One thing that Jeep can lay claim to is the fact that over the years they have produced vehicles that are not only comfortable in town as daily drivers but equally comfortable and capable off road. The original Cherokee that was in production for so many years is a perfect example, now the new Grand Cherokee is another Jeep that proves you can have your cake and eat it too.
True to the past designs and different models that Jeep has been known for over the years they are back once again with the introduction of the 2011 Grand Cherokee. Make no mistake by calling this one a “Grocery Getter”, this Jeep is as capable off road as it is in town and on the highway.
Equipped with the Quadra-Lift™ air suspension system, the driver can select a lifted ride height of up to a maximum ride height of 10.7 inches from one of five different height settings. Sitting in the driver’s seat and getting the chance to feel the vehicle change its height with nothing more than the turn of a knob is very impressive. With the ability to head out on the weekend for a getaway or camping trip knowing that if you run into a washed out road, some rocks that may be in the way or just those areas that the extra ground clearance is needed this “stock” lift system gives a person the confidence that the vehicle will get them to their weekend destination without worry.
Having the opportunity to use and see this system in action in Moab on Hell’s Revenge (any of you who have been to Moab and know Hell’s Revenge have to be surprised that we did in fact take these Jeeps out there on that trail) continued to amaze and impress us that the vehicle did so well. In addition to Moab we had the new Jeep out in Hollister Hills California on some of the trails used for the “Top Truck Challenge”, once again the 2011 Grand Cherokee out performed our hopes and expectations. Weather we put this Jeep up against rocks, sand, steep descents or hill climbs with loose dirt and gravel it handled everything we could throw at it and left us looking at other challenges to put it up against.
Another impressive feature of the new Grand Cherokee is the “Hill-Descent Control”, this feature allows the vehicles braking system to control the speed during a hill descent depending on what gear you’re in. Although it is a little counter instinctive it is comforting to know that the vehicle, when instructed to can get you through some incredibly steep descents without ever putting your foot on the brake. It does take a little getting used to since one rarely wants to stare down a steep hill and take your foot off the brake but once you use it and trust the system to do what it was designed to do it is pretty cool to feel.
The interior has some equally innovative features like a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. Real wood and leather accents in the interior give it that comfort and clean look that let’s drivers and passengers know that they are riding in the lap of luxury when they climb into this Jeep. Something else that is getting more and more common is back up cameras and this Jeep is no exception, drivers can back up or parallel park with the assistance of the camera and warning devices to make parking or leaving the driveway not only safer but easier.
We had fun actually putting this Jeep to the test, even though we might not go out and pick this vehicle as our “Hardcore Wheeling” Jeep to buy as a full time wheeler it would certainly be one that would be my choice as an all around, completely capable Jeep that I can use to get across the country in comfort while wheeling it as I went.
I could go on and on about the different features and creature comforts of this vehicle but I would rather leave it to you, the consumer to head on out to your local dealer and check this new Jeep out. Once you have had the opportunity to drive it, play with all of the bells and whistles and see just how many different options there are available you might just have a hard time leaving the dealership without one.