By Kelsey Mays on September 1, 2014
Most significant changes: New appearance packages, noise cancellation for upper-crust trims, slightly more power for SRT
Price change: TBD
On sale: September/October
Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? Vast majority of trims unchanged, so 2014
Jeep's popular Grand Cherokee has sprouted as many special editions as ... uh, most other cars from Fiat Chrysler Automobile. This time, the top-of-the-line Grand Cherokee Summit gets a California Edition appearance package, which adds body-colored — rather than chrome — door handles and mirrors, plus body-colored lower body panels instead of darker trim. The grille, fog-light bezels and a few other areas get unique "platinum chrome" accents, too. Inside, tan leather with black stitching joins the color palette.
Cosmetic updates aside, all Summit models add active noise cancellation and more noise abatement to the windshield and second-row windows.
There's also a tad bit more power for the Grand Cherokee SRT (above), whose 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 now makes 475 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque — up 5 hp and 5 pounds-feet from the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT. The SRT also adds active noise cancellation, and a new Red Vapor edition, which comes in red, white or black. The Red Vapor's other additions (all cosmetic) include unique 20-inch wheels, glossy black exterior trim and red cabin accents with an illuminated SRT steering-wheel logo.
Besides the Summit and SRT, the Grand Cherokee comes in Laredo, Limited and Overland models. Other drivetrains carry over; a turbocharged diesel 3.0-liter V-6 (EPA 22/30/25 mpg city/highway/combined) is the fuel-efficiency leader, while gasoline V-6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engines are also available. All three engines work with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with three four-wheel drive systems available.
Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey