We are able to report that the Trailhawk’s throttle has been fastened for manufacturing, touchdown it correctly in Goldilocks territory. Within the off-road Mud setting, the throttle is delicate and simple to modulate. You’ll be able to steadiness this rig with the fuel pedal, reaching simply previous tip-in to steadily prod ahead. However the fuel pedal would not delay when you actually need energy. Transfer past the preliminary tip-in, and the engine responds shortly, which is an effective factor, as a sluggish throttle is sort of as harmful off-road as one which’s too sharp. Rock mode guarantees much more exact management over the throttle, though our lack of a spotter and a need to keep away from damaging the 700-mile-young Trailhawk stored us from hitting Bundy Hill’s rockier sections. The moist, non-snowy climate meant we did not correctly check Snow or Sand mode.
This check mannequin was outfitted with FCA’s fashionable three.6-liter V6, however like the remainder of the Grand Cherokee vary, extra energy is obtainable from the three.Zero-liter EcoDiesel V6 and the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. You do not want them – the three.6-liter and eight-speed automated are completely effective on the paths. Confronted with an incline, the transmission holds its gear with out grievance – you do not even want to change into guide mode. Regardless of the four,800-rpm torque peak, the V6’s 260 pound-feet arrive early sufficient that you just needn’t strong-arm the throttle.
In order that’s decision for the pre-production concern. However our time at Bundy Hill uncovered a unique and finally a lot simpler to repair drawback for the manufacturing mannequin. Late fall in Michigan isn’t at all times a superb time to go off-road – sub-40-degree temperatures and a gradual, miserable drizzle can flip a comparatively easy path right into a slippery mess of moist clay. Situations like these can simply overwhelm an on-road tire just like the Goodyear All-Terrain Adventures the Trailhawk makes use of. Merely driving round within the stuff will coat the mainstream SUV tires in practically half an inch of muck, reducing the coefficient of friction to about zero. In case you’re actually planning on taking a Trailhawk off-road, particularly in mud or clay, spend the cash on some higher rubber. A fast search of TireRack.com reveals loads of extra aggressive alternate options within the inventory 265/60/18 measurement.
Tires apart, the Trailhawk is much extra succesful than most customers will ever want. The Jeep’s spectacular method and departure angles meant we may sort out practically any impediment at Bundy Hill, assured it may rise up it and over, whereas the elevated suspension journey and wheel articulation meant greater bumps and dips did not require a severe rethink of our line. That is a boon, notably on tight, tree-lined trails.
That functionality is essentially right down to the accessibility of the Trailhawk’s off-road methods. Twist a knob and push a button, and the car’s transmission, throttle, brakes, differential, suspension, and traction management are prepared for no matter you throw at it. It is as straightforward as merely displaying up on the path. This takes the thriller out of going off-road. There is not any tough locking differential to mess with – the Trailhawk would not also have a locker, only a rear limited-slip differential – or sway-bar disconnect like there may be on the Wrangler. Floor clearance is rarely a problem, because the air suspension lifts the Jeep into the air on the push of a button. You simply take a look at the terrain and choose what you assume is greatest.
Exhausting-core Jeepers will balk and say that their Wranglers can do all of this and extra, with out the flowery suspension or the opposite computer-controlled methods, and for lower than the $46,435 sticker of this explicit Trailhawk. However you possibly can drive the Trailhawk, and we imply actually drive it, daily with no second thought. That air suspension? Along with making the Trailhawk extra succesful, it vastly will increase on-road consolation. The Grand Cherokee’s unibody platform, actual doorways, and roof additionally make it way more livable. And in case you’re actually trustworthy with your self, you do not want the Wrangler’s additional functionality (or a lot of it in any respect). Commerce the bouncy journey, lack of area, and highway noise for the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk’s civility. It is similar to a Jeep, however for grown-ups.
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