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.
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.