Jeep has patriotism wrapped around its finger like no other brand in history. The Jeep, through various forms came to be the rough and rugged military vehicle icon from WW2, and some even thought the thing would make a decent road vehicle as well. The original Willys Jeep though, was more at home on the front lines, than a highway though. The Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition hearkens back to those days, with “1941” emblazoned here and there to remind you where the company came from.
The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee is thankfully not like it’s 40’s counterpart, being quite a comfortable and enjoyable place to be. As it should be, for $50,010. That MSRP includes a litany of options, totaling nearly $10,000. Those options are mainly included in the 75th anniversary packages, of which this Jeep has two different tiers, along with an “Off-Road Adventure II” package, which sounds enticing.
Painted in Recon Green with bronze accents, it certainly looks rough and rugged, and inside you have light frost beige leather. It’s a nice place to be, with heated and vented seats, and an upgraded sound system which is thrown in to one of the 75th Anniversary packages. Adjustable ride suspension makes longer trips an absolute dream.
I want to point out one thing on this Jeep that I think could be worth the entire $50,000 asking price, and that is cruise control. This is the very first vehicle that I’ve been in which allows me to choose if I have the adaptive cruise control, or if I wish to use cruise control without it. It may seem incidental, but I rarely use adaptive cruise control on modern cars, because even if you click it down to a level that you think would be considered tailgating, it always remains slightly dim-witted and slows you down right as you (or me, rather) is about to change lanes. On every other system I’ve used, you have no choice. On the Jeep, you have two sets of cruise control. Given I had a 300 mile trip planned to Wisconsin and back, I really appreciated this. It’s brilliant. Who ever made that decision within FCA, dinner is on me.
The rest of the car isn’t too bad either, with some neat features to look at. You can still observe engine revolutions through a needle display, but with an LED display in the center of the gauges, your speed is digitized in numerals, rather than a traditional speedo. You also get to see what’s going on with the suspension under you with a display on its current height setting. Off-Road II is the highest and only available at low speeds, where as Off-Road I will be it’s standard setting most of the time. Hop on the highway, and it’ll lower even further and display “Aero.” Perhaps it helps, though with the hole it punches through the air, it probably isn’t by much.
What it is good at is fuel economy. Just like the Durango Citadel I tested earlier in the year, this has FCA’s quite nice 3.6 liter V6 motor. At a rated output of 295 horsepower, it is punchy enough to get the job done, and I’ve always been able to exceed the MPG claims for both highway and city driving for those short moments that I’m driving like a saint. I averaged closer to 24.
So while this Jeep is worlds away from the vehicle that launched the brand, that’s not a bad hing. What it is, is a Jeep thing.
Engine: 3.6L 24v V6
transmission: 8-speed auto, AWD
MPG city/hwy/avg: 18/25/21
Base MSRP: $39,565
As Tested: $50,010