2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Laredo, Limited, Overland, Overland Summit) Review - Pictures, features, specs

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The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers with even more refinement and features that can be appreciated on the road and off. Since its introduction, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee has captured more than 30 awards from an array of opinion-leading organizations making it the most awarded SUV ever.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo -2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo -

For the 2012 model year, Jeep Grand Cherokee receives enhancements that improve both on- and off-road performance. These changes, in combination with new option packaging, will keep Jeep Grand Cherokee at the head of the pack in terms of off-road ability, and on-road refinement.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

Mechanical changes for the 2012 model year include a revised automatic transmission for V-8 models that allows for six speeds when shifted in manual mode, and an electro-hydraulic power steering system on V-6 models. Both new features allow for better performance and everyday drivability with improved efficiency.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

Legendary 4x4 Capability
The combination of Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift™ air suspension system and the Jeep Selec-Terrain™ traction control system lets customers choose the 4x4 setting for the optimum experience on all terrains. Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates up to 12 different powertrain, braking and suspension systems, including throttle control, transmission shift, transfer case, traction control and electronic stability control (ESC).

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

The Jeep Selec-Terrain’s control dial allows the driver to choose from five driving conditions in order to achieve the best 4x4 performance. Torque management to the drive wheels for maximum grip is achieved through the following settings:

Sand/Mud: Traction control and Quadra-Lift operate with sensitive response to wheel spin, and torque is tuned for optimal performance
Sport: Provides enhanced on-road "fun-to-drive" capability
Auto: Automatically adapts to any on- or off-road situation
Snow: Vehicle traction adjusts for ultimate performance over snow-covered roads
Rock: Quadra-Lift air suspension system raises to maximum height (10.7 inches) and the transfer case, differentials, and throttle coordinate to provide low-speed control
The Jeep Grand Cherokee also offers the Quadra-Lift air suspension system, which features five height settings for optimum ride performance:
Normal Ride Height (NRH): 8.1 inches of clearance offers improved fuel economy and improved aerodynamics during on-road driving
Off-road 1: Lifts the vehicle an additional 1.3 inches for added height in clearing obstacles (9.4 inches)
Off-road 2: Delivers legendary Jeep off-road capability and provides an additional 2.6 inches of height for 10.7 inches of ground clearance
Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle 1.5 inches from NRH for easy ingress/egress and roof rack loading. NRH and Park mode are driver-selectable, giving the driver control over vehicle ride height
Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle .6 inches from NRH. Aero mode is controlled by vehicle speed and adjusts for optimal performance and fuel economy
Quadra-Lift adds up to 4.1 inches of lift span that is supported by four-corner air springs that provide a cushioned, premium ride. Quadra-Lift operates automatically, or may be controlled manually via console controls. With the front air dam removed, and the available Quadra-Lift air suspension system, the Jeep Grand Cherokee features a 34.3-degree approach angle, a 29.3-degree departure angle and 23.1-degree breakover angle.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

Front and rear independent suspension features isolated front and rear suspension cradles. Variable-rate rear springs deliver uncompromised on-road handling and comfort that complements the vehicle’s off-road capability. The rear suspension allows the spare tire to be stored inside the vehicle.

Go Anywhere Jeep 4x4 Systems
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers three 4x4 systems (Quadra-Trac I®, Quadra-Trac II® and Quadra-Drive II®).

Quadra-Trac I delivers full-time four-wheel drive without any switches or levers to pull. The system provides smooth operation over a variety of road conditions. This lightweight single-speed case is both proven and highly efficient for enhanced fuel economy.

Quadra-Trac II’s two-speed transfer case actively manages torque and uses input from a variety of sensors in order to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action. The system uses Throttle Anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximizes traction before slippage occurs. When tire slippage is detected, as much as 100 percent of available torque is instantly routed to the axle with the most traction.

Quadra-Drive II, with a rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), delivers industry-leading tractive capability. The system instantly detects tire slip and smoothly distributes engine torque to tires with traction. In some cases, the vehicle will anticipate low traction and adjust in order to proactively limit or eliminate slip with the ability to transfer up to 100% of available torque to one wheel.

Selec-Terrain is standard with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 Engine
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee features the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. This flexible-fuel 3.6-liter V-6 engine is standard and delivers 290 horsepower (216 kW) and 260 lb.-ft. (353 N•m) of torque at 4,800 rpm. Fuel economy has improved for both 4x2 and 4x4. 4x2 models have a rating of 17 miles per gallon city, 23 highway (up from 16/23) while 4x4 models achieve 16/23 (up from 16/22).

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

Jeep Grand Cherokee offers trailer-tow capability of up to 5,000 lbs. on models equipped with the Pentastar V-6 engine.

Legendary 5.7-liter V-8 Engine
The available legendary 5.7-liter MDS V-8 engine delivers 360 horsepower (268 kW) and 390 lb.-ft. (520 N•m) of torque at 4,250 rpm. The 5.7-liter V-8 also features VVT, which delivers performance and towing capability, and fuel efficiency with fuel-saving MDS. The MDS seamlessly alternates between smooth high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power from the 5.7-liter MDS engine is requested. This optimizes fuel economy when V-8 power is not needed, without sacrificing vehicle performance. New for 2012, the 5.7-liter MDS V-8 engine is mated to the 65RFE automatic transmission that allows the driver to choose between six-speeds when shifted in manual mode.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

All 4x4 models see improved fuel economy ratings of 13 miles per gallon city and 20 highway (up from 13/19). 4x2 models retain their 14/20 rating.

Trailer-tow capability of up to 7,400 lbs. is available with the 5.7-liter V-8 engine.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

Safety and Security Features
Jeep Grand Cherokee includes more than 45 safety and security features and is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick.

Standard safety features include electronic stability control (ESC), electronic roll mitigation (ERM), four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS) with rough-road detection, four-wheel brake traction control system, remote keyless entry, express up/down windows for driver and front-seat passenger, seat-belt pretensioners, Trailer-sway Control and remote start, which is standard on Limited and Overland and available on Laredo models.

Other standard safety features include full-length side-curtain air bags, which extend protection to front and rear outboard passengers, seat-mounted side thorax air bags that enhance protection for the driver and front passenger, and active head restraints, which deploy in the event of a rear collision.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

Connectivity and Infotainment Features
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers customers an array of infotainment technologies for driver safety and passenger enjoyment. The features enable drivers to safely communicate, navigate and select entertainment options using advance voice recognition controls. Passengers can stay entertained with a multitude of features, including SIRIUS Satellite Radio™, Uconnect® Navigation, Uconnect Phone and Uconnect Web.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
Sporting a unique front appearance that includes a fully chromed grille and fog lamp bezels, and riding on 20-inch bright, polished aluminum wheels, the Overland Summit model elevates the Jeep Grand Cherokee to a higher level of indulgence and refinement for drivers seeking the ultimate personal driving statement in a premium sport-utility vehicle.

Inside, the Jeep Grand Cherokee features unique Black Olive burl real wood trim blended into the instrument panel. The distinctive polished trim wraps into the upper panels of both the front and rear doors surrounding passengers with the highest levels of craftsmanship. The wood trim is also used on the standard, leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel.

The Grand Cherokee Overland Summit boasts a Black lower and New Saddle upper interior trim color, along with saddle-color Nappa heated and ventilated leather seats – with perforated inserts, accent piping and unique stitching – and Berber floor mats with Black and Chestnut accent binding.

Also standard on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit is the Advanced Warning System and Adaptive Cruise Control group, which consists of adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection systems.

In addition to the unique Rugged Brown exterior color, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit is also available in Mineral Gray, White Gold and Black.

New 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee specifications, review, photos and images courtesy of Jeep.

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