By on February 27, 2015

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude side

The current Grand Cherokee has been a huge success for the Jeep brand. The handsome vehicle is available with four engines, five drivelines, and in many trims, best of which can give the Range Rover a run for its money. The Altitude, introduced for 2014, is an interesting model, where Jeep takes many desirable features, wraps them in a monotone exterior with sporty black wheels, and prices the package well.

In the past I have reviewed Grand Cherokees with V8 and diesel engines. The Overland V8 felt like a hot-rod with tons of instant power but the fuel economy was predictably poor. The EcoDiesel is a smooth operator with a ton of torque and great gas mileage, but it comes at a high price. Could this nicely optioned V6 model be the happy medium?

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude front

The Pentastar 3.6-liter generates 290hp, which is more than the hot rod 5.9 Limited did in the late 90s, and 260lb-ft of torque. In this configuration it is mated to a new-for-2014 eight-speed transmission and the base Quadra-Trac I 4WD system with a single-speed transfer case. The EPA rates this combination for 17mpg in the city and 24mph on the highway, with 19mpg combined. Those numbers are very close to the ones I got real world driving, where I averaged about 18mpg with somewhat of a heavy foot around southern Florida.

[Get new and used Jeep Grand Cherokee pricing here!]

This engine is surprisingly smooth, quiet, and has plenty of power on tap. Acceleration and highway passing are effortless and it loves to cruise. The transmission has a regular mode, which makes things a little lethargic until you really stomp the gas pedal, and a sport mode which magically quickens the throttle response and changes shift points to where they should really be. There also an evil Eco button which is suppose to save more fuel when engaged but in really it just makes things slower.

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude interior details

The Pentastar-powered Grand Cherokees are rated to tow a maximum of 6200lbs. Unless towing is a serious buying objective, or you have a perfectly understandable diesel fetish, there is really is no good reason to select any of the other engines for the basic purposes of getting to work or hauling the kids around. The EcoDiesel and V8-powered Grand Cherokees, including the SRT, are rated to tow up to 7400lbs (7200lbs for 4×4 models).

The black twenty-inch wheels, which are wrapped in 265/50 GoodYear Fortera HL rubber, don’t exactly scream “Trail Rated” but the ride is surprisingly smooth and quiet. A tire’s side profile is the percentage of its width, so despite this being a dub, there is still a good amount meat to absorb potholes. I know a handful of people who own the JGC with twenty-inch wheels and none of them has bent a wheel yet. I reviewed the EcoDiesel Grand Cherokee with similarly sized wheels in the winter and that Jeep got through deep (6″-8″) fresh snow surprisingly well. The Altitude has the base coil-spring suspension with conventional shocks, unlike some other models that have the height adjustable air suspension. Like the V6 engine, for a vast majority of people this setup offers a very nice blend of ride comfort, handling, and payload.

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude side profile

The dash is cleanly laid out with the minimum amount of buttons and just the right amount of knobs. The gauge cluster consists of center screen which is configurable in a multitude of ways via steering wheel controls. The seats are comfortable but could use more support overall, and the headrests have a nice tilt feature which can support your neck on long drives without putting you to sleep. The center console has a cubby for your phone with all connections, two cup holders, and a large segregated closed compartment. The rear seats recline and are split 60:40, but don’t have a center pass-thru. The rear window does not pop up like it once used to.

The touchscreen Unconnect is one of the most user-friendly systems on the market, with soft buttons for all major functions and auxiliary audio controls on the back of the steering wheel. If there is a downside, it’s that the heated seats/wheel controls are also hidden in it. The system streams music over every phone app imaginable, including Pandora and IHeartRadio. Your phone can be connected via Bluetooth, USB, or auxiliary input. There is also an SD card slot. The system even has a hotspot (subscription required) to stream music independently of your phone data program.

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude other details

The interior is not perfect, however. The visibility is not great and there are blind spots in the back as well as in the front due to a large A-pillar, big side mirrors, and mirror mounts. Being picky, I noticed some wiring and not covered metal body under the seats, visible when you drop something, for instance, and uneven trim around the sunroof when looking from the outside in. The biggest annoyance is the electronic shifter which toggles like a joystick, requiring a look down or at the gauge cluster for gear indication.

The Altitude is priced and positioned between a loaded Laredo and Limited with some options. For $37,095 the Altitude offers SRT-like body-colored claddings, fascia, and grill, glossy black badges, black light trim, and black wheels. Inside are black heated leather and suede seats (the only color choice) and a large 8.4″ Uconnect touch-screen, sans nav. The driver gets a power seat but it lacks the memory feature. Power hatch, 115vAC receptacle, and a remote start round out the Altitude package. Sunroof is $1095 extra, 506-watt audio is $495, back-up camera with sensors is $395, and the destination charge is $995, for a total of $40,075 as seen here.

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude wheel

The Altitude has many desirable features and it certainly looks good. It is priced well by skipping the features that the majority of buyers won’t care for, but it lacks some things, such as the roof rack. Some options are not available on it, specifically blind spot detection and the active forward collision warning and crash migration which can literally save your life – those are only available on the loaded Limited and higher models. Other versions of the Grand Cherokee provide some very impressive off-road hardware and/or road performance but no one will buy the Altitude for its power or off-road abilities but rather for the peace of mind and functionality that an all-wheel-drive SUV provides.

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude side rear

Kamil Kaluski is the East Coast Editor for Hooniverse.com. His ramblings on Eastern European cars, $500 racers, and other miscellaneous automotive stuff can be found there. In the past he has owned two Jeeps, a CJ-7 and a TJ Wrangler. His mother just bought a new Wrangler which he may have started modding. 

FCA US LLC provided the vehicle for the purpose of this review while I was thawing out in Florida. 

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126 Comments on “Review: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude 4×4...”


  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Well, they took a fully respectable looking SUV and made a mess out of it. The GC looked far better before last year’s unnecessary styling refresh, and this edition is really gaudy. The 4Runner is ugly because it was born that way. This Jeep is ugly because it dresses that way.

    • 0 avatar
      Battlehawk

      Different strokes. I happen to like the Altitude trim, but the red is arguably the worst color for it; I’d go with black or dark gray.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I disagree, the styling refresh last year made them look much better. The deletion of the chrome strips along the side and trunk really cleans up the look for me, and I also prefer the new grill to the all-chrome deal they had before.

      Now this altitude trim? I’m not a huge fan of it; it looks ok on black, white, or dark greys from what I’ve seen in the wild, but it definitely does not work on this red.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        Agreed. Removing the chrome side trim (awful) and rear chrome between the tailights plus toning down the grill makes the 14+ models much nicer looking.

        Altitude looks good, but it’s a little urban boy racer for a car this big, especially in red. That look works better on the Cherokee Trailhawk or the RR Evoque black package.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      No way! Pre-refresh FTW!

      The changes were subtle, but something about the new front fascia looks squinty-eyed with puffy, swollen lower eyelids.

      It’s probably just me.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Totally disagree…except for your reply to the replies saying it might me you.
      Because it is just you.
      In fact, I am very pleased the design is going away from the MASSIVE front fish gapping grills. These are ridiculous to the point of laughable.
      Are not there another ways to project manhood in design. Yes…like this.
      A applaud Jeep for this approach.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Are we talking about the same vehicle? Because the “massive” grill is still there, it is just surrounded by body-colored plastic now and is perhaps an inch shorter top-to-bottom. “Manhood in design”? This Altitude trim is the one apparently trying to appeal to image-conscious men.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Lol, I agree with you. The black wheels and skinny tires make the GC look like a fat lady in a red dress walking on black stilettos

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          OK. It’s still there but not there because it is hidden.
          Well, if you cannot see the difference between this grill and that of say the Audi or Lexus line look, then, well…ooooookie dooookie.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I think the older grille was better proportioned

            http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2010/09/lead1jeepgc2011review.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “OK. It’s still there”

            Thank you!

            “Well, if you cannot see the difference between this grill and that of say the Audi or Lexus line look, then, well…ooooookie dooookie.”

            ?

            That makes no sense to me at all. I didn’t bring up Audi or Lexus and the pre-refresh GC looks nothing like them.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I really like the monochrome look. Monochrome makes almost any truck or SUV look *less* gaudy to me.

      These wheels, though… the less said the better. The all-black wheel trend just needs to die.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I’d usually agree with that. Full-size pickups look better to me in trim levels that reduce the obscene acreage of plasti-chrome. I didn’t think the GC had enough to need toning down, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Those murdered out wheels are really ugly.

      I’m a real grownup, and won’t be seen in any vehicle which has those boy-racer wheels on it. My 10 year old minivan looks way classier, because it’s on proper alloy wheels.

      The other Grand Cherokee trim levels look just fine, though. The fact that most JGCs are starting to look good to me must be a sign that I’m approaching my 40s…!

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I totally disagree, I really like the new design. I don’t like the black wheels at all though. I have two friends with newer GCs, both with Hemis and 8 speeds. If I had a lot of cash that I don’t have, I would probably buy a non-Altitude mid ranged 6cyl GC for a winter/bad weather vehicle. I have driven both of my friend’s GC’s and I really liked driving them in snow. As much as I hated my 1999 GC, I like the new ones.

  • avatar
    wmba

    “and crash migration which can literally save your life”

    That’s a new one. Does it move the scene of the crash to another, safer place?

    • 0 avatar
      AnotherMillenial

      +1. I appreciate the benefits of modern tech like this, BLS, LDW and the such, but these features are more of a helpful convenience than a necessary safety.

      These features protect driver error, so if you know how to drive and aren’t distracted to what’s happening around you, you’ll be fine without these features. If one can afford it, spring for it, why not add one more feature on our way to the self-driving car, but lets not delude ourselves here.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        Blinds spot detection is a great feature though, coming from someone who has a vehicle with it. It cuts the time I need to look in my mirrors instead of forward down, and warns me audibly before I change lanes if there’s something I can’t see.

        With the way most modern vehicles are with blind spots, I’m leaning more towards it being necessary than just a nice-to-have feature.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        So you can simply compensate by never making mistake, got it.

        I assume you carry no insurance as well.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The black wheels look Manny Moe and Jackish….

    A nice smoked silver like the old G35 coupe’s wheels would have worked better in my opinion.

  • avatar

    I’m just happy that my JGC SRT 14′ has the LED light strip to differentiate it from the standard models. I just wish Chrysler had done the same to my 300.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The whole thing looked better before they fiddled with it.

      • 0 avatar

        One of my friends has the 2012. I’m angry with Chrysler for building this truck “incomplete”. You’d be a total dupe to have a 5-speed and old infotainment system in this truck.

        He’s planning to trade his for a HELLCAT Challenger.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          See, you finally got a hellcat reference in, BTSR.

        • 0 avatar
          nrd515

          There are a lot of transmissions and infotainment systems that are much worse than they are. I have them in my car and my only complaint about the trans is it’s lazy shifting, and the dash speakers should have been replaced long before I finally did it, what an amazing improvement for less than $100! I don’t know anyone who has a vehicle with the 5 speed who has ever had any problems with it, with a friend’s Magnum going over 160,000 miles with only 2 fluid changes along the way.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    The Altitude is a bit much for my tastes. However I really really like this car and would love to get one. Unfortunately it seems expensive to me (though all cars lately seem expensive, with CUV/SUV the worst). And double unfortunately in True Delta these seem to have a lot of problems. I can deal with some things but seeing engine issues on a new car just turns me off.

    Maybe in a few years they’ll get the issues fixed and a price drop.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Not a fan of the black wheels. Luckily there are better choices available. I could probably get one of these with the V8 and replace my car and truck with one vehicle as it has just enough towing capacity. But then I’d be driving a chunky SUV every day, nah. The wife would probably dig it though. All her wealthy friends seem to have one.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    If I were buying on of these right now, I think I’d get a low mile used Overland (a 2012 or so) and get a loaded to the hilt truck with the quadradrive and skid plate package, and hopefully avoid the air suspension. Hopefully get the smaller wheel option and put some decent tires on, a quiet, not-too-aggressive A/T tire maybe. The 8 speed sounds awesome for performance, but the Merc 5spd is a tried and true unit that I would trust more.

    I don’t care for these ChryCo body-color trim and black wheel packages, they did a similar thing with the Durango R/T.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Oh good, with those wheels it comes pre-readied for the BHPH lot.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It’s funny that I have the opposite reaction to the black wheels on the Flex. Maybe it’s because they are two toned.

      These wheels are bad though. Maybe it’s a BHPH replacement for the Magnum.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Certainly! Magnums and Galants are running in low supply these days. And those LeSabre’s don’t have the appeal they used to.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Those Avengers will dry up eventually too. Do you think the Dart will replace it?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think the Avenger and leftover 200’s and Sebring models will last a bit. They aren’t selling enough Dart models for it to happen to them.

            Not unless Rental companies start picking up Darts instead of Focii.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Man, the Focus can be had for cheap. SEs for $14K to $15k all day long. The only reason to buy a Fiesta is for the ST.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            And the Focus is better known among customers, mechanics, and other companies, and is better looking and more proven.

            Between the Focus and Cruze, the Dart doesn’t stand a chance.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Plus versions of the 200 are priced super low too.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Black wheels look so much better if they have contrasting elements. Without the contrasting elements they just look like wheel covers fell off until you look closely.

        I also like the Flex Appearance Package, including its wheels.

  • avatar
    YellowDuck

    Really wanted to like the GC, but in the end I couldn’t wrap my head around how they made a 2-row vehicle *that big* and still provide less luggage space than a Wrangler Unlimited or Dodge Journey. The car is huge and yet I doubt I could even load enough stuff in it to go to the cottage with my wife, daughter and very small dog. Our 2001 Passat wagon was a much more practical vehicle than this behemoth.

    I could do with the 6200-lb tow capacity though, I’ll give it that!

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      That’s a big reason we ended up with a Santa Fe over one of these. 3rd row or massive cargo hold was a huge selling feature to us. I do hope to tow my track car with it though, which I know is near the 5000lb limit, the 6200 from the jeep would be welcome peace of mind.

    • 0 avatar

      The Grand Wagoneer can’t come soon enough and Jeep knows it. In the mean time you have the Durango.

      This is the same reason why I’m not buying a GC – despite only having two kids we use the third row often for their friends or for visiting family members.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        To really get a usable third row comfortable for adults AND carry decent amounts of cargo, one has to step up to a Suburban/Sequoia/Expedition/Armada size vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          duffman13

          Yeah, and you’re really talking extended wheelbase too. Our in-laws had a 3-row Tahoe and the trunk was no better than our Santa-Fe with the 3rd row up.

          If it weren’t for minivans being ugly and not having towing capacity, they are more advantageous in basically any other scenario.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I agree. When looking the diesel over last year, I was amazed such a large truck could have such small cargo space. I read once it had something to do with the architecture and this forced a smaller real cargo holding area.
      Do not know if true…but perhaps.
      Ditto with the Cherokee.
      The Taurus/MKS get bashed for the narrow and small spaced interiors, although I personally think totally overblown, yet the Jeeps do not get the same attention.

      • 0 avatar
        That guy

        The Taurus gets bashed because it’s a big FWD sedan, its very mission in life is to be spacious and it fails at it. The Grand Cherokee is great at so many other things that people cut it a little more slack.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Behind Second Row:

      GC: 36 cubic feet
      Wrangler Unlimited: 31.5 cubic feet

      Max volumes differ. I expect the Grand Cherokee to be a big tighter than the Wrangler due to thicker door trim, and the shape of the body.

      Which BTW I was able to cram enough luggage for 5 people in a Tuscon for 3 days, 3 people and a dog should be no problem in the GC.

      • 0 avatar
        YellowDuck

        I kinda don’t believe those numbers – just don’t square with what you actually see when you look inside the trunk. Maybe those are measured with the GC rear seats adjusted all the way forward and bolt upright? Rear seats in the wrangler don’t slide or tilt (at least not in our 2008).

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        How can we trust these specs???

        After finding out the manufacturers all measure foot room and cargo room in different ways, ALL we have to go on is what we experience while looking at them.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      That is probably the single biggest issue I have with it as well. It weighs 5000 in 4wd guise, and doesn’t have a real frame to make up a lot of that weight and explain lack of space.

      Not to trigger anyone, but…

      Yesterday’s 4Runner has a full on frame and a hefty solid rear axle out back, yet it manages to weigh about 300lb LESS, and holds massively more cargo (47 cu ft seat up, 90 seats down). How can the GC be less than an inch shorter in overall length and have so much less space?!

      • 0 avatar
        ahintofpepperjack

        The Grand Cherokee’s combination of Independent rear suspension and off road ground clearance is the reason for the smaller cargo area. The Solid rear axle, and basic low hanging suspension in the 4 runner allow for a lower cargo floor.

        Also, the Grand Cherokee has room for a full size spare under the cargo floor, inside the cabin of the vehicle. The grand Cherokee has very large tires, and that takes space. I’m sure removing the spare tire would allow for more cargo space. The 4 runner’s spare hangs below the cargo floor outside of the vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Funny, people always told me that IRS suspensions were all the rage to get a lower load floor and that solid axles were space inefficient! Gosh these ‘low hanging’ basic suspensions (solid rear axles) are a real bother off road, I wonder how those Wrangler Rubicons get by. Stock ground clearance on a Grand Cherokee with the air suspension not lifted is 8.1 inches, that hardly explains the lack of space, again it doesn’t even have a separate frame to worry about. Jeep tires are about 30.5 stock, 4Runners are about 32s. The rear tire (also a full size)on 4Runners is tucked away and is never the lowest hanging point on the vehicle, that’d be silly. The tow hitch is the first thing to drag on steep approaches/departures.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        The 4Runner is a shoebox compared to the sleeker GC. If I wanted more capacity I’d get a Durango

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I got into one at the autoshow for the first time, it’s the only crossover I find desireable but once inside I can’t help but wonder how they sell so many. Headroom is non-existent, and the leg room for the second row is worse than BOF SUVs, which constantly get dinged for it. The cargo area is poor as well. Compared to the interior of the 08 GC, the new one is cramped, but that exterior really makes all the other crossovers look terrible.

      Not necessarily in this color with those rims though…

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        As time goes on, the Tahoe and Expedition look better and better to me.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It’s an odd price point, this thing. Above items like the Traverse, and other soft roading CUV’s, but just slightly below large things like the Tahoe.

          It’s occupying the same size and price space as the QX70 (FX37), with 3.7 liters and 326HP.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          It’s no secret I don’t care for the Fords, but when I was at our autoshow I heard a lot of people comment on how cheap sounding the navigators doors closed.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            But gun to your head you’ll take it over a Traverse or Pilot.

            I’d take an Expedition over a Tahoe because for me, it’s a minimum $10K difference in price for comparable models.

            Funny you should mention the door closing sound. Engineers fettle with that quite a bit. The “cheap sounding” Navigator door just means that it’s an old platform that didn’t get a ton of NVH love in the doors for the refresh. That’s a common customer complaint with buyers. Overall, the people that buy Expegators, love them and buy more, but the door sound is an issue.

            It’ll be fixed for the next gen. I went to NAIAS with a bunch of Ford engineers that are working on the next Expedition/Navi. I spent half my time there watching them open, close, pull and reef on the doors, tailgates, and hoods of all of the BoF SUVs. The LX470 was the most talked about benchmark for the Navigator and the Yukon was the most talked about benchmark for the Expedition. It’ll be GMs biggest competition in the segment in over a decade.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            GM needs competition badly, but this segment is heading away from the consumer base that best fits it’s uses.
            A rugged FS BOF is a huge void in the market, sure maybe 5% of the buyers were buying the base GMT400, and another 5% the new w/ more features base GMT800, then GMT900, but when all the other acts left town that 15% plus all the others adds up to a significant number.
            It’s going to take competition from someone other than Ford to reignite the SUV market because GM isn’t willing to sacrifice the Traverse trio sales for the SUVs. And at the end of the day Ford isn’t the one that’s going to cause an uproar, they’ve made it clear they’re going upmarket as well. Their cars certainly aren’t doing FoMoCo any financial favors.
            When a reviewer compares a midtrim Tahoe to a Midtrim Expedition, the company with lower price and less features is going to move.

            GM is clearly targeting the only other act in town, which is pointless since they own the segment. So now the GM trucks have lost a good bit of cargo space so that the rear seats fold flat, they’ve lost the options that used to be as wide as the pickups, they’ve lost the last 3/4 SUV, they’ve lost the capability with EPS and the never ending goal to gain 3 MPG at the loss of capabilities that once sold the majority of these trucks.
            GM needs to stop chasing Ford, unless they want to fight them on the price tag.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            As far as Navigator vs Traverse? The answer would be Navigator but only with the 5.4l, not the ecoboost.

            Otherwise I’ll take a Prius, at least then I won’t be in an uncool minivan(because a minivan is cooler than the traverse) or a Frankenstein of an SUV with a budget brand vehicle holding a expensive engine that doesn’t do anything better than the 6.2, and can’t tow without sagging. Not to mention Fords Famous ball joints – all four corners? Negative, to the max.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            We agree in a lot of ways. I know we have our differences when it comes to displacement, forced induction, etc, but we would both like a more rugged full size BoF SUV.

            I’d love Ford to throw together a SUV version of the F150 FX4, nevermind the Raptor. What I REALLY want is a SWB, F150 based, SUV, with a SuperCab door configuration and split rear tailgate. Call it “Bronco”, “Expedition II”, or whatever and take my money.

            I find the 5.4L to be a boat anchor compared to the 3.5EB. I had an Expedition last weekend and averaged the high teens for MPG.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            If Ford came out with a new bronco based on the F150, gave it a BOF setup and at least a solid rear, offered the option of the 5.0…
            Believe me I would check it out, removable top would be nice but I suppose I need to be realistic.

            I’m just not willing to accept the ecoboost, the name doesn’t help, but when GM can do more power on a more reliable platform at a loss of 2 MPG, I simply don’t see the appeal. I will say Ford has marketed the ecoboost a lot better than GM has done the 6.2L. I feel GM could do a single turbo on the 5.3l and come out with more power at the same MPG as ecoboost, perhaps slightly better if they could force feed the 5.3l to stay in 4cyl mode longer.

            Ford annoys me on the dropping of the 6.2l, saying it was a lack of sales, the 5.4 certainly didn’t have a lack of sales but it also didn’t have a $6,000 price tag either. They pushed the market that way, and this isn’t the first time they’ve tried to make the market mold to what they produce rather than the other way around. At the end of the day I’ll have to wait until January 2016 to see if Ford can keep its market percent strong with a product that floats the company. They can’t afford to have a repeat of the Taurus upset.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m not happy about the death of the Boss 6.2L either. They could have thrown some more tech at the mod family and gotten MPG gains. I wonder if they’ve tested the 5.0L with DI and cylinder deactivation. I’m still interested in the next 3.5EB. The power numbers are obscene.

            And yes, the ecoboost name is dumb.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Re: Door closing. Ever try the doors on a Sequoia? The front doors feel like 200 lbs and $4000 each. The rear doors feel like they’re made of cardboard. Any fettling was terminated at the B pillar.

            Re: Ecoboost name. Ecodiesel and Ecotec too. Awful, blind, awful marketing for a truck. Eco has two connotations. Poor people who can’t afford a truck and nutless environmentalists who don’t want one.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        The headroom is fine, unless you get the sunroof. But that’s the way it is on pretty much all Chrysler vehicles. I would save the $1000+ and be happy my wispy hairs don’t touch the headliner.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      That’s the price you pay for off-road capability. The packaging in this vehicle is horrendous, which is the worst thing about it. It has the interior space of a compact CUV with the exterior size of a large CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Again, there’s that 4Runner as a counterpoint. For me, an SUV has to have a decent amount of the ‘utility’ side of things to really be useful, on a camping/hiking trip somewhere in the Rockies, for example.

  • avatar
    That guy

    I have a 2011 Laredo X Hemi and it has been the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. I can tow my 3500lb tractor in my 2500lb trailer without much drama. I can throw my MX bike on a hitch rack without the back end sagging. I can climb anything at Silver Lake. All that capability plus it rides about as good as any sedan I’ve had. It’s not perfect, the fuel economy could be better and my Edge had more space, but there’s really nothing out there I’d trade it for except maybe a newer one.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I would leave the ugly looks like they were spray painted black wheels behind and the save the money on over sized 20′ rubber but this is the superior vehicle over the turd whoops TRD Pro reviewed earlier.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Care to make a bet as to which one will still be on the road and worth something in 15 years? A potentially moot point for many new car buyers, I realize.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      How exactly does this woop the Toyota in anyway? This is a crossover, the TRD is an SUV.

      What’s better offroad a Subaru or a Jeep CJ, that’s a fair comparison here between the two.

      The offroad aspect of this vehicle is aimed at people that think the dirt path to the estate sale is too intense, or perhaps it’s the 1/2 of snow that comes down once a year. It’s great as an around town vehicle but it’s not aimed at any sort of offroader.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I wouldn’t bother asking for specifics on this one. Ponchoman goes into full troll mode whenever he comments on Toyotas and objectivity isn’t his strong suit at that point. Guy really dislikes this brand for whatever reason.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Come on now. A JGC isn’t a Wrangler, but it’s not a CR-V either. If equipped right a JGC can handle some reasonably serious offroad work. From the factory it’s got 10.8″ of ground clearance, LSDs on both front and rear axles, decent approach/breakover/departure angles, and a buttload of skid plates. There’s also a pretty good aftermarket.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I will say it is probably the most capable crossover currently in production, and I could see myself driving a 5.7l. It’s no 4Runner but it can hold its own.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Why do you keep calling the GC a crossover? Crossover from what car platform? It’s a unibody SUV. Always has been

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Because to him, an SUV is BoF.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Who said so?

            “A sport utility vehicle or suburban utility vehicle (SUV) is a vehicle similar to a station wagon or estate car, usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability. Some SUVs include the towing capacity of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying space of a minivan or large sedan.

            The original 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) by American Motors combined a passenger car with truck chassis for ease of driving in difficult conditions, as well as established the modern SUV market segment and its popularity in the late-1980s and early 1990s. The compact-sized XJ Cherokee was one of the most best selling SUV models ever made, with over 2.8 million built between 1984 and 2001

            According to Robert Casey, the transportation curator at the Henry Ford Museum, the Jeep Cherokee (XJ) was the first true sport utility vehicle in the modern understanding of the term”- Wikipedia

            Stop calling the GC a crossover, ’cause you’re wrong

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’m pretty sure the Traverse, and Santa Fe for example have no car based on the same platform but they’re both known as crossovers. The GC no longer has a special platform that supports two logs, and the Mercedes platform it shares is unapologetically a crossover. When one thinks of a Travelall they don’t see Malibu, they see a Travellette or a 11X0/12X0/13X0. The GC does a good job hiding it’s unibody platform from the side but behind/underneath it can’t hide the platform. It’s not an SUV simply because it tries to imitate the capabilities of an SUV, it’s an excellent Crossover and shouldn’t try to be something it’s not.

            The term doesn’t doesn’t hale from and 1980s Jeep. The Model T is much closer in 4 passenger form to an SUV than any other designation, the original Jeep was obviously an SUV, then you have the Bronco, C/K-5, Scout formations all coming to market in the 60s, the Curator can have any definition he desires, but so can I.
            The first (4) door pickups in traditional sense in the 50s with Internationals 3 door “Crew cab” design are ignored when the Avalanche is talked about, as is the WagonMaster which is so similar to the Avalanche it’s scary.

            In the modern sense to-the curator could refer to modern crossovers, you should know, reading car related news on a non-car focused site is extremely frustrating as glaring inaccuracies are everywhere. Similarly frustrating is when someone reads off of a paper on a tour or speaks what they believe will entertain the most people, inaccuracies be-damned, starts talking about vehicles that they have never even touched.

            Now, is my definition correct? To me it is, everyone else is entitled to what they see as fitting.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            … and Hummers are just tarted-up Silverados, right?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Hummer, the Traverse and Santa Fe are designed with entirely different priorities from the JGC. Their designs make no accommodation for off-road use at all except slightly raised ground clearance. They use the space to maximize interior volume (which the Traverse in particular is very good at — only marginally smaller inside than a Suburban). They are engineered no differently from cars.

            The JGC is unibody, but it makes very different choices. It sacrifices quite a lot of interior volume to make room for a true transfer case, beefy driveline from front to back, and very high ground clearance. Like a 4×4 BOF truck it tucks components up and protects them with skidplates. It’s not BOF, but in terms of capability from the factory it’s a lot closer to a 4Runner than a Traverse.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “I’m pretty sure the Traverse, and Santa Fe for example have no car based on the same platform”

            um, no…

            “Lambda is General Motors’ full-size crossover SUV automobile platform. It is largely derived from the GM Epsilon platform, which underlies the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and similar models.”- Wikipedia

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’m not saying the GC is as incapable as the other crossovers, I’m pointing out that just because it doesn’t share is unibody design with a car doesn’t mean it isn’t in the same basic category.
            The 84-01 GC is far removed from the current GC, it much closer resembles an SUV despite its design, but it costs the users a lot, the smal interior would be scoffed in a compact car, the body is in danger of getting creased and speared, rust is much harder to correct, don’t articulate the body without the doors or they won’t reattach correctly, don’t pull from the wrong point, don’t put too much force into a pull, don’t put large tires and axles under it, don’t try to fix the unibody after a wreck.

            Again I feel like your ignoring my complements all together, it’s great at what it is, it can do light offroading, but it is no heavy cycle offroader, especially beside aforementioned older GC with disadvantages and all.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            The GC is BETTER then BOF…

            “In addition to Jeep’s UniFrame construction, Daimler Chrysler partnered with Porsche to further strengthen the frame. This was done to reduce NVH. UniFrame is an unusual construction scheme, it incorporates all of the strength and durability of a body-on-frame construction into a unitized construction. By adding stiffness and rigidity to the structure, they enhanced the ride and strengthened the network of steel beams, rails and pillars (or “safety cage”) that surround and protect occupants. More than 70 percent of the underbody is high-strength steel. All Jeep Grand Cherokees feature UniFrame construction.”- Wikipedia

            Calling it a crossover is just not correct especially since it’s widely accepted as the “original” SUV, but if it makes you feel better…

            BTW there was no GC prior to 1993

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Do realize in many cases using high strength steel is just a way to use thinner material. Using a thicker guage of regular steel gives the same effect.

            I’m not entirely sure what your arguments focus is, NVH usually isn’t a big deal when your offroading, therefore wrangler, also take notice most vehicles going offroad are not stock, the solid axle GC didn’t have this problem, since a lift kit was literally <$200 depending on the amount of height. I'll also point out most paths around me require 37s to tackle unless your planning on dozing over some small trees. Tell me how 37s work on the current GC, I'm sure it's possible, but I think this will help you understand my point.
            And like a broken record let me remind you, there is no thick frame to catch a rock, and rock rails must mount in some crazy ways.
            It's not widely accepted as the original SUV, it's not even that old of a design. Without looking it up didn't the S10 Blazer come out a year before the GC? That setup design is used in all 1/2 trucks, GM fullsize SUVs, and the 4 Runner, the unibody with two solid axles is pretty much a one horse deal.

            Im not totally sure what your going at, you keep referencing information that describes the vehicle, how do you know HSS isn't used in all vehicles? GM was putting ABS stickers on vehicles as if they were the only maker using it, they're not. I urge you to physically look at these vehicles, the GC isn't a bad vehicle, but it's design impedes actual performance offroad, in exchange for better road manners and fuel economy.

            I categorize SUVs by their ability to perform a multitude of tasks while being highly simple and cheap to work on, and having an excellent platform for modifications. Can you imagine trying to put a solid axle on the new GC? Now compare that to a 4Runner and it's evident that the BOF design can support the changes with relative ease.

            Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, you know what I mean, they keep recycling the names while the products share no similarities.

            As hard as GM has made it for us, I can still take a suburban and do more with it than I can a GC, factory off the lot, No, but when we venture beyond factory, I have a better underlying platform in the Tahoe/Suburban. And the stress of 200k miles will certainly have less effect on GM’s platform.

            And for the 72nd time, the GC is not bad for what it is, but it doesn’t have the capabilities of the 4Runner, that’s the take away.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Ok, call it what you want, just don’t get upset when people call your Hummer a Tahoe, because you’re using the same argument they do

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I can remove my hubcap and show them 8 lugs or ask them to look up under it, problem solved. It’s not the same reasoning because I’m not relying on saying HSS is why it’s not a crossover/Tahoe.

            Also note the same generation Tahoe’s are now widely used offroad, so ignoring the differences, it’s not much of a criticism

            The GC cannot be heavily modified, it’s meant to provide a cushy ride above all else, if it quacks like a duck…

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You reversed course. Before you started complimenting (sort of) the JGC’s off-road abilities, you said it was for “people that think the dirt path to the estate sale is too intense, or perhaps it’s the 1/2 of snow that comes down once a year.” That’s what I was correcting.

            Lift kits for current JGCs are more expensive than for older models, but they’re readily available — Chrysler even sells a few factory ones, at different heights. It took me all of a few seconds on Google to find a bunch of latest-gen JGCs modified into hardcore off-road rigs.

            I’d take a JGC over a Tahoe/Suburban every time because the Tahoe/Suburban is so damned big. Width and length are not your friends off pavement.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Width and length are not your friends off pavement.”

            You do realize you’re talking to a guy named “Hummer” who drives a, you guessed it, Hummer

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I didn’t completely reverse course, but when the tune of the message is what OP said, then yes in affect of what the 4Runner will do factory or aftermarket, it wins off pavement every day of the week. Now on its own the GC is fine at offroading, but in comparison as I mention…

            Would I drive one?
            Yes, but I’m aware of the limitations.

            Lie, let me point out that width has helped me more than hindered me, not only is it great on slopes but on the pavement it makes cornering fun. I’ve never had to turn around, the worst Ive had to do is run down a 2″ thick dead tree. Also these aren’t very long trucks, your Tahoe you mention is longer than an H2.
            Do note if your using Wikipedia for comfirmation that it uses the 05+ length on the H2, i.e. When the spare tire started coming from the factory outside of the vehicle.

            The Jeep brand has an affect after all these decades of pushing out offroad vehicles that make consumers believe everything they produce can defy physics and destroy its competitors. I’m just saying the GC isn’t the best of the two in question, it’s the best unibody offroader on the market, and that’s great, but what does it mean when the competitors won’t sacrafice capability for the ride of a unibody?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Edmunds lists the H2 without the spare at a length of 189.8 inches
            Wikipedia lists the length of a current generation GC at 189.8 inches

            That surprised even me. Dead on.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            To expand,
            You site the Tahoe generalization as being the same as the crossover situation.

            Physically speaking you can tell every part of the drivetrain is different between the Tahoe and H2, so it makes the generalization untrue, based on facts.

            The GC body support structure is similar in setup to crossovers, but it has a beefed up setup, so to me this makes it a crossover.
            Therefore I suppose it can be seen as subjective, we’re saying it’s different, even if it’s not. If you believe it manages to classify as a SUV despite its unibody setup, and that’s what you believe to be true, so be it.

            Being compared is a single vehicle to another in a segment, and a single vehicle to two totally seperate segments.

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            Lol the grand Cherokee a crossover!? The only vehicle on the market that can touch its off road prowess is the raptor or the wrangler, the TRD pro is nice but its not a jeep

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Not to mention that there’s not a single vehicle in its class at even 2x the price that’s as refined & solid.

            Seriously, even a mid-trim JGC is as comfortable, quiet & refined as any LR/RR (more so than some) that cost 80k.

            The transmission and interior upgrade for 2014 made a huge improvement, too.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          with the 2011 redesign the Quadradrives no longer have the mechanical limited slip in the front. Having said that, Jeep’s BLD system is said to be just about the best, most responsive system in the business, I just read a review from 2011 about an Overland Summit, written by a retired Toyota off road test guy no less. His main complaints centered around the lack of articulation stemming from the rear anti-roll bar, and the limits of the air suspension when it is raised up (extremely poor ride, no travel left). Those two factors leave the Jeep constantly relying on the BLD traction control system. As long as the system is working, things are pretty good. Now, if you overwork it and overheat the brakes, that might leave you in a pickle.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The Jeep site claims LSDs on both axles for 2015 models with the Quadra-Drive II system.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Quadra-Drive® II gives you class-leading capability+ with its Electronic Limited-Slip Differential (ELSD), which transfers up to 100% of torque to the wheel(s) if needed, to give you year-round traction on wet or dry surfaces.”

            Off the Jeep website. Sounds like the same exact setup as right now, there is only one ELSD, namely on the rear axle (they don’t explicitly state where this one ELSD is). Now for 99.9% of use, the BLD will mask that completely. I can guarantee you the engineers decided that it was basically irrelevant, performance-wise to have the front have a physical ELSD. But it was still cool when they had them front and rear on previous GCs.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            This is from the description of the system in the specs chart (hover on Off-Road Adventure II):

            “Electronic limited-slip differentials can rapidly transfer up to 100 percent of available torque to any wheel, along each axle.The Quadra-Drive II® 4WD system provides advanced control and capability. It includes an active full-time transfer case with an electronically controlled clutch pack and axles with electronic limited-slip differentials for quick response. Quadra-Drive is a registered trademark of Chrysler Group LLC.”

            A lot of plurals in there.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “SUV Comparison, Round Two: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition V-6 vs. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee V-6 Limited V-6
            Can Jeep hold its own against the rugged 4Runner?

            Toyota should get a round of applause for the Trail Edition. If you require a locking rear differential or have so much gear to carry that you need a real roof rack, you’ll want to be in the 4Runner. The rest of the time you’ll want to be in the Grand Cherokee. If you had both in your garage, you’d drive the Grand Cherokee most of the time and pull out the Trail Edition on weekends.

            Our suspicion is that, among $40,000-plus SUVs, most people would rather have a more versatile coach that they can enjoy driving every day, knowing that, if there’s a camping vacation in the future, they can still pull it off. If we’re talking about versatility, and a choice between these two, it’s the Jeep that comes out on top.

            First Place: Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
            Great daily driver, with an elegant cabin and easy-to-use four-wheel drive. Short of crossing obstacles where you’d need a locking rear diff, it will take you just about anywhere.

            Second Place: Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition
            Fantastic off-road, but old-school — it’s too specialized to be as much fun day to day. A Limited brings more lux, but you can’t get all the 4WD gizmos.”

            Read more: http://www.trucktrend.com/roadtests/suv/163_1012_2011_jeep_grand_cherokee_v6_vs_2010_toyota_4runner_v6/viewall.html

            Hummer, Truck Trend calls the GC and the 4Runner an SUV

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Lie, your article there proves my point on the advantages of the 4Runner over the GC.

        But you’ll also notice if you will, that Jeep calls the compass and patriot SUV’s. Physically speaking it is not, but Auto manufacturers and reviewers aren’t required to differentiate between the two, and as such finding an article that uses Pontiac Aztek and SUV in the same sentence is a google search away. It’s that simple, mistakes are fairly common but unless your willing to actually research everything you read, you have to take the information with a grain of salt.

        Again that article you posted is a great example of my point, you have two offroad oriented vehicles with offroad packages, being compared based on the merits of everything but the actual capabilities they offer the consumer. This comes full circle back to the beginning, are you willing to sacrifice comfort and NVH for capability, you can have one, not both.
        The GC is a much better place to spend your time, but comparing it to a vehicle in a different class is disingenuous, because while it may compete in the fluff area, it has no footing in what the 4R is capable of.

        I don’t even care for 4Runners, the GC has more appealing engine choices a great ride, and decent handling. But the fact remains the GC cannot keep up with the 4R. It matters what your preference is, cramped midsize SUV’s aren’t mine, and that’s how I find both of these vehicles.

  • avatar
    JGlanton

    I wonder how you get a $37K MSRP. Jeep lists the Altitude 4×4 price as $38,290. $39,285 with destination charge.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I like the looks. Reminds me of the Sport package Ford Fusions of a few years back.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I liked those, but I feel like they didn’t sell many. Very different from the gaudy-as-you-like Edge Sport.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The Edge Sport would be way less gaudy if they backed off the 22s. The dealer I go to will order one with 18s. With a black grille and 18s, it isn’t too bling. Unfortunetly, hardly anyone orders them like that.

        I really like the new one:

        http://www.ford.com/crossovers/edge/trim/sport/

        I would pick 20s instead of 22s. 18s are no longer available in that trim.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The thing is the Fusion Sport had other compelling reasons to buy it like the AWD, stiffened suspension, and other nice touches. It was JB’s favorite Fusion. https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/review-2010-ford-fusion-sport/

        • 0 avatar
          r129

          There were a lot of compelling reasons to buy the last Fusion, especially the Sport. The current one just doesn’t appeal to me at all. Obviously, I am not in the majority.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Was the color keyed grille only available for a short time, or had to be specified with options? I know near where I live there’s a red Fusion Sport with a red grille.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            There was a “monochrome appearance package” which is not the same thing as a sport package. Near me there is a red “monochrome appearance package” Fusion but the first dead giveaway that it is not a sport is the lack of dual exhausts from the V6. The true sports also had a “SPORT” script on the tail.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Eh?! What is this magic!

            Could you not equip a Sport with Monochrome? I could swear it says Sport on the back. I observed it while running more than once!

          • 0 avatar
            r129

            You could not equip the Fusion Sport with the Monochrome Appearance Package to the best of my knowledge. It was an option on the SEL and later SE. The 2011-12 Sport came with a “black chrome” grille.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            r129 is right that the Fusion sport didn’t have a monochrome grille, but I think it was a chrome one. I do know that people bought the part aftermarket. The Ford dealer would get you one.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It’s funny that they still have two “Sport” models, but no Fusion Sport. Since they have the 2.7TT now, it should make the process extremely easy. Go go Fusion refresh!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The smoked grille on a Sport was nice.

            http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=45242&endYear=2012&modelCode1=FUSION&showcaseOwnerId=1060076&startYear=2010&makeCode1=FORD&searchRadius=0&showcaseListingId=384700236&mmt=%5BFORD%5BFUSION%5BFUSION%257CSport%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&listingId=393314201&Log=0

            I dunno WTF this is though:
            http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=45242&endYear=2012&modelCode1=FUSION&showcaseOwnerId=1060076&startYear=2010&makeCode1=FORD&firstRecord=101&numRecords=100&searchRadius=0&showcaseListingId=384700236&mmt=%5BFORD%5BFUSION%5BFUSION%257CSport%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&listingId=390496658&Log=0

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I know two people that purchased Edge Sports with the 22s. I made sure they got wheel/tire hazard insurance. A new wheel for an Edge Sport costs like $1500. Nail one pothole and you’ve recoved your money threefold.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            You can’t lose with twenty twos.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Danio-

            The next Navigator is going to have optional twenty four inch blades.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well, if FCA can sell this with those butt fugly rims, good on FCA.

    I find this a waste of a good 4×4. Where can you use this as a 4×4? It appears it was built to appease suburbanites and not an off roader.

    To the anti “global” pickup brigade, look at it’s tow rating. I suppose it’s 7400lb tow rating is good because it’s “Merican”. Only the globals in midsize vehicles are unable to match;)

  • avatar
    asterix

    The new GCs are very nice looking and I have to admit they sure are a cheaper alternative to a Range Rover. We just bought the GC Overland edition in the Red Exterior/Tan Interior for my wife and I have to admit that it sure was a great buy when compared to my Range Rover. Offering almost identical options for $30+ less. We saw the Altitudes on the dealership and as someone mentioned earlier, the combo of Red and Black looked a bit cheap. Overall the Altitudes were very reasonable with their packages.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      asterix, very nice!

      In Nov 2011 we bought a 2012 Overland Summit V6 4X4 in Auburn/Tan and she loved it. It was a problem-free vehicle for us, and still serves our 23-yo grand daughter as a daily driver today, with well over 75k on the clock.

      Our GC wore out the el-cheapo Goodyear rubber within 24k, but after I slapped on 4-Michelins, they’re still rolling real good with more than 50k on the tires.

      I rotate my four tires every 10k miles, change the oil and oil filter every 3-5k using Castrol 5W-30 and Purolator oil filter. I use a Fram Cabin Air filter with Baking Soda and a washable/reusable K&N air filter.

      My best friend bought his wife a 2012 Laredo 4X4 V6 around that same time as we bought ours and it has also been without any problems, as has my oldest son’s 2012 SRT8, and another friend’s 2012 Limited 5.7 4X4.

      May your relationship with your JGC live long and prosper.


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