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2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by ggariepy

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Reviewed: 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee

4dr SUV 235-horsepower 4.7L V8 5-speed shiftable automatic AWD w/low range

Why the 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Exterior styling

The Grand Cherokee's distinctive good looks are befitting of a premium SUV. The large, round headlamps, a departure from the WJ- and ZJ-series vehicles, were partly owing to the influence of Daimler-Benz, which had a controlling interest in Chrysler Corporation at the time of this vehicle's redesign. Subsequent editions of the Grand Cherokee have returned to the rectangular headlamp designs that were originally used, yet these round headlamps are extremely efficient and cast a powerful beam -- much more so than the WJ-edition lamps. Otherwise, this machine is standard-issue Jeep: wide, trapezoidal wheel arches, a long hood, short overhangs and a flexible hatchback design. This machine is as comfortable on a rocky ridge as it is in the mall parking lot, and it looks the part.

Driving position & visibility

Visibility in the Grand Cherokee is excellent, and the high seating position gives a commanding view of the road.

Powertrain performance

The 4.7L V-8 with 545RFE electronically controlled 5 speed automatic is an adequate performer. It will happily tow a 5,000 pound trailer if properly equipped with the electronic trailer brake controller (not available from the factory). It will acquit itself well in freeway and two-lane road passing situations. It is not a stoplight warrior, though. With the average V-6 automobile now sporting 300HP, the 4.7L Grand Cherokee will be left in the dust on dry pavement. Add a little rain or snow and the situation is reversed. For all normal driving, the high-eight-second 0-60 performance is perfectly adequate, and would have been considered "fast" in the 1980s.

Handling

A Jeep Grand Cherokee is a machine designed for traction, and it has that in spades. This machine laughs at snow storms, shrugs off muddy dirt roads, and rolls through spots of uneven pavement without complaint. If you're in part of the country where the weather and traction are often difficult, this is the machine for you.

Tires

The factory Goodyear Forterra tires are in a word: excellent. This is the first vehicle I've owned where I've replaced the tires with the factory OE-spec model. They are all-season radials with a fairly aggressive tread, yet they are quiet. They will carry the Grand Cherokee through a foot of snow or drag your boat on the trailerup the launch ramp without a complaint, and they're not bad at soaking up bumps. If you happen to purchase a Grand Cherokee that someone has put different tires on, consider going back to the factory spec tires at your earliest opportunity. They are wonderful.

Why Not the 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Materials & workmanship

The Yes Essentials fabric covering the seats in the cloth interior is highly susceptible to showing discoloration after they've been wet. For most vehicles, you can set a condensation-moistened water bottle on the front seat without concern. In this vehicle, that transgression results in a water stain that will only disappear when the entire seat is shampooed. Opt for the leather interior if it is available; otherwise prepare to have a less-than-stellar experience with the interior of your Jeep.

Fuel economy

Fuel economy is abysmal. The 4.7L V-8 engine, only moderately powerful, is far thirstier than the much more powerful 5.7L Hemi option owing to the Hemi's cylinder deactivation. Real-world fuel economy in city driving is 11-13MPG. On longer trips it can occasionally see 20MPG if speeds are kept below 70MPH. The 4.7L drivetrain is a compromise between the V-6 and the Hemi versions in terms of cost, with the added capability of being able to operate on E-85 fuel when properly equipped. You will undoubtedly want to go with the Hemi version instead of the 4.7L if you can afford it, the benefits are more than just the extra power. If you are familiar with the performance of the 4.7L in the older WJ models, prepare to be disappointed by the performance in the 2005-2010 WK models: they weigh 600 pounds more, and you can definitely feel the difference. Do not buy ANY Jeep Grand Cherokee if you are a budget-conscious big city commuter; you have to accept the fuel economy as the trade off for uncompromised traction in poor weather conditions. This machine has a "real" 4 wheel drive system: it's always on, it's always ready to step in when the going gets slippery, and provided the tires are good enough it will plow snow with its front bumper. A V-6 version only gets marginally better fuel economy but with a significant decrease in power. In truth, if you're worried about fuel economy, you should be looking at the car-based Jeep Compass or Patriot models, not the Grand Cherokee.

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