It takes a special kind of vehicle to tackle the mixed bag of snow, sleet and freezing rain that New England drivers endure in the winter, and for the third year in a row, the region’s automotive journalists and talk-show hosts have agreed that vehicle is the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) again named the popular SUV the Official Winter Vehicle of New England at its annual industry dinner earlier this month.
In addition to earning top winter honors at the NEMPA event, the Grand Cherokee was recognized for its lasting appeal, with the 2011 model taking home the Wheels TV Previously Owned Vehicle of the Year award. The more than 50 NEMPA jurors lauded the Jeep utility vehicle for its unmatched mix of go-anywhere capability, luxury, sophistication, comfort, value and build quality. Jeep President and CEO Mike Manley was also honored as 2013 NEMPA Executive of the Year at the dinner.
“I can’t think of another area of the country that faces such a variety of inclement weather during the winter, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee never flinches when New England is bearing the wrath of Mother Nature,” said Brian Duval, general manager of Concord, New Hampshire Jeep dealership Bob Mariano Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. “That dependability in all conditions is part of the reason why each Grand Cherokee will never be without an owner for very long.”
For the 2014 model year, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with a new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that returns 30 mpg on the highway, allowing the vehicle to go for more than 730 miles between fill-ups. Meanwhile, a new eight-speed automatic transmission has improved efficiency across all drivetrains, boosting the fuel economy of the gas-powered 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine to 25 mpg on the highway.
Jeep’s improvements to the Grand Cherokee in recent years continue to attract new buyers, with the model’s sales rising by 27 percent in April compared to the same month last year. More than 15,000 U.S. buyers took home a new Grand Cherokee last month, resulting in the SUV’s best April sales in eight years.
“The Grand Cherokee has always been renowned for its capability, but starting with the introduction of the Pentastar V6 engine a few years ago, and now with the new diesel powerplant and eight-speed gearbox, Jeep is finding ways to deliver that same performance with more miles per gallon,” Duval added. “That is a very tempting combination for buyers, and it is only increasing the Grand Cherokee’s long-term value.”