CARS.COM — Jeep’s original plan for the 2016 New York International Auto Show was to show off an all-new SUV, but when we got late word that the plans had changed, we wondered what Fiat Chrysler Automobiles would show in its place. Wonder no more — Jeep unveiled two new trim levels of its popular Grand Cherokee SUV. Making their debuts are the new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and Grand Cherokee Summit.
2017 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk first appeared as a concept car for the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, one of Jeep’s favorite places to try out new ideas. The Trailhawk name typically accompanies off-road-capable goodies, and the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is no exception. It comes with the most capable Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system and includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential. The suspension is a special version of the Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift air suspension that features additional travel and improved wheel articulation for off-road obstacles. Hill Ascent Control and Selec-Speed Control electronic speed controls also are included.
The Trailhawk wears the front fascia and seven-slot grille that made its debut on the 2016 75th Anniversary Edition model, as well as a special flat-black appliqu‚ for the hood. Like the smaller Renegade and Cherokee Trailhawk models, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk gets front and rear red tow hooks. It also has 18-inch or optional 20-inch wheels with Kevlar-reinforced off-road tires, Trailhawk and Trail Rated badges in red, and gray mirrors and roof-rack accents. Skid plates are standard, and for added underbody protection, you can get some Mopar rock rails.
On the inside, you won’t want to be too muddy when you slide into the black leather and suede performance seats. Piano black and gunmetal-finish trim replaces wood, and red stitching is on the seats, doors and console. The 8.4-inch Uconnect touch-screen features special 4×4 performance pages and is standard.