What Changed for 2008:
- All-new 4.7-liter V-8 engine with more power
- Refreshed exterior and interior design
- New all-wheel-drive system
- Optional Sirius Backseat TV system
- SRT8 high-performance models continue
- Optional MyGIG multi-media infotainment system
- Optional high-intensity-discharge headlamps
- Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, and Trailer Sway Control
- Redesigned floor console
- Partially removable two-piece front fascia
The Jeep brand now offers seven models in its lineup, more than it ever has in its 65-year history. With the all-new V-8 engine, the Grand Cherokee now offers a choice of five engines, three 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems, and more high-technology entertainment features than ever before. Even with a refreshed interior and exterior, the Jeep design still holds true to its heritage look, with the traditional seven-slot grille and upright box shape. The high-performance SRT8 model continues with a large Hemi engine.
The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in three trim levels: Laredo, Limited and Overland. The SRT8 is a separate model in the lineup. The Laredo comes standard with one-touch up/down power windows; a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with integrated vehicle information console; air conditioning; 8-way power driver's seat and manual lumbar support adjustment; 60/40 split/fold rear seats; remote keyless entry; an AM/FM audio system with CD and auxiliary input jack; and 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.
The mid-level Limited adds roof rack cross rails; remote start; leather seats; heated seats for the first and second row; power-adjustable pedals with memory; rain-sensing wipers; Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control (4x4 models only); leather-wrapped steering wheel; rear backup camera and rear parking assist system; AM/FM/CD/DVD/HDD/MP3 audio with 20GB hard drive and touch screen; and SmartBeam headlamps.
The Overland comes with everything from the Limited plus unique chrome accents and details; high-intensity-discharge headlamps; Chrysler's MyGIG multi-media entertainment system; trailer tow group; and 18-inch chrome wheels.
The 2008 SRT8 model will have the same interior features as the Grand Cherokee; the main difference lies in power and badging.
Five engines power the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup, starting with the 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine good for 215 hp and 376 lb.-ft. of torque that's optional on the Limited and Overland models. The diesel engine is matched with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Next is the 3.7-liter V-6 engine that's standard on the Laredo, and produces 210 hp and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine also gets the 5-speed automatic transmission. The Limited comes with the all-new 4.7-liter V-8 engine that cranks out 305 hp and 334 lb.-ft. of torque. Engine four is the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that's standard on the Overland and optional on the Limited. It's good for 330 hp and 375 lb.-ft. of torque. Both those engines are matched to a different 5-speed automatic transmission. The big-daddy powerplant in the SRT8 is a 6.1-liter Hemi that delivers 420 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission paired to that engine is a 5-speed automatic with Auto Stick for clutchless shifting.
All Jeeps are Trail Rated, which means their 4WD systems can tackle virtually any off-road situation with ease. Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive feature different transfer-case capabilities, but only the Quadra-Drive has an electronic limited-slip differential for side-to-side traction.
Fuel economy numbers for the diesel are 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway for 2-wheel-drive (2WD) models, and 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway with 4WD. The 3.7-liter V-6 engine delivers 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway with 2WD or 4WD; the 4.7-liter engine is 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway with either drivetrain. The 5.7-liter Hemi engine drops to 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway for both drive systems, and the SRT8 gives 12 mpg city/15 mpg highway.
Jeep Grand Cherokee's safety features for 2008 include multi-stage front air bags; side curtain air bags (standard on all but the Laredo model); standard rear park sensing system (depending on model); tire-pressure-monitoring system; traction control; electronic stability control program; brake assist; and Jeep's Enhanced Accident Response System, which makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by automatically turning on the interior lighting and unlocking the doors after the air bag has deployed. The system also shuts off the flow of fuel to the engine to reduce the likelihood of a fire.
A kid-pleasing technology is the optional Sirius Backseat TV, which features three channels of children's programming: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and the Cartoon Network. It uses an in-vehicle satellite video receiver and two antennae to call up the channels. Optional equipment includes MyGIG, which has built-in navigation, audio, entertainment and communications systems. There's a 20-gigabyte hard drive to store music and photos, and a voice-memo feature. Real-time traffic is reported via Sirius satellite radio. A trailer sway control feature helps reduce the sway of a trailer to increase safety when towing.