Motor Trend’s yearly awards are interesting to readers and can create great headlines for vehicle manufacturers, so it’s always interesting to hear that an off-road-related vehicle is up for an award. That is the case with the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (see the review here).

Motor Trend recently discussed that the new Jeep is in contention as Sport/Utility vehicle of the year. The all-new platform is noted in the piece as taking direct aim at vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class as being a more capable off-road vehicle.

Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee come equipped with either a new 3.6-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter V-8, both with a five-speed automatic. The new GC also comes with three four-wheel-drive systems to choose from. Motor Trend noted in testing that there were good and bad aspects with the engines: “With the V-6, the Grand Cherokee reached 60 mph in 8.6 seconds; the 5.7-liter knocked that down to 7.5. Off-road, the Jeep is still a Jeep, crawling uphill in loose dirt without any difficulty. The Grand Cherokee’s five-speed auto pales next to competitors’ six-, seven- and eight-speed units.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether Jeep hit a home run with its new Grand Cherokee, and an award from Motor Trend will certainly be a step in that direction.

Source: Motor Trend

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