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The Launch of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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On: Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 9:57AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Launch of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Everyone knows that Chrysler Corporation has had no picnic recently; in the past three years, the company has seen three different owners. The Chrysler line-up has become outdated and there has been very little activity, as far as announcements of new products, until now.

The 2011 Grand Cherokee is about to change all of that with new models that will soon be filling the show rooms. Initial development of the Grand Cherokee started as far back as 2006, when Chrysler was still tied up with Daimler-Benz (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz). So, although the new owner of Chrysler is now the Italian Fiat Company, the newest Jeep shares many features with the Mercedes-Benz ML.

The styling is purely Jeep. "It's our other icon," says Mark Allen, head of Jeep design, referring to the difference between the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler. The 2011 model keeps the familiar Grand Cherokee appearance on the exterior, but it has been described as having “a more athletic sculpting and softer edges, the new Grand Cherokee is better dressed to mingle with the soft-roader crossovers in the suburbs.”

The engine of the Grand Cherokee for 2011 is the new Phoenix V-6—280 hp, with 260 pound-foot 3.6 liters. The 5.7L Hemi V-8 will still be offered. The V6 has more horsepower than Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and GMC Acadia, but it can go toe-to-toe with all three as far as gas mileage is concerned. Towing is rated at 5,000 lbs with the V6..The 5.7L Hemi V-8 will still be offered and towing rate will go up 7,200 lbs.

There are three trim levels: Laredo E, Laredo X, Limited, and Overland. Standard for all trim levels is stainless steel window trim and fog lights. Extras in the higher trim levels include body-color fascias, larger wheels, and chrome mirrors and handles. According to those who recently test drove the new Grand Cherokee, “Jeep has accomplished its goal of making the lowest priced trim just as attractive as the top-end trim.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has several features that keep the hum of the engine on the outside of the vehicle and not in the cabin. Features such as laminated glass on the windshield and front doors reduces wind noise, while insulating wheel-well liners contains the road and tire noise. Under the hood, there's a panel between the engine and dashboard that keeps the engine hum contained.

Not only will you notice that the interior is quiet, it is also very apparent that this is a premium SUV. The top-trim Overland receives a stitched leather dash and real wood accents. Lower trim levels have upgraded materials and switchgear. Standard equipment includes a passive entry, keyless ignition, a power driver's seat, and satellite radio. Options include a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, navigation, a power lift gate, and a panoramic sunroof.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 limited has a list price of $39,600.

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