2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Review Behind the Wheel ZipRage-3

THE RIDE:

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4

THE REVIEW:

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited seems like a vehicle that was designed specifically for Rocky Mountain driving. It’s a multi-purpose SUV that does an outstanding job of delivering ruggedness, versatility, power and luxury all in one reasonably sized package.

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was totally revamped for 2011, so not much has changed in 2012. The styling is handsome and undoubtedly new while retaining a traditional, slightly boxy Jeep form. The vertical grille design quickly identifies the vehicle as a Jeep and like most Jeep lines the Grand Cherokee sported a nice set of handsome five-spoke alloy wheels.

Aesthetically, I think Jeep has done an outstanding job melding classic Jeep cues with contemporary SUV elements. It looks much tougher than many of it’s feminized contemporary counterparts while not straying to far into overdone, I still fly a confederate flag and slap testicles on my ride territory.

The Grand Cherokee Limited’s interior is, in a word, fantastic. My tester had the Luxury Group II package which included leather trimmed seats and a heated steering wheel among other niceties. Basically middle of-the-line above the base Laredo and below the Overland — a review for which will be coming very soon. Even being in the middle the Limited had features, quality of materials and a finish comparable to many much more expensive luxury sedans. Color me impressed. And that heated steering wheel is the best I’ve used, in a world of wheels only heated at the 4 and 8 position Jeep actually managed to heat the entire steering wheel. Other nice features included heated and cooled front seats, power lumbar adjustments, heated rear outboard seats, power tilt/telescopic, satellite radio, wireless cell phone link, voice recognition, navigation, backup camera and a very awesome panoramic power sunroof.

Front legroom is ample and the Cherokee has rear legroom to match, even with the front seats pushed back. Four full-size adults will have no problem riding in the Cherokee. Cargo space is also ample, it’s no Chevy Suburban, but it’s far more space than most competing midsize SUVs. The cargo floor is nice and flat and includes chrome rub strips for easy loading.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee sits on a unibody platform that owes much of its success to the Mercedes M-class SUVs. The Grand Cherokee handles obstacles and rough terrain proficiently and is capable of far more than most owners will ever see, much less try.

The selec-Terrain controls on the center console provide option for 4WD low, hill descent, snow, sport, auto, sand/mud and rocks. For the most part you can set it and forget it with auto as the Quadra-Trac II 4WD system is happy to do the hard work and decision making for you.

My tester had the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, which is rated at 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. The Hemi features cylinder deactivation to aid fuel economy. EPA rating are 13 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, I average 16 mpg.

BRAGGING RIGHTS:

Jeep has been building off-road wagons since 1947 and the current iteration of the Grand Cherokee the best so far.

WINDUP:

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is smooth and a pleasure to drive in all conditions. Acceleration is more than decent for the SUVs size and steering, braking and overall handling are all very good.

THE PHOTOS: