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Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo vs. Altitude

1. Overview

Off-Road Ability - While this is not necessarily the most important category for every SUV buyer shopping in this class, it's significant to many and impossible to talk about a Grand Cherokee without bringing up off-road capability. All models in North America come with the Quadra-Trac I system and have a few options for 4WD systems. Laredo has the most with Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II available. Limited comes with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. Overland comes with the QII system standard and QDII as an option. Overland Summit is fully decked out with the QDII system. All models offer Jeep's new "Select-Terrain" system. Each 4WD system uses an electronic limited slip rear differential, progressively locking center differential, and will default at a 50/50 torque split. But QDII has a fully locking 50/50 split at the center and will split 100% of torque between any wheel with the most traction. A big benefit to the new Grand Cherokee is an improved 20:1 crawl ratio. This, combined with the "Select-Terrain" system which optimizes engine and braking system for any given terrain, makes the Grand Cherokee a credible choice for off-road ventures. With 24 MPH hill ascent control and decent approach/departure angles, the new Grand Cherokee certainly won't disappoint.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is marketed very well, especially in the sense that not much has to be said about on-road capabilities. Most people buying SUVs realize that most of the time it is being used on-road, so Jeep might as well make an SUV that excels in that category. They have 4 models: Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Overland Summit. At this time of writing, the Laredo and Limited are the only models available for the new 2011 Chrysler-designed 5.7L V8 with 360HP and 390 lb-ft of torque.

2. Exterior Features

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo carries not only a unique style but also a long tradition of its high-quality appearance. This vehicle has several characteristics that separate it from the standard vehicle. The look of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is classic and timeless. The renowned seven-slot grille stands as a visual signature of one of the most famous lineages, the Jeep Brand. For 2013, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo features a new front-end appearance, with new modern headlights and fog lights, automatic high-beam control in the headlight assembly, 18-inch and optional 20-inch wheel packages, heated exterior mirrors, and the available mic roof, as well as a laminated chin spoiler at the bottom front of the fascia for reduced lift. Clear lens and optional automatic high-beam technology give the headlamps an immediately memorable appearance and provide better illumination. Giving the comfort, optional exterior features include a rear-powered liftgate, automatic wiper deicer, and projecting door puddle lamps. The headlamp washer is a feature provided in package deals only. If you've purchased a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with no heated steering wheel or SRT8 model, then chances are you've got capable of adding a snow plow to your vehicle. All these features combine to set the Grand Cherokee apart and keep its aesthetic value high. The snow plow package Grand Cherokee is Grand Cherokee, and only vacationers and those leasing a Grand Cherokee should steer away from installing an undercarriage plow mount to the exterior of their vehicle accounted for and is the last generation JEEP.

2.1. Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

2018 New Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo has a distinct look representing good design to their vehicle. The quad halogen headlamps are designed to flash a clear light on the road to help anticipate the dark or at night time. The premium fog lamps are automatic as it also switches on at night, thus giving a clear view upfront. The side exterior views of this vehicle are what most people adore. Seventeen-inch silver aluminum wheels with the size of 245/70R17 BSW all-season tires, combined with sleek-looking roofing and side rails give an edge in the overall exterior design of this Jeep. Step pad at the back adds convenience in accessing the rear of the vehicle. The liftgate is what people love about owning a jeep due to its flipper glass function for quick access, and the rear window defroster with timer makes it easy to view out of the rear window in cold condition and it automatically interchangeable to the vehicle heated mirrors activated with defroster. Dual bright exhaust tip is positioned at the bottom left back, left from the trailer hitch receiver. This vehicle is equipped with ready-to-go trailer equipment. An add-on power sunroof is available for purchase with an extra cost to give a more versatile look to this vehicle. In short, nothing can beat the look of a Grand Cherokee Laredo among its competitors.

2.2. Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude

The front grille is black, as are the headlamp bezels, while the liftgate light bezels, the step pad on the side of the SUV, and 20-inch wheels with a Gloss Black finish provide the contrast on the Altitude model. A power sunroof is available. The 2015 Grand Cherokee Altitude edition comes with a single powertrain - the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, which is good for 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and a 19 mpg combined rating. It is available in 4x2 or 4x4 configuration. Inside, the Grand Cherokee Altitude features Black Capri leather seats with perforated suede inserts and black stitching. High Gloss Black dashboard appliques and a new instrument panel are unique to the Altitude. The Altitude pricing is as follows: $35,990 for 4x2 and $37,770 for 4x4. This represents a substantial price reduction to the Laredo 4x2 and 4x4 models and provides a much better-equipped vehicle. The Altitude is suited to customers who desire a style-oriented package with clean premium looks but do not necessarily require a sunroof or navigation, although this option and various other packages are available. Similar Altitude models were offered on the 2014 Grand Cherokee, 2013 Wrangler, and 2012 Liberty and have been well received in the marketplace.

3. Interior Features

In addition, both models offer a dual-zone automatic temperature control system and an optional Rear DVD entertainment center. Also available is a backup camera, Uconnect Navigation System, and a SIRIUS XM satellite radio, with a one-year subscription that is included on all Laredo models. UV tinted sunscreen glass is standard on the Altitude but optional on Laredo. This machine also features remote start and a heated steering wheel for those unbearably cold winter days. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee is truly a modern SUV catered to both driver and passenger, adding style, comfort, and convenience whether you're going down the block or across the country.

The new interior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been substantially improved, though it maintained its classic and proven design. The center console has been modernized and now has a multimedia infotainment system installed. Laredo's model has a standard 5-inch touch screen (optional 8.4-inch), while the higher Altitude model has a unique 8.4-inch touch screen. This multimedia unit includes 6 or 9 amplified speakers, Uconnect Voice Command for hands-free calling, and back seat entertainment. Both models offer comfortable and optional leather seats. Laredo model's seats are available in black or light frost beige color, while Altitude model has a unique black and black/light frost beige color combination. Additionally, both models have a steering wheel with mounted audio controls. All audio and multimedia controls are housed conveniently within the steering wheel.

3.1. Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

While the Altitude is a very unique offering in the Grand Cherokee family, many of the features it adds on are shared with the Laredo, starting with the standard Pentastar 290-horsepower V6 engine. One of the major reasons to consider the Laredo or Altitude is to save a bit of money when buying a Grand Cherokee, and the Laredo and Altitude are the two least expensive ways to get into a V6 model at $30,990 and $31,690, respectively. The Laredo is primarily an appearance package though, as its standard equipment mirrors that of the Altitude, and comprises 18-inch chrome wheels, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and power driver's seat and audio controls on the steering wheel. The $2,800 Altitude package adds a power sunroof, 8.4" touch screen, Sirius XM radio, Bluetooth and Back-up camera and other creature comforts to the Laredo, but is once again only available with all-wheel drive. By stepping up from the base Laredo to the Altitude, the options to add all-wheel drive and the more powerful V8 engine make the price difference between the two models $3,000 or $5,000, and at the end of the day the choice between a Laredo and an Altitude may simply come down to whether AWD is necessary and if so how much money is left in the budget for add-ons.

3.2. Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude

Otherwise identically kitted out to the limited, Altitude customers get the $4000 Off-road Adventure Pack at no extra cost. This includes Quadra-Trac II, Hill Ascent Control (HAC), 18-inch alloy wheels with a Kevlar reinforced construction all Terrain Tires, under body skid plates, and Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system. A customer is saving close to $10,000 from the top of the range model and receiving the same specification bar a few luxury features. This makes the Altitude the best value for money proposition in the Grand Cherokee range.

Often named as a package that sits in between the Laredo X and Limited, the Altitude receives standard subject matter, but for some reason is not portrayed as a package; it’s a stand-alone model. Adding a separate dimension to the mid-range portfolio, the Altitude is positioned as a value for money variant that is $4800 cheaper than the Limited on which it is based. Incorporating a black exterior has been the way forward for special edition models in the last 12 months or so. The Altitude continues the trend by adding a gloss black grille, 20-inch gloss black wheels, black headlight bezels, rear light bar, step pad, and a black chrome lower front bumper. Black is entrenched into the name badge and to complete the look, the Altitude receives Black/Light Frost Beige capri leather trimmed seats. This package is available in the following colors: Black, Bright Silver, Maximum Steel, and White.

4. Performance and Engine Options

The standard engine on the 2015 Grand Cherokee Laredo is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 290 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. The Laredo comes standard in rear-wheel drive, but it's offered with four-wheel drive as well. Models with rear-wheel drive get a fuel saver feature that helps them achieve a remarkable 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Adding four-wheel drive takes away 1 mpg from highway and city ratings. The optional engines are a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine that produces 240 hp and 420 pound-feet of torque and a 5.7-liter V8 that has an output of 360 hp and 390 pound-feet of torque. The turbodiesel engine gets the best fuel mileage at an estimated 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway for rear-wheel drive models. 2015 Grand Cherokee Altitude models come equipped with the same standard 3.6-liter V6 that's on the Laredo. Altitude's only come with four-wheel drive and again there is the option to upgrade to the 240 hp turbodiesel V6 or the 360 hp V8. Being that the V6 engine is the same as the Laredo, there will be no difference in fuel mileage, which comes in at 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The Altitude edition is also able to tow the same amount of weight as the Laredo, which tops out at 6,200 pounds. Both engine options for the 2015 Grand Cherokee have the power to tackle any terrain and at the same time maintain a comfortable and quiet ride.

4.1. Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

Laredo is also the base model for the 4th generation Grand Cherokee, and just as Grand Cherokees have historically been rather expensive in relation to other SUVs, the early to mid-2010s 2WD Laredo with a 3.6L engine offers a fairly capable and affordable platform at 12-15k used. It is also for this version, the most basic Grand Cherokees that have the most widespread availability of 2WD as it's an option on all platforms, including the TrailHawk, which is heavily oriented towards off-road use. Being bare bones and quite different in terms of the interior and technology, the newer WK2 Laredo with more advanced powertrain options is an entirely different vehicle compared to its WK predecessor.

Between 2014 and 2019, the 3.6L V6 was the standard engine. However, the Pentastar received a mild revision in 2020 and given the new rating, as well as the presence of alternative engines in base models, the base Grand Cherokee V6 has been treated as an independent model in this search engine. Offering a cheaper Grand Cherokee V6, the Pentastar-powered Laredos are often an excellent value, particularly compared to lower-level 2WD GC trims that come with the older 3.7L or automatic 4-speed, or the 2.4L inline 4.

While the 3.6L Pentastar V6 from the previous generation remains standard, a 3.0L turbo diesel V6 and a 5.7L Hemi V8 have also been available and serve as quite different power plants. The outgoing 3.6 V6 is rated at 295 hp and 260 lb-ft and is capable of 25 mpg highway in 4WD form, while the diesel at 240 hp and 420 lb-ft is capable of 28 mpg highway.

Laredo is the basic or entry-level Jeep Grand Cherokee. It's a rear-wheel-drive model and is certainly not as capable off-road as the 4WD Grand Cherokees, but it still has the 8-speed automatic transmission. The Laredo is perhaps the most flexible platform in terms of engine offerings, with nearly all of the current engine options being available at some point.

4.2. Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude

The Altitude is powered by an upcoming 3.6 L Pentastar engine that will feature an 8-speed automatic transmission. This will yield about 290 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The fuel efficiency appears to be reasonable, offering 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a rear-wheel drive option. This is definitely an improvement from the V8 engine on the Laredo. However, there will be a new diesel option for the 2014 Grand Cherokee that will be available with the Laredo model. If fuel efficiency is a priority, the diesel engine will be the best option as it yields 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. This surpasses the V6 and V8 engines that are available in both the Laredo and Altitude models. In terms of performance features, the Altitude has the same ones that come with the Laredo. However, the Altitude has the option to add Jeep's renowned Quadra Trac II 4WD system along with a Selec Terrain system which is very useful for off-road driving. This will certainly make the Altitude more versatile as it will perform well in various weather and off-road conditions. Therefore, the Altitude holds an advantage over the Laredo as it has more drivetrain options.