It always gives us pleasure to see American companies doing great things and the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee product line rocked our world at the press launch last week in Austin, Texas.

The new models really show off how amazing the Chrysler's star (PENTASTAR), in their case has been rising after being on the brink of disaster.

You all know I'm a Wrangler Unlimited owner and have always been a fan of Jeeps.

Full Gallery Of Official Photos of The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Even when they were CRAP and that wasn't too long ago.

Something about them has always spoken to me but until the 2012 Wrangler and these new Grand Cherokee's, I never felt were a worthy compare to products in the top tier like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, etc.

Until now.

I've had my Wrangler since July 2012 and that bad boy is nothing less than a vehicle that could potentially survive the apocalypse.

And the 2014 Grand Cherokee's I tested give me no reason to think they won't be just as pleasing and indestructible.

When I went to the launch in San Francisco a few years ago of the redesigned GC I came away feeling that it was a better truck than the previous generation but it still left that taste of American Car mediocrity on my palette.

A good vehicle for an AMERICAN SUV.

Kind of like saying you throw pretty good, for a GIRL.

Let's face it, no one loves their country more than me but the big three hasn't exactly lit the world on fire over the last 30 something years.

In fact, it took them all to the end of a cliff and fortunately for Ford and Chrysler, they turned away and ran as fast as they could the other way and have been performing better than virtually ANY auto company out there.

That's saying something.

GM still hasn't shaken their old ways and we think it won't be long before they may be back in the soup.

The only thing saving them now is China.

But let's get back to the vehicle at hand....

The all new 2014 Grand Cherokee lineup has REALLY been taken to the next level.

Take a look at the face with it's gorgeous new LED's.

Take a GOOD look.

I shot this comparison photo of the GC next to the BMW X5 for a reason.

Because it shows HOW far Chrysler has come.

In my opinion, the new GC has a BETTER looking face than the X5!

Granted, you know the X5 redesign is right around the corner but even so, it shows how good looking this new GC is.

And the beauty of the GC is just not on the outside.

Thanks to the magic of former Mercedes interior guy Klaus Busse, the new interior digs are WORLD class.

Look at the instrument panel, uconnect nav, center stack and the quality of interior materials.

If this comparison was just between say the Mercedes ML and the GC, we would have to proclaim sorry Stuttgart, but you just got CRUSHED. REAL BAD.

It's THAT nice inside and out.

The ML in our opinion has lost its way in comparison and looks so forgettable.

So how does the GC drive?

Well, since we're talking about Mercedes it rides VERY similar to the ML/GL products.

In certain ways that's good and bad.

Good because it feels solid on the highway and is a great highway cruiser.

But bad because it has the numb and vague Mercedes style steering on the curves and twisties.

Not BMW enough for our liking. (Granted the SRT version does not suffer from that problem and that will be a separate review)

The engineers tell me it could be related to tire size/choice.

But that said, it still drives more solid and nicer than Explorer, Cadillac, Lincoln, Acadia, MDX, Infiniti FX.

And it blows away any of the Toyota/Honda/Hyundai/KIA stuff.

In the engine department there is the 3.6 Pentastar 6-Cylinder gas engine, 3.0 eco-diesel and the Mad Max SRT (our favorite by a mile and it should be for $70 large).

All fine products but if it was our money, we'd go diesel as a daily driver UNLESS money doesn't matter and you don't care if gas goes to $10 bucks a gallon. Then RUN, don't walk and buy the SRT.

So how was our real world mileage on these motors, seeing no other site will share that with you besides us because after all, who cares about what the REAL mileage is? ;)

Sorry, that's me being snied seeing that's one of the first things I want to know in a drive review and it's next to impossible to find.

Because I KNOW the EPA numbers are BULLSH_T.

So here is what I saw in two days of testing (I did not baby them nor overwork them. I wanted to see what the average driver can expect in the real world)... 3.6 6 Cyl. 17-18 city, 22-23 HWY. 3.0 eco-Diesel 22 city, 28-30 HWY. SRT 13 city, 17 HWY.

You can get more or less depending on how you drive but those numbers are a good real life baseline as you research your next car.

What else did I like?

The Jeep instrument panel is only second in my opinion to Audi and Uconnect is easy to navigate through and use day to day.
The terrain control works flawlessly off-road and yes, it's a no brainer, these babies are killer in 4WD. They ARE Jeeps.
LED face attractiveness only second to Audi. And a CLOSE second at that.
The new GC looks REALLY sexy in person and on the road. You WILL be impressed.
It's made better than ANY Jeep ever. The quality is there and it can compete with anything.

Things I didn't like?

The lower seat squabs were hard and uncomfortable EXCEPT on the SRT version.
Numb steering in the turns as mentioned before.
These GC's have become VERY expensive. A nicely equipped model can easily cross $50k

In closing, Jeep has been making magical moves and we can assure you unlike OTHER American companies with creative ads and marketing, they are introducing the vehicles to back up the claims.

So when you go out looking for your next PREMIUM SUV/Crossover like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus and the like do yourself a favor.

Make a stop at your Jeep dealer because this is virtually an all new company and they're no longer just building contenders, they're building WINNERS.

Go Chrysler!

Check out the world's best real life photos of the all new Grand Cherokee in our photo gallery...

Full Gallery Of Official Photos of The 2014 Jeep Cherokee

Full Gallery Of Official Photos of The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

*Chrysler provided airfare, food and lodging to to facilitate this review at the USA media launch in Austin, Texas.

FIRST REVIEW: Does The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Have The Goods To SHAKE UP The Premium SUV Market?

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