2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4 Rental Review, National

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_overhead viewNotable standard features on National’s 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4

  • 3.6L 6-cyl engine (290-hp, 260 ft-lb), 8-speed automatic transmission; 0-60 mph ~ 7.8-8.0 seconds
  • 17/25 (city/hwy) mpg fuel economy
  • Regular gas
  • 68.7 cubic feet cargo space (behind 1st row seats); 35.1 cubic feet cargo space (behind 2nd row seats)
  • Quadra-Trac II 4WD with Selec-Terrain, Hill Descent Control
  • Power windows, manual folding heated mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Leather wrapped manual tilt & telescoping steering wheel with audio & cruise controls
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 8-way power front seats with 4-way power lumbar, leather; 2-way memory
  • Heated front & 2nd row outboard seats
  • Automatic headlamps
  • Power liftgate
  • Dual zone automatic HVAC
  • 9 speaker (including 1 subwoofer), 506-Watt Alpine audio with AM/FM/CD/MP3 (12  months Sirius subscription)
  • 5.0” touchscreen with UConnect with 7” reconfigurable driver’s TFT gauges
  • Inputs: Aux, USB (1 x front and 2 x rear), SD Card, Bluetooth, iPod integration
  • 60/40 split 2nd row seats
  • 115V rear power outlet
  • Ultrasonic rear parking sensors and rearview backup camera
  • Push button engine start

PROS:

- Luxurious interior with excellent infotainment system
- Sleek exterior updates
- 8-speed transmission
- Contoured bucket seats

CONS:

- Fuel economy still isn’t that great
- Needs to go on a diet

CONCLUSION: Very impressive mid-cycle update of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Limited trim is the one to get.

Check out our most recent update of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee here:

http://www.carrentingreviews.com/2013/09/22/2014-jeep-grand-cherokee-limited-rental-update/

Wow, National Car Rental, I am very impressed.  As far as I know, you’ve beaten Hertz and Avis to delivery of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  I found this 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, loaded with all the bells and whistles, on the Executive Selection no less.  That’s a lot of luxury for just the intermediate price.  Who needs Avis Chairman’s Club and Hertz Platinum when one can get all these new vehicles with just Executive access?

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_front three fourths, sunset

I previously reviewed the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited here:

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4

I thought the ’13 Limited trim was a nice rental, but ultimately hindered by its last generation interior, heavy curb weight and antiquated five speed transmission.  Jeep has addressed two of those three gripes in its significant mid-cycle refresh of the Grand Cherokee. 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_rear three fourths, right

This Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl coat on New Zealand Capri Leather 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited was brand new, with just 6 miles on the odometer when I drove it off the rental lot.   18-inch polished wheels with satin carbon pockets make the Limited trim easily identifiable.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_side profile

The Limited 4×4 starts at $37,795 and this rental also included the optional Luxury Group II (+$4,000; including perforated seats with increased foam cushioning, automatic high beams and headlamp leveling, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, dual pane panoramic sunroof, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, rain sensing wipers, 8.4″ UConnect touchscreen) + Navigation equipped UConnect 8.4AN (+$400; including HD-radio, Garmin Factory Navigation with 3-D buildings) for a total as-rented price of $43,190.2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_LED accent lighting, closeup-2

For the 2014 model year, the Limited trim receives a slight package reshuffling.  A power liftgate, heated steering wheel, and dual rear USB ports are now standard equipment.  The dual pane panoramic sunroof and HID headlamps are no longer standard on the Limited, unfortunately, and are instead bundled with the Luxury Group II package.  This is slightly bad news for car renters, so make sure you check for that panoramic sunroof before you drive off the rental lot!

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_dual pane panoramic sunroof

The 2014 Grand Cherokee is the recipient of slight plastic surgery.  The front fascia has been redesigned with chrome highlights, the trademark seven slot grille is slightly shallower, and there are now Chrysler 300-esque LED daytime running lamps/accent lights.  The rear gets a redesigned lower fascia, new LED tail-lamps, larger spoiler, and reworked badge.  As mentioned before, new 18-inch wheels are also provided for the Limited.  I think the new looks are head turning.2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_Bi-Xenon LED front headlights

Under the hood, the V6 engine remains unchanged.  However, a new ZF 8-speed transmission paired with an eShifter rounds out the mechanical improvements.  The benefits of the new transmission are a slight boost in fuel efficiency (17/25 now versus 16/23 for the 2013 model) and a slightly faster 0-60 time.  During my rental, acceleration was indeed very smooth.  On the other hand, observed fuel economy was still mediocre and I averaged 16 mpg in city driving.  The Grand Cherokee could really lose some weight; it was a bit porcine and handled poorly and the engine felt strained at times.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_interior dashboard, angled

The interior gets the most stunning makeover.  The layout is generally the same as in the 2013 model year vehicle, except the center stack has been re-jiggered to accommodate the excellently responsive 8.4″ UConnect screen and the old analog driver’s gauges have been replaced with a hybrid digital-analog display centered around a 7-inch reconfigurable multiview TFT screen.  The multiview screen was an enormous advancement over the old gauge cluster, but I thought it less capable of displaying simultaneous information than Ford’s MyFordTouch digital gauges.  Attractive open pore wood adorns much of the interior and the new eShifter prominently sits on the console.  2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_UConnect 8.4AN screen

The new interior was, in a word, sexy.  The UConnect infotainment system and Garmin factory navigation system are the best in the rental car business, in my opinion, with very high touchscreen responsivity, logically arrayed interfaces, and great directions.  (Although UConnect on this rental still performed ably, it felt a touch more sluggish than usual.  Perhaps the hardware is tasked with more responsibilities than previously?)  The driver has access to AUX, USB, and an SD Card slot, whereas rear passengers can use 2 x USB ports, as well as a 115V outlet.  Rear outboard seats are also heated.  Front seats were wonderfully contoured and bolstered.  The excellent audio system with complimentary 1-year Sirius subscription was icing on the cake.  It was a super-fantastically luxurious rental for an amazing price.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_rear to forward view

The 2014 Grand Cherokee is classified as an SFAR/SRAR or Standard SUV.  This presents an interesting conundrum.  Should you rent the ’14 GC over other SFAR/SRAR rental vehicles like the ’13 Ford Explorer Limited, ’13 Ford Edge Limited, ’13 Terrain SLT/Equinox LTZ twins, or the ’14 Kia Sorento?  The Terrain/Equinox and Sorento have inferior infotainment systems and can’t come close to matching the Grand Cherokee Limited’s luxurious appointments.  The ’13 Edge Limited handles better and achieves improved fuel economy, but also can’t match the Grand Cherokee Limited’s luxury.  The ’13 Ford Explorer Limited has the benefit of an additional third row and larger cargo space.  2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited_right front sideline

I would rent the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited over all the aforementioned vehicles, unless I needed the Explorer’s larger cargo space.  If I were stuck with a lesser trimmed 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, then I’d probably go for the ’13 Ford Edge Limited instead.

For more information on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, please refer to the manufacturer’s webpage here:

http://www.jeep.com/en/2014/grand_cherokee/

 

 

 

3 Responses

  1. Pingback: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 Review/Ride Report - FlyerTalk Forums

  2. DanInRealLife says:

    Fantastic redesign. It’s a gorgeous vehicle inside and out. A few auto journalists have stated that the exterior styling is polarizing but I really like it. NY area AVIS locations have been slow, well slower than usual, in adding newer vehicles to their fleets. Hope to see this beauty at a location soon.

    • carrentingreviews says:

      I’ve been very impressed with National over the past year. Almost all of my new model year cars have been from them and almost all of my rentals have been smoke-free and had exceptionally low mileage. I can’t say the same about Avis/Hertz at DCA.

      Anyway, I’m definitely looking forward to the other ’14 cars that will be released soon.

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