Danielle Villeneuve

Quick Spin: Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

Jeep does not lack trim levels with their models, and the Grand Cherokee is no different. Trailhawks can easily be picked out of a crowd by their red tow hooks, black striping, different fascias and obvious badging. But the meat of what sets the Trailhawk apart from the others is in what you necessarily can’t see.

So what does the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk bring to the table? Its the most capable off-road of all factory-offered Grand Cherokees. Beyond its Trailhawk markings, you’ll notice meaty 18-inch Goodyear Kevlar reinforced tires. They’ll be sure to take beating without getting sliced open on sharp off-road objects. Like we found on the Cherokee Trailhawk, they do produce slightly more road noise than usual. As previously mentioned, the front fascia is different from other Grand Cherokee trim levels with a seven-slot grille that can also be found on the Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary edition.

We did not have the opportunity to test its off-road capabilities, but we sure got to test out its Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system with Electronic Limited Slip Differential in the snow. During our time with the Trailhawk, upstate New York was one of the several states hit by Winter Storm Stella. I’m not sure I would have made it home without the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. With the help of its snow mode and Quadra-Lift air suspension which increased ground clearance, I was able to push through the snowy roads home. Air suspension may not be the first choice for serious off-roaders, but it does improve the suspension and increases ground clearance by .4 inches in its highest setting. The Quadra-Drive II is also Jeep’s most serious 4×4 system with low-range gearing.

It has been 3 years since we’ve driven a Grand Cherokee. Getting back into one was a reminder as to why they’re so popular on the road. The Grand Cherokee offers something for any budget. The Trailhawk offers the off-road capability while still remaining fairly budget friendly. Granted, the interior experience won’t be quite a plush as the Grand Cherokee Overland  we tested. Our Trailhawk had an as-tested price of $50,220. Other off-road vehicles like the Toyota Land Cruiser will cost you upwards of $85k. Think of the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk as the everyday errand and fun weekend mudding mobile rolled into one.

-Danielle Assenheimer

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4
Trailhawk Luxury Group $2,695
Jeep Active Safety Group $1,495
Rock Rails by Mopar $2,695
Uconnect 8.4 NAV $1,495
Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection $595
Destination Charges $995
As Tested MSRP $50,220

Stepping Out: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
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