2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee UK-Version

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee UK‑Version

By Arthur Demi via Jeep

2014 Grand Cherokee UK Version

Since its launch in 1992, the Grand Cherokee name has been delivering the Jeep values of freedom, authenticity, adventure and passion. Now a new model, on sale in the UK on 19 July, will continue that tradition.

With a new look outside and in, new cutting-edge technology and improved performance on-road and off, the Grand Cherokee remains the ultimate Jeep in terms of power, comfort, craftsmanship and sophistication. The British market will be able to choose from two engines, three power outputs, and six trim levels. But whichever model buyers pick, Jeep's trademark capability will come as standard along with a raft of equipment that positions the Grand Cherokee firmly at the heart of the premium SUV market.

Whether it's the potent 3.0-litre turbo diesel or the blisteringly quick 6.4-litre SRT model, every 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee will come with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. This significantly reduces consumption and emissions while improving acceleration and delivering smoother, faster gear changes.

All models have a smart new look characterised by bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights (DRLs), new wheels and new colour combinations. Inside, the atmosphere has been given an even more sophisticated ambiance with new hand-crafted materials such as Natura Plus leather and open pore Zebrano wood trim.

As befits a premium model, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is packed with technology. Slipping behind the new three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, drivers will notice the buttons that activate the cruise control and infotainment system. Ahead there's a new TFT (Thin Film Transistor) 7-inch configurable driver display in the instrument cluster. On the dashboard sits a new Uconnect display with an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Limited Plus, Overland, Summit and SRT models have the new Smartouch satellite navigation as standard; it can be specified in all other models.

The top-of-the-range Summit and high-performance SRT come with a state-of-the-art 19-speaker, 825-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

A stand-out feature of all models is the comprehensive array of safety equipment. This includes new Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop (available late 2013), Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation and new Selec-Speed Control which supplement the rich array of more than 60 standard-fit active and passive safety systems.

Legendary Jeep capability comes courtesy of three four-wheel drive systems. These include the accomplished Quadra-Trac II, the on-road focused and SRT-exclusive Quadra-Trac and the sophisticated Quadra-Drive II with its rear Electronic Limited-Slip Differential. These are complemented by the Jeep Quadra-Lift air suspension and the Selec-Terrain and Selec-Trac traction management systems which ensure the Grand Cherokee's power is put to good use in all conditions.

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in Laredo, Limited, Limited Plus, Overland and the exclusive top of the range Summit trim. All these models feature the 3.0-litre CRD engine which employs Fiat Group Automobiles' ground breaking MultiJet 2 technology for a class-leading compromise between effortless power and fuel-saving efficiency. The Laredo model features a lower-powered version of the CRD engine while the high-performance SRT gets the punchy 6.4-litre V8 HEMI engine delivering 461 bhp.

There are nine colour options for exterior paintwork along with five wheel designs. A raft of distinctive new colours inside ensures there really will never be a dull moment in the life of the new Grand Cherokee owner.

Jeep Grand Cherokee UK-Version

DESIGN: NEW LOOK, OLD QUALITIES

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee has been given a bold new look with a shorter seven-slot grille, slimmer headlights and more pronounced fog lights. The result is a sportier, more elegant appearance that's still instantly recognisable as a Jeep.

Each trim level has its own unique front and rear fascia, giving each its own identity.

At the front, the new headlights are High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon with LED daytime running lights (DRLs) as standard on all models. The range-topping Summit and SRT models feature adaptive HID bi-xenon headlamps with LED lighting.

At the rear there are new larger tail lamps with LED lighting, a larger, more aerodynamic rear spoiler, new bumpers and a tailgate that's been re-sculpted to offer improved visibility. Lower rear fascias are now model specific and dual exhaust tips are now standard on all models. The exterior appearance is finished off with a new range of wheels and a new palette of exterior and interior colour combinations.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo can be identified by body-coloured door mirrors and handles, chrome around the headlights and a new signature tail lamp design. The Laredo model also rides on standard 18-inch five-spoke aluminium wheels painted in satin chrome. Grand Cherokee Limited models add chrome door handles and a chrome-trimmed dual exhaust outlet. An all-new chrome trim outlines the lower front fascia opening and the rear bumper. In addition to the Limited, the Limited Plus model has 20-inch five spoke aluminium wheels, the Smart touch navigation system and sports suspension.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland features several body-coloured design cues including the lower fascia trim on the front and rear of the vehicle. The body-coloured trim carries over to the wheel arches. The lower body panels also have a body-coloured treatment. Overland models boast polished 20-inch five-spoke aluminium wheels with Mineral Grey painted pockets.

As befits a range topper, the new Grand Cherokee Summit model is identifiable by many unique styling cues. The bi-xenon HID signature headlamps are adaptive, and swivel in conjunction with the steering wheel. This improves visibility around corners and enhances safety on board. Between the lamps is a chrome finish on the upper grille's mesh pattern. The entire lower fascia is unique with a pronounced chrome trim similar in design to the one on the Grand Cherokee SRT model. The front bumper is larger with a slimmer opening compared with other models for the projector fog lamps. Body-coloured wheel arch mouldings are also larger than on other models and side skirts are dark grey with a chrome strip along the top edge. This chrome accent helps to visually lengthen the side view of the new Grand Cherokee. The rear fascia is dominated by dual rectangular exhaust outlets and dark grey lower body cladding. Satin clear coat 20-inch twin five-spoke aluminium wheels are a unique-to-Summit design.

In line with its sporty character, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT model features a black, seven-slot front grille. The adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps have a unique black background to distinguish SRT from other 2014 Grand Cherokee models. This black treatment helps to further highlight the SRT's uniquely aggressive appearance.

The SRT's front is mirrored at the back: here the tail lamps with signature LED lighting have a black surround to further emphasise the SRT's performance heritage. Also new for 2014 is a more aerodynamically efficient rear spoiler integrated into the all-new, one-touch tailgate adorned with a new SRT badge. Rather than relying on a manual lever, the tailgate is operated electronically at the push of a button. The standard 20-inch Black Vapor chrome aluminium wheels with five-spoke design are exclusive to SRT.

INSIDE: CLASS, COMFORT AND COMPUTERS COMBINE

As befits a premium SUV, the 2014 Grand Cherokee is lavishly equipped with new materials, designs and technologies, many of which are standard throughout the range. No stone has been left unturned in the bid to make this latest version an easy companion to live with. The Keyless Enter 'n Go system is standard. This employs electronic sensors to detect the key fob's presence. The car unlocks automatically and the engine starts by pushing a button without needing to insert a key.

The steering column adjusts electrically forwards and backwards as well as up and down to enable all shapes and sizes to get comfortable at the wheel. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard across the range while heated seats front and back and a heated steering wheel are standard on all models apart from the Laredo.

The dash has been revised and now features an updated Uconnect 8.4 touchscreen. Buttons for the radio and climate control are below the screen and easy to identify and use. There's a new leather wrapped E-shift gear lever for the eight-speed transmission and the steering wheel is new too, leather wrapped and with sections of wood on the Overland and Summit models. This also features buttons to manage the radio, cruise control, telephone and voice commands in complete safety. All trim levels come with gearshift paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel as standard.

For the interiors of the Grand Cherokee, designers took their inspiration from wide-ranging cultures and locations around the world including Morocco, Nepal, the Grand Canyon and Mount Vesuvio in Italy.

The Morocco interiors are standard throughout the line-up and feature black seats, instrument panel, consoles and door panels. A black wood trim finish adorns the dash and doors of the Laredo and Limited models.

The aluminium door handle and dash vent bezels, like the trim on the centre console, feature a slight gold hue. Premium cloth seating is standard on the Laredo model, while heated leather seating is standard on Limited.

The Overland has a contrasting stitched-leather instrument panel and seats as standard. Open-pore wood is one of the prominent design cues found on the dash and doors of this model, and adds a distinct touch of modern luxury. Wood trim is also on the top portion of the leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Beside the standard Morocco interior, Vesuvio and Nepal interiors can be specified on the Overland. These introduce two all-new colour schemes. Vesuvio is Jeep brown and indigo blue inspired by the blue-hued dark grey walls of Mount Vesuvius. Nepal is Jeep brown and light frost which pays tribute to the geographic diversity found in the Asian country. Open-pore brown Zebrano or black wood is found on the instrument panel and door panels of both these interiors.

Similarly, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit has the exclusive option of the Grand Canyon interior which features premium Natura-Plus leather seats. These are available in black or Jeep brown with copper accents on the door handles and dash vent bezels. Copper leather stitching adorns the leather-covered instrument panel, seats, doors and centre armrest and are unique to the Grand Canyon interior. A further exclusive feature found on the Summit is a suede-like material covering the A-pillars and headliner.

If the Grand Canyon option is not taken, the Summit's standard Morocco interior still offers the same quality and material types. The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT has an exclusive Laguna leather interior, available in two distinctive colours: Torque (black) and an all-new Sepia combination. The SRT's refined cabin has race-inspired technology and exclusive appointments including real carbon fibre trim accents on the instrument panel, driver's and front passenger's doors and the redesigned, SRT-exclusive heated three-spoke steering wheel. With its racing car style flat bottom, this has more ergonomically efficient paddle shifters.

The Overland, Summit and SRT models include the CommandView panoramic sunroof as standard. This twin-panel powered sunroof extends from the windscreen to the rear of the vehicle to give a full view of the sky. The front panel opens rearwards while the second panel is fixed. The system comes with a powered sun shade to shield occupants from direct sunlight.

New Uconnect and TFT driver display

Standard equipment throughout the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee range is the new Uconnect system, featuring a class-leading 8.4-inch colour touchscreen which shows, clearly and directly, all information necessary for driving plus on-board comfort. To maximise safety by allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, audio and connectivity controls are mounted on the spokes of the steering wheel along with an innovative voice-activated hands-free device. Uconnect 8.4 with satellite navigation is available as standard on Limited Plus, Overland, Summit and SRT and optional on other models.

The Uconnect 8.4 is designed to be a fully integrated infotainment solution, combining satellite navigation (where specified), voice recognition functionality and additional entertainment features in a single hardware platform. Designed by premium audio and infotainment experts Harman, this new U-Connect platform has faster response times, increased voice recognition capabilities and more realistic navigation graphics than previously.

From their seat, everything the driver sees, touches - and even speaks to using voice commands - is enhanced to increase connectivity to mobile phones and media players, function and responsiveness. Not only does it work better, it looks better packaged, in more premium materials with more elegant graphics. An example of this is the 3D terrain, cities and landmarks that make navigationmore realistic than ever. Entering destinations has become a "one-shot" action, with the city, street and building number all in one natural sequence. The system also integrates travel and traffic information via TMC (traffic message channel).

The new Uconnect 8.4 features a DAB tuner as standard, which transmits CD-quality radio and complementary information about the program broadcasted, including pictures.

All trim levels for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee include an instrument panel with a new 7-inch user-configurable multiview display, with TFT liquid crystal technology. The easy-to-use instrument cluster displays the basic information a driver needs and can be configured in multiple ways for the ultimate, driver-customised experience. Navigation, speed, audio and fuel economy statistics, as well as useful information provided by on-board Jeep systems such as Selec-Terrain modes can all be displayed in the 7-inch screen, keeping the driver's eyes and attention closer to the road.

SRT owners will enjoy the exclusive Performance Pages functionality. Employing racing car technology, this gives the driver instant feedback on steering inputs, horsepower, torque, 0-62mph time, 62-0mph braking distance and much more.

Front-seat occupants aren't the only ones to benefit from high-tech displays. Second-row passengers have the option of a seat-back Blu-ray video system (available after market launch). This new system will play standard DVDs as well as Blu-ray discs, and has inputs for High-Definition Media Interface (HDMI) cables or RCAs for each screen integrated into the seat backs. Wireless headphones are included along with a wireless remote control.

Connectivity and touchscreens involve rapidly changing technology and ever-increasing consumer expectations - both of which have a significant impact on owners' overall quality assessment of new vehicles. The Uconnect team constantly evaluates consumer feedback, placing a high priority on designing systems that are intuitive for both tech-savvy customers as well as tech-averse drivers who prefer conventional buttons to adjust the climate or radio station.

Harman Kardon Surround Sound

Audiophiles will be able to enjoy the sophisticated Harman Kardon system that surrounds Jeep Grand Cherokee occupants in high-definition sound. The new 7.3, 825-watt Harman Kardon Surround Sound audio system with Logic 7 technology is standard in the top-of-the-range Summit and high-performance SRT models. The system delivers maximum audio performance, innovative technology and engineering excellence.

State-of-the-art, it has 19 high-performance, high-efficiency GreenEdge loudspeakers in a 7.3 speaker playback architecture that includes nine tweeters, five mid-range speakers, two mid-woofers and three subwoofers. There's a high voltage class D amplifier with Tracking Power Supply (TPS) and 11 channels of amplification with Logic 7 multichannel surround-sound technology. This has set a new standard for acoustic precision and authenticity, contributing to a completely new surround-sound experience in automobiles.

Originally developed over the course of many years for professional recording studios, Logic 7 processing was the first choice for discerning music lovers in their homes before it became available for cars.

Harman Kardon GreenEdge audio systems offer superior sound quality and high Sound Pressure Level (SPL) output with minimal energy consumption. The systems utilise unique amplifier and speaker technologies delivering substantial increases in component and system efficiency levels. GreenEdge amplifiers are more efficient than traditional amplifiers by up to 55 per cent - representing a net efficiency of more than 90 per cent in many cases. The acoustic transparency and dynamic response have been significantly improved at the same time in comparison with conventional systems.

The compact high efficiency transducers make an important contribution to energy savings, requiring less input power. The high-efficiency speaker designs ensure higher SPL with a dramatic increase in dynamic sound quality. The speakers are tuned for maximum efficiency and perfectly matched to the amplifier output stage. This match enables the speakers to deliver outstanding acoustic transparency and dynamism. Use of innovative, lightweight materials such as Aramid fibre and an array of highly efficient design solutions also ensures optimised low mass products.

ENGINES:

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is powered by the efficient 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine. The V6 unit features direct injection and common rail along with MultiJet 2 technology. The other engine in the line-up is the awesome 6.4-litre HEMI V8 that powers the high-performance SRT model. Both engines are paired with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission.

3.0-litre V6 CRD

The vast majority of 2014 Grand Cherokee sales will be powered by the punchy 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel. This engine produces its maximum power of 247bhp at 4000rpm while torque is a hefty 570Nm at 2000rpm. The powertrain is also offered in a low output version which delivers 188bhp at 4000rpm while torque stands at a very respectable 440Nm between 1600 and 2800rpm. The 37.7mpg fuel consumption has been improved by 10 per cent compared to the previous model while CO2 emissions stand at 198g/km, a nine per cent reduction.

These improvements, along with a dramatic reduction in noise levels, have been made possible by Fiat Powertrain Technology's ground-breaking MultiJet 2 technology. This employs a special balanced solenoid valve which permits up to eight injections per cycle. It also manages two main injections in a single modular profile (called Digital Injection Rate Shaping).

Compact and lightweight, this engine features an 1800-bar common-rail fuel-injection system, compressed graphite iron, 60-degree block with aluminium cylinder heads and a two-piece structural aluminium oil pan. Cylinder heads are constructed of aluminium and feature a chain-driven, dual overhead-camshaft design with four valves per cylinder.

For this engine, cast-iron exhaust manifolds are used. Additional emissions controls include a close-coupled diesel oxidation catalyst and standard diesel particulate filter. Euro 5+ emissions are met thanks to an exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) system that includes an EGR valve with DC motor and a high-performance EGR cooler with bypass valve.

Towing capability is up to 3500kg for all models apart from the Summit which can pull up to 2949kg.

6.4-litre HEMI® V8

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is powered by the breath-taking 6.4-litre HEMI® V8. This engine is fitted with Fuel Saver Technology which optimises economy and emissions by putting the engine into four-cylinder mode when less power is needed. When all eight cylinders are called upon the engine delivers a healthy 461bhp at 6250rpm with torque of 624Nm at 4100rpm. This muscle gives the Grand Cherokee SRT a top speed of 160mph with a 0-62mph of five seconds. Proving its capabilities as a sportscar, powerful brakes will bring it from 62mph to a standstill in 35m. The engine also complies with Euro 6 emissions standards.

New eight-speed automatic transmission

Both V6 turbo diesel and V8 HEMI versions of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee feature the new eight-speed automatic transmission. This fully electronic gearbox helps to reduce consumption and emissions while delivering faster acceleration allied with precise, smooth gear changes. In automatic mode, it alters how it changes gear on the move and has manual shifting capability using steering wheel paddles.

This new transmission has 40 shift maps which automatically adapt to specific driving conditions to optimise the quality of gear changes. Intelligent software takes into account variables such as acceleration, engine torque, gradients, kick-down events and travelling speed to determine the appropriate shift map. The result is automatic shifting ideally tuned to the performance requirements of almost any style of driving while maximising fuel economy.

The transmission's efficiency and its spread of ratios yield the best possible fuel economy by operating at lower engine revs in both urban and open-road situations. The addition of more gear ratios helps bridge the gap between gears for smoother up and downshifts. Internally, the transmission has four gear sets and five shift elements (multi-disc clutches and brakes). Only two shift elements are open at any time. With fewer open shift elements, friction losses due to multiple parts rotating relative to one another are reduced, improving fuel efficiency.

The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT pairs Launch Control with the new eight-speed automatic transmission. This mimics a professional driver's inputs by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension in line for a textbook launch. It is controlled by a button behind the new T-handle gear lever on the centre console and delivers improved and more consistent straight-line acceleration.

The sportscar-like performance of the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is further accentuated by a change in the dynamic controls for the Selec-Trac system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When this is selected, 70 per cent of the engine's torque is delivered to the rear wheels for a more pronounced sporty rear-wheel-drive experience. Grand Cherokee SRT drivers will notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected via the gear lever with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split settings.

New Eco Mode

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee has improved fuel economy partly thanks to its new Eco Mode. This optimises the Grand Cherokee's transmission shift schedule as well as throttle sensitivity to minimise fuel consumption. It also activates the Quadra-Lift air suspension system, where fitted, to lower the body, further enhancing the vehicle's aerodynamics, for optimum fuel efficiency. Eco Mode is automatically engaged when the vehicle starts up. A button on the centre console allows drivers to disengage it for livelier performance.

DRIVING: WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH...

As befits a premium SUV, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee features some cutting edge technology. This ensures that it maintains the ability to cope with some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world to retain Jeep's legendary trail-rated status. There's a choice of either Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive systems, the exclusive-to-SRT Quadra-Trac active on-demand four-wheel drive, and the Quadra-Lift air suspension. The result is a high performance vehicle that's as versatile and comfortable on-road as it is off.

Quadra-Trac II

This full-time four-wheel drive system is standard on the Laredo, Limited and Limited Plus models. It features a two-speed transfer case that implements the Brake Traction Control System (BTCS) on the front and rear axle for best-in-class off-road performance. Its two-speed transfer case uses the inputs coming from a variety of sensors in order to determine tyre slip at the earliest possible moment and take remedial action.

The system also uses Throttle Anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximises traction before slippage occurs. When wheel slip is detected, as much as 100 per cent of the available torque is instantly sent to the axle with the most traction. The system operates in two ranges: in 4WD High, torque is automatically directed to the front and rear axle at a variable rate. Use the centre console-mounted switch to engage 4WD Low and the system splits the torque with a 50-50 ratio between the front and rear axles. With a 2.72 gear reduction ratio, 4WD Low offers unsurpassed traction for extreme off-road conditions.

Quadra-Drive II

The Overland and Summit models have the Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system. With a rear Electronic Limited-Slip Differential (ELSD), Quadra-Drive II delivers industry-leading traction and off-road performance. The core of the system is the central transfer case and an electronically controlled clutch pack for active torque distribution.

In dry, on-road conditions, the central transfer case sends 48 per cent of the available torque to the front axle and 52 per cent to the rear. On slippery surfaces, the system automatically redirects engine torque between the front and rear axles based upon real-time driving conditions, for maximum traction and response. The system uses electronic controls to detect loss of grip after sudden acceleration. It includes the 4WD High and 4WD Low ranges; 4WD Low has a 2.72 gear reduction ratio for extreme off-road conditions.

Thanks to the rear ELSD, Quadra-Drive II instantly identifies rear tyre slip and smoothly distributes torque across the axle. In some cases, the vehicle will even anticipate low traction and adjust in order to limit or eliminate wheel spin before it happens.

Quadra-Trac active on-demand four-wheel drive

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT features a standard Quadra-Trac active on-demand four-wheel-drive transfer case. This 4x4 system employs inputs from a variety of sensors to determine and prevent wheel spin. The system uses Throttle Anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from standstill and maximises traction before any wheel spin.

When tyre slip is detected the system can transfer up to 100 per cent of available torque to the rear wheel with better grip. The transfer case enhances handling by proportioning torque between the front and rear axles to maintain the driver's intended path. The new Grand Cherokee SRT also features the Brake Traction Control System on the front differential and a rear Electronic Limited-Slip Differential. The ELSD helps eliminate rear-wheel spin and distributes torque to the wheel with grip, thereby improving the vehicle's handling.

Quadra-Lift air suspension

In order to deliver excellent dynamic performance both on and off-road, an array of sophisticated systems are employed. The Quadra-Lift air suspension is standard on Overland and Summit versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This features air springs on each corner to maximise ride comfort and permits the driver to adjust the vehicle's ride height manually by up to 10cm using controls on the centre console.

The five levels of adjustment include Normal Ride Height (NRH), the standard position with ground clearance of 22cm for improved fuel efficiency and maximum comfort during on-road driving. Off-Road 1 raises ground clearance to 25.4cm for clearing off-road obstacles. Off-road 2 gives the highest ground clearance of 28cm. Park Mode lowers the vehicle by 4cm from NRH to make loading easier. Aero Mode lowers the vehicle by 1.3 cm from NRH. This function is controlled by vehicle speed and perfectly adjusts the aerodynamics for optimal performance. This doubles as Eco Mode because of the beneficial effect it has on fuel economy.

Selec-Terrain traction control system

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee features a refined version of the class-leading Selec-Terrain traction control as standard on all models apart from the SRT. This sophisticated system allows the driver to choose the best driving mode for the prevailing conditions from five different programmes.

Selec-Terrain co-ordinates and optimises up to 12 on-board systems including the drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control (ESC), transmission controller, powertrain controller, Hill-Ascent and Hill-Descent Control and the new Selec-Speed Control. Modes include Sand where traction control and Quadra-Lift operate to prevent tyre slip while torque is tuned for optimal performance. In Mud, traction control and Quadra-Lift prevent wheel spin while torque is tuned for optimal performance in mud. Set on Auto, the system automatically adapts to any on- or off-road situation while in the Rock setting, the Quadra-Lift suspension (when fitted) reaches the maximum height of 28cm. In this mode, the transfer case, differentials and accelerator coordinate to provide maximum low-speed control.

Further versatility is added with the new Selec-Speed Control. This allows the driver to control the speed of the vehicle, both up and down hill, using the steering wheel paddles instead of the accelerator or brake pedals. The Jeep Grand Cherokee's Sport Mode, which was on the 2013 model's Selec-Terrain controller, is now engaged via the gear lever to make the driving experience more fun.

Jeep Selec-TracTM system

Fitted only on the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT model, the retuned Selec-Trac system automatically adapts the dynamics of the vehicle to customers' habits and driving conditions. It manages this by interacting with several different systems (stability control, active damping, transmission shift strategy, transfer case torque proportioning, Electronic Limited-Slip Differential performance, throttle control and cylinder de-activation).

Drivers can manually choose between the following dynamic modes: Auto, Sport, Tow, Track, and Snow - for specific performance attributes. On 2014 SRT models, software improvements to Selec-Trac further distinguish the five dynamic modes, enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that more ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. Drivers will find the torque split change in Track Mode provides a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit and one that delivers faster lap times around a track.

Improved on-road

It doesn't matter which version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee buyers choose, they'll find a vehicle that's been designed from the ground up to have outstanding on-road dynamics. As an example, each body shell features 5400 welds for increased rigidity.

The independent front and rear suspension feature isolated front and rear cradles with variable-rate rear springs to deliver improved on-road handling and comfort while complementing the vehicle's legendary off-road capability. The rear suspension's packaging also allows the spare tyre to be stored inside the vehicle rather than underneath it.

Meanwhile the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT rides on a Short and Long-Arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, Bilstein Adaptive Damping Suspension (ADS), upper and lower-control arms (A arms), and a stabiliser bar. The rear suspension is a multi-link design with coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminium lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabiliser bar. The SRT-tuned, active Adaptive damping suspension is managed by Selec-Trac.

SAFETY: IN THE GRAND CHEROKEE DNA

Technological innovation is deep rooted in the Jeep Grand Cherokee's DNA and the 2014 model is no different. It features a host of cutting edge technology aimed at reducing the likelihood of a crash and limiting the consequences should one occur.

Preventative safety

The safest thing is to avoid having a crash in the first place and the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a suite of electronic devices aimed at compensating for any mistakes the driver might make. The upgraded Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with Crash Mitigation uses radar sensors to check whether the vehicle is approaching the car in front too rapidly. If necessary it sends a signal to the driver to intervene in order to avoid a collision. If the driver doesn't immediately take the corrective action necessary to prevent a collision this updated version of FCW brakes automatically and holds brake pressure for 1.5 seconds.

If the driver is not braking enough, Advanced Brake Assist (ABA) cooperates with the system, to increase the braking and avoid or mitigate the impact. The ABA only operates when the driver's foot is on the brake. It is cancelled if the foot is removed from the brake pedal. Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation is included in the Advanced Safety Technology Group that is optional on Overland and standard on Summit and SRT models.

The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop is also part of the Advanced Safety Technology Group that is optional on Overland and standard on Summit and SRT models. It employs radar to decrease the vehicle's pre-set cruise-control speed when closing in on another vehicle in the same lane, or when another vehicle pulls into the same lane. The ACC will accelerate to the pre-set speed when the vehicle in front speeds up or moves into another lane. The system will also maintain a driver-adjustable distance between the vehicle and the one in front and is particularly useful when driving in adverse weather or in situations of reduced visibility. By year's end, ACC will be enhanced with the Stop functionality thatbrings the vehicle to a stop without the intervention of the driver.

The Advanced Safety Technology Group also includes Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM). This uses ultra broadband radar sensors to search for vehicles that might be briefly concealed from the driver's view. Icons illuminate in the mirror and an acoustic warning signal sounds if there is a car in the blind spot. Rear Cross Path Detection (RCP) is part of this too. Enabled when reverse gear is engaged, it informs the driver via icons in the mirror and an acoustic signal if traffic is approaching as they reverse out of parking spaces.

ParkView is standard on all models apart from Laredo. This is a reversing camera that gives a wide-angle view of the area immediately behind the vehicle. It features dynamic grid lines that follow the steering movements and move accordingly in order to aid the driver when manoeuvring into parking spaces or narrow areas. The image is displayed on the Uconnect navigation screen when reverse gear is selected.

All models come with Tyre Pressure Monitoring. The employs sensor modules in the valve stems of each wheel to send information about individual wheels' tyre pressure to the in-car computer.

Active safety

For drivers who appreciate the great outdoors, the Off Road Group of technology that's available on the Laredo, Limited, Limited Plus and Overland models has new Selec-Speed Control. This operates with the Hill-Ascent Control and the Hill-Descent Control functions to allow the driver to control the speed of the vehicle, both uphill and downhill, using the steering wheel paddle shifters instead of the accelerator or brake pedals.

All models of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee come with powerful disc brakes all round designed to provide fade-free stopping. Limited Plus, Overland and Summit have Performance Brakes while the SRT has even more powerful SRT Performance Brakes. An Antilock Braking System (ABS) is standard. This detects and prevents wheels locking in extreme braking conditions or on slippery surfaces. It comes with off-road calibration so it activates with a slightly different pressure control if the surface is loose or rough.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is standard and monitors steering inputs whatever the surface. It can tell if the car deviates from its intended path and if it does, the ESC computer steps in to brake selected wheels. As part of this, Ready Alert Braking can predict if the driver is starting emergency braking and uses the ESC pump to move the brake pads closer to the rotors and reduce the time for the brakes to be applied. Electronic Rollover Mitigation (ERM) is another part of the ESC and automatically uses the brakes to prevent the car rolling over in extreme conditions.

The Brake Traction Control System (BTCS) employs the brakes and engine torque to limit how fast the driven wheels can spin relative to the actual speed of the vehicle. It ensures that in the kind of extreme conditions drivers might encounter off-road, the Grand Cherokee will always find a way to keep going safely.

Passive safety

Inside the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee there are seven airbags, including the latest multi-stage airbags for the front seats that open with more or less force depending on the seriousness of the impact.

In the roof lining above the side windows there are curtain airbags for occupants in the front and rear seats. Each has its own impact sensor for independent activation on the impact side. Side bags for the front seat occupants are mounted in the external edge of the seats. These have their own impact sensors for independent activation and are designed to reduce the injury to the pelvis and chest in side impacts.

The driver has an airbag mounted beneath the instrument panel that's designed to deploy when the driver's side airbag goes off. This ensures the driver's legs are in the best possible position to minimise injuries in a frontal collision.

The latest Grand Cherokee is fitted with active head restraints. In a rear impact these move forwards to reduce whiplash injuries by decreasing the distance to the occupant's head. All five occupants have their own head restraint and three-point seatbelts.

SALES: GRAND CHEROKEE LEADS THE WAY

Jeep is the Chrysler Group's global brand. With 70 years of heritage, its vehicles feature class-leading capability, craftsmanship and the versatility to handle any journey with confidence. The Grand Cherokee is the ultimate embodiment of that and is Jeep's top selling model, contributing to the company's sales record with more than 220,000 units globally. It is also the company's best-selling model in Europe with sales up 69.7 per cent compared to the previous year. That growth has continued into 2013 with sales in the first quarter showing a further 7.9 per cent increase.

Approximately 5 million Grand Cherokees have been sold since its first introduction in 1992. From 2009, this model's sales have increased more than 200 per cent in the US and 250 per cent outside North America.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee's success has helped the brand as a whole with global sales increasing more than 100 per cent since 2009, with a 160 per cent increase in international markets. In 2012, Jeep achieved record sales with more than 700,000 units sold worldwide. It was the most sales in the brand's history, and represents a 19 per cent increase compared with 2011. This growth has been particularly strong in Europe. Last year, more than 28,000 vehicles were sold here - an increase of nearly 20 per cent compared with the previous year and giving Jeep a market share of 0.2 per cent. Jeep sales in the UK rose last year by 7.46 per cent, ahead of the growth curve in a market that increased by 5.3 per cent.

HISTORY: 70 YEARS IN THE MAKING

As World War Two raged in Europe, the US military realised it needed to update its modified Ford Model T based reconnaissance vehicles. It developed a lengthy specification list and invited 135 vehicle manufacturers to bid on production.

The Willys-Overland Quad design triumphed and quickly became known as the 'Jeep'. The name's origins are uncertain. Some claim it came from the slurring of the letters GP, the military abbreviation for General Purpose. Others say it was named after a character 'Eugene the Jeep' in the popular Popeye cartoon strip. Whatever, it was a massive success with more than half a million of the drab olive green vehicles built for action in all theatres of World War Two.

After the war Willys trademarked the Jeep name and turned its military vehicle into an off-road workhorse for farmers, the Utility Jeep. The first civilian Jeep, the CJ-2A was built in 1945 and the basic design developed as the years went by. In 1953, Willys-Overland was sold to Henry J Kaiser for $60 million and the company immediately began investigating expanding the Jeep product range.

The CJ-3B, little different to the wartime model, continued in production until 1968. More than 150,000 were sold and other models were added to the range. In 1955 came the CJ-5 which was built until 1983 with more than 600,000 sold.

In 1963 Jeep introduced the first automatic transmission to a four-wheel drive vehicle in the new Wagoneer, a predecessor to the Cherokee. But despite that and the CJ's success, Kaiser lost money on Jeeps and in 1970 it was bought by American Motors Corporation (AMC). In 1976, the CJ-7 was introduced marking the first real change in Jeep's core products for 20 years. In 1984, the Wagoneer was superseded by the XJ or Cherokee.Highlights included the introduction of Jeep's Command-Trac four-wheel-drive system and Quadra-Link coil front suspension.

Although the CJ-7 was bigger than the CJ-5 and equally rugged, consumers were after more creature comforts. In 1987 they got it with the discontinuation of the CJ series and the introduction of the YJ or Wrangler. It was a momentous year with AMC sold to the Chrysler Corporation on August 5 and the popular Jeep brand becoming part of Chrysler's Jeep/Eagle Division. It has gone from strength to strength ever since.

On January 7, 1992, the Grand Cherokee first appeared by famously crashing through the convention centre glass at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was the first SUV equipped with a driver's side air bag and set new standards for on-road ride, handling and comfort in an SUV.

In 2005, a completely redesigned Grand Cherokee was launched. Two years later Jeep entered the popular compact SUV arena with the Compass and Patriot and an all-new Wrangler was launched. For 2011, the third generation Grand Cherokee was launched. Offering premium on-road performance, a sleek new exterior design, high quality interior and improved fuel economy it's more than 70 years and millions of miles on from the Willys Quad.

MADE IN DETROIT

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is built at the 3-million-square-foot Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit. This has been the site of Grand Cherokee production since its introduction in 1992. But in preparation for production of the present generation of Jeep Grand Cherokee, JNAP went through a complete transformation beginning in October 2009.

This was part of World Class Manufacturing (WCM), an extensive and thorough process aiming at restoring the facility to its original and maximum functionality. JNAP employees began planning and executing hundreds of projects aimed at improving the work environment, maximising quality, minimising waste and preparing for the new product. They made significant changes in workplace organisation and logistics systems, found ways to improve quality, and addressed ergonomic issues.

(Jeep United Kingdom Press Release)