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2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overview
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Perhaps the biggest news regarding the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the fact that it will be on sale for only about 5 months. Anticipating a wholesale reworking for the 2014 version, Jeep will change absolutely nothing in this 5-passenger midsize SUV for 2013, since the next-gen edition is anticipated to be mightily tweaked from stem to stern. Look for a potent and efficient 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 to be added to the engine lineup, with an 8-speed ZF-backed shiftable automatic transmission thrown in for some serious fuel economy in all drivetrain offerings.
However, that’ll be then, and this is now. For 2013 expect the Grand Cherokee family to continue with three trims, the base Laredo, the midlevel Limited and the top-shelf Overland. Both the Laredo and Overland are further subdivided into the Laredo X and Overland Summit sub-trims, with their corresponding perks. Of course, all trims are offered with either standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or available 4-wheel drive (4WD), the latter featuring electronic hi-lo gear selection, auto-locking hubs, descent control and, in Limited and Overland trims, an available electronic limited-slip rear differential, as well as the optional Quadra-Trac and Select-Terrain 4WD systems.
Though Ford, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen try hard with their Explorer, Pilot, 4Runner and Touareg, respectively, they simply can’t offer the rugged off-road capability traditionally inherent in a Jeep. The 2013 Grand Cherokee lineup merely adds a goodly measure of posh to that inbred off-the-beaten-path nitty-gritty.
Speaking of posh, the base Grand Cherokee Laredo should shoulder such standard appearance features as a rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels and a roof rack on its burly frame, while cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and a fold-flat front passenger seat endow its roomy cabin. Further creature comforts include full power accessories, including heated power mirrors, as well as cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, dual-zone climate control and a leather steering wheel. A single-CD player with 6 speakers provides entertainment under the guidance of the UConnect/Bluetooth system that also contributes to hands-free communications. Meantime, the Laredo X factors in standard rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, remote engine start and a few enhanced cabin accent baubles.
Working from the Laredo X foundation, the Grand Cherokee Limited should again throw in 18-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, heated power-adjustable front seats, leather-trimmed upholstery, a universal remote garage door opener and upgraded cabin accents. An auto-dimming rear-view mirror, remote engine start, memory for driver's settings and a hard-drive-based navigation system also ought to be delivered on this midlevel trim, with entertainment bolstered by standard satellite radio service.
Sitting regally atop the trim lineup, the Overland and Overland Summit will likely retain their standard 20-inch aluminum wheels, Class IV towing equipment (with a load-leveling rear suspension) and keyless Entry-N-Go, as well as genuine wood and alloy interior accents. Look for the Summit to add standard adaptive cruise control to an already plush mix.
Options for the 2013 Grand Cherokee Laredo and Limited run rampant, with both trims eligible for much of the Overland’s standard equipment. A couple of Off-Road Adventure packages (I and II) are available to the higher trims, though the Laredo can be delivered with the more basic Off-Road Adventure Package I. These off-road-enhancing bundles boast, among other things, skid plates, all-terrain tires, an electronic limited-slip rear differential and beefed-up shock absorbers and springs. Upgraded appearance goodies also can be ordered for any trim, while the Limited and Overland can be fitted with an available rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Standard power for the entire 2013 Grand Cherokee spectrum is expected to remain the 290-hp 3.6-liter Flex Fuel V6. Matched with the standard 5-speed shiftable automatic, this peppy V6 should put out 260 lb-ft of torque, to the tune of a variable-valve-timed (VVT) 17 mpg city/23 highway in RWD trims and 16/23 in 4WD configurations. Max towing capacity, meantime, should remain at 7,400 pounds with the proper equipment.
Need more oomph? Limited and Overland trims can be equipped with a 360-hp, 390-lb-ft/torque 5.7-liter V8 engine and its accompanying 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Again with VVT, this hefty V8 should burn 14/20 in RWD-laden trims and 13/20 in 4WD trims.
Of course, the usual standard safety equipment, including 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and front headrest whiplash protection ought to accompany all Grand Cherokees. Brake drying and a post-collision safety system should remain standard across the lineup, while the Limited and Overland trims likely will continue to boast daytime running lights, self-leveling high-intensity-discharge headlights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors. Finally, a blind-spot warning system and rear cross-path detection system should once more be exclusively available to the Limited and Overland trims.
by Eric Tallberg
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Jeep Grand Cherokee Questions
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