Like the Toyota Camry I recently tested, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee pretty much nailed its combined city/highway fuel economy estimate during my test week.
After driving the Pentastar V6-equipped Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland on my regular commute and spending a day running errands at the weekend, the trip computer calculated 19.3 MPG. According to the window sticker, my Grand Cherokee was rated at 17 MPG city, 24 MPG highway, and 19 MPG combined. So the Jeep hit it right on the button.
On my only true cruise control-using highway trip, I briefly saw the computer-indicated fuel economy average creep up above 20 MPG, but my final two days of driving the Grand Cherokee saw me doing quite a bit of low-speed in-town driving that helped nudge the average back down into the 19 MPG range.
I must again praise the Pentastar 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 and the Torqueflite 8 eight-speed transmission. They’re a sweet combo. They can be a docile combination when you want, or they can rip and snort if your right foot feels particularly frisky. Though I spent 90% of my seat time in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with the transmission gear selector in the “D” position, it was nice to be able to kick the transmission down into “S” mode for those frisky moments. It was also nice being able to punch the eight-speed gearbox down a few cogs by way of the shift paddles behind the steering wheel — a handy thing to do if you plan on passing in “D,” as it will allow you to get the engine on the boil before you’re in the oncoming lane.
All in all, not a bad fuel economy performance for a heavy, traditional SUV that is truly off-road capable. A German friend of mine remarked it wasn’t particularly good fuel economy, either — especially by European standards. I’ll take his word for it. And I’ll be hoping that Jeep sees fit to let us test a Grand Cherokee with the EcoDiesel engine soon, as Europeans may be accustomed to the fuel economy benefits of a diesel engine in mass-market two-row SUVs, but we Americans are not. It would interest me greatly to know how the EcoDiesel will stack up to the Pentastar in the real world.
Disclosure: Jeep provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of gas.