2014 Grand Cherokee, The Game Changer?

2014 Grand Cherokee, The Game Changer?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 5:26 pm

2014 Grand Cherokee SRT. Photo courtesy trucktrend.com

2014 Grand Cherokee SRT. Photo courtesy trucktrend.com

Slightly more than 20 years ago, Jeep launched its all-new Grand Cherokee for the 1993 model year. The current chassis is its fourth-generation. Making its debut at the 2009 New York Auto Show, it didn’t go on sale until the following year as a 2011 model. Three short years later, Jeep has introduced the revised 2014 model with a slew of significant upgrades.

Weststar Associates Limited, the crown prince of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram in Nigeria, in association with M-B Automobiles Services, the accredited local dealer in an official launch of the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT, ushered in the legendary Jeep range lavishly inside Mercedes Benz showroom, in Lekki, Lagos.

Mr. Mirko Plath, Weststar Associates Managing Director, couldn’t hide his excitement while heaping praises to the new delivery. “The prominence of the brand has its foundation in its rich and fruitful history, and the outlet aims at making Jeep a household name in the Nigerian Automobile industry.”

Power continues to come from a 6.4-litre HEMI V8 that produces 470 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing helps to optimise high-end power while also delivering good low-end torque – 90-per cent of peak twist is available between 2,800 and 6,000 rpm.

The V8’s former partner in crime, an aging five-speed automatic, has been replaced with a state-of-the-art eight-speed unit for the latest model year. In addition to increasing towing capacity from 5,000 to 7,200 pounds, Fuel economy should also see an improvement from the five-speed model’s 12/18 city/highway mpg ratings.

Outside, the SRT features a restyled front bumper that slopes upward towards the front corners of the car, and Jeep’s familiar seven-slot grille is surrounded by a new body panel that extends under the headlights. Around back are new LED taillights and a mildly refreshed tailgate. Aggressive front and rear fascias, blacked-out trim and stylish five-spoke wheels set the SRT apart from the rest of the Grand Cherokee lineup.

The only SUVs that share the Grand Cherokee SRT’s focus on all-around performance, according to Michael Wagner, the general manager, M-B Automobiles Services, are much pricier – albeit more powerful – machines like the BMW X5 M, the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

But can it truly compete with the Germans? Despite the new interior and 8-speed automatic (basically the same transmission Porsche, BMW and Range Rover use), the SRT, Wagner says, the all-new Grand Cherokee offers what other luxury sport utility vehicles have and even more, at a very competitive price. Be it power, functionality, luxury, class, style or strength, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee certainly ticks all the boxes.

The Grand Cherokee SRT has all the right numbers for crazy status, but can it deliver? In a word: Yes. Backing that answer up is a blistering 4.1 second run to 60 and an eye-popping 1.37 second 0-30 time. To help the big SUV maintain traction, the transfer case can sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximse traction before slippage occurs. Additionally, there’s a Selec-Track traction control system that coordinates the stability control, adaptive damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, electronic limited slip differential, throttle control and cylinder de-activation. Five modes – Auto, Sport, Tow, Track and Snow – ensure ideal traction for any situation.

Brembo brakes balance out the SRT’s HEMI, featuring six and four-piston front and rear calipers, respectively, along with 15-inch front and 13.8-inche rear vented calipers. Helping the V8 on the efficiency front is an active valve exhaust system cuts out four cylinders during light-throttle cruising situations to improve fuel economy.

The Grand Cherokee’s entry price starts from as low as N12 million plus, while the SRT models which boasts 470 horsepower has a price tag of about N16 million. The new Grand Cherokee is available in five versions including the Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT, all loaded with amazing features.

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