Full 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review
What's New for 2007
After going through a full redesign two years ago, the Jeep Grand Cherokee receives a few changes for 2007. Most notably, the Grand Cherokee is expanding its powertrain options and will now offer a diesel engine, as well as an all-new flex-fuel-capable V8 engine that can also run on E85. Additional safety features are now included as standard equipment across the lineup as well.
Since 1992, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been well received by daily commuters and desert trekkers alike. Having practically invented the sport-utility vehicle first used by the military during WWII, Jeep continues to build reliable SUVs that deliver on the brand's promise of excellent off-road prowess. However, in the real world most Jeep owners spend more time on asphalt than dirt and gravel. Customers expect their SUVs to provide carlike handling characteristics and spacious interiors. Competitors like the Ford Explorer, Nissan Xterra and Toyota 4Runner have challenged Jeep's standing in the market.
The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, now in its third generation, went through a full redesign a few years ago. It offers increased capability and much improved on-road ride and handling dynamics, thanks to an advanced independent coil-over front suspension, four-wheel antilock disc brakes and electronically controlled four-wheel drive. The exterior design remains unmistakably Jeep, with its signature round headlights and seven-slot front grille.
A 3.7-liter V6 is the standard engine, but Grand Cherokee is also available with a 4.7-liter V8 and a 5.7-liter V8 with variable displacement technology. For 2007, a new 3.0-liter common-rail diesel (CRD) engine is available, as well as a new flex-fuel-capable 4.7-liter V8 engine. This gives customers the option of filling up with E85, a corn-distilled blend that uses up to an 85 percent concentration of ethanol.
Meanwhile, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is Jeep's answer to the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne turbo. Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) group is responsible for infusing the otherwise benign Grand Cherokee with some serious attitude. Packing a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 with 420 horsepower, raw power is not an issue. To get all that muscle to the pavement, the SRT folks replaced the Grand Cherokee's regular four-wheel-drive system with a custom all-wheel-drive setup.
Overall, we think pretty highly of the 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee. With its tasteful interior upgrade that includes a more upscale-appearing instrument cluster and shifter, the SUV offers more luxury and comfort than ever before, but still maintains the rugged character and function that made the Jeep nameplate what it is today.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee midsize SUV comes in four trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Overland and SRT8. The Laredo offers power windows, a CD player with an auxiliary input jack, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, reversible cargo floor with water-resistant storage and air-conditioning. The Limited adds the Quadra-Trac II four-wheel-drive system, 17-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power adjustable pedals with memory and a six-speaker premium sound system with a six-disc CD changer and MP3 player. The Overland adds 17-inch chrome wheels, upgraded leather seating, rear park assist, power-fold mirrors, a navigation system and satellite radio. A number of options, depending on the trim level, allow further personalization, such as a power sunroof, heated front seats, remote start and an off-road package with skid plates and tow hooks. For the Grand Cherokee SRT8, Jeep includes nearly every feature as standard.
Powertrains and Performance
The Laredo comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 210 hp and 235 pound-feet of torque. The Limited is equipped with a new 4.7-liter V8 that is now flex-fuel capable and pumps out 235 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. However, the flex-fuel engine option is not available on cars sold in certain states (California, Connecticut, Maine, New York and Vermont). A 5.7-liter V8 comes optional on the Limited and standard on the Overland, and is good for 330 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. The engine features the Multi-Displacement System, which deactivates four cylinders when they are not needed and improves fuel economy. The new 3.0-liter common-rail diesel engine is available on the Limited and Overland trim levels, and produces 215 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. The diesel engine offers up to 30 percent improvement in fuel economy. All four engines are mated to a standard five-speed automatic transmission.
Laredo 4WD models come with a full-time all-wheel-drive system, while Limited 4WDs come with the advanced Quadra-Trac II (optional on the Laredo) system that utilizes a two-speed transfer case. The optional Quadra-Drive II system (standard on the Overland, optional on Limited) combines a full-time two-speed transfer case with front/rear/center electronic limited slip differentials. With the diesel engine, the Grand Cherokee is rated to pull 7,400 pounds.
The Grand Cherokee SRT8 sports a massaged 6.1-liter V8 that pumps out 420 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. A bored-out version of the regular Hemi, the 6.1-liter benefits from a higher compression ratio, a higher-flow cylinder head and redesigned intake and exhaust systems. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, along with a full-time all-wheel-drive system for maximum traction and acceleration. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 is capable of 0-60-mph times of less than 5 seconds.
Safety features include standard side curtain airbags with a roll-detection system, four-wheel antilock brakes and stability control. The 2007 Grand Cherokee earned a perfect five-star rating in government front- and side-impact crash tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the seats are comfortably firm and supportive and the leather is rich and contemporary. On the upper trim levels, the wood trim and chrome accents are attractive and elegant. Panel fitment and finish is good; all of the switches and controls are comfortably placed, clearly marked and easy to use. A chronograph-style gauge cluster gives the vehicle a touch of European flair.
The 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee provides a smooth, engaging driving experience. The suspension dampens road imperfections very well, and the rack-and-pinion steering provides a responsive road feel. The all-wheel drive grabs the asphalt with confidence and on tight roads the vehicle is nimble and exhibits minimal body roll. The larger V8 provides gutsy low-end thrust and bragging rights, but those wanting better fuel economy will likely enjoy the new diesel engine.