Since 1941, Jeep has been making vehicles geared towards getting things done. With a constant eye towards ruggedness and capability beyond what most cars could be reasonably asked to accomplish, Jeep has always excelled at making vehicles that can do much more than you will ever demand from them.
The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 75th Anniversary Edition, even from your first glance at its burly exterior, reassures you that it won’t fall short of expectations. Bronze front grille and wheels replace the chrome found on the standard vehicle, giving the five-seater an even more serious and businesslike demeanor. Our test car was finished in Granite Crystal Metallic paint, which has a vibrant metallic flake that added to the car’s tough presence. And Trail-Rated and commemorative badging advertise the car’s proven capabilities and history.
The 4×4 we drove was powered by a 3.6L V6 gasoline engine, though a 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel and — for those who insist on having the ultimate in power — a 5.7L HEMI V8 are also available. All are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which can be left to choose gears by itself or you can use the steering wheel-mounted paddles. Fuel economy for our car was rated at 18mpg city/25mpg highway, 21mpg combined. Range should be over 250 miles per tank of gas.
Acceleration was very responsive — it picks up speed quickly, and drives like a car that is much smaller than it is. The ride is firm but surprisingly comfortable. A full complement of airbags and accident avoidance systems are standard.
There are many features that owners will be able to use daily, such as the air suspension system which make ingress and egress from the high-riding vehicle easier, as well as automatic ride-height adjustment to provide better aerodynamics on freeways. It works quickly and the on-board systems can manage it without driver interaction.
Speaking of on-board systems, the car has a great array of electronic gadgetry to keep you engaged, impressed and ready for any task you have on hand. Driver assistance systems that include rock, sand, snow and mud settings, sharp-angle assistance — both uphill and downhill — make the more daunting off-road adventures much more manageable and stress-free. For city-living owners, parallel parking assistance, self-opening and closing tailgate, and remote keyless entry will be everyday blessings.
With all of its pedigree and capabilities, you’d think that the interior might have been once place that Jeep didn’t go the distance, but you’d be mistaken. The interior of the Grand Cherokee Limited is an absolute haven. Supple, supportive leather seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel make you feel right at home. Contrast stitching on the seats, armrests and other interior surfaces are a luxurious touch that I didn’t expect, but thoroughly enjoyed. Center console buttons were all very clearly marked, and the temperature controls were a breeze to use.
The built-in navigation/infotainment system was easy to see, even in direct sunlight. Up to nine Bluetooth devices can be connected to the infotainment system. For audiophiles, a 19-speaker Harmon-Kardon system is available, and there is an option to add dual DVD-players behind the front seats for your rear-seat passengers.
Equally impressive was the LCD screen which comprises the central part of the driver’s gauge cluster. That screen can show a whole slew of statistics, from individual tire pressures to fuel economy to trip information. Controls for that area are conveniently located on the steering wheel, on the opposite side of the wheel from the cruise control buttons.
Rear-seat passengers will be pleased to find USB connections, temperature control vents, and even a full 115V connector, perfect for connecting a laptop. Like those in the front row, heated rear seats will keep all passengers in great comfort as you travel. Behind the second row is very ample storage and the rear seats fold forward to create an even larger, level storage area which includes tie-downs and raised rails to prevent carpet damage when moving larger objects around.
Overall, the 75h Anniversary Edition Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited is a pleasure to drive, will easily handle what all but the most extreme drivers will ask of it, and will keep you safe and comfortable all the while. Its versatility, proven drivetrain, fuel economy and luxury make it a top-notch option for those looking for a great all-around vehicle with proper off-road chops.