2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Review

This year was the Grand Cherokee’s 20th birthday. Back in 1993, Jeep unleashed what became the other staple in its lineup. In no time flat, the Grand Cherokee gained recognition as a posh, urban vehicle with solid off-road cred and styling; a perfect combination for the SUV-crazed market at the time.

Eventually, its lustre wore off; however, the demand and desire for this truck only barely faltered. It quickly became a go-to SUV along with Ford Explorer, its main competitor. When the market crashed, the Explorer’s sales tanked severely whereas the Grand Cherokee’s suffered much less.

Despite the Explorer turning more CUV than SUV, the Grand Cherokee stayed true to its roots, and this may be the reason why the Jeep remains as popular. With that vocation does not come compromises such as a rough ride or poor quality. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee can be as civil or rugged as the driver desires at the touch of a button or the turn of a knob.

What is a Jeep Grand Cherokee?
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s flagship vehicle. With the smaller Cherokee’s success, Jeep decided to create a vehicle to compete with the aforementioned Explorer.

Under Chrysler’s umbrella, reliability issues quickly surfaced, but the Jeep’s overall status for looking great and being as comfortable in a movie-theater parking lot as crawling through the Rubicon trail.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 3/4 view

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s flagship vehicle. (Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre)


2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Price and Specs

To cross over into the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a budding owner needs to dish out $39,995 for the base Laredo. Four other trims are on offer leading up to the top-of-the-line $62,995 SRT8 with its massive 470 horsepower 6.4L HEMI V8.

The Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit are all powered by a 290-horsepower 3.6L V6. The latter three can be optioned up with Chrysler’s 360-horsepower 5.7L HEMI V8. The Overland and Summit may be equipped with a new 240-horsepower EcoDiesel 3.0L V6.

All feature an 8-speed automatic transmission and one version or another of Jeep’s arsenal of 4×4 systems.

The as-tested Summit sported the V6 and a Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearlcoat for $225 extra. The grand total: $62,445. The EcoDiesel option would add $4,995.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit engine

The as-tested Summit sported the 290-horsepower 3.6L V6. (Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre)

Driving the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The first Grand Cherokee I ever drove was a 2001, two years into its second generation. At the time, I was impressed with everything. I drove a number of 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation trucks leading up to this 2014, and for all them the general feeling of competence is always present.

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit is no different. In fact, it is the best Grand Cherokee I’ve ever had the pleasure to drive. Although I was disappointed at first about the V6 under the bonnet, I quickly shut my trap as I was immensely satisfied with the power provided.

Under easy throttle load, the 8-speed box slid from one gear to another with ease, but when solicited it hesitated far more than it should have. In Sport mode, response in general was ameliorated, but the transmission’s desire to hold off still remained, somewhat. What further irritated here was the shifter that loved to play games when selecting a position, and take its sweet time responding. A programming issue, perhaps?

As far as handling was concerned, the standard Quadra-Lift air suspension system kept the otherwise top-heavy 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee on the straight and true. Its masterful control of pitch and roll, and large section 20” tires, made for an entertaining drive through the mountains on the way to Monticello, NY.

This air suspension has a few tricks up its sleeve: At highway speeds, it will lower the 2014 Grand Cherokee for improved aerodynamics. At the opposite end of the spectrum, it will raise the truck and give it up to 11.3” of ground clearance. Successful crossing of anything is also guaranteed thanks to the Select-Terrain with Auto, Snow, Sand, Mud, and Rock settings, along with the Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system.

The bottom line here is that the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is seriously at ease in any circumstance.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit shifter

Under easy throttle load, the 8-speed box slid from one gear to another with ease, but when solicited it hesitated far more than it should have. (Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre)

Inside and Out of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
While many manufacturers are looking to soften the look of their “trucks” or SUVs/CUVs, Jeep essentially said to hell with that and maintained a very unapologetic SUV style that begins with the legendary seven-slat grille.

For 2014, headlights were slimmed down, but unfortunately are located in the same openings as the previous 2011-‘13 headlights. A black piece of plastic fills the gap, which I find terribly cheap… Also new for 2014 is front and rear LED lighting.

As per the norm, the larger the wheels in the Grand Cherokee’s arches, the better the final physical appearance.

On board, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit lacks nothing. Ergonomics are quite good; fabulous on a long road trip when adjusting temperatures and changing SiriusXM stations are a regular occurrence.

Nice touches include: a chunky heated tilt/telescoping steering wheel; heated and cooled snuggly front seats; and a well-presented and complete instrument cluster. Other niceties come from the classy materials and proper fit and finish throughout the cabin.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit cabin

On board, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit lacks nothing. Ergonomics are quite good. (Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre)

Comparing the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee faces competition from the Hyundai Santa Fe all the way to the Land Rover LR4, and everything in between. Its main competition comes from the current Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Ford Explorer, and Toyota 4Runner. Of the lot, the Grand Cherokee gets our vote for being exactly what it is.

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