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 Off-Road.com 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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