2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Drivers’ Notes | Haulin’ the groceries

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Powered by the same supercharged Hemi at the heart of Dodge’s Hellcat cars, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the sort of vehicle that comes from a “Why not?” attitude from the maniacs at SRT. It’s not for the faint of heart, nor for the cash-strapped. With 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque, it’s capable of a 0-60 sprint of just 3.5 seconds. Its base price, however, is $86,995, though our tester’s sticker totaled just a few bucks shy of $100,000.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: “What business does a Jeep have going 0-60 in 3.5 seconds?” This was my thought as I merged into rainy rush-hour traffic on Woodward Avenue in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. “Why does an SUV need to have ‘Track’ in the name?” I thought as I unintentionally broke the tires loose pulling away from a stoplight. I hit the “Eco” button, but the Jeep still roared with every toe-tap, and still managed to gulp down nearly a quarter of a tank of gas on my ride home.

That sound, though, is amazing, and surely more unsettling to other drivers coming from such a big beast of a ute.

Anyway, this Jeep feels more grown-up than other Hemi-powered vehicles I’ve driven. The fit and finish in this $99,000 Jeep is far nicer than, say, the Dodge Durango SRT (though at a much higher cost). If another driver didn’t pay close attention to the badging, they might see this and think it just another Jeep. The sound, though, will give it away every time.

Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: If Fiat-Chrysler knows how to do anything, it’s making fast SUVs, and the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is further proof of that. And by that I mean, they know how to make them fast, and they know how to make them pleasant to drive.

The Trackhawk definitely handles the fast part better than its SRT Durango and SRT Grand Cherokee cousins, what with its extra 230-odd horsepower. This big beast seriously rockets when you punch the throttle. The nose rises up, the supercharger screams, the exhaust rumbles and the speedometer ticks up much faster than you’d ever think. And it feels strong at all revs. Also impressive is that you don’t have to really think when flooring it. The all-wheel-drive and fat tires offer so much grip the Jeep simply goes.

The pleasant to drive part comes in the fact that the Trackhawk is very comfortable. The suspension has plenty of give, providing a good ride over pockmarked Motown roads. But it still handles well, if perhaps not quite up to the standards of European super SUVs. But the thing is, no SUV is going to have sports car handling, so the tradeoff toward a bit more comfort is welcomed. Adding to the good suspension are wide, bolstered, well-padded seats that should be excellent for long-trips. The UConnect is easy to use, and there’s plenty of space inside. It’s a great all-around SUV, and it just happens to go extremely fast.

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I was psyched to drive the Trackhawk. It’s one of the most anticipated Jeeps ever — and it totally lived up to the hype. Obviously, the Hellcat engine is the spotlight feature, and it’s well-suited to the Grand Cherokee. That was the part I was curious about. It didn’t seem like a logical fit, but everything is well-tuned and sorted. It sounds good, yet not overdone. It’s also a sleeper vehicle. Yes, something is up with this Jeep. You can tell that at first glance. But Hellcat power isn’t immediately obvious. I like that. It’s also pretty chill when you’re cruising at steady speeds.

Inside, I wasn’t a fan of this maroon leather. Otherwise, the FCA U.S. controls and infotainment remain among the best in the industry. The touchscreens work, and the knobs and buttons are intuitive. Can’t ask for more. Also, many years into its lifecycle, the Grand Cherokee remains a strong, attractive player in its segment. Giving it the Trackhawk treatment wasn’t necessary, but I’m sure glad FCA did.

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2019 Jeep Cherokee reveals a much more normal face

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Since we started seeing redesigned Jeep Cherokee prototypes, we’ve suspected that the crossover would lose its controversial split headlights and pointy grille. Finally, we get a good look at a mostly uncovered test car, and it confirms that the new Cherokee will look quite conventional.

The obvious change is the headlights. Instead of the slender daytime running lights at the top next to the grille, and the actual illuminating headlights lower in the bumper, all of the elements are integrated into single housings on either side. They’re somewhat rectangular now, looking more like those on the Compass and the Grand Cherokee. But you can still see the same hockey-stick shaped LED running light design in the new lamps. The grille has changed, too. It looks much more blunt than the sharply creased, almost pointy grille of the current model. It also looks as though it may extend farther down than the current version.

The rest of the Cherokee is very similar to the current model. The flanks are virtually unchanged, as is the interior, and the tail sees only minor changes. The most significant is the move of the license plate from the bumper to the hatch. The taillights’ shape hasn’t really changed, but the white section is now broken up by black lines, and the red element looks darker.

We expect to see the Cherokee refresh soon, possibly by the end of the year.

[Source: Autoblog]

Jeep three-row SUV caught on public roads — Grand Wagoneer, perhaps?

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For years, it’s been rumored that Jeep is working on a full-size three-row crossover. The Grand Cherokee sells well, but it doesn’t match the space of its platform sibling, the Dodge Durango. At this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, Jeep revealed the Yuntu Concept, a plug-in three-row crossover designed for the Chinese market. While the automaker was adamant that this was just a concept, our spy photographers have seen a prototype running around near FCA’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Though this is still heavily camouflaged, we can see a few details that show this is indeed a version of the Yuntu. The headlights, taillights and windows are the biggest tells, as they’re nothing like what’s currently on any production Jeep. The long wheelbase gives away the SUV’s three-row nature. We can’t make out much else, but expect the final version to look like a Durango-sized version of the new Jeep Compass with a black roof and clear lighting.

We don’t know what rests under the hood, but the Yuntu concept is a plug-in hybrid. FCA really needs some electrified vehicles in its lineup if it’s going to compete with other mainstream automakers. If the Yuntu makes it to production, expect it to wear a name like Grand Wagoneer. We just hope for wood panels.

2018 Jeep Cherokee may lose its split headlights

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Now that the Jeep Cherokee is three model years old, it’s about due for a refresh, and it looks like Jeep has a major one in store. New spy shots show two prototype Cherokees testing. The heavily disguised prototype has the nose and tail completely covered, and an undisguised mule with the current body shows what appear to be new radar sensors. Based on these spy shots, it looks like the Cherokee’s current split headlight design could be disappearing.

We know there must be a significant redesign to the front considering how much camouflage is used. We can also just make out a revised accent light in a similar position as the current accent lights. This wouldn’t indicate unified headlights alone, but two of the exposed mule’s apparent radar sensors sit right where the square-shaped main headlamps are located on the current model. They’ll have to at least move those lights higher in the bumper for the sensors, and if they’re moved that far up, they might as well be merged with the accent lights.

Among the other details we can make out, the rear section will likely be substantially different. The license plate mounting point has been moved out of the rear bumper and into the rear hatch. This may also be related to radar sensors, since the line of sensors on the undisguised model are right in line with the license plate. But it should also serve to break up the large swath of sheet metal in the hatch. The middle section of the car still looks the same as the current model, which is further indication that this is a refresh.

 

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk set for New York debut

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The head of Jeep confirmed Wednesday that the brand will reveal its high-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in April at the New York Auto Show. “That is going to be quite a special vehicle,” Jeep boss Mike Manley said. “Very difficult for one not to smile.”

Speaking at an event at FCA US headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, to preview the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari vehicles for Moab, he didn’t provide further details. The Trackhawk has been expected to bow in New York, and the confirmation comes after months of rumors and spy shots.

What’s under the hood? The blown 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat from the Charger and Challenger is the overwhelmingly obvious choice. The V8 engine makes 707 horsepower in the Dodges. The most potent current Grand Cherokee, the SRT model, is rated at 475 hp. Jeep also already sells a Grand Cherokee Trailhawk for off-road adventures.

Meanwhile, Manley reiterated the next-generation Wrangler will debut by the end of the year, as expected.

The New York show is shaping up to be a blockbuster event for FCA US, which will also debut the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon on the eve of the show next month.

2017 Grand Cherokee in Portland Oregon at Dick’s Country Dodge in Hillsboro

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The 2017 Jeep Cherokee, for sale in Portland at Dick’s Country Dodge Jeep and Chrysler in Hillsboro, completely redefines the mid-size SUV segment, delivering legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, superior on-road ride and handling, world-class craftsmanship, clever functionality and versatility, more than 70 available safety and security features and advanced user-friendly technology. For further information, please call your Oregon Jeep dealer at (866) 817-9034.

The Jeep Cherokee, for sale near Beaverton, stands out against competitors with unmatched off-road capability while not sacrificing on-road ride and handling, comfort or segment-leading features.

Highlights

  • Best-in-class capability:
    • 3.2-liter V-6 engine now available on Cherokee Sport, three available four-wheel-drive systems that raise the standard for mid-size SUVs, Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with up to five customized modes (Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock), best-in-class V-6 towing capability: 4,500 pounds, up to a 56:1 crawl ratio for low-range traction
  • Fuel economy:
    • Up to 31 miles per gallon (mpg) highway; standard engine stop-start technology on 3.2-liter V-6-powered Cherokee models; only mid-size SUV with standard nine-speed automatic transmission; industry-first rear-axle disconnect resulting in reduced energy loss when 4×4 capability isn’t needed, improving fuel efficiency
  • More than 70 available advanced safety and security features

Model Lineup
For 2017, the Jeep Cherokee lineup consists of five models:

  • Sport (4×2 and 4×4)
  • Latitude (4×2 and 4×4)
  • Limited (4×2 and 4×4)
  • Overland (4×2 and 4×4)
  • Trailhawk
  • Special Edition models include:
  • 75th Anniversary Edition (production through Dec. 2016)
  • Altitude
  • High Altitude

Exterior Colors

  • Hydro Blue
  • Firecracker Red
  • Diamond Black
  • Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat
  • Bright White Clearcoat
  • Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearlcoat
  • Granite Crystal Metallic Clearcoat
  • Light Brownstone Pearlcoat
  • Recon Green Clearcoat
  • Rhino Clearcoat

More Information
Please visit the Jeep Cherokee newsroom for the latest product information, photography and videography.

About Jeep Brand
Built on more than 75 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.

The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Renegade, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models sold outside North America are available in both left and right-hand drive configurations and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in Portland is pretty much good to go

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We’ve been stalking the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for months, and now we’re getting our best look yet at the devilishly powerful sport utility vehicle.

From a distance, the JGC looks almost stately in black. Look closer and you see the SRT badges and the big brakes. Look past the wrappings and you see large air intakes in the lower fascia. All of this reinforces the Trackhawk’s performance pedigree, which will be anchored with the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi Hellcat V8. It’s rated at 707 horsepower in the Charger and Challenger Hellcats. The Jeep will use four-wheel drive.

These up-close images show off the Trackhawk’s simple design. Like the Dodge Hellcats, Jeep appears to be letting the power and capability stand on their own. Previously, we’ve only seen the Trackhawk from a distance or in blurry video.

The Trackhawk’s arrival comes as Fiat Chrysler expands Jeep’s global presence. The company is increasingly looking to its venerable off-road brand for sales volume, image building, and profits as it re-aligns its car business and looks for potential partners.

The Trackhawk looks nearly production ready, and we expect it to go on sale in 2017. Also, don’t confuse it with the Trailhawk, which is a trim level you can buy on the 2017 Grand Cherokee.