The Jeep Grand Cherokee is probably the vehicle that launched the whole concept of luxury SUVs. When the first of these SUVs was launched in the early 90s, Jeep ceased to be the sole province of outdoor enthusiasts, building contractors and other rough-and-ready types. Instead, it became a mainstream vehicle for discerning drivers who wanted the perfect combination of ruggedness and practicality with luxury and style. Unlike the Jeeps of old, most of these vehicles never saw the rough terrain that it was designed to handle, and when it did, it was more likely to encounter difficult driving conditions at a ski resort than at a cattle ranch.
This heritage continues today, with the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the first release of this storied model under the present Chrysler-Jeep management and ownership team. Not only is it the best in its class, but its affordable price puts it in a class of its very own, much in the way that the first models occupied their own niche while simultaneously leading the pack of other vehicles that might have been similar in some ways but just could not compete against the true original.
The Grand Cherokee was always the best in its class as far as design is concerned. The design of the 2010 model retains the winning edge of its predecessors but adds a few distinguishing touches that update the basic exterior design. Inside, the image is one of comfort combined with practicality; the dashboard is arranged in a user-friendly linear fashion and does not include extraneous displays and the seats are comfortable but not adorned with superfluous trim or extremely soft cushioning.
As far as performance is concerned, the 2010 Grand Cherokee is a clear leader. The standard 3.7-liter V-6 puts out 210 horsepower and is equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. This standard powertrain is more than adequate for most drivers, but performance seekers are best served by the optional HEMI V-8, with its 357 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque that puts it on the same level as many a performance sedan. Both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options are available, and the top model, the SRT-8, is a four-wheel drive performance machine that is based on the HEMI V-8 engine. The other two trim packages available for the 2010 model are the basic Laredo package, that is more than sufficient for those who plan to use their Grand Cherokees as family vehicles, and the Limited package which adds more of a luxury feel to the basic model.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has always been a reliable choice for drivers who want the power and performance of an SUV with the luxury and handling of a sedan. The 2010 model continues to follow in the tradition that Jeep established for this luxury SUV at its inception, as it continues to lead the SUV pack as far as design, quality and value are concerned. The vehicle that created its class retains its position at the top of the class.