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The Jeep Grand Cherokee: V8 Or V6?

By Expert Author: Nate Rodney

The current Grand Cherokee models provide drivers with a great deal of versatility; they're suitable for towing, off road adventures as well as commuting comfortably. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee models have undergone some changes that will further enhance the driving experience. The most significant change includes a new engine and transmission. This year, all Jeep Grand Cherokee are equipped with a ZF-engineered eight-speed automatic transmission which substantially improves the performance of both the V6 and V8 engines. Another new feature includes an “Eco” button that changes the gearbox shift schedule and throttle sensitivity to optimize fuel economy. On the Jeep Grand Cherokee V8, the “Eco” button results in cylinder deactivation and if the vehicle includes the optional air suspension, it will automatically lower the vehicle at high speeds. The V8 is available in four trim packages: the Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit. The all-wheel drive option costs around $2000 when added to Laredo and Limited. The figure rises to $3000 when equipping the Overland and Summit.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 provides 290 horsepower and can easily haul up to two-and-a-half tons. The V8 comes equipped with 360 horsepower and can easily tow up to 7200 lbs.; up to 7400 pounds with four wheel drive. The V6, however, sees a jump from 5000 to 6000 pounds when equipped with all-wheel drive. The newer gear box has added better fuel efficiency for both vehicles. The rear wheel drive V6 gets 25 mpg on the highway and 17 in the city. The rear wheel drive V8 averages 22 mpg on the highway 14 in the city. While the V6 fuel economy ratings are typically better than those for the V8, under true road conditions, the higher revving V6 will use more fuel when a load is placed on it. In addition, the V8’s cylinder deactivation will compensate considerably on flat roads.

All new Jeep Grand Cherokee models underwent exterior changes. The front end displays the most significant changes. The headlamps are set deeper than previous models and such remarkable detailing as a small profile of a World War II–era Jeep in the passenger side headlamp with the inscription, "Since 1941". The headlights are rimmed with LED running lamps. The grill is also shallower and the liftgate has been redesigned. The styling for the rear of the vehicle is dependent on the trim package chosen. The interior has also been revised to reposition heating and air conditioning controls as well as instrument gauges to minimize the time drivers take their eyes from the road. Both the V8 and V6 Jeep Grand Cherokees are available with a large number of chassis and suspension options such as five-mode air suspension and a multi-surface chassis-control system referred to as Selec-Terrain. The Limited and Overland packages feature Selec-Speed Control which automatically controls the throttle and brakes to allow the vehicle to creep down hills and lets the driver do the same in uphill situations. The nearest Jeep dealership can provide information on packages available to allow drivers to customize the V6 or V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee to meet all their needs.

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