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The SUV experts at TheCarConnection.com studied the latest road tests on the new 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee to write this comprehensive review. Experts from TheCarConnection.com also drove the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee and have experience with the 3.0-liter diesel V-6 and the HEMI-powered SRT8, and they've included more details and information to help you make the right choice in a new car. This review also compares the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee with vehicles in its class to give you the best advice even when other reviews present conflicting opinions.
- Off-road prowess
- Well behaved on-road
- Available diesel V-6 engine
- Amazing SRT8 performance model
- Entertainment options
- Worrisome reliability record
- Some cheap interior bits
- Not the largest backseat
- Not the most cargo room
- Gulps gasoline (but sips diesel)
In industry parlance, the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV is mid-cycle--another way of saying that it's middle aged, old news, and completely out of the limelight. Still, the five-passenger Jeep Grand Cherokee might be worth a gander. Completely restyled and reengineered in 2005, the Grand Cherokee has aged reasonably well, and it still looks fit and trim, though its angular shape isn't to everyone's taste. The traditional Jeep seven-bar grille tells onlookers that this SUV is ready for anything.
For Jeep, 2008 is a model year that offers a wide variety of engines. The selections begin with a 210-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6/five-speed automatic transmission. As this combo delivers only 1 mpg more than the much-improved-for-2008 305-horsepower 4.7-liter V-8, skip the V-6. Also pass on the 330-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 unless you regularly tow a trailer. For those who want pure performance, check out the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, a rip-roaring on-pavement-only edition with a monster 6.1-liter HEMI rated at 420 horsepower.
The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers four gasoline-fired engines, but its most interesting option would be its 3.0-liter clean diesel V-6 produced by Mercedes-Benz. Equipped with the diesel, this Jeep packs a huge punch while sipping fuel like a tree-hugging hybrid. Mileage from the diesel (18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway) is roughly 30 percent better than the gasoline V-6. This theoretically delivers a cruising range of more than 450 miles from its 22-gallon tank. At idle, the engine is smooth. While there is some noise (you can hear the engine running), it's nothing intrusive. The first thing you notice is its power off the line--it feels unstoppable. The gear changes from the five-speed automatic are smooth, and once on the highway, the transmission rarely needs to downshift because the engine produces so much torque.