The 2011-2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Friday, August 19, 2011

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee was a major launch of Chrysler; the first after the departure of Cerberus and Daimler, it represented what was to come, with far higher standards for the new engine, the suspension, and the interior. Journalists almost universally praised the new Grand Cherokee, which swept numerous awards and put Chrysler back on the map.

The standard engine is the smooth 290 horsepower Pentastar V6, which gets just 1 mile per gallon less than the diesel-powered Mercedes ML350. The Hemi is optional across the board, and Europeans have a new 237-hp VM Motori 3-liter V6 diesel; all use the W5A580 five-speed transmission.  Thanks to the Hemi option, the V6 has a large engine bay, with around five inches in front of the serpentine belt. For 2012, Hemi models move to a six speed automatic; various wheel and option package changes were made, as well.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, with a new, upscale interior, advanced four wheel drive system, 290-horsepower Pentastar V6, five-speed automatic, numerous standard features, and towing capability, started with a U.S. list price of $32,995 including destination.

Give up the four wheel drive, and the price dropped by $2,000 on the Lardeo, $2,500 on the Limited, and $3,500 on the Overland. Add a V8, and towing went from 5,000 to 7,400 lb (when properly equipped).

Dealer invoices were set close to the list prices (excluding holdbacks), so there’s not much negotiating room. A Grand Cherokee Laredo, the well equipped base model, was listed at $32,995 with no options; the dealer cost was $31,402, with a $966 dealer holdback. The Friends & Family Program dropped retail down to $31,088. The 4x4 ran $32,995 list — $31,402 invoice.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 listed at $39,600; the dealer invoice price was $37,402. The Hemi V8 engine added $1,495 list, $1,331 invoice; aluminum painted wheels ran to $1,095 (list), the hard drive/navigation system stereo added $750; and the trailer towing package added $695. Dealer invoice for options varies quite a bit, with a hefty profit on some options but a narrow profit on most. 

Announced at the L.A. Auto Show for sale in December 2010 was the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit, which added more luxury to the already luxurious Overland model. Available in an exclusive Rugged Brown paint scheme (as well as gray, white gold, and black), it has a chromed grille and fog lamp bezels, with 20-inch bright, polished aluminum wheels. The interior has real Black Olive burl wood trim blended into the instrument panel, the standard heated steering wheel, and the upper panels of both front and rear doors. The interior is two-toned, black and New Saddle, with saddle-color Nappa heated and ventilated leather seats, and Berber floor mats with Black and Chestnut accent binding. Standard features include Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-path detection systems.
The Grand Cherokee Overland Summit edition listed at launch at $42,495 (plus $780 destination) for 4x2 models, and $45,995 (plus $780 destination) for 4x4 versions.