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:

    Cancel Command
    At any prompt, after the beep, you can say “Cancel” and you will be returned to the main menu. However, in a few instances the system will take you back to the previous menu. ...

    To Disarm The System
    To disarm the Vehicle Security Alarm, you will need to press the UNLOCK button on the RKE transmitter, or turn the ignition switch to the ON/RUN position. If something has triggered the Vehicle Se ...

    Info Button (CD Mode For MP3 Play)
    Pressing the INFO button repeatedly will scroll through the following TAG information: Song Title, Artist, File Name, and Folder Name (if available). Press the INFO button once more to return to ...