It’s a sharp looker with plenty of capability, and the special paint scheme garnered positive attention.
A few people reached out to me during my week with this Jeep to ask me how it was to live with. Not because they were genuinely considering buying one, but because they’re real car people who claimed to have a soft spot for them. They’re not lusting after something unreasonable, either, because I personally have liked these since I was a wee lad. The Jeep brand was founded in 1941, and many models have the “Since 1941” tagline placed somewhere on them. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the brand, a series of anniversary edition models were brought into the Canadian market.
Trickling into this year’s lineup, this 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 75th Anniversary is a pretty sweet rig. Painted in a Recon Green and riding on special bronze-tinted 20” wheels, it stands out in a crowd, too. This model also gets a special fascia with bronze appliques, smoked headlight bezel and taillights, and interior stitching in “Moroccan Sun”. I consider the Grand Cherokee to be a fairly attractive car, with conservative styling that elegantly represents Jeep’s current design language. Between this and the forthcoming Compass, there are some attractive options within the FCA SUV lineup right now.
On the inside, the Jeep Grand Cherokee means business. The leather seats are beefy in shape and stature, delivering an authoritative driving position. Fit and finish is decent, though there are a few more plastics than I’d like to see in a vehicle approaching the $70,000 mark. The Uconnect system has a large 8.4” touchscreen with decent responsiveness, and we like to use it. This particular trim level has a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, which is attached to the memory system – neat. Again a limitation based on the low entry price of the Grand Cherokee, the interior lights are conventional bulbs rather than LEDs; the yellow light gives the interior a more dated feel than it should.
Safety on board the Jeep is led by the class-leading Quadra-Trac II 4WD system with Selec-Terrain. When left in the “Auto” setting, the 4WD automatically detects slip and adjusts itself to the environment you’re in. It can also be configured in preset modes such as Snow, Mud, etc. Electronic aids include lane departure warning with alne keep assist, active park assist, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning. When parking, the Grand Cherokee will automatically brake (rather abruptly) if it senses a pending collision. We found this particular feature to be overly sensitive, however.
If power is what you want, this is the most powerful motor Jeep offers, save for the fire-breathing 6.4L in the SRT. Of course, there is also a Hellcat-sourced supercharged 6.2L model coming, but that’s not here quite yet. This 5.7L HEMI has been around for just over a decade now, and has been massaged significantly over the past few years. Output is now 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, with the only available transmission being a eight-speed ZF TorqueFlight automatic. Power is immediate, urgent, and is complemented by sounds that only a naturally aspirated American V8 can produce.
For an SUV of this size, the Jeep handles amicably. There are no real surprises, though the turning radius is remarkably short, making parking easier than it ever has been before. Actual steering feel is decent too, despite being an electrically assisted rack. Ride quality is okay, though the big 20” wheels don’t help soften things. Overland and Summit trucks with the air suspension setup will ride a bit softer, and even moreso on a small wheel/tire setup.
Fuel is one of the biggest shortfalls of the Grand Cherokee, but it’s nothing surprising considering rivals like the Toyota 4Runner. If efficiency is what you want, the Pentastar V6 or EcoDiesel models may be up your alley. This 5.7L HEMI with 4×4 is rated at 16.6L/100km city and 10.7L/100km highway, for a combined rating of 14.0L/100km. It can accept regular fuel with no issues, and over our test returned average consumption of 14.3L/100km. There is no start/stop technology on this model, which would definitely help a bit with overall consumption. The massive gas tank can hold up to 93L of unleaded fuel.
The neat thing about Chrysler products that differentiate them from the competition is the infinite ways in which they can be configured. The Grand Cherokee starts at $43,495 for a base Laredo, and can be configured up into the $80,000 range for a fully decked-out SRT (reviewed here) or Summit. Powertrains range from the entry level Pentastar 3.6L V6 right up to the 6.4L V8 in the SRT. My personal pick would be the EcoDiesel, an Italian-built V6 turbodiesel that’s capable of returning frugal fuel mileage. Regardless, our particular Grand Cherokee tester was equipped uniquely, fully thanks to our local FCA Product Communications team being diehard car guys.
All 75th Anniversary models come with paint and bits that are unique to this trim level. The Limited with the anniversary package starts at $52,245. Our vehicle was also equipped with the 5.7L V8, at $2,400. Other significant options checked off include the Jeep Active Safety Group with driver aids ($1,495), an additional 75th Anniversary Luxury Group ($2,995), rear entertainment ($2,150), and the upgraded 8.4” Uconnect system with navigation ($700). The total sticker is a bit of a shock, at $67,875 pre-tax, but you are definitely getting a lot of capability for your dollar.
There are a few flaws with the Grand Cherokee, and they definitely contribute to overall feel within the car. For instance, the Uconnect infotainment is still adequate, but is getting a bit dated at this point whereas rivals like the Honda Pilot (reviewed here) have moved on with updated systems. It really does need Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but that’s almost certain to be added next year. For now, only the Dodge Challenger/Charger (reviewed here) and Chrysler 300 models get this feature. The QuadraLift air suspension system is only available on the Overland and Summit models, but would be useful on the Limited as well.
All in all, there’s a lot to like about the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 75th Anniversary. It’s a sharp looker with plenty of capability, and the special paint scheme garnered some positive attention from the public during our test week. The only competitor with nearly this much off-road prowess is the Toyota 4Runner, which can be had at a much lower price. Granted, at that price it lacks many of the creature comforts of the Jeep. It boils down to preference, with both vehicles offering stellar reliability records and great warranties. There are diehard Jeep aficionados that will swoon over this truck, and rightfully so, because it’s just a very easy to live with choice that will not let you down, and keep you coddled whether you’re on or off the beaten path.
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 75th Anniversary