Join me as I take the completely refreshed 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit for a spin. We take the Jeep off road, on road, talk infotainment, the new LCD instrument cluster, the new 8-Speed Torqueflite automatic transmission designed by ZF, discuss AWD systems from Quadra Trac to Quadra Drive II, engine options, pricing and more.

2014 brings a trimline reshuffle to the Grand Cherokee with the Laredo X being replaced by a cheaper Latitude E and the the Overland Summit ditches Overland to become a separate trim sitting at the top of the range. There is more going on here than just a trim re-shuffle if you read between the lines. In 2013 the "Overland Summit" was the Grand Cherokee with all the luxury AND all the offroad bits. In 2014 the Summit is the realization that people don't take their $52,000-$57,000 Jeep rock crawling any more than Range Rover owners joyride in the Sahara on weekends. As a result the 2014 Summit looses the skid plates and tow hooks found on the lesser models and doesn't get the option to add them from the factory.

Chrysler limited the refresh to a new, de-chromed tailgate, new bumper covers, exhaust tips and a headlamp re-style. In addition to the removal of the strangely large chrome strip below the tailgate glass (see our 2013 review for that picture), Jeep has gone up market with more aggressive tail lamps and more differentiated trim levels. Laredo and Limited models get redesigned bumper covers with round exhaust tips while the premium trims get trendy trapezoidal tips. Further cleaning up the Overland and Summit models, the hitch receiver and 4/7 pin trailer wiring connector are hidden behind a panel in the bumper. Speaking of towing, the factory towing setup is not available on base Laredo models anymore. Want to haul? You have to step up to that Laredo E.

Up front the grille has become less prominent and more integrated into the plastic bumper cover. The optional foglamps have shrunk to an almost cartoonishly small proportion and the lower air intakes take on a more aggressive stance. Jumping up to the Overland and Summit models swaps the larger healamps for the ones you see in the picture at the top of the review. The unit incorporates LED daytime running lamps and headlamp washers in the black plastic strip under the lamp module.
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Comments

    • David NL
      David NL

      Very cool offroading part :-) Excellent review!

      about 9 months ago
    • evh5150combo
      evh5150combo

      Wrong: Summit and Overland have Quadra drive II with TWO elsd not three (there's no more in front). And the 3.6 Summit he is driving HAVE NOT quadra drive II but only quadra track II.

      about 1 year ago
    • JayDuke
      JayDuke

      The batteries are going to run out on that flashlight

      about 1 year ago
    • Connor Gibbs
      Connor Gibbs

      Great video as always! You really are the best reviewer out there! Oh and nice illegal pass at 12:14 ;), although I guess TECHNICALLY it was legal since you started the pass before the line became solid. But it did show the great power of that GC. Keep em' coming and I'll keep watching! :D

      about 1 year ago
    • Hypertrophic Gaming
      Hypertrophic Gaming

      Thanks for the great review! ...Is the music at the end from Runescape lol?

      about 1 year ago
    • Joe Ray
      Joe Ray

      Alex, can you start making comments as to reliability history or concerns when you review cars, please? Sometimes, in spite of your scoring system and analytical nature, it appears you have nothing truly negative to say about a vehicle. Reliability is a key component of a purchase decision. Love your work, thanks for doing these.

      about 2 years ago
    • Daddy Hump
      Daddy Hump

      If I wanted to hear someone shit talk a Jeep, I'd watch a Ford commercial.

      about 2 years ago
    • Jay Liu
      Jay Liu

      The problem experienced with not climbing over the log may not be entirely the tires' fault. The V6 engine is simply not the best for Off-Roading purposes which most people know requires greater torque. The Diesel at 420 lbs of torque and the V8 at 390 lbs of torque is much superior to the 260 offered at the V6 level. I am sure with either the V8 or Diesel, the Jeep would not be stuck even with the poorer OEM tires. In addition, using the Off Road 2 (raising the Jeep to its highest suspension setting) will also help. There are many options in this Jeep to tackle a variety of problems if one knows how to use it fully.

      about 3 years ago
    • EJ Pennyman
      EJ Pennyman

      Alex, you mention that the JGC has no off-road competition in the mid-size SUV market. What about the 4Runner? It can only tow 4700 lbs, but it's definately off-road capable.

      about 3 years ago
    • James Turner
      James Turner

      The reviewer spends a lot of time talking about how the weight of the vehicle makes it unsuitable for off road - the 2015 Wrangler Unlimited Hard Rock Edition is the best stock off-road vehicle in the world - and it weighs 5400 lbs -- the entire argument is a fallacy -- if the vehicle is equipped for off road - like the grand cherokee -- and its just as good on-road as ford explorer according to half-dozen other reviewers. This review is just not accurate and the arguments about off-road capability are just not correlated with the facts.

      about 3 years ago
    • USAFJUNKIE
      USAFJUNKIE In reply to James Turner

      +USAFJUNKIE Prime example of gearing taking care of said weight issue: Ram Power Wagon.

      about 3 years ago
    • USAFJUNKIE
      USAFJUNKIE In reply to James Turner

      +Alex on Autos The reason the 2dr Wrangler is more capable is mainly because of the break-over angle, not the weight. The torque provided by the gearing makes the weight a minimal factor in both versions.

      about 3 years ago
    • Alex on Autos
      Alex on Autos In reply to James Turner

      +James Turner Not sure where you got that number from. Chrysler's public specification documents show that the heaviest Wrangler Unlimited is 4,340 pounds. Do not confuse GVWR with curb weight, they are not the same thing. The Unlimited is also less capable in general terms than the short wheelbase Wrangler which is also lighter. However, also keep in mind that the Wrangler can commodate wider and more capable tires than the Grand Cherokee in stock form which helps considerably in off road ability.

      about 3 years ago
    • Denys A
      Denys A

      Oh.  I forgot.  What's the best off-road version of the GC?  I'm thinking Overland, diesel, quadra-trac, quadra-drive, air suspension, 18-inch wheels.  And an early change of tires to something like BFG All Terrain TAs.  What do YOU think?

      about 4 years ago
    • Dukiny Gaming
      Dukiny Gaming In reply to Denys A

      Summit is the best off roader

      about 3 years ago
    • Denys A
      Denys A

      Nice job, Alex.  In fact, best review I've seen on the new GC.

      about 4 years ago
    • Buck Johnson
      Buck Johnson

      I drive a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 with a 5.7 V-8 with a Hemi. I see no significant upgrades between the 2011 and the 2014 models.

      about 4 years ago
    • Dialysisforever
      Dialysisforever In reply to Buck Johnson

      @Discover Guy - Yes, the transmission is much nicer.

      about 10 months ago
    • Discover Guy
      Discover Guy In reply to Buck Johnson

      No ......if you drive 2014 you will see the difference

      about 10 months ago
    • Benjammin1829
      Benjammin1829

      Excellent review! I'm in the market for a 2015 JGC Overland and this review was the best I've found yet!

      about 4 years ago
    • Bob Sacamano
      Bob Sacamano

      the base model grand cherokee doesn't even come with a cd player.  wtf jeep?

      about 4 years ago
    • crazy wheel to the max
      crazy wheel to the max In reply to Bob Sacamano

      +Hector Espinoza probably is going to be 20 dollars for the cd player, I'll prefer a Bluetooth, HD Radio upgrade or a 20 pack of beer and I think they are about 20 dollars or just save the money

      about 3 years ago
    • Hector Espinoza
      Hector Espinoza In reply to Bob Sacamano

      @Bob Sacamano Nah but all BS aside, why throw in a device into 100% of your cars that 99% of the population doesn't use anymore?

      about 3 years ago
    • Hector Espinoza
      Hector Espinoza In reply to Bob Sacamano

      @Bob Sacamano True, they should throw in cassette players too while we're throwing in old cheap ancient technology.

      about 3 years ago
    • Bob Sacamano
      Bob Sacamano In reply to Bob Sacamano

      +Hector Espinoza How much could it possibly cost to include stone age technology?

      about 3 years ago
    • Hector Espinoza
      Hector Espinoza In reply to Bob Sacamano

      +Bob Sacamano Lol yea no offense, but thats some stone age technology at this point, i think the legitimate last time i used a cd was 2007? Bluetooth/mp3's have made cd's obsolete for a while now.

      about 3 years ago
    • Thianro Uklian
      Thianro Uklian

      You are the best.

      about 4 years ago
    • Christopher McConnell
      Christopher McConnell

      How do you think the summit would handle in a beach/sand environment.

      about 4 years ago
    • Bruno TaTa
      Bruno TaTa

      Alex puts the big car mag reviews to shame.

      about 4 years ago
    • Jamie Waterman
      Jamie Waterman

      have to say this has been the best review on this vehicle I have seen. This includes the supposed "professional" reviewers like Consumer Reports and Autoworld.
      Good job!

      about 4 years ago
    • Bruno TaTa
      Bruno TaTa

      Some versions are getting near full size 4x4 truck weights.  

      about 4 years ago
    • Brian David
      Brian David

      You do the best reviews on YouTube in my opinion, very detailed. Love them!

      about 4 years ago
    • JO FAZIO
      JO FAZIO

      POWER  TO  THE  JEEPS 

      about 4 years ago
    • SpazDillinger
      SpazDillinger

      wow..your ignorance of sitting on a seat or in a seat is nothing no one wold take home with

      about 4 years ago
    • Timothy Wood
      Timothy Wood

      Love the Grand Cherokee. If you want a True SUV, then Look No Further. This is the Original That started it all. The Jeep Grand Cherokee still does perfectly what its original intended purpose was, Thats off Roading and climbing. All others fail in comparison. In  an industry that has become systematically flooded with the likes of so many pretenders That are nothing more than Luxury  Cruisers, Boulevardiers and Mommy Wagon Baby Haulerrs  only dressed up to make Mommies look Kool while their hauling. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving Mom a Kool looking Hauler or Dad a Pseudo Mountain Climber. Its all the rave as they would say. However, The Grand Cherokee and most of its related Jeep Brethren are true off Roaders that are built for climbing as well. So, if You want a Kool Looking baby hauler and an off roader that can actually go off road and  climb mountains , than look No further, The Jeep Grand Cherokee has Everything you'll ever need. Just check its DNA. It can haul around all of your babies, all of thier stuff , make mom and dad look Kool, and Haul ASS while its doing it all too.

      about 4 years ago
    • William Todd
      William Todd In reply to Timothy Wood

      Correct, the Jeep Cherokee (XJ) was also unibody so was the Jeep Comanche Pickup from the back of the cab to the tailgate however, it had a c-channel frame. Everything else now is unibody, but I believe the Wrangler still uses an actual frame.

      The Grand Cherokee wasn't intended for offroading and climbing that would be the Wrangler. The Grand Cherokee was intended for those who wanted more room and options than the Cherokee (XJ) at the time the Cherokee was limited to the 4L I6, where the Grand Cherokee gave you the option of a 5.2L (318) V8 engine and later on (1998 only) a 5.9L (360) V8...then they replaced all those more recently with V6's, and a 4.7L V8 or the 5.7L V8.

      Today's Grand Cherokees however, are far more streamlined and more luxurious making them more competitive towards the more luxury vehicles from other automakers...they still retain some of their offroad capabilities but they've taken a lower to the ground stance in recent years.

      about 7 months ago
    • vincecvn
      vincecvn In reply to Timothy Wood

      The GC from the very beginning has always been a unibody, this is not something that FCA all of sudden decided to change; it's always been like that.

      about 2 years ago
    • Victor Creed
      Victor Creed In reply to Timothy Wood

      Sorry, the GC is now a unibody man-van. The only true off road road product FCA builds is the Wrangler. This will get you down a rutted road, or to the cabin, but I wouldn't take it on anything more technical than that.

      about 2 years ago
    • humblelion127
      humblelion127

      Alex please help me understand this wave of criticism on the 2014 grand Cherokee, even CONSUMER REPORTS are having a swing at it, can alex or anyone explain “the roast" of the new GC?????

      about 4 years ago
    • William Todd
      William Todd In reply to humblelion127

      Consumer reports gets paid by companies to do reviews so I'd take anything they say with a grain of salt and some reviews from consumers as well...you usually only see comments on vehicles when there are problems, people who never have a problem never bother to comment on stuff because they're out using it.

      about 7 months ago
    • Denys A
      Denys A In reply to humblelion127

      +humblelion127 Well, Consumer Reports and I disagree a LOT on cars, so I'm a little different on that subject than Alex.  That said, I think Alex has done a really nice job of reviewing this SUV.  In my mind--and I have no prejudices towards Chrysler or Jeep--the Grand Cherokee fills a niche that no one else is filling.  Fuel economy, off-road ability, on-road ability, towing cred, luxurious interior, good looks, capacity . . .  the GC puts it all together, and even if you are thinking "I want it all," (like I am), you're not going to spend $70,000 or more on something almost as good.  Jeep should be very proud of this effort.

      about 4 years ago
    • Alex on Autos
      Alex on Autos In reply to humblelion127

      I don't get it. Consumer Reports and I disagree now and then and this seems to be one of them.

      about 4 years ago
    • humblelion127
      humblelion127

      BEST VIDEO I HAVE EVER SEEN. SERIOUSLY THERE WERE DETAIL I DID NOT EVEN KNOW AND I AM A FANATIC. GREAT JOB.
      Demonstrate the car features, ex:
      Show the cruise control in operation. Put wheel rollers under 3 wheel and try to move it with one wheel, to demonstrate if it has true 4x4 capabilities and intellect.
      IF THE VEHICLE BOAST ABOUT ITS CAPABILITIES, PUT IT TO THE TEST. THEN COMPARE IT TO OTHERS.

      about 4 years ago
    • Jason Ver
      Jason Ver

      Bought a brand new 2014 Jeep Grand Overland Diesel August 30, 2014 that has been in the shop for four times for a total of 15 days.
      Shifting problems that the dealership SAID they fixed (still not working properly), Navigation stopped working,  air suspension overheats,  Radio problems, master window switch broken,  glove box rod bent so the glove box didn't lock or close properly,  I have it set up when the Jeep is turned off the the steering wheel moves up then when you start the Jeep again it goes back down that only works half the time.

      about 4 years ago
    • Daniel Bray
      Daniel Bray

      Great review... thanks for showing the towing package hidden behind the rear bumper!

      about 4 years ago
    • ryanvt77
      ryanvt77

      Awesome Review Very informative. Im in the market for an suv not sure if I want mid size or full size but if I go mid size this will be my purchase.

      about 4 years ago
    • Gary Netherton
      Gary Netherton

      Great review, but I note you overtook on a double yellow line. Tut tut! 

      about 4 years ago