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2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee


2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Since the Jeep Grand Cherokee was redesigned in 2011, there were just a couple of limited alterations to this years model, which includes the re-introduction to the SRT8 high-performance model and the addition of the Overland Summit which falls into the luxury model range. Jeep sure does love their options, and varied model lineup. This five-passenger vehicle has improved cargo capacity and is properly optioned from prior models. Year to year we do begin to see that the Grand Cherokee is slowly drifting away from utility vehicle, and more towards luxury.

2012 Grand Cherokee Exterior

Driving Impressions of the 2012 Grand Cherokee

Two-wheel drive is standard across the board. Four-wheel drive, low-range gearing, and a full-size spare tire required for genuine off-road activities are optional. And while you can get tow hooks, they're optional on most and chrome plated on the top of the line. A variety of all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive systems and suspension arrangements are available. A 3.6-liter V6 engine is standard and more than sufficient for anything but heavy towing. For that, they offer a 5.7-liter V8. A 5-speed automatic goes with the V6, and mileage has improved slightly for 2012. With the optional four-wheel drive the Grand Cherokee handles off-road terrain quite remarkably. Its control was quite firm, and handling was easier than earlier models. The tires displayed great traction, and the V6, even though it had less horsepower than the V8 still offered a thrilling ride on the highway even. Lastly is the high performance SRT8 which comes with a V8 HEMI engine and 470 horsepower. This thing punched through gears with great acceleration, and with such power it is highly reccomended you keep this thing on the road.

Exterior of the 2012 Grand Cherokee

Every facet of this vehicle was redesigned in 2011 from the exterior, so every inch of sheetmetal is redone. But even with that you can still easily make out the 2012 Grand Cherokee for what it is. The lines are much more streamlined, making this more aerodynamic. These changes improve fuel-efficiency and also knock down on outside noise such as wind noise. When everyone else seems to be shrinking their models, Jeep goes the other way and increases the length and width. This change helps to improve interior space and handling. At the rear Jeep has given recognition to the 1960's Jeep Wagoneer models and have designed a similar cue when doing the rear end.

2012 Grand Cherokee InteriorInterior of the 2012 Grand Cherokee

Bigger is better, and this is surely true for the new Grand Cherokee which was redesigned in 2011. The major featured improvements are the four more inches of leg room, 19 percent more cargo space and even the door openings are two inches wider and higher. This thing was surely built for comfort, and could be considered one of the better choices for a family vacation vehicle. Now even the rear seats can recline, and with the improved leg room, it proves to be a comfortable ride for everyone on board. The instrument panel features clean white numbers and needles and clear lighting. The tachometer adds a blue area, from 800 to 2500 rpm, a reminder of the best fuel-mileage range. With three layers of insulation, outside noise is almost completely eliminated and this adds to an already comfortable ride and gives the passengers a quiet and enjoying ride.

Model Lineup

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in five models, all but one with a choice of two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Grand Cherokee Laredo comes with cloth seating, fold-flat front passenger seat, dual-zone air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, separate rear glass/hatch open, fog lamps, 17-inch aluminum wheels, auto headlamps, power heated mirrors, rear wash/wipe, laminated front door glass, floor mats, tilt/telescope leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, illuminated visor mirrors, trip computer and 12-volt auxiliary outlets. Laredo is available with all-wheel drive.

Laredo options include trailer tow, all-weather, off-road and convenience packages, and a Laredo E group that essentially puts back what was removed from the standards list: keyless entry/start, 8/4-way power front seats, satellite radio and roof rails. The Laredo X upgrades to leather seating and shift knob, dual-zone climate control, heated power front seats, 18-inch aluminum wheels, nine-speaker 506-watt CD/DVD/HDD/MP3 audio, rearview camera, hands-free communication, 115-volt power outlet, and remote starting.

Grand Cherokee Limited 2WD and Limited 4WD go beyond Laredo X with more chrome exterior trim, panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon smartbeam headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, driver memory, heated seats front and rear, 8-way power passenger seat, and rear camera and park sensors. Limited options include V8, Quadra-Drive II 4WD, air suspension or milder off-road package, front sunroof with rear-seat DVD entertainment, power liftgate and tilt/telescope steering wheel, ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control with collision warning, blind-spot monitors, cross-path detection, and two towing packages.

Overland Exterior

Grand Cherokee Overland comes with air suspension system, real wood trim and leather seating with piping, ventilated front seats, wood and leather power tilt/telescope heated steering wheel with memory, power liftgate, cargo net, navigation with voice-recognition and SIRIUS travel-traffic information, 20-inch aluminum wheels, black mesh grille and trailer tow package. Overland is available with Quadra-Drive II 4WD.

The new Overland Summit get a chrome mesh grille, unique paint selection, wheels and stitched saddle and black cabin with black olive wood, chrome tow hooks, and the advanced warning package. Only the V8 and rear DVD system are optional.

Grand Cherokee SRT8 is all-wheel drive and comes with a 470-hp 6.4-liter V8, 5-speed automatic, Brembo brakes, unique steering and suspension, Bilstein adaptive damping, paddle shifters, 295/45ZR20 tires on forged aluminum wheels, SRT specific seats and heated steering wheel, and a one-day track driving SRT experience. (We especially recommend that last bit.)

Conclusions

With the improved chassis the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a grander interior space, cargo capacity. On the outside with the improved aerodynamic lines the Cherokee gets better fuel economy, even with its powerful V6 and V8 options. Off-road? It is a jeep after all. Staying true to the Jeep brand name with the four-wheel drive option, you can easily take this SUV off-roading. Just the all-wheel drive SRT8 and its incredible 470 horsepower engine, we would recommend that you keep this beast to the pavement. Overall the new Jeep Grand Cherokeee is a thrilling ride, with a new look and improved interior. Even though it might not have the fuel-economy we would like for it to have quite yet, it still has the punch and off-roading that we grow to love with Jeep models.


Some of the information for this review was obtained from newcartestdrive.com