There was a lot of speculation about what Jeep would show us at the New York Auto Show this year, even a Hellcat powered Grand Cherokee. We didn’t get that, but the 2017 Grand Cherokee did get a new model and a lot of upgrades.
A significantly upgraded top of the line Grand Cherokee Summit with an even more premium interior and exterior updates was shown, but it was the all-new Traihawk off-road Grand Cherokee that most arguably stole the show.
While the Grand Cherokee has always boasted genuine Jeep off-road cred, the new Trailhawk version borrows from the design themes of ruggedness we have seen on the Cherokee and Renegade in the last year or so.
This means red tow hooks, black graphics, a unique front fascia and 18-inch wheels that have a more rock worthy style to them – though you can option 20-inch wheels with Goodyear Adventure off-road tires.
It also gets a special version of the Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift air suspension they tell us has increased levels of articulation and suspension travel that contribute to its capabilities. With 10.8 inches of clearance and 29.8 degree approach angle, it’s certainly top of class – again.
The interior stays in theme as well with a black leather and suede sport seats with red accent stitching everywhere they could put it. Trims include brushed Piano Black bezels and a gun-metal finish on contrasting pieces.
Topping off the entire package is of course the Trail Rated Badge. While you have always been able to get the Grand Cherokee with this designation, this is the first time this generation has been available with the rugged looks to go with it.
If you rather the Range Rover theme of luxury and sophistication, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit gets stepped up this year with more premium parts inside and out to push it further up the ladder into the strata of luxury competitors from abroad.
Up front it gets a new front fascia and grille design to set it apart from the others in addition to LED fog lights. Polished aluminum 20-inch alloy wheels raise the bar too.
The Summit though is really all about its interior, which is now a fully leather wrapped place with Laguna hides. A new Indigo and Ski Gray joins this list of color themes that wrap the dash, center console and door panels in addition to the seats.
There’s also a briefcase like suede headliner, an acoustic windshield and side glass along with Active Noise Cancellation to give you a vault-like quiet while you’re blazing across the Kalahari, or the 405 freeway.
Regardless of which model here you like, the Trailhawk or the Summit, they both get Jeep’s top-end Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system which boasts a 44.1 low end crawl ratio for actually doing a good job at off-roading.
And while they didn’t specify at the auto show debut, it’s expected that both of these models will be available with all three engines, a 3.6 liter V6, the 5.7 liter HEMI, and the 3.0 liter EcoDiesel that is my personal pick.
The entire lineup 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokees will come to market a bit later this year and we hope to get behind the wheel of either or both of these by this fall to bring you a complete drive review.