The 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee again stands out as one of the best in terms of off-road capabilities. There's also a wide range of engine options available, including a diesel. And the SRT8 model is truly special when it comes to driving performance.
New for 2009 is a power boost for the uplevel 5.7 liter V8 engine, as well as overall improved gas mileage ratings. Also new are additional leather interiors and a performance trip computer for the athletic SRT8 model. And Grand Cherokees equipped with navigation also get an iPod interface.
While there's lots to like about 2009 Grand Cherokee, it's really not the ideal candidate for the typical "family" SUV. But if your needs also require significant off-road prowess and/or towing chores, the Grand Cherokee may very well fit the bill.
This vehicle actually offers three different four-wheel-drive systems: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. Choices vary by the level of off-road ability required. And if you need to haul something big, the Grand Cherokee's maximum towing capacity is a hefty 7,400 pounds.
This five-passenger midsize SUV is offered in four trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Overland and SRT8. All trims except the SRT8 offer either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive (the SRT8 is all-wheel drive only).
Even the base Grand Cherokee Laredo has a long list of impressive standard features including 17 inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, eight-way power driver seat, roof rack, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, a 60/40-split rear seatback, cruise control, trip computer, and six-speaker stereo with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.
And available options on the Laredo include heated front seats, remote ignition, leather upholstery, sunroof, back-up camera with parking sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals, power passenger seat, universal garage door opener, Bluetooth, navigation system with real-time traffic, an upgraded six-speaker stereo with satellite radio, an iPod interface and a hard drive for storing digital music.
The Grand Cherokee Limited features all of the above and adds driver seat memory functions and heated rear seats.
The Overland model adds a 5.7 liter V8, 18 inch chrome-clad wheels, and HID headlamps (these are options on the Limited).
The high-performance Grand Cherokee SRT8 is equipped fairly closely to the Laredo and with similar options, but also comes with 20 inch wheels, street-biased sport suspension, larger brakes, performance trip computer, front sport seats, leather and suede upholstery, extended leather trim, and unique exterior design enhancements.
A rear DVD entertainment system and Sirius Backseat TV are available options on all models except the Laredo.
The standard engine on the Laredo is a 3.7 liter V6 that produces 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque and is matched to a five-speed automatic transmission (all models are equipped with this transmission). Estimated gas mileage for the Grand Cherokee Laredo 16 mpg city and 21 mpg on the highway with two-wheel drive (4x2), and 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway on the four-wheel drive (4x4).
The standard engine on the Limited (optional on the Laredo) is a 4.7 liter V8 that makes 305 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque. Gas mileage for this engine is 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway on a 4WD model.
Optional on the Limited 4WD and standard on the Overland is a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 that outputs 357 horsepower and 389 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy with this engine is 13 mpg city and 19 mpg highway (4WD).
A 3.0 liter turbodiesel CRD V6 engine is an option on all models except the SRT8. It produces 215 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for this diesel is 17 mpg city and 22 on the highway. It should be noted, however, that this diesel is not for sale in California or California-emissions states.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 features a 6.1 liter V8 engine good for 420 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds (no, this isn't your grandfather's SUV). As you would expect, gas mileage is not a high priority with this vehicle at 11 mpg city and 14 mpg highway.
Safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability control (includes trailer sway control on Overland models, which is optional on the Laredo and Limited) and standard side curtain airbags with a roll-detection system.
The 2009 Grand Cherokee was rated a perfect five stars in all government front and side crash tests.
Also, For 'Used' Grand Cherokee Buyers ...
Those of you in the market for a used Grand Cherokee may want to check out this Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices even to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.