JEEP NEW SUV MODEL GUIDE
The all-wagon line of Jeep skews strictly to four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles, and for 2009 there are eight different Jeep nameplates. Jeep Commander is the only Jeep with three rows of seats, and Grand Cherokee SRT8, packing a 6.1-liter HEMI V8, is the swiftest and strongest vehicle ever to wear the chrome-coated J-E-E-P badge. Jeep's two car-based crossover utility vehicles (CUV) are the Compass and price-leader Patriot.
Jeep's largest vehicle shares a wheelbase with Grand Cherokee, but the wagon's structure extends longer with room in the cabin for seven seats. For powertrains, Commander caps at a new 357-hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with VVT (variable valve timing) and MDS (multi-displacement system) for switching to four-cylinder mode to conserve fuel. A flex-fuel (E85-compatible) 4.7-liter V8 pumps 305 hp, while the base 3.7-liter V6 delivers 210 hp and fuel economy numbers up to 20 mpg. Optional equipment includes Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA), plus technologies like Sirius Backseat TV and MyGIG infotainment system.
The issues of 2009 for Jeep's mid-size SUV staple bring four powertrain choices, which top with a new 357-hp HEMI 5.7-liter V8 with MDS to conserve fuel by clipping cylinders when boosted power is not needed. Grand Cherokee's CRD (common rail turbo-diesel) 3.0-liter V6 musters 215 hp. Base engine is a 3.7-liter V6 making 210 hp, and a 4.7-liter V8 worth 305 hp shows a flex-fuel E85 option. For Limited and Overland trims a new leather package applies soft hides to door bolsters and armrests, the center console armrest, instrument panel brow and shifter knob.
This souped-up Grand Cherokee SUV performs like a raucous sports car yet carries a boxy back bay under the disguise of a SUV. It's outfitted with a massive 6.1-liter HEMI V8 pumping 420 hp and the suspension dropped an inch on sport-taut springs. All power from the big HEMI channels through a heavy-duty automatic transmission with five forward gears and adaptive electronic controls from the AutoStick, which has automatic and shift-it-yourself manual modes. New body colors for the 2009 Grand Cherokee SRT8 include Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat and Modern Blue Pearl Coat.
Jeep's compact-class CUV offers fun-to-drive handling traits with front-wheel-drive (FWD) or full-time 4WD traction. The optional 4WD device is designed for maintaining tire grip on rain-slick pavement or slippery snow. The cabin has seats for five and a spacious cargo bay. Prime engine is a 2.4-liter in-line-four with dual VVT and 172 hp. A manual five-speed transaxle is standard, with a continuously variable transaxle (CVT) optional. Also on tap is a 2.0-liter four-pack reaching to 158 hp. Compass for 2009 scores a redesigned instrument panel and center console, with lots of safety equipment aboard including curtain-style air bags.
The compact-class Patriot CUV is the low-price leader in Jeep's line. Patriot seats five and provides exceptional value with standard safety equipment like curtain-style side air bags and non-skid ESP (electronic stabilization program). Engines come from Compass — the 158-hp 2.0-liter four-in-line or a dual-cam 2.4-liter VVT four with 172 hp. Patriot divides into three different traction configurations: The base unit with FWD, optional Freedom Drive I (a full-time 4WD system with lock mode), and the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package (a full-time 4WD system with low range for crawling over rough terrain).
Jeep's mid-size Liberty SUV possesses smooth-riding traits of car-based wagons and rugged characteristics of brutish Jeeps capable of tacking over rough terrain. Liberty lists two different 4WD systems — the shift-on-the-fly Command-Trac part-time transfer case or Selec-Trac II full-time 4WD. Electronic safety devices fill this wagon, such as HDC and HSA, all-speed traction control (ASTC), ESP, electronic roll mitigation (ERM) and the enhanced accident response system (EARS). Two trims — Sport and Limited — draw from a 3.7-liter V6 worth 210 hp. The Sky Slider, a power-controlled roll-up canvas lid stretching the length of Liberty's cabin, is optional.
Jeep's rugged dirt warrior is tough, versatile and simple, with best-in-class off-road capability. Two 4WD transfer cases appear with Jeep's CommandTrac part-time system or the RockTrac device for off-roader Rubicon with locking front and rear differentials, electric axle lockers and electronic disconnecting front sway bar. High-torque muscle flows from a 3.8-liter V6 hitting 202 hp with standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional four-speed automatic. For added safety, Wrangler has standard HSA and ESP, with available TSC (Trailer Sway Control). New paints for 2009 include Detonator Yellow Clear Coat and Sunburst Orange Pearl Coat.
Deep Water Blue Pearl Coat is a new paint shade for the stretched Wrangler Unlimited, which has four cabin doors and three trims — X, Sahara or Rubicon. This is the only four-door convertible SUV, and it stocks Jeep's Freedom Top, a three-piece modular hardtop, and the Sunrider soft top. Powertrain compares to Wrangler with Jeep's 3.8-liter V6 for 202 hp and a six-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. The cabin contains seats for five with a fold-flat rear bench and options for gear like power controls for windows and door locks plus a keyless entry device.
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