Jeep's flagship Grand Cherokee is all-new for 2011 with fresh styling, a brand-new modern powertrain and a new platform that makes it one of the most refined and capable SUVs on the market. The 2011 Grand Cherokee melds the go-anywhere, Trail Rated® credentials Jeep drivers expect with a new Pentastar V6 engine and premium passenger accommodations.
The Grand Cherokee’s instantly recognizable shape now slips through the air more easily than before with a drag coefficient of just 0.37, down from the 0.404 of the previous generation. The blacked out B- and C-pillars blend with the bright trim around the side glass for a sleeker, more modern appearance.
Laredo and Limited Grand Cherokees roll on standard 17- and 18-inch wheels, for better off-road capability. The premium Grand Cherokee Overland is the first Jeep to come out of the factory on new 20-inch alloy wheels for an even more upscale appearance. At the rear corners, the taillamps wrap around and connect to the chrome bar that spans the tailgate below the rear window. Grand Cherokees powered by the optional 5.7-liter V8 engine get dual, 3.5-inch exhaust tips in place of the single 3.0-inch tip used with the Pentastar V6.
No matter what goes on outside a vehicle, drivers and passengers require an inviting space to spend their travel time, and the 2011 Grand Cherokee unequivocally delivers. Starting with the larger side openings, the doors now open to a full 78 degrees, compared to the 67 degrees of the previous model, making it easier to climb in. Once inside, there is more space in both the front and rear compartments with an extra four inches of leg- and kneeroom in the backseat. Jeeps are built for active lifestyles and the Grand Cherokee has you covered with 19 percent more cargo space behind the seats, now up 35 cubic feet.
The driver now has more control than ever with a new, leather-wrapped, thick-rimmed steering wheel that features controls for radio, electronic vehicle information center (EVIC), cruise control and uconnect™ Phone. The tilting and telescoping steering column offers custom adjustability for each driver with power memory operation available on the Limited and standard on the Overland.
The Laredo X and Limited models get leather seating surfaces, and the Overland ups this to a premium leather covering with contrasting piping, as well as leather and real wood trim on the dashboard.
It's easy to stay connected to the world no matter where you are thanks to the technology available in the 2011 Grand Cherokee. SIRIUS Satellite Radio is standard, along with an AM/FM/CD player with six speakers in the base Laredo, and nine speakers with a 506-watt amp in other trim levels. Garmin navigation is available in the Laredo X and Limited, and a premium navigation with SIRIUS Traffic is standard in the Overland. Dual-zone climate control is standard in all Grand Cherokees with automatic control in the upper trim levels.
The heart of any vehicle lies under the hood where the 2011 Grand Cherokee marks the debut of an all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. This all-aluminum engine features Variable Valve Timing that helps it deliver 290 hp and 260 lb/ft of torque, a substantial boost from the 210 hp and 235 lb/ft of the previous V6 engine. Along with its significantly improved performance, the Pentastar delivers 18 percent better fuel economy and FlexFuel capability, allowing it to run on Regular gasoline or E85 ethanol blends.
The Grand Cherokee is also available with an upgraded 5.7-liter V8 that cranks out a best-in-class 360 hp and 390 lb/ft of torque. The powerful V8 features Variable Valve Timing and a Multi-Displacement System that can shut off four of the engine’s eight cylinders under light-load conditions for better fuel efficiency.
With two Trail Rated® four-wheel drive systems, a full-time four-wheel drive and a two-wheel drive configuration, the Grand Cherokee delivers the unmatched versatility and off-road abilities for which Jeeps are renowned. Quadra-Trac I® is the full-time 4WD system with a single-speed transfer case that has been optimized for better fuel efficiency for 2011. Quadra-Trac II® adds a two-speed shift-on-the-fly transfer case and sophisticated electronics and sensors to automatically send torque to the wheels with the most traction, no matter what the conditions. Quadra-Drive II® adds a rear Electronic Limited-Slip Differential to proactively manage side-to-side torque distribution.
The new Selec-Terrain™ traction control system operates via a dial that allows the driver to select from “Mud/Sand,” “Sport,” “Snow,” ”Rock” and “Auto” modes to provide the optimum traction and handling no matter what the surface conditions. The new Quadra-Lift™ air suspension system features five ride-height settings. With it, the Grand Cherokee can offer up to 10.7 inches of ground clearance, allowing it to get through the worst conditions imaginable with ease. Every model gets standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), Hill-Descent Control (HDC), Hill-Start Assist (HSA) and Trailer-Sway Control (TSC).
Along with all its sophisticated equipment, the Grand Cherokee’s overall design is what makes it so capable off-road. With short front and rear overhangs, the Grand Cherokee is able to provide steep, 34.3-degree approach and 29.3-degree departure angles so that drivers can scale steep inclines and declines without scraping body parts. A 23.1-degree breakover angle means you won’t drag the undercarriage when you crest the top of a hill.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available now, starting at $30,215 for the 4x2 Laredo and $32,215 for the 4x4 Laredo. See it for yourself soon.