Vegetarian, Not Vegan Adventures In 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

A Girls Guide To Cars | Vegetarian, Not Vegan Adventures In 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Jeep Grand Cherokee

Leather wrapped luxury for upscale off  roading, or a powerful feeling in the carpool lane.

As I was rubbing my hand along the sumptuous leather seats  in 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I was thankful that I made a decision long ago to stop eating meat, but keep wearing leather. Call me inconsistent, but leather handbags, shoes and jackets have it all over their vegan counterparts, and leather in a car? Sigh.

Love that leather

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Keeping comfortable in the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

In addition to the soft, comfortable leather seats and leather door trim, the Jeep has a leather wrapped steering wheel and leather shift knob. They are comfortable to grab, even if you are white knuckle driving along the Long Island Expressway on a summer Friday.

Black leather can get quite hot though, and the rear seat vents were not quite as powerful as those up front. With three daughters in the back, plus a panting dog, my kids kept having us pump the A/C up.

Size makes a difference

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee: room for a family- and their dog! Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a comfortable (if warm) ride for five adults, even with a large dog on the floor in the back. We were in East Hampton for four days, and had

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The fully loaded 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

packed for the beach, running, kayaking and going to a fancy dinner – plus we brought a ton of food. So we were not traveling lightly. But the Jeep had plenty of room to hold all our bags.

Let the sun shine in

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The rear vent of the Jeep wasn’t fully up to the task. Note the plug beneath. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The optional power sunroof is a great way to let fresh air in. You are off-roading with this vehicle, right? OK, even if you are just driving the car pool or commuting to work, the rugged outdoorsy appeal of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is enhanced by the open air feel.

Altitude or attitude?

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Cool ambient light around the cupholders. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Jeeps give you a great feeling of height, which I felt was enhanced by the Altitude package on the SUV I drove. And the Altitude takes you to even greater heights: the vehicles is tricked out with 20-inch gloss black aluminum wheels. Now, I know I’m a nice person, and I never show up at anyone’s house empty handed, but some people see an even higher, shiny new Jeep and figure the owner is a jerk. Yes, that’s jealousy, but just keep that in mind if you try to cut someone off on the highway.

2015 Grand Cherokee

The huge wheels can make the driver seem aggressive. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Lots of power

Of course, you can easily outgun a lot of what’s on the road, with the powerful V-6 engine. But for all that power, the Jeep gets 24 miles per gallon on the highway; less if you are towing something, but still rather respectable.

Technology upgrade

The Larger Screen That Comes With Altitude Package. Credit: Judy Antell For Agirlsguidetocars

The larger screen that comes with altitude package. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The Jeep I drove and a large 8.4-inch touchscreen display; the basic model has a 7 inch. It also had the latest technology: reversing camera, front and rear park assist, hill-descent control, blind-spot and cross-path detection, adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warning.

WiFi disappointment

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

WiFi was sub-par in the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee we tested – but still – WiFi in the car. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

It may seem petty to complain about the weak WiFi connectivity in Grand Cherokee, but if it’s offered, it should be state of the art. All three of my girls wanted to go on the WiFi, and I really needed to – the test car we were driving did not have a navigation system. The WiFi was slow and four devices connected to if was overwhelming.

We were able to keep our phones charged, though; there was a USB port and standard household plug in the front, along with a rear plug.

Despite not having the navigation system to play around with, I like Chrysler’s intuitive Uconnect system. it is easy to pair a phone, use Bluetooth, and get back to the home screen when you want to change stations (we did have Sirius XM, with 9 speakers for great sound).

No off roading for us

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

If you get a beach permit, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is perfect for this. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The Jeep has standard 4 wheel drive, and the giant tires are made for off-roading (our premium model had 20 inch wheels; standard is 17 inches). So I really wanted to take the Grand Cherokee onto the beach. Unfortunately, East Hampton tries to keep the riffraff out by requiring beach stickers; $275 for a season It just wasn’t worth risking a hefty ticket, or splurging on a beach pass for a couple of days. We did drive down a few dirt paths in the ‘rural’ Hamptons and the ride was smooth as artisanal butter.

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

We never got to drive the Jeep empty; if you have just 1 or 2 in the back, they can use the pull down arm rest. Credit: Judy Antell for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What we loved

  • Luxury leather accents
  • Great sight lines, and rear wiper in case of rain
  • Large, comfortable back seat with enough leg room to have a big dog at your feet
  • Lots of power with reasonable gas mileage

What you need to know

  • Base price, 31,995; price for the model I drove, with the luxury altitude package, premium audio, power sunroof and park assist, $40,830
  • Fuel economy: 17 miles per gallon in the city, 24 on the highway; 19 mpg combined
  • Takes regular gasoline
  • 5 star government safety rating
  • 5-year or 100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty
  • 3-year or 36,000-mile basic limited warranty.

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Judy Antell, who is's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell