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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Cars.com Staff
September 1, 2006
Vehicle Overview Jeep widens the range of fuel choices for its Grand Cherokee SUV for 2007, adding both a diesel engine and a flex-fuel V-8 to its lineup. Side curtain airbags with rollover detection are standard, and Jeep adds some new colors and various other exterior and interior tweaks. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 sees only minor changes.
The Grand Cherokee is sold in Overland, Laredo and Limited variations for 2007. An electronic stability system and one-touch up/down front-door windows are standard.
A new 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 is available for 2007. The Grand Cherokee can also be equipped with a 3.7-liter V-6, a 4.7-liter V-8 or a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The 4.7-liter V-8 can run on E85 fuel, and the 5.7-liter Hemi incorporates a Multi-Displacement System that deactivates half of the cylinders during cruising and light acceleration in order to increase fuel economy.
Three four-wheel-drive systems are available. Quadra-Trac I provides full-time all-wheel-drive operation and requires no attention from the driver. Quadra-Trac II is a full-time active four-wheel-drive system that has low-range gearing. Quadra-Drive II includes electronic limited-slip differentials for heightened offroad capability.
For high-performance fans, a Grand Cherokee SRT8 is also available. (Skip to details on the: SRT8)
Exterior The Grand Cherokee's appearance is led by Jeep's signature seven-slot grille, which is flanked by round headlamps. The grille is body-colored on the Laredo model, chrome on the Limited and wire lattice on the Overland.
Cladding is available on the Laredo for 2007 as part of an appearance upgrade. The SUV has what Jeep calls "powerful" wheel flares. Built on a 109.5-inch wheelbase, the Grand Cherokee is 186.6 inches long overall and 67.7 inches tall, with a 62-inch track width. Jeep says it has revised the SUV's rear taillights, and Red Rock Crystal, Light Graystone, Steel Blue Metallic, Jeep Green Metallic and Mineral Gray Metallic are new color options for 2007.
Interior Jeep says the cupholders are now colored to match the rest of the interior. Laredo models get chrome accents on the instrument gauges and climate-control system, as well as a black bezel for the center console.
Five occupants fit inside the Grand Cherokee, and the driver faces a symmetrical two-tone instrument panel. The four-gauge cluster has LED illumination with red pointers.
Laredos get standard cloth upholstery; leather is optional. Seats in the Limited are two-tone leather with perforated inserts, and Overland seats are covered in leather and suede upholstery.
A reversible load-floor panel in the cargo area improves versatility. Available features include a navigation radio, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Boston Acoustics audio and rear park assist. There's also a rearview camera that's standard in the Overland and available as a package option in the Limited. Cargo volume behind the rear seat is 34.5 cubic feet.
Under the Hood Four engines are available: the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, rated at 330 horsepower and 375 pounds-feet of torque; a 3.7-liter V-6 that develops 210 hp and 235 pounds-feet of torque; a 230-hp, 4.7-liter V-8 that develops 305 pounds-feet of torque; and a turbocharged diesel V-6 that makes 215 hp and 376 pounds-feet of torque. All engines work with one of two five-speed automatic transmissions.
Safety Antilock brakes are standard on all trims, as are side curtain airbags.
Driving Impressions With the Hemi V-8, this Jeep starts off with a leap. Acceleration is less assertive at highway speeds, but the automatic transmission performs well on steep upgrades by downshifting promptly when you push the accelerator.
The V-6 is short on power going up steeper grades, but otherwise its performance will suffice for most drivers. After a sluggish startup, speed actually rises fairly rapidly. Jeep's 4.7-liter V-8 is an appealing compromise — closer to the V-6, though more refined.
Ride comfort is appealing in each version. Surprisingly, the less-potent versions have felt a bit more stable on twisting roads and mountainous inclines. The Hemi edition eases through every forbidding offroad obstacle. The seats are exceptionally comfortable and have good support and fair side bolstering. Rear legroom is modest unless the front seats are well forward.
SRT8 The new SRT8 has a 6.1-liter version of DaimlerChrysler's Hemi V-8; it develops 415 hp and 410 pounds-feet of torque. Equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, the SRT8 has an upgraded rear differential and a five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick for manual gear changes. Jeep says the SRT8 has a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of less than 5 seconds. It gains a rearview camera and remote start for 2007.
SRT-tuned dampers, unique sway bars, special spring rates and suspension bushings are installed. Ride height has been lowered by an inch. Forged five-spoke aluminum wheels hold 20-inch tires. Brembo brake calipers are standard. The front features integrated brake-cooling ducts and an air dam. A center cutout accommodates dual 4-inch exhaust tips, and sill extensions help give the SRT8 a distinctive look. Back to top