Review: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit – Part 4
Let’s look at the technology inside the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, and there’s a lot of it. Starting with the safety technology, here’s the list of things that will keep you safe:
- Seven air bags including driver’s knee blocker
- Tire pressure monitoring
- Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning
- Blind-Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Path Detection
- Rear back up camera
- Reactive head restraints
- Anti-Lock Brakes, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Roll Mitigation
I love the adaptive cruise control. If the car in front of you slows down, the SUV slows down. If the car in front of you speeds up, the SUV speeds up. This is a nice feature to have a long highway drive. The only thing that I will give a negative grade to is the rear backup camera. It’s fully exposed to the elements so it gets dirty which makes it useless. While this isn’t the only vehicle that has this issue, I really think that Chrysler needs to rethink the camera and how it’s placed.
The next thing is the key. It’s a proximity key that allows you to walk up, open the door, press the start button, and drive away. You can also remote start the SUV, open the rear hatch, and unlock the doors. Like other Chrysler vehicles I’ve reviewed, there’s a real key on the inside.
Now to the easy part of this review, the UConnect system. This is a newer version than the one that was in the Dodge Dart with the big change being the navigation system. It’s still a Garmin system from what I can tell, but it feels more integrated into the system. The one in the Dodge Dart looked just liked they took a stock Garmin GPS and popped it into UConnect which gave it a different feel from the rest of UConnect. It still worked well though so I didn’t say anything about it at the time I did the review of the Dodge Dart. But what they’ve done with this system in the Grand Cherokee is much better from a user interface standpoint. Kudos to Chrysler for that. It took me seconds to pair my iPhone via Bluetooth and make everything work the way I expected. Plugging in my iPhone via USB allowed me access to all the music and playlists on it. The voice recognition was good, though I had trouble with street names. The system is powered by a 8.4″ touchscreen that as far as I am concerned is the gold standard for these sorts of systems. Now there are redundant controls that are well designed and easy to reach. When it comes to the design part, I’ll use the controls on the steering wheel as an example. Individual buttons have their own feel so that once you know what the functions are, you can use them purely based on feel. Negatives? One. Just like the Dodge Dart, the system was capable of reading things like text messages and responding to them. But I couldn’t get that to work. But other than that, UConnect once again showed me why it’s a the top of the food chain when it comes to these sorts of systems. It’s easy to use and feels very well thought through.
One last point. This SUV has a great sounding stereo. No matter where I was sitting, the audio was fantastic. Crisp highs and well defined bass with zero distortion. Clearly Chrysler put a lot of thought into making sure the stereo was top of the pops.
In the last part of my review, I’ll wrap up some loose ends and I will give you my final verdict.