If you are looking for a comfortable and spacious work horse to get the job done, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4 X 4 may be the right SUV for you. The base price of the model I drove was $54,695 with another $12,000 in optional equipment. Those included very comfortable Laguna leather seats, leather wrapped lower panels, rear seat dual screen Blue-Ray/DVD player and 20-inch platinum aluminum wheels, bringing the vehicle to a total price of $67,970. This is right in the ballpark of other fully-loaded SUVs of this caliber.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit has a three-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance. Several improvements have been made to the 2019 model. My favorite is the U-Connect® 4C Navigation system with 8.4 inch color touchscreen display. This is one of the most intuitive systems I’ve encountered and I was happily fully connected and comfortably cruising within moments. From here you can do just about anything: control the sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Navigation, Bluetooth and WiFi.
Indeed, everything on the dash was in the right place and easy to use. USB ports were conveniently placed in the lower center of the dash, there was also plenty of cubby space and a quite roomy center console. I was also happy to see that unlike many SUV manufacturers, Jeep has kept the traditional, center gearshift forgoing the annoying trend of many to move the shift behind the steering wheel.
For the parking challenged, standard features in this model are parallel and perpendicular park-assist, rear back-up camera, and blind spot and cross-path detection. Other standard features include keyless entry, remote start, hill start assist, adaptive cruise control, power seats, power liftgate, heated and cooled seats and a fabulous 19-speaker Harmon Karden stereo system.
This model had a 5.7-liter Hemi® V8 engine with 360-horses under the hood and 390 pound-feet of torque. Another plus: if you have a boat or own horses, this model has 7200 pounds of towing capacity. There is of course a trade off for all that power and capacity. Fuel economy is 14 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway, with 17 miles per gallon combined. Not a super green vehicle, but certainly not the worst offender on the market for this caliber of SUVs.
For the stealth shoppers among us – and you know who you are – this Jeep has 68.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down. And those rear seats? Super easy to pop them down with one easy button push. My only real complaint about this Jeep is that the brake-pedal often felt a bit sticky while driving in the city. Which incidentally, was the same complaint I had when I owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee back when dinosaurs roamed the planet.
With all of these upgrades this Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4 X 4 is truly a pleasure to drive. It is not a super sexy mom SUV, but more like a very attractive librarian that gets the job done well, on time and very competently. It is a very smooth ride and handles surprisingly well in the city despite its size and girth. Off road it handles like a dream. Indeed, just like the award-winning SUV that it is.
Julie L. Kessler is MoneyInc’s Travel & Luxury Editor and writes travel stories for various major media outlets. She is also an attorney and legal columnist based in Los Angeles and the author of the award-winning book “Fifty-Fifty: The Clarity of Hindsight.” She can be reached at Julie@VagabondLawyer.com