By Paula MacPherson
When I first struggled to get into the passenger seat of this 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I thought that this was just one more SUV that’s too tall for me. Then Jim remembered to lower the adjustable suspension system, which involves just the quick push of a button.
The difference in height is only two inches, but this seemingly small change makes it surprisingly easier to get in and out. This adjustable suspension can also be raised nearly four inches for off-road conditions and it automatically adopts a lower ride height on the highway for better aerodynamics and handling.
While I enjoyed this feature, I was most impressed with the interior. The black olive burl wood trim accents the instrument panel, as well as the doors. Combine this with the heated and ventilated front seats upholstered in a rich saddle shade of soft leather with attractive piping, and you have an opulent setting that’s not out of place in an off-road vehicle. Black Berber floor mats also fit right in.
Driving this Jeep is easy. The view ahead is good while the backup camera helps in tight parking lots. Overall length made it an easy fit in our garage.
The engine is powerful yet smooth. At highway speeds, this Jeep acts more like a luxury car than a rugged off-road transporter.
The fuel economy isn’t as pleasing. Yes, it’s better in this latest Jeep, but that means 17.7 miles per gallon instead of 14. The V-6 model we had earlier delivered 21.7 miles per gallon and struck me as being just as capable.