Going & Stopping

Driving the V-6 Grand Cherokee reminded me that the laws of physics can't be changed. The SUV uses Chrysler's new Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 290 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque, but this is a heavy vehicle. The curb weight of the V-6 Limited 4x4 I drove was 4,850 pounds, and lugging all that weight around makes the V-6 labor; you can tell that it's working hard when you're accelerating. The V-6's performance is strong enough — which is good because Jeep expects 75 percent of Grand Cherokee buyers to opt for it — but it doesn't make the SUV feel quick. Once up to highway speeds, the V-6 cruises easily at 70 mph.

The V-6 teams with a five-speed automatic transmission, and it helps make the most of the V-6's available power. The transmission readily kicks down when you need more power to pass, and it shifts smoothly.

Choosing the optional 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 gives the Grand Cherokee more effortless acceleration; there's none of the laboring you feel when driving the V-6 on hilly terrain. However, considering the V-8 is rated at 360 hp and 390 pounds-feet of torque, it still doesn't feel as quick as you might expect. Again, the 5,210-pound curb weight of the V-8 Overland 4x4 I tested was like an anchor holding the engine back. Like the V-6, the V-8 drives a five-speed automatic.

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, and the brake pedal has a very natural, linear progression.

    See also:

    Loose Fuel Filler Cap Message
    If the vehicle diagnostic system determines that the fuel filler cap is loose, improperly installed, or damaged, a gASCAP” message will display in the odometer or a “CHECK GASCAP” message ...

    Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp (CHMSL)
    The center high-mounted stop lamp is an LED assembly. See your authorized dealer for replacement. Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp ...

    Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
    The GVWR is the total permissible weight of your vehicle including driver, passengers, vehicle, options, trailer tongue weight, and cargo. The label also specifies maximum capacities of front and ...