Shopping for a new Jeep Grand Cherokee?
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The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee may be one of the best vehicles ever to wear the Jeep nameplate. A product of the wrecked marriage between Mercedes and Chrysler, the newest Grand Cherokee shares some of its architecture with the new Benz M-Class--which means the accommodations are first-class, the off-road capability is still strong, and the flourish of technology is fully up to date.
We're giving the new Grand Cherokee a rating of 8 here at FamilyCarGuide. It's not quite as flexible as the seven-seat Dodge Durango that's also new this year, and it still keeps a bit of the more hardcore off-road personality that's imbued in the Jeep name--but it's a great family car for those who have weekend adventures on their vacation plan.
The Grand Cherokee's grown a bit in all directions in this version, and that's particularly good news for your luggage. People net out with more space this time, too, though, and the Grand Cherokee provides front passengers with the nicest seats in the house. They sit high, for a commanding view of the road, and they're large enough for American-sized adult men to find a sweet seat spot. In back, the same adults will be just as comfortable, with good foot room under the front seats and lots of head room, with or without the optional sunroof. The rear seat folds down nearly flat to expand the generous cargo area, but there's no third-row seat available in the Grand Cherokee--Chrysler reserves that option for the related Dodge Durango.
The 2011 Grand Cherokee has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet rated the Jeep fully, though it's assigned a four-star rating to it for front-impact protection. The Grand Cherokee has the kind of safety standard features and options we like to see, things like a rearview camera and blind-spot detectors.