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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk: New York Auto Show

What Is It?

Jeep expands its already impressive off-road portfolio with the launch of the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Although the Grand Cherokee is already a pretty good off-road vehicle in its own right, the Trailhawk treatment takes Jeep’s most recognizable SUV back to its early rugged roots.

The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk distinguishes itself with unique 18-inch wheels, a matte-black hood decal and signature Trailhawk red front tow hooks. Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4-wheel-drive system is standard, as is an air suspension that affords the Grand Cherokee up to 10.8 inches of ground clearance. Other standard features include an electronic limited-slip differential and Jeep’s Selec-Speed Control with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.

To protect your investment while crawling over boulder-strewn trails, Jeep adds additional skid plates and Kevlar-reinforced Goodyear Adventure tires. Jeep permits easy removal of the lower front fascia, a trick that improves the approach angles from 29.8 to 31.6 degrees. Power is supplied by the 3.6-liter V6, with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 optional. Sadly, the diesel engine is not offered this year.

Inside, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk gets unique black leather and suede seats with red Trailhawk-embroidered logos. Jeep’s 8.4-in Uconnect touchscreen has been upgraded to include screens that display graphics for wheel articulation, suspension settings and Selec-Terrain modes.

How Much?

Pricing has not yet been announced, but expect the Trailhawk version to be near the middle to upper end of the Grand Cherokee price range, probably right around $45,000.

When Can You Get It?

Summer 2016

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

Jeeps were designed to be taken off-road, but with trims such as the Limited and SRT, the Grand Cherokee has morphed into more of an on-road warrior. The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk remedies this situation, offering an unapologetic off-road variant that leaves no doubt about its intended purpose in life.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Ford Explorer — The Explorer offers equally good options for power, safety and comfort, plus it offers the option of a third-row seat.

2016 Land Rover Discovery — The Discovery also offers 3-row seating, and its off-road chops are pretty good, although it’s not as rugged or powerful as the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.

2016 Jeep Wrangler — The Wrangler can go anyplace the Grand Cherokee can, even some places the Grand Cherokee can’t. The Wrangler may not be as luxurious or buttoned-up as its big brother, but it is nowhere near as expensive, either.

2016 Toyota Land Cruiser — The Land Cruiser will cost significantly more, but it delivers more interior room, a larger tow rating and Toyota quality and reliability.

Used Land Rover Range Rover Sport — The Range Rover Sport is an impressive hulk of an SUV, as capable off-road as it is luxurious.

See all 2016 New York Auto Show articles

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More

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