Jeep Unveils 2017 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, Summit

17Jeep_Grand-Cherokee-Trailhawk_1.jpg 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk | Manufacturer image

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.

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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.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit

The Summit is the most luxurious Grand Cherokee (but not the most expensive, that’s the fire-breathing SRT model). Jeep is updating the Summit for the 2017 model year with a new front fascia and LED headlamps, new 20-inch polished wheels and a new leather-lined interior.

The Laguna leather interior in Indigo and Ski Gray is one of four optional color schemes (the others are Black, Brown and Dark Sienna Brown), and it is the most dramatic. Nappa leather covers the dashboard, center console and door panels, while Laguna leather covers the seats. A suede headliner, lighted door sills and acoustic glass are standard. Berber carpet mats, active noise cancellation and a Harmon/Kardon 19-speaker stereo also are standard.

Frankly, just about everything is standard on the Summit model, including the Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system with electronic limited-slip differential and air suspension. All of the luxury goodies are included as well, including auto-folding mirrors and headlamp washers. You get electronic safety minders too, such as blind spot, forward collision and lane departure warnings; adaptive cruise control; and automatic parallel and perpendicular parking systems.

Both trim levels will arrive in dealer showrooms late this summer.

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