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Car and Driver: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk: More Off-Road Prowess for the Grandest Jeep

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Jeep first introduced the Trailhawk name on a Grand Cherokee concept in 2012, whipped up for that year’s Easter Jeep Safari fan event in Moab, Utah. In the years since, Jeep briefly introduced an off-road-oriented Grand Cherokee Trailhawk model for 2013 model year, but quietly removed it from the lineup after the Grand Cherokee’s 2014 face-lift, transferring the Trailhawk name to trim levels on the smaller Cherokee and Renegade. Due this summer as a 2017 model, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk follows the formula laid down by that concept of many years ago and codified by the production Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, and Renegade variants, adding more off-road capability and butcher looks.

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The Trailhawk joins the Grand Cherokee family as that SUV’s sixth trim level next to the existing Laredo, Limited, Overland, SRT, and just-released Summit. (It is, we must point out, distinct from the 707-hp, Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk that arrives next year.) Standard is Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive setup—the hardest-core version available in the Grand Cherokee, which can also be had with rear-wheel drive or Quadra-Trac I, an all-wheel-drive system that lacks low-range gearing. Other standard features include an electronic limited-slip rear differential, Hill Ascent/Descent control, skid plates, and 18-inch kevlar-reinforced Goodyear Adventure tires. The adjustable air suspension optional on other Grand Cherokees is also included, albeit modified for an extra 0.4 inch of ground clearance in its tallest setting (for a total of 10.8 inches), and Trailhawk-signature red-painted tow hooks poke from the Grand Cherokee’s bumpers. Jeep will offer the Trailhawk with either the Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6-liter V-6 engine or its optional Hemi V-8, but not with the diesel engine offered on other models.

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Jeep further distinguishes the Trailhawk with gray-painted door mirrors and a matching gray roof rack, a matte-black hood decal, and red-hued “Trail-Rated” badging. Buyers can choose from Redline Red, Billet Silver, Bright White, Rhino, Granite Crystal, Velvet Red, and Diamond Black paint. Inside, the seats are covered in black leather and microsuede with red stitching, and the dashboard features piano black and gun-metal-colored trim. There also is a Trailhawk badge on the steering wheel and a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen with Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment platform and special displays for the suspension settings, wheel articulation, and more. Optional extras include Mopar rock rails for protecting the Grand Cherokee’s rocker panels from pesky boulder impacts and 20-inch wheels. Pricing for the resurrected Grand Cherokee Trailhawk isn’t yet out, but expect it to live in the middle of the Grand Cherokee lineup.

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2017-Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-Trailhawk-REEL

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2016 New York Auto Show Full Coverage

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A buddy of mine got a 2016 GC as his company car. Bells and whistles in buckets. Only option that wasn't checked was the front mounted collision avoidance system. That would interfere with his tailgating at 70mph. Well, we were up at his cabin and he had to pull in at an angle. When we went to leave ... it wouldn't back up. Every time he tried, the brakes locked up. Went behind to see ... nothing but tall grass. Yup. $70K of automotive offroading excellence brought to a screeching halt by ... blades of grass. Every time he looked at me during the drive home, "Shaddap".

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:rofl: Rear collision avoidance I assume?

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Since he still hasn't read the manual he had no idea how to bypass the system (or what the 'back' button on his 'radio' is for) his only option was to go back and stomp down enough grass to where he could turn about and leave going forwards.

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:rofl: that's just awesomr

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