the Patriot handles adequately, many rivals in the class offer better handling and a more refined ride. That’s not an uncommon trait among off-road SUVs, however the Patriot also doesn’t perform as well as rivals like the Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra when the pavement ends.

While a low base price may seem appealing to SUV shoppers, but the base Patriot is sparsely equipped. Features like air conditioning, keyless entry and power windows don’t come standard, and reviewers say that hard plastic surfaces dominate the Patriot’s cabin. While test drivers find the front seats comfortable, they also say that the back seat doesn’t offer enough legroom. The Patriot also offers less cargo space than many SUVs in the class. The 2013 Patriot comes standard with a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack, while available features include an upgraded Boston Acoustics stereo, heated front seats, navigation and Bluetooth.

  • “You can’t deny your roots, and neither can the Jeep Patriot. The Dodge Caliber econocar platform probably made sense for a low-priced, light-duty Jeep in 2007, but this class is too competitive for that formula to still work.” – Kelley Blue Book
  • “Most shoppers will be better served by more street-oriented trucks such as the Honda CR-V or Suzuki Grand Vitara, the latter of which rivals Patriot’s off-road prowess.” – Consumer Guide (2012)
  • “The Patriot’s real challenge, however, lies in the quality of its competition, because this segment of compact crossovers is one of the most competitive in the market. Buyers simply looking for some added peace of mind when road conditions turn ugly will find all-wheel-drive versions of small crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage to be more refined alternatives.” – Edmunds (2012)
  • “For those who want a compact crossover that will spend most of its time on-road, but still like the idea of mild off-roading, the Patriot is a decent compromise. The real question is whether it’s a compromise crossover buyers are looking for.” – Motor Trend (2011)

OTHER SUVS TO CONSIDER

The Mazda CX-5 can’t match the Patriot’s off-road abilities, but it offers excellent fuel economy, and reviewers say that the CX-5 is one of the best-performing SUVs in the class. The CX-5 also offers more standard features than the Patriot, and test drivers note that the CX-5 stands out from the pack with a high-quality interior and great cargo space.

If you’re looking for a small SUV with good off-road performance, consider the Suzuki Grand Vitara. Like the Patriot, reviewers say that the Grand Vitara isn’t the most athletic SUV in the class, but the Vitara outdoes the Patriot with a longer powertrain warranty and standard features that include a navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity.

Compare the Patriot, CX-5 and Grand Vitara »

DETAILS: 2013 JEEP PATRIOT

The 2013 Jeep Patriot seats five and comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. A more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a CVT are optional. All- and four-wheel drive systems, known as Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II, are also available. The Patriot is available in Sport (base), Latitude and Limited trims. Latitude and Limited models add interior features and offer some upgraded interior materials. This year, the Patriot earns slightly better fuel economy than the outgoing 2012 model, but sees few other changes. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011 and 2012, as well as the current model year.

By USNEWS Ranking and Reviews:

2012 Jeep Compass Limited SUV

The 2013 Jeep Compass ranks 21 out of 21 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 12 published reviews and test drives of the Jeep Compass, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The 2013 Jeep Compass is ranked:

  • #21in Affordable Compact SUVs
  • #23in Affordable SUVs with 2 Rows
  • #14in Off-Road SUVs

Its low base price may attract value-conscious shoppers, but test drivers say that the 2013 Jeep Compass lacks the power, refinement and space of higher-ranking compact SUVs.

The 2013 Jeep Compass is powered by a four-cylinder engine, and test drivers are disappointed by its meager power. A more powerful engine is optional, but reviewers agree that it offers only a marginal improvement, resulting in acceleration that’s adequate at best. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. One test driver comments that the CVT is noisy, and doesn’t make good use of the engine’s power. The EPA reports that the 2013 Compass gets up to 23/30 mpg city/highway, which is comparable to SUVs like the Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V. Most auto writers say that the Compass handles adequately, however, a few critics note that the Compass can ride harshly, and that its large turning circle makes it less maneuverable than its small size suggests. Additionally, the Compass’ safety score is lower than most competing affordable compact SUVs.

Test drivers note that the Compass’ interior uses price-appropriate materials, including nice plastics and some soft-touch surfaces. While headroom is good in the front seats, one reviewer says that it’s difficult to find a comfortable driving position in the Compass. Additionally, a number of reviewers point out that the Compass’ back seat is cramped, and the Compass has less cargo space than SUVs like the GMC Terrain. The Compass is less expensive than a number of affordable compact SUVs, but it also comes with fewer standard features than models like the Terrain, CR-V and Mazda CX-5. A four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack comes standard, while available features include automatic climate control, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, navigation and a Boston Acoustics stereo with flip-down tailgate speakers.

  • “Competing with such established names as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester, the Compass has its work cut out for it, especially considering most of its newer rivals outshine it in the areas of engine technology, fuel economy and features.” – Kelley Blue Book
  • “Compass makes sense as a functional wagon for people who crave Jeep Grand Cherokee styling in a cheaper, more-compact package. For most others, there are better alternatives.” –Consumer Guide (2012)
  • “If it’s true off-road capability you’re after, the Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra are worth a look. For around-town use, the Honda CR-V, GMC Terrain, Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester (just to name a few) all offer all-wheel drive for increased traction in bad weather with much better handling, performance and refinement in everyday driving.” – Edmunds (2012)
  • “No matter how much work Jeep has put into this crossover for 2011, the Compass nameplate carries some serious baggage. The Compass will always be remembered for trying to stretch the Jeep brand a little too far and it isn’t long for this world.” – Automobile Magazine (2011)

What Edmunds Says:

The Jeep brand is famous for a couple of reasons, but never has one of those reasons been exceptional fuel economy. The entry-level 2013 Compass tries to get Jeep personality into the gas-saving game by attaching a few of the brand’s signature styling elements and various (optional) off-road components to what is essentially a front-wheel-drive car platform. As often happens when an automaker tries to accomplish two rather disparate missions, the result is a vehicle that serves neither purpose particularly well.

If you’re considering a 2013 Jeep Compass to get the kind of serious off-roading ability most of us imagine when we see the Jeep badge, know that the Compass really isn’t the right tool for the job. Jeep itself sets a narrowly defined parameter here, saying that to operate the Compass in “moderate off-road conditions” you must equip it with a special off-road equipment package. And that’s only after equipping the Compass with some other required optional hardware, including the larger of this Jeep’s two four-cylinder engines and, well, four-wheel drive.

That’s where the Compass hits the crossroads. While the base Compass with a manual transmission earns respectable fuel economy ratings of 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, they’re for a vehicle that’s essentially a front-wheel-drive car and far from what you might use for moderate off-roading adventures. Not really much of a Jeep at all. Go for the larger engine and all the equipment needed to use the Compass off road and fuel economy estimates plummet to 20/23 — pretty dismal figures for a compact car and essentially defeating the purpose for buying a compact anything.

The only way the 2013 Jeep Compass seems to make sense is if you’re buying it not for off-roading but for just getting around in foul weather. Fair enough; the Compass can do that. But unless you’re intent on owning a Jeep for the sake of owning a Jeep, there is a multitude of similar-sized, similar-priced competitors that can ably transport you when the roads get sloppy, while also being markedly more economical and more refined.

Like the Compass, the engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) for Subaru’s new Impreza-based 2013 XV Crosstrek aren’t particularly impressive, but the Crosstrek does fine off-road and delivers vastly better fuel economy ratings and a more enjoyable overall driving experience. Or for better all-around performance for a little more money, consider other top compact crossovers such as the 2013 Ford Escape, which offer more utility and refinement and equivalent road-oriented all-wheel-drive capability.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Jeep Compass is a five-passenger compact SUV that’s offered in three trim levels: Sport, Latitude and Limited.

Standard equipment on the entry-level Sport model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, heated mirrors, roof rails, full power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a tilt-only steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Stepping up to the midrange Latitude model gets you heated front seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a reclining rear seat, a household-style 115-volt auxiliary power point and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

The top-of-the-line Limited trim level adds the larger 2.4-liter engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, satellite radio and a six-CD changer.

The Latitude and Limited models are available with a number of different packages. The Security and Cargo Convenience Group adds front seat side-impact airbags (available separately on Sport), a cargo cover, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, remote ignition (not available with manual transmission), a USB audio jack and Bluetooth (available separately on all trim levels). The Sun and Sound Group includes a sunroof and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system with two speakers that flip down from the raised liftgate. The Media Center 430 option adds a touchscreen interface, digital music storage and a USB audio jack. A navigation system with real-time traffic and other information can be added to this on the Limited trim.

The Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group available on all trims with four-wheel drive includes an upgraded four-wheel-drive system, a low-range mode for the transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, skid plates, tow hooks, an engine oil cooler, hill descent control, hill start assist, and on the Sport, a height-adjustable driver seat.

Powertrains and Performance

Every front-wheel-drive 2013 Jeep Compass Sport and Latitude model comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the Sport. A CVT is optional on the Sport and standard on the Latitude. Fuel economy estimates range from 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined for a front-drive, manual-transmission Compass to 22/28/24 for the 2.0-liter engine coupled with the CVT.

A larger 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 172 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque is standard on the Limited and all four-wheel-drive Compasses. The 2.4-liter also can be fitted to the front-drive Sport and Latitude. The transmission choices are the same as with the 2.0-liter, with the Limited getting the CVT standard. Fuel economy ranges from a decent 23/28/25 with the manual and front-wheel drive to the weak 20/23/21 rating for the CVT and four-wheel drive.

Front-wheel drive is standard across the Compass lineup. Of the two available four-wheel-drive options, the light-duty “Freedom Drive I” system operates in front-wheel-drive mode under normal conditions and automatically sends power to the rear wheels only when needed. The “Freedom Drive II” Off-Road package includes a low-range mode for the CVT that Jeep says makes it much more capable of handling fairly rough off-road situations.

In Edmunds testing, a four-wheel-drive (Freedom Drive I) Compass with the 2.4-liter engine and CVT accelerated to 60 mph from a standstill in a slow 10.3 seconds.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2013 Jeep Compass include stability control with a rollover sensor, full-length side curtain airbags and traction control. Antilock brakes are standard on every Compass; however, the front-wheel-drive Sport and Latitude come with rear drums whereas the other trims get rear discs. Front-seat side-impact airbags are optional.

In Edmunds brake testing, a four-wheel-drive Compass Limited came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2013 Jeep Compass is relatively roomy for a compact crossover and the interior materials, originally something of a disaster, were markedly improved in a recent makeover that brought comfort and appearance up to an acceptable standard — although still only about average for the class. And although the front-seat occupants have good legroom and the cabin width is pleasing, rear-seat room is less abundant.

The Compass’ instrument cluster is small and the gauge markings are compressed and not particularly distinct. The interior can seem more upscale and contemporary with the optional touchscreen media center, but that touchscreen can be finicky to operate and even expected standard items such as Bluetooth connectivity remain optional. Some too-hard plastics still surround the gearshift in the center console, but secondary controls have a nice appearance and action, particularly the simple, three-dial climate control cluster.

The Compass does sport some clever features such as a cooled glovebox, a rechargeable LED cargo light that pops out for use as a flashlight, and optional speakers that flip down and out from the raised liftgate to enhance outdoor listening. At 62.7 cubic feet, the Compass’ maximum cargo capacity is respectable ? considerably more than the Crosstrek’s 51.9 cubic feet and slightly less than the Escape’s 66.3 cubes.

Driving Impressions

Even with the larger 2.4-liter engine, the 2013 Jeep Compass feels underpowered and overburdened by its weight. Neither of the Compass’ engines really gets to work until you have them well up in the rev range. With the CVT, the engine makes all manner of unsavory noises and although that transmission is meant to enhance efficiency, no four-wheel-drive Compass is very economical. In other words, we’re talking the worst of both worlds here: lackluster performance along with mediocre fuel economy.

Unfortunately, there’s not much in the way of uplifting ability from the Compass’ suspension, either. The ride is often harsh and abrupt and both handling and steering have a front-heavy feel. Either of the Compass’ all-wheel-drive systems will handle winter roads and tarmac slicked by heavy rains and snow, but the automatic Freedom I system is all anyone buying a vehicle this far on the “car” side of the crossover spectrum probably needs.

 

 

  • 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee

    2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

Scorecard

Overall: 8.1
Critics’ Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality interior materials
  • Excellent off-road performance
  • Comfortable, roomy back seat
  • Powerful engine options
  • Below-average cargo space for the class
  • Sparse standard features for the price

Research Other Years

  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks 4 out of 21 Affordable Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 30 published reviews and test drives of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is ranked:

  • #4in Affordable Midsize SUVs
  • #1in Off-Road SUVs
  • #4in Affordable SUVs with 2 Rows

Thanks to its excellent on- and off-road performance, good safety scores and well-designed interior, the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the top midsize SUVs in the class.

The base Grand Cherokee comes with a V6 engine, which test drivers say supplies good power. A more powerful 5.7-liter V8 engine is optional. There is also an SRT8 performance model, which gets applause from the automotive press for its outstanding 470-horsepower V8 engine and sporty handling. All engines are paired to an automatic transmission. Test drivers think the Grand Cherokee has excellent off-road performance and they like its comfortable on-road ride. Critics say the steering feels well-connected to the road as well. Fuel economy is rated up to 17/23 mpg city/highway according to the EPA, which is about average for the class.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the 2013 Best 2-Row Midsize SUV for Familiesbecause it has the best combination of quality, size and family-friendly features in its class.

Reviewers agree that the Grand Cherokee’s interior is one of the best in the class. The auto press says the cabin has comfortable seats in both rows, good fit and finish and intuitive controls and gauges. Where many midsize SUVs seat at least seven or eight, the Grand Cherokee only has seating for five. Fewer seats do not mean increased cargo space, though, as the Grand Cherokee’s cargo capacity is below the class average. Still, test drivers note that the Grand Cherokee should accommodate most owners’ things and has ample cabin storage. The base trim is fairly sparsely-equipped. You’ll have to check off option boxes or opt for an upper trim level to get features like a backup camera, satellite radio and a voice-activated navigation system.

  • “A stunning interior bolstered by cutting-edge infotainment and electronics systems awaits the lucky occupants while, underneath, Jeep’s legendary 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems prove the Grand Cherokee hasn’t gone weak when it comes to its off-road capabilities.” – Kelley Blue Book
  • “On-road refinement, a well-trimmed cabin and traditional off-road ability make the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee fully competitive with other midsize SUVs and crossovers.” – Edmunds
  • “The Jeep Grand Cherokee balances pleasant and confident on-road handling with capable off-road tenacity. Good looking, comfortable interiors, a relatively modest exterior size, and a plethora of available options further increase its appeal.” – Consumer Guide
  • “For families surrounded by concrete jungles rather than natural terrain, the … Jeep Grand Cherokee can be a lot more SUV than is needed on a day-to-day basis, but its stylish looks and powerful engine will win more than a few families over.” – Cars.com (2012)

 DETAILS: 2013 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in five trims: Laredo, Laredo X, Limited, Overland and Overland Summit. For 2013, an all-new off-road-tuned Trailhawk model is available, and the performance-oriented SRT8 carries over. The base Grand Cherokee comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired to a five-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include a six-speaker stereo system and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Higher trims come with features like a backup camera, a voice-activated navigation system and heated front and back seats. The Grand Cherokee was last redesigned in 2011, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 to 2013 model years.

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