We recently had the chance to head out to Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California to check out the all-new 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. This is the newest vehicle in the Trailhawk lineup that already includes the Compass, Renegade, and Cherokee.
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk comes with all the features you would expect in this lineup including 18-inch wheels and red accents. It will also be available with three different motor options: 3.6-liter V6, 5.7-liter V8, and 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel.
“If I had to describe the new Grand Cherokee in one word it would be, more,” Scott said. “There is more of everything: more luxury, more capability, and more performance.”
The Wrangler may be an iconic off-road vehicle, but it does not mean Jeep has left out any off-road capabilities in its other vehicles. “The Trailhawk Grand Cherokee really speaks to the core in the DNA of what a Jeep is,” Scott explained. “It has the signature red tow hooks and functional hood decal, but the real story is underneath the vehicle. There is body armor under the vehicle, Quadra-Lift air suspension which is improved for the 2017 model year, more wheel articulation and suspension travel, and the rearend has an electronic limited slip differential.”
We would head to the hills to see exactly what this Jeep could handle. In addition to the Grand Cherokee going on the adventure, the Trailhawk Renegade and Cherokee would also join. The trail started slowly on a tight and narrow trail that with a couple switchbacks would get us up the hill pretty quick.
On the first flat section of the trail the day prior Jeep used a tractor to put in some uneven ruts to allow the suspension to flex out. The Grand Cherokee handled everything great even with the right rear tire coming off the ground in one section.
We would keep the Jeep in 4-Lo for the duration of the trip. For an SUV the Grand Cherokee was nimble and took the changes in terrain very well. The first steep hill had a mix of loose gravel and hard pack, but it did not seem to faze the vehicle.
While being jostled around on the trail the interior of the Jeep still remained very comfortable. From the seats to the way all the buttons were laid out it was easy to reach anything we needed. “The interior of the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has heavily bolstered seats,” Scott explained. “In fact, the seats came out of the SRT. They have a leather trim with suede inserts to keep you gripped to the seat.”
Once we reached the summit of the trail we could oversee everything, but knew we needed to get down. The downhill portion of the trail was steep. It allowed us to use the downhill assist. When the button was pushed it would lock the vehicle in a gear and you could control how slow you went down the hill. Every
Every push on the paddle shifter would increase the downward speed by .6 miles per hour; for our trip down we left it at 2.6 mph. The vehicle held the speed and had great control going down the hill.
There was one last hill climb that had loose gravel, but with a good run, we again had no issue going up the hill. From there it was going back down the same set of switchbacks to the starting point.
Overall, we were very impressed with what the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee could do off-road. The Grand Cherokee may not be the first choice when it comes to an off-road vehicle, but Jeep has put plenty of its off-road DNA into the vehicle and it is just as capable.
For more information on the Grand Cherokee and the entire Jeep lineup be sure to check out Jeep’s website.