Bottom line: Anyone considering a full-size SUV costing $35,000 or more should place the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 high on the shopping list — and seriously question what you get in a Land Rover Range Rover or other SUV at a higher price.
Ride, acceleration and handling: The Grand Cherokee beats the Range Rover in all three. It is also quieter.
Head-turning quotient: The Jeep is prettier than its much more expensive competitor, too — inside and out.
Body style/layout: The Grand Cherokee is largely redesigned for 2014. A sleeker exterior is accented by a super-sleek — radical for things Cherokee — front fascia. The front-mounted engine can power rear wheels or one of four available four-wheel-drive arrangements. There are five iterations: Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT.
Engine/transmission: The standard engine in the Grand Cherokee Limited is a 3.6-liter, 14-valve V-6 with variable valve timing. The engine can run on regular gasoline or E85 — 85 percent ethanol combined with gas. Finding a station with the cleaner-burning E85 can be difficult. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted manually.
Capacities: There are seats for five people. Cargo capacity with all seats up is 36.3 cubic feet. Cargo capacity rises to 68.3 cubic feet with rear seats folded. Fuel capacity is 24.6 gallons. Fill it with regular unleaded and be happy.
Mileage: I averaged 24 miles per gallon on the highway.
Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; and knee, front, side and head air bags (10 total). This column highly recommends purchase of Jeep’s Advance Technology safety group ($1,695), which includes items such as forward collision warning — that is, it tells you when you are approaching the vehicle in front of you too fast.
Price: The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 starts at $37,795, with an estimated dealer’s invoice price of $35,000. Price as tested is $45,580, including $6,790 in options and a $995 destination charge. Estimated dealer’s price as tested is $43,000. Compare with Land Rover Range Rover, Ford Explorer Limited, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg VR6 Lux.