Yes, Jeeps are rugged and exciting. But our lives are often not.
When you think of a Jeep, certain words come to mind. Rugged. Off-road. Muddy. SUV. And while the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4 is well-equipped for every one of those situations, the fact is that most of us spend most of our time in the car doing mundane things. Driving the kids around. Getting groceries. Picking up friends.
Here’s a peek into my week as a homeschooling mom in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. I didn’t do any off-roading, but I felt a little more adventurous just sitting behind the wheel of this car.
Monday: Discovering the Auto stop/start feature.
10am – Car is delivered. Ooh and ahh over the Ruby Red-trimmed interior and suede seats. Take some photos. Realize the sun is in a bad place and scrap the photos.
10:45am – Leave home to take my daughter to math class. Even though it’s not that cold, turn on the heated seats and steering wheel just because I can.
11:00am – Drop daughter, go to post office, pick up daughter, drive home. Notice that the engine is turning off when I come to a complete stop, then starting back up as soon as I take my foot off the brake. Take mental note of this Auto start/stop feature for further research.
1:30pm – Leave home again to drive daughter to piano lesson. Go to Starbucks and write.
2:30pm – Pick up daughter and drive home. Take more photos of the car. Poke around the infotainment system and listen to 80s on 8 for a little while. Try to decide if I like the touch-screen controls for everything. Jam to “Come on Eileen.”
Tuesday: Adjusting the driver’s seat for the perfect ride height.
Work for the morning at home. Facilitate some lessons for my daughter in the afternoon.
4:00pm – Leave with daughter to pick up a friend for dinner. But first, stop at four convenience stores looking for the exact brand and flavor of ice tea to bring her friend as part of a birthday gift. Bump my head getting into the Jeep and realize it’s a bit of a stretch getting in and out because of the higher ground clearance. Play with 8-way power driver seat. Lower the seat so getting in and out is easier.
4:30pm – Pick up friend. Successfully hide birthday gifts in the back of the Jeep thanks to the cargo cover. Turn on navigation to find restaurant for dinner. Blind spot detection comes in handy a few times. It’s cold, so the girls turn on the backseat seat-warmers.
5pm – Enjoy birthday dinner with daughter and friend, then drop them off for a sleepover at friend’s house. Decide I’m not a fan of the Jeep’s Auto start/stop feature and look for a way to turn it off. This feature is designed to cut fuel costs and eliminate idle emissions, but that slight gain did not outweigh the annoyance for me. Felt like a gear was slipping every time the car shut off. Push a button to deactivate the feature. Blissfully enjoy 80s on 8 for the hour-long drive home.
Wednesday: Letting the Jeep park itself.
8am – Leave to pick up daughter at friend’s house. Stop for some breakfast before heading to yoga class.
12pm – Take daughter to math class.
1:30pm – Take daughter to voice lesson. Sit in parking lot and read Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk manual. Enjoy the sun through the lovely panoramic sunroof.
2:45pm – Stop at CVS to buy some birthday cards. Test out the Park Assist and have my daughter take video of the Jeep parking itself. Repeat three times because (1) I need video for blog post and Instagram and (2) my daughter wants to put it on her Snapchat.
3:15pm – Drive to a local fishing access spot to drive the Jeep “off-road” (aka – down a dirt road). Feel momentary disappointment that I’m not 20-something and don’t have more excitement in my life. Take some nice photos.
Thursday: Rainy days are no match for Rain Sensitive Wipers.
10:15am – Leave the house with my daughter for homeschool co-op. It’s raining. Have fun with the Rain Sensitive Windshield Wipers. Daughter continues to be amazed at the “intelligence” of the Jeep.
4pm – Stop for take-out to bring home for dinner. Charge my phone along the way with the USB input.
Friday: Shopping made easy with a power liftgate.
10am – Head out with daughter for science class, then karate, then math. Wolf down some pizza in the car in between. Plenty of room in the Jeep Grand Cherokee to eat on the go, and good sized cup holders for our drinks.
3:30pm – Drop daughter at home and go grocery shopping. Enjoy the smooth suspension on some roads that are under construction. Power liftgate makes me giddy when loading groceries. Marvel at the cargo space still remaining after a full load of groceries.
6:30pm – Go to a movie with my son. Get his take on the car as a new teen driver. He’s super expressive and enthusiastic. (That’s sarcasm – he basically shrugs and says “It’s nice.”)
Saturday: Backseat USB ports make everyone happy.
12:30pm – Get all four of us in the car to head to a family birthday party. Kids thrilled about the USB ports in the back. Everyone is comfy and happy. Mom is happy driving with the adaptive cruise control and auto high beams on the way home later in the evening.
What You Need to Know
- MSRP of the model I drove: $50,220
- Uses regular fuel
- 18 mpg city/25 highway; 21 mpg average
- 5-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty
- Paddle shifters allow you to drive the car like a manual transmission and control the engine without using your brakes when driving on a steep grade
When it was time to return the car, I missed the luxury and power of this vehicle. And the feeling that I could take on anything. I hope to one day experience true off-roading in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. But until that day, I’d be happy to sit comfortably, safely, and in luxury behind the wheel and enjoy this strong, beautiful car for my somewhat average day-to-day life.
Disclosure: The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4 was provided to me for review purposes. All opinions (and mundane experiences) are my own.