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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overview
Although the Jeep Grand Cherokee remains one of the most capable vehicles you can buy, it hasn’t undergone a major redesign since 2011. Still, there’s big news for 2018—a 707-hp Trackhawk variant that promises a 0-to-60 time of just 3.5 seconds, thanks to a V8 engine borrowed from the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat.
The 4-wheel-drive (4WD) Grant Cherokee Trackhawk is immediately recognizable thanks to its unique front air intake. Additional ducting below the grille gives the car an aggressive look while offering as much air as the massive supercharged engine needs. Also part of the cooling system is a quad exhaust. The TrackHawk is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine good for an astounding 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. The automatic transmission and differential have been beefed up to handle the extra power, and high-performance Brembo brakes will stop the massive SUV from 60 mph in just 114 feet. Pricing and availability haven’t yet been released, but we expect the Trackhawk to be the $80,000 range and available in limited numbers.
Those who aren’t looking for a Grand Cherokee off-roader with supercar potential can expect more of the same at their local Jeep dealers. The 2018 trim lineup hasn’t been confirmed but should remain the same as last year.
Aside from the performance-oriented SRT and off-road-ready Trailhawk, all other Grand Cherokees are offered with the buyer’s choice of rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4WD. The entry-level trim is the RWD Laredo, which comes with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine good for 290 hp and 263 lb-ft. Fuel economy stands at 19 mpg city, 26 highway, and 21 combined, although opting for 4WD will lower these numbers to 18, 25, and 21. Options are few and far between—to add extras like a tow package, a larger touchscreen, heated front seats, or chrome trim, you’ll need to start with the Laredo E as a base, which will cost an extra few thousand dollars.
The Grand Cherokee Altitude trim receives convenience items like an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry and ignition, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, and a universal garage-door opener. Next up, the Limited trim comes standard with 18-inch wheels and heated leather-trimmed seats. Options include an upgraded sound system, LED lighting, and a larger touchscreen. More importantly, the 4WD Limited is the most affordable trim that also comes with Jeep’s well-known Selec-Terrain system, which automatically adjusts performance for snow, mud, and other obstacles. With the 4WD Limited, the engine can be upgraded to a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with an output of 360 hp and 390 lb-ft and fuel-economy figures of 14, 22, and 17. No details have been released on whether the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 will return for 2018.
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk comes with all the off-road prowess Jeep offers—a Quadra-Lift adjustable air suspension, Selec-Terrain, a Class IV trailer hitch with a 7- and 4-pin wiring harness, and heavy-duty engine cooling. Also unique to the Trailhawk is a black and red interior design.
Stepping up to the Grand Cherokee Overland gets you 20-inch wheels, navigation, and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights. Opting for the 4WD variant adds Selec-Terrain, an adjustable air suspension, and a towing package. The Summit further includes unique interior colors, polished aluminum wheels, and special trimming on top of all the Overland has to offer.
Finally, the Grand Cherokee SRT trim comes with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 good for 475 hp and 470 lb-ft. Features like Brembo brakes, digital performance gauges, carbon-fiber interior trim, blacked-out wheels and grille, and launch control mean this off-roader feels right at home on a track. Fuel-economy figures stand at 13, 19, and 15.
A member of the New England Motor Press Association who has owned everything from a Town Car to a Prius, Keith has contributed automotive coverage to outlets including Wired, Car & Driver, and USA Today.
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