|Grand Cherokee + Hemi: more power than you need.|
Eric Peters wrote a very favorable article over on AOL Autos about the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Hemi engine. Although it looks like the article isn't available online anymore, we thought we'd share a portion of it with you:
Many people mistakenly believe the first American-brand luxury SUV was invented when someone at Ford Motor Company's Lincoln division took a Ford Expedition, added every bell and whistle left over in the Town Car/Continental parts bin and christened the result the Navigator back in 1998. But actually, long-dead AMC and its still-kicking Jeep subsidiary had the idea first -- and the timeline goes back much farther, to the 1970s -- when the Jeep Wagoneer was the first American SUV to offer a vehicle with both go-anywhere capability and wooly rugs so thick you could lose your toes in them.
The Wagoneer's modern descendant is the Jeep Grand Cherokee -- a midsized SUV that, like its forbear, continues to offer the same appealing combination of rugged off-road capability and luxury cruiser comfort. But with so many other SUVs out there also doing the "Wagoneer Shuffle," something more was required to set the Grand Cherokee apart from the ever-growing crowd of well-equipped, comfortable 4x4 SUVs.
How to do that?
For starters, Jeep updated the whole works -- adding a 5.7 liter Hemi V-8 to the Grand Cherokee's options list. The newly available engine brings to three the number of power plants you can choose from -- with the standard engine being a 210 hp 3.7 liter V-6 (which replaces the old 4 liter inline six) and a 4.7 liter, 230 hp "Magnum" V-8 taking up the middle slot.
The Hemi isn't just an option, however -- it's the Nuclear Option. This engine's bone-gnawing 330 hp gives the Grand Cherokee a near 100-hp advantage over the V-8 Ford Explorer's measly 239 hp -- and a 40 jump over the Chevy Trailblazer EXT's 290-hp 5.3 liter Vortec V-8. Toyota's 4-Runner and Land Cruiser can't touch the Jeep on this score. The Hemi-equipped Jeep even comes within a hair's breadth of matching the "exotic" Porsche Cayenne S's 340 hp -- and it equals or beats the brawn available in larger, heavier, pricier SUVs such as the Nissan Pathfinder Armada and GMC Yukon Denali/Cadillac Escalade.
If anyone can find a link to the entire article online, let us know so that we can post it here.