A Legend Reborn: Jeep's All-New 2011 Grand Cherokee

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In addition to the enhanced on-road characteristics of Jeep’s all-new Grand Cherokee, several other “intelligent” features have been integrated including Adaptive Cruise Control which actively adjusts – up or down – the cruise setting of the vehicle when the driver encounters traffic. Also, a new Blind-spot/Rear cross-path detection system notifies the driver – through the use of peripherally-placed sensors – when an approaching vehicle is out of the line of site of the driver. Both of these options really enhance driver awareness, particularly when driving in the city and/or highway.

Of course, the real fun began once we arrived at the off-highway portion of our vehicle test. Jeep has dubbed the technology for off-highway travel as “Go Anywhere 4×4 Systems,” and this is no overstatement. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee features three 4×4 systems throughout its model lineup including Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II.

Quadra-Trac I delivers full-time four-wheel drive without any switches or buttons to engage the 4×4 system. The system works nicely through a variety of road conditions and is the “base” 4×4 system offered in the new Grand Cherokee.

Quadra-Trac II features a two-speed transfer case that receives input from a variety of sensors in order to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and correct the driving situation accordingly. The cool thing about this system is that when tire slippage is detected, as much as 100 percent of available torque is instantly routed to the axle with the most traction, offsetting the chance of the vehicle losing control in wet, muddy, or varying situations.

Quadra-Drive II features an Electronic Limited-slip Differential that enhances the traction capability of the vehicle and smoothly distributes engine torque to tires with traction when the need arises. Both the Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II 4×4 systems offer Selec-Terrain as a standard option.

Speaking of Selec-Terrain, the system is a first within the SUV market and it really sets the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee apart from its peers. The way the system works is the driver can choose from five driving conditions and control a dial that essentially achieves the best driving experience based on the terrain. The five terrain settings include: Sand/Mud, Sport, Auto, Snow, and Rock.

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