What Changed for 2009:
- Next generation of 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine has more power
- Hard-drive radio/navigation system up to 30 gigabytes of memory, adds iPod interface
- Rear DVD entertainment screen increases from 8 to 9 inches
- New Leather Appearance option package
- Instrument panel now has tire-pressure monitor and fuel-saver readouts
- SRT8 model adds reconfigurable display with Performance Pages
- SRT8 gets leather on the upper front and rear door bolsters, armrests and instrument hood
- SRT8 adds rear window opening to key fob
Jeep introduced the Grand Cherokee in 1992 (1993 model year) as a midsize SUV that combined on-road poise with off-road prowess. The Grand Cherokee was last redesigned for the 2005 model year and is now in its third generation. The available 4.7-liter V-8 engine was upgraded for 2008, and the popular 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is reworked for 2009. Among the other engine choices are a V-6 turbo diesel and a larger version of the Hemi that comes in the high-performance SRT8 model. The Grand Cherokee offers five total engines, rear-wheel drive (RWD) or three all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems, and more high-technology entertainment features than ever before. It still has plenty of off-road capability and seating for 5. With the rear seats folded, the Grand Cherokee has 67.4 cubic feet of cargo volume.
Standard line versions of the 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee are available in three trim levels: Laredo, Limited and Overland. The high-performance SRT8 is a separate model in the lineup. The Laredo comes standard with one-touch up/down power windows; tilt/telescoping steering wheel with integrated vehicle information center controls; air conditioning; 8-way power driver's seat and manual lumbar support adjustment; 60/40 split/fold rear seats; power windows, locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; AM/FM/CD stereo; auxiliary input jack; roof rack; and P245/65R17 all-terrain tires on aluminum wheels. The mid-level Limited adds roof rack cross rails; remote engine starting; leather upholstery; heated first- and second-row seats; 4-way power front passenger seat; power-adjustable pedals with memory; rain-sensing wipers; leather-wrapped steering wheel; auto-dimming rearview mirror; Sirius satellite radio; rear backup camera; rear park assist; 276-watt audio system with 6 Boston Acoustics speakers; UConnect GPS hard-drive radio with navigation system; universal garage door opener; and SmartBeam headlamps. The Overland comes with everything from the Limited plus unique chrome accents and details; high-intensity-discharge auto-leveling headlights; trailer tow group; and P245/65R18 tires on chromed aluminum wheels.
The 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 model adds to the Laredo larger Brembo brakes; Hill Ascent Control; leather/suede upholstery with front sport bucket seats; 4-way power passenger seat; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; Boston Acoustics AM/FM stereo with 6-disc CD/MP3 changer; universal garage door opener; auto-dimming outside and rearview mirrors; automatic headlights; fog lights; trailer-wiring harness; performance suspension; and P255/45ZR20 front and P285/40ZR20 rear run-flat tires. The front and rear fascias are also unique. For 2009, the SRT8 model adds the SRT-exclusive reconfigurable display with Performance Pages; rear window opening to the key fob; and additional leather on the upper front and rear door bolsters, armrests and instrument hood. Jeep says the SRT8 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds and stop from 60 mph in approximately 125 feet.
Five engines power the 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup, starting with the 3.7-liter V-6 that's standard on the Laredo. It produces 210 hp at 5200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. Next is the Limited's standard 4.7-liter V-8 engine that cranks out 305 hp at 5650 rpm and 334 lb.-ft. of torque at 3950 rpm. Engine three is the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that's standard on the Overland and optional on the Limited. It's upgraded for 2009, making 8.2 percent more horsepower and 3.7 percent more torque, according to Jeep. Output is now 357 hp at 5200 rpm and 389 lb.-ft. of torque at 4350 rpm. Optional for the Limited and Overland models is a 3.0-liter V-6 turbo-diesel engine good for 215 hp at 3400 rpm and 376 lb.-ft. of torque at 1600 rpm. The big-daddy powerplant in the SRT8 is a 6.1-liter version of the Hemi V-8 that delivers 420 hp at 6200 rpm and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm. All engines are paired to various 5-speed automatic transmissions, and the version in the SRT8 gets Jeep's AutoStick manual shift capability.
All 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokees are Trail Rated, which means their AWD systems can tackle virtually any off-road situation with ease, the company says. Quadra-Trac I, which is the base system for the Laredo and is standard on the SRT8, is a full-time system without low-range gearing. Quadra-Trac II is the standard system for the Limited. It comes with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, and adds low-range gearing. Quadra-Drive II, which is standard on the Overland, adds electronic limited-slip front and rear differentials for side-to-side traction.
Fuel-economy numbers for the 3.7-liter V-6 engine are 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway with 2WD and 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway with AWD. The 4.7-liter engine gets 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway with either drivetrain. The 5.7-liter Hemi engine drops to 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway for 2WD and 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway with AWD. The diesel is rated at 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway with 2WD and 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway with AWD. The SRT8 gets 11 mpg city/14 mpg highway.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee's standard safety features for 2009 include multi-stage front air bags; head-protecting curtain side air bags with rollover deployment; tire-pressure monitor; traction control; electronic stability control with rollover mitigation; anti-lock brakes with 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 Trailer Sway Control feature reduces engine torque and uses the anti-lock brake system to apply brakes to individual wheels to stabilize a load when towing. Rear park assist and a rearview camera are standard on all but the Laredo.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Grand Cherokee 5 stars for driver and front passenger protection in front-impact tests, 4 stars for driver and rear passenger protection in side-impact tests, 3 stars for rollover resistance with 2WD, and 4 stars for rollover resistance with AWD. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Grand Cherokee earned a \"Good\" rating (the Institute's highest) for frontal offset crash protection, a \"Marginal\" rating for side-impact protection, and a \"Good\" rating for rear crash protection.
A kid-pleasing technology found in the 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the optional Sirius Backseat TV, which features three channels of children's programming: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. It uses an in-vehicle satellite video receiver and two antennae to call up the channels. Available equipment includes UConnect Tunes and UConnect GPS, both of which have a 30-gigabyte hard drive to store music and picture files. UConnect GPS adds a navigation system with voice activation and real-time traffic via Sirius satellite radio. The SRT8