Something new, for a change. Jeep wants to make the 2011 Grand Cherokee more capable on-road while maintaining its off-road prowess. Ah… wait a second: haven’t we heard that before?
That’s fine; it is Jeep’s mandate to provide customers with a certain image. For that image to hold fast, the Grand Cherokee needs to handle the Rubicon Trail. But for customers to actually buy the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it must hold its own against the Chevrolet Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, and Honda Pilot on the school run.
An all-new five-position air suspension should help with that. Selec-Terrain, something like Land Rover’s switchable terrain response system, will do electronically what Jeeps could always do without gizmos. On the powertrain front, a new 3.6L V6 generates 280 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. With markets this volatile, one would assume this will be the popular engine choice. The 5.7L Hemi is available, too.
The new Grand Cherokee has a tippy-toe stance that, in profile, is reminiscent of the Volkswagen Tiguan of all things. If not particularly likeable, the front end is modern and aerodynamic at first glance. Despite sales that have plummeted in recent years as the advent of crossovers and high fuel prices combined to eat away at Grand Cherokee/Explorer/TrailBlazer sales, there’s still something special about the Jeep. Special enough to fork out huge coin for an unnecessarily tough SUV? That’s to be determined sometime in 2010. Check out all 42 pictures of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the Gallery below.