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The base engine is a new 3.6-liter V-6 engine pumping out 290 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque (353 N•m) @ 4,800 rpm; 90% of peak torque is available from 1,600 to 6,400, so it's not a “peaky” or “paper horsepower” engine. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 is not only more powerful - by 80 horses - but gas mileage is 11% higher.
The V6 Grand Cherokee has more horsepower than Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and GMC Acadia, with more torque than Highlander or Pilot, and similar gas mileage to all three competitors (within 1 mpg) according to Chrysler Canada's materials. Towing is rated at 5,000 lb with the V6, similar to or more than the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and GMC Acadia; but goes up to 7,200 lb with the Hemi V8 (equipped properly).
The Pentastar V6 is attached to the Mercedes W5A580 five-speed automatic, with Chrysler’s controls and the driver-interactive control. The gas tank has been increased to 24.6 gallons, which allows for a range of around 500 miles.
The Hemi V8 uses cylinder deactivation to increase mileage; it was coupled to the reliable stalwart 545RFE automatic in 2011. In 2012, it was upgraded to the 65RFE, essentially the same transmission but with programming to provide six forward gears in sequence, rather than five plus kickdown. Many expect the Grand Cherokee to eventually pick up an eight-speed automatic, in model-year 2014.
Chief Engineer Phil Jansen wrote: “We started developing Grand Cherokee as DaimlerChrysler and leveraged our partnership with Mercedes. While there are some common componentry that we share, the vehicle in platform is truly a Jeep.”
Outside the US, the 2011-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is, as in the past, sold in left- and right-hand drive with either diesel or petrol engines. The diesel engine was to be the Mercedes 3.0, but “Stratus” told us that was yanked in September 2009. “Stratus” was the first to reveal that the Grand Cherokee would use VM Motori’s brand new RA 630 DOHC engine, another 3.0 liter V6, with four valves per cylinder and common rail fuel injection.
Power output for the diesel is higher than the outgoing Mercedes, while it is quieter, vibrates less, and gets considerably higher gas mileage (using 8.3 liter liters per 100 km, down from roughly 9.7). The new engine generates 237 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque — or 323 kW and 540 Nm. (Thanks, Stratus and Arditi.) This is far better mileage than the V6.
Hill-Start and Hill-Descent modes help drivers to get started on a hill without rolling back, and to descend steep hills.
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