Join me as I take the completely refreshed 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit for a spin. We take the Jeep off road, on road, talk infotainment, the new LCD instrument cluster, the new 8-Speed Torqueflite automatic transmission designed by ZF, discuss AWD systems from Quadra Trac to Quadra Drive II, engine options, pricing and more.
2014 brings a trimline reshuffle to the Grand Cherokee with the Laredo X being replaced by a cheaper Latitude E and the the Overland Summit ditches Overland to become a separate trim sitting at the top of the range. There is more going on here than just a trim re-shuffle if you read between the lines. In 2013 the “Overland Summit” was the Grand Cherokee with all the luxury AND all the offroad bits. In 2014 the Summit is the realization that people don’t take their $52,000-$57,000 Jeep rock crawling any more than Range Rover owners joyride in the Sahara on weekends. As a result the 2014 Summit looses the skid plates and tow hooks found on the lesser models and doesn’t get the option to add them from the factory.
Chrysler limited the refresh to a new, de-chromed tailgate, new bumper covers, exhaust tips and a headlamp re-style. In addition to the removal of the strangely large chrome strip below the tailgate glass (see our 2013 review for that picture), Jeep has gone up market with more aggressive tail lamps and more differentiated trim levels. Laredo and Limited models get redesigned bumper covers with round exhaust tips while the premium trims get trendy trapezoidal tips. Further cleaning up the Overland and Summit models, the hitch receiver and 4/7 pin trailer wiring connector are hidden behind a panel in the bumper. Speaking of towing, the factory towing setup is not available on base Laredo models anymore. Want to haul? You have to step up to that Laredo E.
Up front the grille has become less prominent and more integrated into the plastic bumper cover. The optional foglamps have shrunk to an almost cartoonishly small proportion and the lower air intakes take on a more aggressive stance. Jumping up to the Overland and Summit models swaps the larger healamps for the ones you see in the picture at the top of the review. The unit incorporates LED daytime running lamps and headlamp washers in the black plastic strip under the lamp module.
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