2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Preview
By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2010
- All-new, fourth-generation model based, in part, on Mercedes engineering
- New Quadra Lift air suspension system
- New Selec-Terrain system offers five terrain settings
- All-new, flex-fuel, 3.6-liter "Pentastar" V-6 engine provides improvements in fuel economy, horsepower and torque
- Larger front- and rear-door openings for improved ingress/egress
- Increased rear-seat knee and leg room; larger cargo volume
- All-new, stiffer body structure
- 7,400-pound towing capacity on 4x2 models with the Hemi V-8 engine
- Uconnect Guardian technology is standard on all models
- Produced at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, MI
- Available in left- and right-hand drive, with either diesel or gasoline powertrains, for international markets
Jeep originally introduced the Grand Cherokee for the 1993 model year, positioned as a premium midsize SUV that combined on-road poise with off-road prowess. The Grand Cherokee, currently in its third generation, was last redesigned for the 2005 model year. The available 4.7-liter V-8 engine was upgraded for 2008, and the popular 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine was reworked for 2009. Changes for 2010 should be minimal because for 2011, an all-new, fourth-generation Grand Cherokee will hit the world's streets.and trails.
Introduced at the 2009 New York International Auto Show, the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee represents a complete redesign of one of Chrysler's most popular and successful models. Sporting a new, more athletic design, a host of mechanical enhancements, new technology features, and premium interior appointments, the new Grand Cherokee will be produced at Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, MI. And for international markets, both left- and right-hand drive models will be available for export.
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In describing the design of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler uses words such as "refined," "focused," "muscular," and "athletic." The new Grand Cherokee's design includes Jeep's classic seven-slot grille, round headlamps and trapezoidal wheel arches. The lower front fascia is removable for greater rock crawling capability, and the Limited and Overland models feature a large chromed appliqu_ on the front that showcases the available tow hooks. According to Chrysler, every surface of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee is new and treated for aerodynamics, improving fuel efficiency and delivering a 7-percent improvement in aerodynamic drag compared with the current model.
Chrysler says that the new Grand Cherokee's interior rivals that of its European competition, featuring "rich materials and elegant appointments," as well as more room for both passengers and cargo. "Following in the footsteps of our all-new 2009 Dodge Ram, our all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee is another proud graduate of our Advanced Interior Design Studio," said Ralph Gilles, Vice President_Design. "We achieved a world-class interior by using fine materials and maintaining a laser-attention to details."
The new Grand Cherokee's 114.8-inch wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than the model it replaces and contributes to an overall vehicle length that is 1.8 inches longer than the prior model. Chrysler says that the longer wheelbase creates more interior room and gives passengers an additional 4 inches of rear-seat knee and leg room. The vehicle also is 3 inches wider for improved handling and packaging. Larger front door openings and rear doors that open wider compared to the current model allow for better access to the interior.
An available fold-flat front-passenger seat provides improved cargo storage room on Laredo models, and for added passenger comfort, the rear seats of all Grand Cherokees recline 12 degrees. Cargo volume behind the second row measures an additional 6.8 cubic feet of room (36.3 cubic feet total) compared to the previous model. The rear cargo area includes a storage unit with a rechargeable flashlight as well as new-and-improved grocery hooks on both sides. The spare tire compartment includes removable dual storage bins for secure storage of muddy gear or other items.
While full information on trim levels, standard features and optional equipment isn't yet available, the all-new, 4-door, 5-passenger, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be available with 2WD or 4WD, and in Laredo, Overland and Limited trims. Depending on trim level or selected options, the SUV can be equipped with real wood trim; leather upholstery; heated steering wheel; heated and ventilated front seats; heated rear seats; rain-sensitive wipers; keyless entry/Keyless Go; ParkView rear camera; and a power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory. An available, all-new CommandView dual-pane sunroof, which Chrysler says provides twice as much glass surface than a standard sunroof, extends from the windshield to the rear of the vehicle. The front panel may be opened rearward, providing additional light and fresh air to front-seat passengers. The rear panel, which is fixed, allows light and open viewing for second-row passengers and comes standard with a power sunshade. An all-new power rear liftgate will also be available.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with one of two engines. The standard engine is a flex-fuel, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, an all-new design featuring double-overhead camshafts (DOHC) and an aluminum cylinder block. It features variable valve timing and delivers 280 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. According to Jeep, the new Pentastar V-6 engine improves fuel economy up to 11 percent compared to the previous Grand Cherokee equipped with a V-6 engine. The V-6 is coupled to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
For additional performance and towing capability, buyers can opt for the available 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine that delivers 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque and also features Chrysler's fuel-saving Multi-displacement System (MDS). The V-8 engine is also mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. No word yet on fuel economy figures for either engine.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a new Quadra-Lift air suspension system, which features five height settings for optimum ride performance: Normal Ride Height (NRH); Off-road 1; Off-road 2; Park Mode; and Aero Mode. Quadra-Lift allows the Grand Cherokee to be raised or lowered up to 4.5 inches, depending on the desired ride quality. Quadra-Lift operates automatically, or may be controlled manually via console controls.
In addition to the Quadra-Lift air suspension, the all-new Selec-Terrain traction control system lets customers choose a proper off-road setting for an optimum experience on all types of terrain. This feature electronically coordinates up to 12 different powertrain, braking and suspension systems, including throttle control, transmission shift, transfer case, traction control and electronic stability control (ESC). The Selec-Terrain's control dial allows the driver to choose from five driving conditions in order to achieve the best driving experience on all terrains: Sand/Mud; Sport; Auto; Snow; and Rock.
All 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokees equipped with either the off-road or the Quadra-Lift group are Trail Rated, which indicates that the vehicle has been designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee includes more than 45 safety and security features. Standard safety features include electronic stability control, Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, 4-wheel Brake Traction Control System (BTCS), Passive Entry/Keyless Go seat-belt pre-tensioners, Trailer-Sway Control, and Remote-Start which is standard on Overland and available on Limited. Other standard safety features include full-length side curtain air bags, seat-mounted side thorax air bags, and active head restraints that deploy in a rear collision. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee's body structure is all new and designed to achieve expected safety performance in global markets (new roof-crush standards, side-impact standards and Euro pedestrian impact).
Every new Grand Cherokee will be equipped with Uconnect Guardian as a standard feature. Uconnect Guardian provides customers with the top five requested security features, including: Automatic Crash Notification; Emergency Call; Roadside Assistance Call; Remote Door Unlock; and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance.
The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee also features Sirius Travel Link, giving drivers up-to-the-minute information about gas prices, weather conditions, sports scores and movie listings. In addition, the new Grand Cherokee features Sirius Traffic, which monitors traffic in 78 markets across the U.S. and continuously displays those conditions through the vehicle's navigation system.
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