Jeep goes to extremes with Trailhawk, Summit

Trailhawk is meant to enhance 4x4 capability; Summit promotes luxury

Published: March 25, 2016, 9:45 PM
Updated: May 26, 2016, 6:38 AM

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit

One of the leaders in the SUV game announced at the 2016 New York International Auto Show that it’s coming to market with a couple new models to further performance and luxury.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee will be available for the 2017 model year in Trailhawk and Summit series, the former to promote Jeep’s 4x4 capabilities; the latter to boost luxury and comfort. Both are due to join the lineup in late summer 2016.

“Our Cherokee and Renegade Trailhawk models are among our fastest selling and most sought-after models, and we are following that successful formula to provide consumers even more legendary Jeep 4x4 capability for Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “Our new Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit is in direct response to consumers who continue to ask for even more luxury, craftsmanship and standard premium features in a full-size SUV packed with capability.”


The Trailhawk first appeared on the Grand Cherokee as a concept vehicle at Jeep’s Easter Safari in Moab, Utah four years back. It provided a more rugged appearance and a suite of functional features to improve off-roadability. It debuted on a production Jeep in the 2014 Cherokee and then last year included Renegade. It now takes its place atop the Grand Cherokee line, which also includes Laredo, Limited, Overland and SRT.

Trailhawk models feature Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system with rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), a new and exclusive version of the Quadra-Lift air suspension that improves articulation and suspension travel. Other features include Selec-Speed Control with Hill Ascent Control and Under-body plates. Mopar rock rails are optional.

Outwardly, the red-accented Trailhawk features an anti-glare hood decal, red tow hooks front and rear, standard 18-inch wheels upgradable to 20 inches, both shod with Kevlar-reinforced Goodyear Adventure off-road tires.

The black and gun-metal interior features red stitching to coordinate with the exterior trim, mirror housings and roof rails. The Uconnect infotainment system features an 8.4-inch screen and control over all the added off-road features.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit interior


Whereas Trailhawk is meant to enhance Jeep performance, Summit is meant to enhance Jeep customers’ comfort and convenience, with a full-wrap Laguna leather interior in four presentations. There is a full suede headliner, lighted door sill, acoustic glass on the windshield and side windows, active noise cancellation, premium carpet mats and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

A full suite of driving aids includes lane departure warning and hands-off parking for both street parking and parking lots.

It’s all wrapped up in a new look, with updated front fascia, grille and LED fog lamps, with new 20-inch polished aluminum wheels.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

The Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system with ELSD is standard, as is the Quadra-Lift air suspension and Selec-Speed Control.