Update: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel 4x4

By Brandon Turkus

July 05, 2013

Last week, we attended Chrysler’s What’s New event, an annual bonanza of products from the Pentastar’s brands. With the entire lineup of cars and the vast Chelsea Proving Grounds at our disposal, the event is a combination of test driving, news, and networking for journalists around the country.
With the ride and handling tracks at our disposal, along with a liberal definition of speed limits, we’ve put together a list of micro reviews, based on our day’s driving impressions. Again, many of these impressions were culled from short stints with the cars in controlled conditions. We’ll be following up with more in-depth reports when we get these vehicles for longer test runs.
At first blush, the 2014 Grand Cherokee isn’t a tremendous departure from the model that debuted for 2012. Subtle styling tweaks are apparent, but it’s what’s in the cabin and under the hood that are cause for excitement.
Of particular interest for the 2014 model year is the new EcoDiesel V-6. Jeep has dipped its toe in the diesel market with a degree of hesitance over the years. The original Liberty was available with a rather smoky, 2.8-liter, turbo-diesel V-6 in 2005 and 2006. The 2007 and 2008 Grand Cherokees, meanwhile, were fitted with a 3.0-liter, Mercedes-Benz-sourced, turbo-diesel that pumped out 215 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque.
Now, Jeep is jumping back into the game. With 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the 3.0-liter, Fiat-sourced diesel is a quiet but potent offering. There’s a hint of turbo lag on takeoff, but this is a largely responsive engine, with plenty of torque to scoot the Grand Cherokee along. At freeway speeds, this is easily the quietest Grand Cherokee money can buy.
The excellent ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic handles shifting duties for the entire Grand Cherokee range, and feels well suited to a diesel offering. Its smooth shifts keep the engine in its happy place while contributing to the powertrain’s overall refinement.
Our Summit model was also outfitted with the latest goodies from Chrysler’s tech department. The excellent 8.4-inch touchscreen display is a huge improvement over the antiquated display in the old Grand Cherokee, and the instrument cluster’s TFT display delivers pertinent information in a beautiful way. We did notice a bit of choppiness in the instrument cluster display’s responses, but overall the new system is a welcome improvement.
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel 4x4
Engine: Turbodiesel V-6, 3.0 liters, 24v
Output: 240 hp/420 lb-ft
0-60 MPH: 7.8 sec (est)
Weight: 5374 lb
Fuel Economy, City/Hwy: 21/28 mpg
Base Price: $50,995