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STYLING | 8 out of 10
designers pulled off a combination of improved aerodynamics and familiar sheetmetal, muscular and upright with short overhangs on a 5.3-inch longer wheelbase.
It's clearly a Grand Cherokee, but it has a sleekness that its predecessor lacked. The old Grand Cherokee's design was blocky, but the new model looks like it was shaped by a wind tunnel.
The previous model's angular lines have been replaced by fuller shapes and softer corners, improving aerodynamics while communicating a more luxurious image. Even so, traditional Jeep design elements remain, like the seven-bar slotted grille, sleekly raked windshield and trapezoidal wheel arches.
The deeply recessed creases in the doors, the blacked-out B- and C-pillars, furrowed brow, standard fog lamps, color-matched spoiler and the tasteful use of chrome – something most domestic automakers still haven't mastered – all blend into a cohesive whole that's at once masculine and refined.
In keeping with Chrysler’s current interior-upgrade initiative, the SRT8’s cabin received a rich overlay of (optional) French-stitched leather and suede, genuine carbon-fiber trim, and elegantly polished metal-look accents.
Car and Driver
Low-rent no more: that must have been the motto of designers when they signed off on the look of the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee. The first version had been drawn in the mid-1980s--and the second-generation Cherokee looked older and more dated than that one, with oddly blocky proportions. No more. Today's Grand Cherokee is pretty sophisticated, even pretty from some angles, though you could yard-sale your Weber and roast on its big slotted seven-bar grille if faced with the need. It's flanked by some small headlamps and blessedly free of the roundels, stars and wreaths that clamp on the front ends of some luxury SUVs. It could actually use more visual heft, the further you gaze down its sideview: it's rendered with details that can look a little too fine, and the balance of the front end peters out toward the back like the old VW Touareg or the current BMW X5. That raises the one consistent complaint we have about the look—and it's hard to muster more--that it might be too derivative, a bit excessively refined compared to Cherokees of the more distant past.
Inside, the Grand Cherokee's even more of a resounding success. There's a chunky three-spoke steering wheel,a usefully arranged center stack of controls capped with inoffensive metallic-plastic trim, and on some versions, real wood trim on the dash, doors,and the steering wheel. Clean ergonomics are just part of the effect; the Grand Cherokee's materials don't repel your touch, like the feel of some other recent Chryslers. This is probably Chrysler's best interior, with the Ram pickup coming a close second.
More upscale than ever, the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee has traded rugged good looks for a tamer, more polished appearance.