Jeep’s current Grand Cherokee has only been on the market since late 2010, but we’ve seen its design for quite a while – after all, it was first shown at the New York Auto Show in 2009. If its looks seem a little long in the tooth, you’ll be happy to know Jeep agrees, and is readying a facelift for the 2014 Grand Cherokee. Jeep has yet to officially show off its revamped SUV, but our spy photographer recently caught a couple prototypes completely devoid of camouflage.
Up front, the Grand Cherokee receives an all-new front fascia, which boasts a new implementation of the Jeep seven-bar grille graphic. Previously, the grille surround ended at the inner corners of the headlamps, but it now continues to the outer edges of the fascia before wrapping up into the headlamps. Expect that surround to vary between different trim grades – as shown here, the 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited appears to use a body-color surround, while the surround on the 2014 Grand Cherokee Laredo prototype is painted a contrasting argent color.
Speaking of headlamps, these new units appear slightly narrower than before, boasting a cut-away edge and lighting pattern that reminds us of the Chrysler 300. Fog lamps are also revised: the current Grand Cherokee uses round fog lamps placed within trapezoidal openings sunk into the front bumper. The new Grand Cherokee seems to use trapezoidal fog lamps, which flare from the bumper surface and are flanked with chrome bezels. The lower air intake is also restyled to provide a smoother look, and is home to tow hooks on four-wheel-drive Grand Cherokees.
Jeep’s designers didn’t mess with much at the Grand Cherokee’s tail, but a few small revisions help tidy the SUV’s appearance. Designers deleted the trim panel that previously spanned the width of the tailgate, and also revised the Grand Cherokee’s taillamps. The taillamps’ lens pattern forms a ring that neatly echoes the headlamps’ shape.
We’ve yet to see any photos of interior revisions, but expect them to be mild – we wouldn’t be surprised to find new trim materials or interior colors, along with the latest iteration of Chrysler’s 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system.
Although there is some rumbling of a smaller, 3.2-liter version of the present 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 being added to the Grand Cherokee’s portfolio, expect the biggest mechanical revision to be the advent of the ZF-licensed eight-speed automatic transmission. A 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 will still be offered as an option, and the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 will remain an exclusive to the SRT8 model. Jeep executives have previously confirmed a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee will be sold in North America, but its timing remains a bit unclear.
Look for the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee to make its public debut early next year, perhaps at either the Detroit or Chicago auto show.