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  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland EcoDiesel Long-Term Report Part 3

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland EcoDiesel Long-Term Report Part 3

Hard working and efficient

Jun 2, 2015
Photographers: Sean P. Holman
As reflected by our report average of 21.4 mpg (down from 23.09 in our last report), you can see that we worked our Grand Cherokee a little harder than usual since the last check-in. During this time, we towed our project truck all over, including a trip to Fresno, California, and back, visited Las Vegas for the annual SEMA Show, and explored the California and Utah backcountry. Of course, all of this was in addition to our normal mixed-use driving, which averages about 22.5 mpg.
To aid with towing, we installed the Mopar accessory trailer brake controller. Using the harness supplied with the Grand from the factory, it was an easy plug-and-play setup that took us about 20 minutes to complete. With the trailer brake controller installed, the Jeep is a formidable tow rig, thanks to 420 lb-ft of torque from the EcoDiesel engine and a chassis that makes for a very stable towing platform. Even with a 6,000-pound-plus load, we managed to eek out more than 16 mpg over a 600-mile run.
Photo 2/7   |   The Grand Cherokee offers a full compliment of skidplating for those who want to test the “Trail Rated” claim.
One nice trick we’ve really learned to appreciate is with the adaptive cruise control (ACC). The vehicle will maintain a preselected speed until it detects slower traffic, at which point it will slow down automatically until the object is out of the way, then accelerate back up to your selected speed on its own. Additionally, if the Grand has reduced speed due to a slower vehicle in your path, it anticipates you passing and will tip the throttle as soon as your use the blinker. This is handy, especially while towing, because by the time you’ve looked over your shoulder to check your blind spot, the turbo is already spooled up and is starting to accelerate.
The Grand Cherokee is a great highway machine. The cabin is quiet, and the heated and cooled seats are comfortable for long hauls. Thanks to the industry-leading 8.4-inch Uconnect system, it also has all of the latest technology for entertaining you on the road. It even has 3G Wi-Fi for your passengers. Our best highway tank of this report was 27.2 mpg on a trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back, falling slightly short of the 28-mpg EPA estimate. In the interest of full disclosure, we might have also been going slightly faster than the posted speed limit.
Photo 3/7   |   When fully lowered into entry mode, the Jeep makes it easy for passengers to get in and out.
We haven’t done enough off-roading yet for a full impression yet, so we’ll save that for the final installment, but we can tell you we appreciate the adjustable air suspension. Equipped with five height settings, it can lower itself on the highway in aero mode for better fuel economy or lift itself up over rocks on the trail. However, Jeep knows some rocks are going to be bigger than others and has equipped our Jeep with a full compliment of skidplates, front to rear, as well as tow hooks.
With another couple months left in fleet, we’ll be looking forward to some more off-road exploration, as well as some additional all-highway tanks of diesel. The Jeep will also be due for its next service soon, and it’s looking like the DEF replacement is right on schedule with the oil change once again.
Photo 4/7   |   Here you can see the suspension topped out in Off-Road II mode, giving it ample clearance for most dirt roads.
Long-Term Numbers
Report: 3 of 4
Previous Report(s): May/June 2015
Base Price: $46,195
Price as Tested: $54,780
Miles to Date: 15,382
Miles Since Last Report: 5,332
Average MPG (this report): 21.40
Test Best Tank (mpg): 27.48
Test Worst Tank (mpg): 15.22 (Towing)
Test Maintenance: None
Test Problem Areas: None
Logbook Quotes
“The Grand Cherokee is really stable when towing, and I love that it will accelerate with the ACC on and the blinker activated for a pass.”
“The Grand’s hitch has been getting a workout—whether it is a trailer or a bike rack, there is always something in it.”
“15,000 miles and it is tight as a drum; no squeaks or rattles.”
“Tried for 28 mpg and fell short again but was facing some windy weather, which probably didn’t help.”

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