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The Jeep Grand Cherokee Combines the Comfort of an SUV With the Performance of a Sports Car

Jul 30, 2008
If you crave the incredible speed and high performance agility of a sports car, but need a little more leg room or towing capacity, look no further than the luxurious Jeep Grand Cherokee. Originally introduced in 1993, Jeep's flag-ship sports utility vehicle (SUV) has evolved throughout the past fifteen years to become a refined, powerful, and sleek machine. It is capable of going 0 MPH to 60 MPH in less than five seconds while still providing a superior on- and off-road experience, important for those true Jeep aficionados!

Initially developed as a spin-off of the smaller Jeep Cherokee, the Jeep Grand Cherokee quickly created a name for itself with its spacious interior, comfortable ride, natural-feeling steering, luxury materials, safety features, legendary Jeep off-road capability, and on-demand acceleration. Its secret to a comfortable ride, while still allowing for great speed and off-road performance, lays in the stiff unibody chassis coupled with an advanced four-wheel drive system. Built upon a stiff car-like chassis, the Grand Cherokee is lighter than if it had been built on a truck-style body-on-frame design. Advantages to the car-chassis base include less weight for better fuel economy, easier entry and exit, safety, and better on-road handling.

Even with the improvement in on-road handling, one of Jeep Grand Cherokee's top capabilities is off-road performance. Owners can choose from one of five engine types, including a diesel engine, and one of three four-wheel-drive systems. Instead of independent suspensions, the Grand Cherokee utilizes Jeep's Quadra-Coil suspension combined with four links and coiled springs. "Consumer Guide" ranks it as a class leader when it comes to off-road capabilities, even though the Grand Cherokee also provides a comfortable ride for long-distance on-the-pavement travel.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks five stars for federal government crash tests in addition to incredible acceleration, maneuverability through urban settings, roomy interior, stylish design, and off-road capabilities. Standard accident avoidance features include electronic stability, four-wheel traction control, front and side-curtain airbags, roll-over sensors, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, tire pressure monitoring system, enhanced accident response system, and SmartBeam headlamps that adjust the brightness of the high beam based on oncoming traffic. Other options include a ParkView rear back-up camera, ParkSense rear back-up system, High Intensity Discharge headlights, Hill Descent Control, and Hill Start Assist.

Safety ratings, roomy interiors, towing ability, off-road handling, and enhanced two-wheel or four-wheel drive capabilities are great features of the Grand Cherokee that cannot be touched by a sports car or competing SUVs in its class. Even while noting the differences, the similarities between the two vehicles are striking. Like many sports cars, the Grand Cherokee can move from 0 MPH to 60 MPH in less than five seconds. It feels secure and precise when traveling around high-speed curves, the steering feels natural, and stiff suspension underpinnings reduce the body roll while delivering a confident ride. A tight turning radius is an added improvement from the original models, making the Grand Cherokee nimble when parking in a lot or crawling the over trails. Smooth transmission shifts, strong braking ability, and powerful engine options provide the Jeep Grand Cherokee a raw feeling of power. In spite of this, luxury and capability are not an issue, as the Grand Cherokee has been found equal to or better than the Porsche Cayenne or Land Rover LR2 in independent studies. In comparing the reliability and price of the vehicles to the Grand Cherokee, both fall short of being reliable and stand too high in price. The Grand Cherokee also withstood a side-by-side comparison to the Audi R8 and was found to be capable of giving the R8 a run for its money.

In addition to handling performance, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has many luxury features that are found in many sports cars. The Grand Cherokee boasts options such as heated front seats, remote stereo controls on the steering wheel, driver's side memory system for two different drivers, auto-dimming rear-view and side mirrors, quality carper, soft leather trims, and powerful stereos. The body style evolved from a hard edge style to a softer rounded look while retaining the chiseled strength of the original version. Interior space has been described as the size of an indoor hockey rink, while providing bins and pockets throughout for plenty of storage space. The interior remains refined, even with the large space and areas for storage. SIRIUS backseat TVs and MyGig entertainment systems are a few of the electronic upgrades available for the Grand Cherokee, allowing children to be fully occupied during long trips. The SIRIUS TVs boast first-ever-in-vehicle streaming video technology, offered exclusively by Chrysler. With luxuries like these, the Grand Cherokee creates a pleasant atmosphere for your family as you drive to your destination.

There are many great features that would inspire someone to purchase a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead of a sports car. With the traditional speed and handsome body style of a sports car in conjunction to the off-roading capability of a Jeep, and the roominess of an SUV, the Grand Cherokee delivers.
About the Author
In his spare time, Al likes to learn more about one of the true American Automotive Legends, The Jeep. When he is working, Al is a marketing consultant for one of the leading Jeep dealers in the USA, Cross Chrysler Jeep of Louisville, KY. Browse their lineup of Jeep Grand Cherokees or go to http://www.crossmotors.com/grand-cherokee.aspx
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