The 2008-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee has only small, cautious changes to the exterior but many functional changes. The grille has been extended downward, and the headlights have been given more obvious curves; aerodynamics appear to have been worked on; fog lamps are lower, to more effectively light the road (and do less damage to other drivers' night vision). The front fascia is now two separate pieces, so serious off-roaders can remove the bottom half.
Perhaps most welcome to the average buyer — at least, the average non-Hemi-buyer — the 4.7 liter engine has been reworked with the lessons learned from the Hemi, and was boosted way up to 291 horsepower and 322 lb-ft of torque. It's also better on gas by a small margin, and can take flex fuels. What’s more, American versions finally get a new diesel engine - the Mercedes 3-liter V6, which provides the best gas mileage of any current Grand Cherokee engine, complete with lots of torque. The Hemi, of course, remains, as does the SRT-8 option.
Additional options include auto-levelling high-intensity discharge headlamps, a must for the blue-headlight lovers; the MyGIG entertainment system, which includes its own hard drive; and the new rear-seat streaming TV system that debuted on the 2008 minivans a few days before the Grand Cherokee was shown. Coming to the projected Overland and SRT-8 will, rumor says, be heated rear seats and power-ventilated front seats.
The new 4.7-liter V-8 has two spark plugs per cylinder, like the Hemi; a higher compression ratio, improved cylinder-head port flow, and a new combustion system. The result is 291 horsepower (217kW), a 24 percent increase, and 322 lb.-ft. of torque (437 N•m), a 6 percent increase over the previous 4.7-liter V-8 engine. And, like the engine it replaces, the new 4.7-liter V-8 engine is flex-fuel capable, which gives customers the ability to use up to an 85% concentration of ethanol (E85).
The 4.7-liter has had significant revisions to the induction system, a lightweight piston/rod assembly and reduced accessory drive noise through lower accessory drive speed. Engine smoothness at idle is enhanced with a new cam design, two spark plugs per cylinder, a valve-lash adjuster system, and electronic throttle control.
The Mercedes diesel engine produces 215 hp (160 kW) @ 3,800 rpm and 376 lb.-ft. torque (510 N•m) @ 1,600-2,800 rpm and gets an estimated fuel economy of 20 miles city and 25 miles highway for 4x2 models and 20 miles city and 24 miles highway for 4x4 models. Towing capacity is a full 7,400 pounds, and driving range of about 450 miles leads the class. The engine is designed to be quiet, as well.
Between 2003 and 2007, the Chrysler Group will triple the number of diesel offerings outside North America. Of the estimated 20 vehicles available, 12 or more will have the option for a diesel powertrain (up from four in 2003).
The Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD will be fueled with B5 (5 percent) biodiesel at the assembly plant to help increase the awareness of biodiesel. The 3.0-liter V-6 CRD engine was reportedly engineered by Bosch, and is built in Germany; in the US it will only be sold with a Mercedes-designed automatic transmission. The engine uses the Bluetec exhaust-treatment system originally developed by KonTec. It is expected to be replaced in 2010-11 by a Cummins V6 turbodiesel.
2008 Grand Cherokee options and fooferall
MyGIG enables customers to use touch-screen or voice commands to control all of the features, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive where music and photos can be stored. There's space reserved on the hard drive for approximately 1,600 songs; that's over 100 hours of music. There also is a voice-memo recorder feature. MyGIG supports real-time traffic information, available through SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and can provide an alternate drive route based on current traffic.
Also new on the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee are high-intensity discharge (HID) auto-leveling headlamps. HID auto-leveling headlamps provide approximately three times the light output of conventional reflector lamps. The auto-leveling feature automatically adjusts the headlamps to the vehicle pitch depending on the load and number of passengers in the vehicle, avoiding the blinding of other drivers. The auto-leveling feature is only available with HID headlamps.
ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera (with or without navigation), ParkSense® Rear Back-up System, SmartBeam® headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, memory seats and mirrors, iPod connectivity and 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels also are part of the vehicle's available features and options.
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee off-roading
The Jeep Grand Cherokee also features three new safety and security technologies for 2008: Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control.
Hill Descent Control (HDC) is standard on Grand Cherokee 4x4 models. Operational in the "4WD Low" position, HDC provides downhill assistance at a controlled rate of speed. By means of electronic brake control, HDC supplements the gear reduction and engine braking that a traditional mechanical low-range transfer case provides. For ease of operation, Grand Cherokee's HDC is activated and deactivated automatically, after the HDC button is engaged, as the system senses changes in topography. The system works whether the vehicle is in forward or reverse.
The available Hill Start Assist (HSA) allows the driver time to transition from brake to throttle to achieve a smooth launch on a grade. The system will hold brake pressure for two seconds upon the driver's release of the brake pedal. The ABS system decreases wheel pressure in response to increasing throttle to provide a smooth launch.
Trailer Sway Control is optional on all Grand Cherokee models. This system reduces trailer sway and provides improved trailer stability and increased towing safety.
With its upright and substantial posture, the Jeep Grand Cherokee's design offers an athletic and contemporary appearance. The grille has been lengthened, and the headlamps are more circular for a more dominant and expressive front view. A new HID headlamp, optional on Limited and standard on Overland, includes an internal optic lens for the park/turn function. Fog lamps also have also been lowered for enhanced performance. Off-road enthusiasts will be pleased with the new two-piece front fascia, allowing for the entire lower piece to be removed before hitting the off-road trails.
On the inside, the vehicle's two-tone instrument panel features a new level of refinement with bright accents, a soft-touch surface and updated styling. A new tilt and telescoping steering column is standard, with a new steering wheel that includes bright accent bezels, which house the electronic vehicle information center's switches. The Limited model's steering wheel adds two-tone leather and bright chrome accent rings, and the Overland features a real wood rim for added luxury. Also new is the updated line of instrument clusters that feature new brighter LED illumination, with the Limited and Overland models receiving a modern and elegant treatment where, when the vehicle is started, the dark-tinted lens fades to reveal chrome-ringed black gauges that are surrounded by a bright silver accent field. The new floor console has improved cup holders and a new leather-wrapped and chrome-accented parking brake handle. The door panels have new armrests for improved ergonomics and comfort. New for the Overland model are the new saddle perforated leather seats that feature accent piping for an even more upscale look.
2009-2010 Grand Cherokee changes
The 2009 Grand Cherokee’s Hemi engine was upgraded to 357 horses and 389 lb-ft of torque with better mileage. The instrument panel was upgraded to include tire pressure monitoring and fuel saver notification [John Y. wrote that the fuel saver notification has been dropped]; the rear DVD went to a 9 inch screen; and an iPod interface became available with the nav system. A new leather group was made optional on Limited and Overland. The SRT8 got the performance pages system, better leather, and a bigger DVD screen.
For 2010, the Grand Cherokee lost the 4.7 V8. Our sources told us (we weren’t able to verify this) that a skid plate is included with QuadraDrive II; and Laredo X becomes, for Canada, Laredo North Edition, with new features (17-inch aluminum wheels, power sunroof, uconnect tunes, ParkView Rear Backup Camera, and Rear Park Assist System). We were also told that an automatic oil change monitoring system was added, standard, matching GM and Toyota. Overland was dropped.