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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Four stars overall; Four stars front protection, five stars side protection, four stars rollover resistance (AWD), three stars rollover resistance (RWD)
Top Safety Pick for 2013, not for 2014
Rear parking sensors and a backup camera are optional, and collision-warning and blind-spot monitoring systems are bundled together in an option package for Limited and Overland trims.
the only safety feature that's lacking is incoming missile detection.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee continues to do well in tests by the insurance industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The IIHS has dubbed the Grand Cherokee a Top Safety Pick for 2013, but with a "marginal" score in the new small-overlap test, it won't earn that honor for 2014.
The NHTSA, meanwhile, has given the Grand Cherokee a four-star overall rating, with four stars for front protection and a five-star rating for side impact protection--carried over from 2013. Through its mathematical modeling, it gives the rear-drive Grand Cherokee just three stars, a typical rating for SUVs, though the four-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee is rated at four stars.All the usual airbags and stability control systems are standard in the Grand Cherokee, as are trailer-sway control, hill-descent control and hill-start assistance--functions of anti-lock braking and clever programming. Active headrests are standard as well.
Bluetooth is standard, but a rearview camera is not offered on the base Grand Cherokee Laredo. It's an option on the Laredo E. On other models, safety options include parking sensors; blind-spot monitors; adaptive cruise control; and a collision-warning system that warns drivers when vehicles in the lane ahead are approaching rapidly.
A new features includes hill-ascent control, which allows the driver to set the 4WD Grand Cherokee in automatic climbing mode, with its very low forward speed checked in 1-kilometer-per-hour increments. We crawled up the 55-degree face of a rock outcropping 200 feet, with just a little bit of tire scrub, as the Grand Cherokee Summit diesel simply tugged its way unassisted to the top, set at its lowest 1-kph level.
The airy Grand Cherokee provides drivers with great forward visibility. The hood’s shaped to give a good sense of the front corners, and the very large side mirrors are almost square. The rear-seat headrests almost blot out the view to the rear quarter windows, though.
With more safety technology at hand, the 2014 Grand Cherokee might repeat its strong crash-test scores--but the results aren't yet in.