Jeep Grand Cherokee Refreshed for 2008
11th August, 2008
Since its introduction into the Australian market in 1996, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has revolutionised the sport-utility (SUV) market. With very good tractive capability the Jeep Grand Cherokee is designed, engineered and built to master every imaginable day-to-day driving condition, whether on-road or off-road.
“What makes Grand Cherokee different from all the other SUVs is that it’s nimble around town, can climb any rock face and has world class creature comforts,” said Gerry Jenkins, Managing Director, Chrysler Australia.
For 2008, the refreshed Jeep Grand Cherokee adds an enhanced 4.7 litre V8 engine that delivers a 30 per cent increase in power, a 10 per cent increase in torque and improved fuel economy of more than 5 per cent than the engine it replaces.
“We’ve increased the power on our 4.7 litre V8 and at the same time improved fuel economy, the interior has been considerably upgraded as has the driving experience,” said Jenkins.
The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee includes a variety of premium amenities that are new for 2008, including the MyGIG™ Multimedia Entertainment System that can support built-in navigation, reversing camera display, and entertainment and communication system. MyGIG enables customers to use touch-screen or voice commands to control all of the features, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive where music and photos can be stored. There’s space reserved on the hard drive for approximately 1,600 songs; that’s more than 100 hours of music. There also is a voice-memo recorder feature.
Also new on the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 are high-intensity discharge (HID) auto-levelling headlamps. HID auto-levelling headlamps provide approximately three times the light output of conventional reflector lamps for improved night-time illumination. The auto-levelling feature automatically adjusts the headlamps to the vehicle pitch depending on the load and number of passengers in the vehicle. This feature also benefits oncoming traffic because the system prevents drivers from being distracted by glare from the headlamps. The auto-levelling feature is only available with HID headlamps.
ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera, ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System, MyGIG infotainment system, rain-sensing wipers, memory seats and mirrors and iPod connectivity are now standard on all Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited models.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee also features three new safety and security technologies for 2008: Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control.
Hill Descent Control (HDC) is standard on all Grand Cherokee 4x4 models except SRT8. Operational in the “4WD Low” position, HDC provides downhill assistance at a controlled rate of speed. By means of electronic brake control, HDC supplements the gear reduction and engine braking that a traditional mechanical low-range transfer case provides. For ease of operation, Grand Cherokee’s HDC is activated and deactivated automatically, after the HDC button is engaged, as the system senses changes in topography. The system works whether the vehicle is in forward or reverse.
The Hill Start Assist (HSA) allows the driver time to transition from brake to throttle to achieve a smooth launch on a grade. The system will hold brake pressure for two seconds upon the driver’s release of the brake pedal. The ABS system decreases wheel pressure in response to increasing throttle to provide a smooth launch.
Trailer Sway Control is standard on all Grand Cherokee models (except SRT8). This system reduces trailer sway and provides improved trailer stability and increased towing safety.
Exterior Ready to Take Action
With its upright and substantial posture, the refreshed 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s design offers an athletic and contemporary appearance. The grille has been lengthened and the headlamps are more circular for a more dominant and expressive front view. A new HID headlamp standard and only available on SRT8 includes an internal optic lens for the park/turn function. Fog lamps have also been lowered for enhanced road visibility. Off-road enthusiasts will be pleased with the new two-piece front fascia, allowing for the entire lower piece to be removed before hitting the off-road trails.
The shape of the body is designed to protect the sides of the vehicle from potential road debris. At the side, a proportionately longer bonnet and greater distance between the centre of the front axle and the base of the windshield emphasise the engine compartment and help to achieve a more powerful image.
Interior Design Elegant and Functional
On the inside, the vehicle's two tone instrument panel features a new level of refinement with bright accents, softer surface and updated styling.
A new tilt and telescoping steering column is standard, with a new steering wheel that includes bright accent bezels, which house the electronic vehicle information centre’s switches. The Limited model's steering wheel adds two-tone leather and bright chrome accent rings. Also new is the updated line of instrument clusters that feature new brighter LED illumination, with the Limited models receiving a modern and elegant treatment where, when the vehicle is started, the dark-tinted lens fades to reveal chrome-ringed black gauges that are surrounded by a bright silver accent field.
The new floor console has revised cup holders and the Limited models receive a new leather-wrapped and chrome-accented parking brake handle. The door panels have new armrests for improved ergonomics and comfort.
Jeep Grand Cherokee’s seats are beautifully crafted with contours that are precise, firm and ergonomic, featuring a robust structure. They are purpose-built and designed for long-distance comfort with trim styles different for each model: Laredo features cloth, while Limited seats are two-tone leather with perforated inserts. A reversible load-floor panel is carpeted on one side and offers easy-to-clean plastic on the other. The plastic side includes a large shallow tray for additional utility.
Jeep-engineered Hill Descent Control
Operational in the 4WD Low position, Hill Descent Control provides downhill assistance at a controlled rate of speed with more precision and smoother operation than simply using the brakes. Unlike many of its competitors, the new Grand Cherokee with Hill Descent Control offers extremely smooth transitions between speeds and allows the driver to use the throttle and brakes without turning the system off, with a smooth and controlled return to the preset speed after the driver releases the throttle or brakes.
In the Grand Cherokee, once Hill Descent Control is activated with a push of a button in the centre stack, preset speeds can be selected by using the transmission shifter. For ease of operation, after the Hill Descent Control button is engaged, Grand Cherokee’s Hill Descent Control is activated and deactivated automatically, as the system senses changes in topography. The system works whether the vehicle is driven in forward or reverse.
The preset maximum speeds are:
Hill Descent Control was engineered to provide the smoothest transitions possible, even from a complete stop on extremely steep and slippery surfaces.
Hill Descent Control is standard on all Grand Cherokee models except SRT8.
Hill Start Assist
The Hill Start Assist system provides the driver time to transition from brake to throttle to achieve a smooth launch on a grade. The system will hold brake pressure for two seconds upon the driver’s release of the brake pedal. The Hill Start Assist system decreases wheel pressure in response to increasing throttle to provide a smooth launch. This system is extremely helpful when driving in urban as well as off-road areas with steep hills.
Hill Start Assist is standard on all Jeep Grand Cherokee models except SRT8.
Trailer Sway Control
Sensors monitor the vehicle’s movement relative to the driver’s intended path. The vehicle yaw sensor recognises sway. Once the system determines the sway is increasing and is not a result of the driver’s steering input, Trailer Sway Control applies brake pressure on one front wheel to counteract the yaw induced by the trailer and smoothly applies brake pressure to the other wheels to slow the vehicle. As the trailer sways to the other side of the vehicle, Trailer Sway Control will increase pressure to the opposite side of the vehicle. The technology will continue to apply alternating brake pressure and reduce engine torque until the trailer sway is under control.
Four-Wheel Drive Systems
The NV245 transfer case is the same used in the Quadra-Drive II® system. It takes input from a variety of sensors to determine tyre slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action. The system also uses Throttle Anticipate – sensing quick movement in throttle from a stop – and takes steps to maximise traction before tyre slippage occurs. When wheel slippage is detected, up to 100 per cent of the available torque is instantly routed to the axle with the most traction.
Torque is transferred to the individual wheels as needed by the BTCS to maintain traction in changing road conditions. When the system senses tyre slip, it modulates brake pressure to the slipping wheel, which directs torque to the tyres with the best traction.
Quadra-Trac II features an electronic shift mechanism for ease of use. The transfer case offers a low range for off-road situations and includes a neutral position for trouble-free towing behind another vehicle.
The heart of the system is the NV245 active transfer case. This transfer case includes a centre differential coupled with an
electronically controlled clutch pack, varying it from a completely open state to completely locked and infinite possibilities in between.
The 4-Low gear ratio is 2.72:1.
All components of the system work together, continually monitoring needs, to provide smooth and automatic application of the components for best-in-class tractive performance while improving the day-to-day on-road driving experience. For example, the ELSD releases the clutch packs in the front axle during turns to allow differentiation and prevent crow hop.
“From our super economical 3.0 Litre turbo diesel engine through to our 6.1 Litre SRT8 super SUV, our customers won’t be short on powertrain options”, said Jenkins.
3.0-litre Common Rail Turbo Diesel (CRD)
4.7-litre SOHC V-8
The new 4.7-litre V8 incorporates two spark plugs per cylinder (the only Chrysler Group engine to do so, other than the 5.7-litre HEMI), increased compression ratio, improved cylinder-head port flow and a new combustion system. The result is 223 kW @ 5,650 rpm, a 30 per cent increase, and 445 Nm of torque @ 3,950 rpm, a 10 per cent increase and five per cent improvement in fuel economy compared with the previous 4.7-litre V8 engine.
Improvements in the new 4.7-litre V8 result from significant revisions to the induction system, a lightweight piston/rod assembly and reduced accessory drive noise through lower accessory drive speed. Engine smoothness at idle is enhanced with a new cam design, two spark plugs per cylinder and a new valve-lash adjuster system. The new 4.7-litre V8 is also equipped with electronic throttle control.
5.7-litre HEMI® V8
Some of the significant technologies enabling MDS include the speed of electronic controls, the sophistication of the algorithms controlling the systems and the use of Electronic Throttle Control.
New for the HEMI engine is a “Fuel Saver Mode” display, included as part of the Electronic Vehicle Information Centre, which informs drivers when they are in four-cylinder mode, allowing them to modify their driving habits for improved fuel efficiency.
Suspension Steering Systems and Transmissions
The short- and long-arm independent front suspension on Grand Cherokee provides the driver with a greater sense of precision and control and more precise steering, and reduces vehicle weight, all without compromising the vehicle’s off-road performance. The five-link rear-suspension geometry, including a track bar, also improves lateral stiffness to match that of the front suspension for optimum handling.
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), which is standard on all models, aids the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability in severe manoeuvres on any type of surface. It works by using signals from sensors throughout the vehicle that then determine the appropriate brake and throttle adjustments for directional stability.
Grand Cherokee’s rack-and-pinion steering imparts more precise steering to the driver, providing quick response during all types of manoeuvres.
The 3.0-litre CRD engine is matched to the W5J400 five-speed automatic transmission. The 4.7-litre V-8 and the 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 engines are matched to the 545RFE five-speed automatic transmission. All Grand Cherokee models have class-leading towing capacity of 3.5 tonne. All transmissions feature Electronic Range Select driver interactive shift control. The shifter provides fully automated shifting when in the “drive” position. Or the driver can manually select each gear by simply moving the shifter left and right from the “drive” position. This gives the driver control to precisely match any on-road or off-road requirement.
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Safety and Security Features
• Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
- Jeep Green
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo $59,490 (RRP)*
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo options (RRP)*
- Premium paint $370
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited $64,990 (RRP)*
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited options (RRP)*
- Premium paint $370
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee range pricing (RRP)*
- Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3.0L CRD $59,490
* RRP excludes dealer delivery charges and the various statutory fees/charges/duties/taxes.
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