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Updated 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 joins our test fleet, with more gear and gears

Updated 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 joins our test fleet, with more gear and gears

Well, that was fast. Only two weeks after a white 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel press car visited our track for initial driving impressions, I drove another white 2014 Grand Cherokee off of the dealer’s lot to add to our test fleet.

Our new Grand Cherokee 4×4 has the most popular powertrain—a 3.6-liter V6 with the new eight-speed automatic transmission. Since we wanted a leather interior, we opted for the Limited trim. We also wanted to try Chrysler’s next-generation Uconnect 8.4-inch touch-screen system, which happened to come with navigation. That option is well worth the $795 price. Add in a $995 sunroof and a $795 tow package, and our Jeep stickered at $41,375.

Remember that when it comes to buying cars, it always pays to wait rather than being the first on your block. Eager to get the Jeep for the test program, we were the first to take delivery of a 2014 version from a large Connecticut dealer. That haste—or efficiency, depending on your point of view—inevitably limited bargaining to just a few hundred off the sticker.

First impressions? Eight is better than five, at least when it comes to forward gears in the automatic transmission. The added ratios help response and shifting smoothness, an improvement over the old five-speed transmission. And that $41K buys a rather nicely equipped Jeep, including a heated steering wheel and a super-configurable instrument cluster.

We’ll find out soon how the updated-for-2014 Grand Cherokee does in our tests. For now, enjoy our video of the Grand Cherokee diesel, which should go on sale around the time when green leafs reappear on our Connecticut trees.

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