The 411 on Jeep’s Range Rover–Rivaling Summit
I’ve always thought of the Jeep Grand Cherokee as America’s Range Rover. Yeah, yeah, base-spec models can get pretty chintzy inside, but the higher-end Grand Cherokee Overland models were downright ritzy. But not ritzy enough, apparently. Jeep bigwigs and dealers found its buyers actually wanted to spend even more money on a Grand Cherokee, so enter the new 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit. Here’s the quick and dirty on what you need to know about the uber-luxe Jeep.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland has always been rather luxurious. As mentioned, though, Jeep found its Grand Cherokee Overland buyers were leaving the Jeep brand for premium brands such as Land Rover because there was nowhere else to go in the lineup. The new 2017 Grand Cherokee Summit exists to win back those buyers and hold other Jeep owners over until the more luxurious Jeep Grand Wagoneer returns.
The interior is the most important part of any luxury vehicle, and Jeep’s done the Grand Cherokee Summit right. Just about every surface in the Grand Cherokee Summit’s interior is covered in high-quality Nappa leather. Buyers can go further, though, with the optional $4,995 USD Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior package. It adds gorgeous quilted leather to the door panels and seats, and it wraps both the dashboard and center console in thick, soft leather. I highly recommend it. Other than the leather, the Summit also gets a suede headliner, acoustic glass on every window but the tailgate, soft carpets, and a 19-speaker, three-subwoofer Harman Kardon audio system.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit gets a little nose job, too; the unique front fascia sports a new lower chin and revised Jeep grille. Really nice-looking 20-inch web-spoke wheels are standard and wrapped in sport-oriented all-season tires.
Car shoppers love choices when it comes to powertrains, and the Grand Cherokee Summit offers up three stellar engines under the hood. Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 comes standard. Revised for the 2017 model year to make more torque down low, the V-6 is good for 295 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and returns 18/25/21 mpg (13.1/9.4/11.2 L/100km) city/highway/combined on the EPA cycle when equipped with four-wheel drive. (Rear-drive is standard on the Grand Cherokee Summit, but these are Jeeps, so I’ll ignore those.)
Jeep offers up two optional engines on the Summit. For $3,795 USD the beastly 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is available. It produces a healthy 360 ponies and 390 lb-ft of torque while returning an appropriate 14/22/17 mpg (16.8/10.7/13.8 L/100km). For $5,000 USD, buyers can opt for the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. This efficient diesel powerplant makes 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque while netting 21/28/24 mpg (11.2/8.4/9.8 L/100km). Although all three engines are solid, I’d probably opt for the Hemi in this particular Grand Cherokee spec. A big, burly V-8 with enough power on tap to easily put the proletariat behind you on the road is more fitting of the character of the Summit.
Prices start at $51,390 USD for the Grand Cherokee Summit. In addition to the fancy new additions to the Summit mentioned above, you also get a height-adjustable air-suspension, heated and cooled seats, Jeep’s full suite of active safety hardware and software, and a panoramic sunroof. A fully loaded Grand Cherokee Summit equipped with four-wheel drive and the EcoDiesel engine tops out at $68,165 USD.
The coming Jeep Grand Wagoneer is expected to pick up where the Grand Cherokee Summit leaves off. Likely to be slightly bigger than the Grand Cherokee and packing three rows, the Grand Wagoneer will be a full-on Range Rover and Porsche Cayenne rival with prices potentially topping out above $100,000 USD.