The first (and only) SUV I personally owned was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It was a workhouse of a truck back in 1997, yet comfy and stylish. The Jeep brand says a lot about its owner. Maybe he’s a rugged dude. Perhaps she is a practical woman who schleps and hauls things and needs a strong truck with large cargo capacity. For me, well we just had our second child and needed an upgrade from my 2-seat sports car.
Fast forward 22 years later (and another kid) and the Jeep Grand Cherokee is still a stylish workhorse. Not much has changed with the overall look from back than other than it’s less boxy shape and lowered for easier entry access.
I hung out with the Summit version of this classic vehicle and found it be a sturdy off-roader with a smooth ride thanks to generous tires and shock absorbers (and well, it’s a Jeep). There are 5 different engine configurations with my tester having a 5.7L V8 Hemi that puts out 360hp. The standard 3.6L V6 churns out 295hp and returns respectable fuel economy of 19/26 mpg. You get about 68 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are folded. Not bad though there are other in-class SUVs with a more room, namely the Honda Passport and Toyota 4Runner.
The thing with Grand Cherokees is you can add on a lot of things which add on the price. It starts around $32,000 with few options but take a look at the Limited X which begins at $50,000 and keep going to the top-of-the-line Trackhawk with supercharged 707hp. No doubt it is a sexy beast but it should be for $90,000. Alas, Jeep knows they can appeal to most everyone with all these flavors.
Listen to the full ride from my radio show below: