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Jeep Laredo vs. Altitude

1. Introduction

The scope of the comparison is quite wide despite being between the same variant of two different cars. It covers an overview of both vehicles, and after a brief overview, features are compared in a tabular format which lists out the various features and equipment in a systematic manner to analyze which vehicle offers more for the money. The comparison then gives an in-depth description of each feature compared, exploring the difference in detail. At the end of the feature comparisons, safety, fuel efficiency, and reliability are factors separately compared to give a big picture about how both vehicles stack up against each other. At the very end is a final recommendation to what type of buyer would suit each vehicle, with a summarized conclusion to wrap up the entire comparison. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

The goal of the article is to compare the similarities and differences of the two models to provide an overall clearer understanding before a purchase is made. The article will also help gain insight for prospective buyers in making an easier decision for a model based on individual needs and personal preferences.

The popularity of the Jeep Grand Cherokee has not waned over the years, and the two big players in their special edition models are the Laredo and the Altitude. It is a car to own for many, thanks to its looks, go-anywhere ability, and value for money. The comparison here is to give a more informed choice to potential buyers who are looking at only the V6 special edition models: the Laredo and the Altitude.

1.1. Overview

Both of these vehicles are the most popular in the line-up, and it is not hard to see why. With exceptional quality in styling, refined appointments, and simplistic price tags, the decision between the two of these is sure to be a difficult one. The Laredo and Altitude have established themselves in the Jeep community as being a great middle-ground for anyone looking into purchasing the Grand Cherokee. One of the main differences between the two is the Altitude's special edition package. Despite this obvious difference, prospective buyers may experience difficulty in finding comprehensive information discussing the clear differences between the two. The information here is designed to provide assistance to those people. Although we agree that the choice can be difficult, it is important to note that you cannot really go wrong; both are very refined with great value. Step one is to determine which model looks you prefer. Despite that being quite evident, the next step is crucial in making your decision based on your needs and lifestyle. We are confident that the following information will assist you in making the best decision based on the facts between the Laredo and Altitude.

1.2. Purpose

This study is purely written to compare the design and features of Jeep Grand Cherokee models Laredo and Altitude. Jeep is a vehicle known by some and purchased by those who are fond of SUVs. Many people do research before buying such an expensive item and take keen interest in trivial design changes and feature changes in different versions. Although the changes between Laredo and Altitude may be minimal, it is my personal experience that there is no better or worse way to voice an opinion than through a comparison. The results here will provide the consumer with more of an informed decision. This study is not concerned with performance or off-road capabilities of the two vehicles, comparisons will only be made on design and features, specifically focusing on the new additions in the Altitude model. The results will not apply to older and newer models of either vehicle or different Jeep models. The purpose of this project is to produce a clear visual representation of the differences between two vehicles of the same brand and model. This will be done by a comparison table listing the features of the vehicle, next to a table with the same feature, but listing the differences that apply to Laredo and Altitude respectively, in order to determine the changes made in transitioning from the Laredo model to the Altitude model. A visual representation makes it easier for the viewer to notice the differences and the tables allow for the quick comparison of different features, as one can easily look back to the other table to see what that feature actually is.

1.3. Scope

The scope of this paper is limited to a technical analysis of the differences and the cost-effectiveness of those differences between the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude and the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. This paper avoids any subjective judgments when possible and serves to present simply the differences and the added costs on the Altitude, and whether those changes are worth the cost to the consumer. Standard features such as Quadra Trac I, a 295 hp engine, gas mileage, and 4x4 capabilities will not be covered in this paper as they are shared by both models. The end goal is to inform consumers considering either model with an unbiased analysis, considering the price and the cost of the added features on the Altitude.

While both the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude and the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo share all the same mechanical features, including the engine and gas mileage, they have several differences in aesthetics and creature comfort features. This paper will inform readers of these differences and analyze whether the extra features on the Altitude are worth the increased price of the vehicle.

Both the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude and the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo are mid-size sport utility vehicles that have the classic Jeep look and off-road performance that has made them popular in the past. The purpose of this paper is to inform readers about the differences between the two models and whether those differences are worth the price gap. It will provide readers with an understanding of what the extra $3,635 spent on the Altitude gets them and if it is worth their hard-earned cash.

2. Exterior Features

The design of a car is always a major attraction in terms of investing your money in a vehicle. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and the Altitude are similarly designed. Both are designed with the traditional seven-slot grille and halogen quad headlamps. The rear of the vehicle is designed with the same features; however, the Altitude is designed with a gloss black finish on the tail lamps. Roof rails, which are always convenient for a road trip, can be found on both the Laredo and Altitude as well, in a more modern design compared to the 2013 models. Door handles on the Altitude have a similar finish as that of the tail lamps: gloss black. It is often argued that SUVs get worse gas mileage due to the added weight of 4WD. This is the case with choosing any Laredo or Altitude model, as they both have the 4x2 or 4x4 option. Step-in height, approach angle, breakover angle, and departure angle are all the same for the Laredo and the Altitude and do not differ much from the 2013 model. With the design features, account for an average of 6 MPG highway and 3-4 MPG everywhere else. This is not advertised by Jeep, but it is based on vehicle weight compared to other models and other vehicles being much more aerodynamic than the Grand Cherokee. Step-in height can be considered a high point of the design, as it is perfect for entry and exit of the vehicle, not too high and not too low. High step-in height can be found on new JGC Overland and Summit models with the Quadra-Lift air suspension.

2.1. Design

The interior of these two cars is based on personal preference. Finishing is vastly different, and both are very stylish yet easy on the eye. The Altitude again has the black-on-black theme which looks very sharp and classy. The Laredo is more traditional, and the Limited version has a very luxurious feel to it with a traditional Jeep wood trim interior. Both vehicles have a very modern look, and they are both very luxurious inside compared to their predecessors. The Laredo features a very distinctive T-shaped automatic shift, and the Altitude has a more common style gear shift in the middle.

The Laredo features a more contemporary look. It's simple yet rugged and has a more distinctive design. The Jeep Laredo has its own signature grille, while the Altitude shares the same grille as the Grand Cherokee Limited. The Altitude also features a blacked-out trim look with black wheels and black bevels, and a black interior which was a big selling point for me. Both vehicles look sleek and aggressive. Both are very stylish and have a slightly more city look than their Trail Rated relatives. The Altitude is the sportier of the two, but the Laredo still has a sleek and modern presence. The two cars are very distinctive from each other, and choosing the more desirable-looking vehicle is actually quite difficult as they both look so good in their own different ways.

2.2. Body Style

Unfortunately, the lows end here for the Laredo with body style. The Laredo only offers one style of the rear liftgate with a flipper-style glass. There is no option for a power liftgate or the premium liftgate with a light on top like what is available for the Altitude. There is also no option for the Laredo to have the power-folding side mirrors available on the Altitude. These are all changes that could be beneficial, but nonetheless, the body style of the Laredo has a rugged and aggressive look that still appeals to many people.

The Laredo also has the option for a sunroof, which comes standard on the Altitude. This entirely changes the roof design on the vehicle from a solid steel roof with roof rails designed for the base model Laredos to a lighter, more aerodynamic roof similar to the Grand Cherokee. The steel roof and standard roof rails on the Laredo give it a more rugged look and are ideal for storage or transporting items that can only go on the roof of a vehicle.

Next up in the comparison review is the body styles of these two vehicles. It is essential to remember the Laredo and Altitude have different body styles. The Laredo carries the classic Cherokee design with the iconic 7 grille and long flat hood. This body style has been around since 1974 with minor changes through the years. This is the vehicle that people have come to know and love, and this body style is one of the many reasons people buy a Cherokee.

2.3. Wheels and Tires

It is imperative to understand that your wheels and tires can have a much larger effect on your car than just simply getting you from point A to point B. The wheels and tires are some of the most essential parts of your vehicle, as they are the only things actually making contact with the ground and can affect not only the performance, but the safety and efficiency of a vehicle. Both the Laredo and the Altitude come standard with 17 x 8.0 inch wheels, but the materials and designs vary. The Laredo comes equipped with aluminum wheels, sealed with all-season tires. This combination is perfect for a daily driver, providing decent traction in all weather conditions. The All-Terrain tires that come on the Altitude are actually a better tire than the Laredo in terms of overall off-road performance as well as on-road traction. This tire has a more aggressive tread pattern for dirt, providing enhanced grip on dirt trails and bad road conditions. The All-Terrains are also the tire of choice if the vehicle is going to experience an abundance of mud, as this type of tire is specifically designed with tread pattern to specifically provide better mud traction than a standard all-season tire.

3. Interior Features

On the other hand, the sleeker design of the Altitude 2016 model makes its cabin space smaller compared to the Laredo. It can only accommodate 5 individuals and has no provisions for an additional third row. Having a smaller cabin space, the side doors only open up to 67 degrees which makes it harder to access, especially for the rear seats. However, the cabin space of the Altitude 2016 model is compensated with a larger cargo space. It has 36.3 cubic feet and the rear seats can be easily adjusted or even folded at a ratio of 2:3, thus providing ample space for materials when traveling. The driver seats of the Altitude 2016 model can be adjusted in 12 different ways and with the same material used in the Laredo, the Capri leather. With the seat adjustment of the Altitude 2016 model, it can comfortably provide better space for the driver and passenger, compared to the Laredo model. With the improvements in the seat adjustment, the Altitude model has a large advantage when it comes to driver seat space and comfort.

All Laredo 2016 Jeep models boast of a 3-row seat which can accommodate up to 7 individuals. If you need to transport more passengers, you can easily access the third row by the second-row doors that can open up to 78 degrees. In terms of cargo space, it measures 11.2 cubic feet which can provide more room for baggage. It has a driver seat that can be adjusted 8 ways and is made of Capri leather.

3.1. Cabin Space

The interior of the Laredo and Altitude is well appointed and comfortable. The new "improved" was a word frequently used when it came to describing the cabin space of the 2015 Laredo. The cabin experience in Jeep was great! The heated leather seats added a new element of exceptional comfort. It was clear that the front seats had comfort in mind, although the same couldn't be said for the rear seats. The legroom for the front was fantastic, although the center console did squeeze the knees of the front passengers a little. The rear seats had 8-way power adjustable with 4-way lumbar support, and the front seat also had this feature. The headroom was identifiable as slightly less than the previous Laredo model, which is to be expected with the lower Altitude body. A very cool feature was the 4-way power driver and passenger seat; it's not everyday you can say you can have a memory for different chair settings. The full-length floor console and armrest were sleek and well-placed, providing easy access. The dual-zone automatic temperature control and rear air conditioning/front-back air vents ensured that cabin climate was always at a good level. There were also some nice little touches such as the map pocket and LED lighting, which give the Laredo that slightly more upmarket look compared to the Altitude. The rearview auto-dim mirror with microphone was great, as was the remote USB port. The only downside of cabin space in the Laredo was the cargo space. With the rear seat in the normal position, the Laredo only holds a 782L cargo capacity (with tire repair kit access), which is quite small for an SUV. This problem is slightly alleviated by putting the rear seat flat, which increased cargo space to 1554L. This is a recommended thing to do permanently if you don't necessarily need the rear seats, as those using the rear seats will find that head and legroom is compromised if the rear seats are adjusted from normal. Although the rear seats were compromised for space when adjusted, they were comfortable. This was predominantly a great cabin space, with the exception of the cargo space. [7]

3.2. Comfort and Convenience

With either trim of Grand Cherokee, passengers are able to experience a plush leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a touch of elegance amongst any outdoor adventure. Jeep Laredo graces its passengers in the feel of a micro-suede and leather-trimmed seat, while Altitude fully immerses itself in leather trim. The relaxed drive can be complemented by Altitude with a power 8-way driver seat, 4-way power lumbar adjust, and memory feature. The generous legroom associated with the Grand Cherokee is apparent across the board, maintaining 40.6 inches of front legroom and 38.6 inches at the rear. Dimensions for rear legroom in Altitude and Laredo models measure in at the expansive 38.6 and 39.4 inches, respectively. Both trims allow for improved driver comfort with the new standard 4-way power lumbar support, achieved with a convenient power operated function on Laredo. Finally, an automatic dual-zone climate control provides an added comfort feature necessary for any weather condition.

3.3. Technology

Usually, the price between Laredo and Altitude is quite competitive. With a little addition, you can configure the Laredo with the same price as an Altitude, or you can even get a higher spec Laredo with not much price difference. It doesn't make sense sacrificing fancy looks for fewer features, so you have to look deep into what each model has to offer to get the best value out of your money.

Jeep Laredo comes with integrated voice command, which means you can command some things within the vehicle by voice without taking your hands off the steering wheel and your eyes off the road. This is a good safety feature. It also offers Bluetooth. Bluetooth compatibility is commonly found in many cars these days, and it is useful for file sharing or using the internet on your phone. With Bluetooth, you can share the internet and use it on UConnect. Unfortunately, Altitude uses UConnect 4.0, which is not available on Laredo. UConnect 4.0 features like rapid charging USB port, new 7-inch cluster color display, and many more. This might be a deal breaker where you have to consider whether to buy Laredo or Altitude. But don't decide too quickly because Laredo has a keyless Enter-N-Go and remote SD card slot, which are not available on the Altitude. Because of the new UConnect and UConnect Access, Altitude 2015 does not come with navigation. This is a huge drawback compared to the Laredo.

Car technologies these days offer convenience and entertainment. Because of that, technology within the vehicle usually is highly anticipated. Some say technology is a must in this era, basically because technology makes human life easier, and in this case, technology within a vehicle can make the driver and passengers' lives easier. The technology we're talking about is in terms of navigation, wireless connectivity, USB port, Bluetooth, keyless ignition, dual-zone climate control, and so on. Both Laredo and Altitude have quite similar technology, but we have to compare them so we can see which has a better offer and value.

3.4. Infotainment System

For the limited edition Grand Cherokee Altitude, the infotainment system comes with a ULTCD1 and ULTCD2 sound system. This model provides one year of SiriusXM radio service, which allots up to 150 channels; 2 of which are available through travel link that displays updated information on weather conditions, fuel prices, sports scores, and movie times. The customers can utilize the radio with radio data system, AM/FM, Uconnect voice command, and Bluetooth, media hub with SD, USB, and auxiliary ports, and the steering wheel audio controls. With SiriusXM, the customer will also be able to display artist, song, and game information. This system will allow the driver and passenger to keep up with an abundance of audio and visual entertainment, and the ability to project that onto a car radio with such a large spectrum of channels and genres is impressive.

The infotainment system for Jeep's Grand Cherokee Laredo is broadcast via a 6-speaker sound system that also comes with a 180 amp alternator, enabling a supplementary sound system, gaming console, or power outlet. The energy-efficient touch screen displays media, climate adjustments, system settings, and a plethora of added information that makes it much easier for the consumer to get started. Additionally, this system features a USB port, an audio input jack, and a remote SD card slot which allows the user to display video. The Laredo comes with Uconnect 5.0, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth radio, along with integrated voice command and steering wheel audio controls. Uconnect 5.0 allows the user to operate the radio, media, and climate control outlets with visible touchscreen controls. This system alone would provide a high-quality audio and visual experience for any driver or passenger.

4. Performance and Capability

This is the heavens where all your wishes come true. Here you can completely customize your Grand Cherokee to you and your individual needs. The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo comes standard with a 3.6L V6 24-Valve VVT Engine. Now stay with me here, but different terrains call for different traction. In order to keep the adventure of-roading simple and reliable, Jeep has created Quadra-Trac I which is an intuitive system that seeks to keep you safely on the road. In the event of slippage, it can transfer torque to the axle with the most traction. The Quadra-Trac I is not equipped with a low transfer mode like the Quadra-Trac II, and the tires cannot exceed a difference of more than 2/32 in tread wear, but that should not be an issue for someone simply looking to off-road for specific occasions. The final type of available engine for the Grand Cherokee is the 5.7L VVT V8 Engine with Fuel Saver Technology offering 360 horsepower and 390 lb ft of torque. This engine is not available for Laredo model and would need to be purchased separately. The Laredo is also available in a 4x4 or 4x2 model.

4.1. Engine Options

The Laredo is only available with Jeep's base 3.6-liter V6, rated at 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Altitude is available with either the 3.6 V6 or Jeep's tried and true 5.7-liter Hemi V8, rated at 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. Both models are available in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and both V6 or V8 options come with Jeep's excellent new 8-speed automatic transmission. The additional 70 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque is very significant, giving the V8-equipped Altitude a 1500 lb towing capacity advantage over any Laredo. With fuel economy only suffering by two miles per gallon in the city and three miles per gallon on the highway, we think the Hemi is the engine choice for anyone purchasing a Jeep, unless of course you need the superior fuel economy and towing capability is not a concern. This is not like the Grand Cherokees of old where we would never recommend anything with the 4.7 or 3.7-liter V6. All engines, from the base V6 to the top of the line SRT8, are excellent choices whether economy or pulling power is the priority.

4.2. Off-Road Capabilities

In terms of off-road capabilities, the Laredo and Altitude share similar fundamentals. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) models utilize the single-speed Traction Management System and a quadra-link suspension to provide the best possible traction on all surfaces. In addition, the Laredo and Altitude both have a ground clearance of 8.6 inches. It should be noted that the Altitude can be considered a Laredo package, and has the same options for AWD. However, the Trailhawk (which is a trim level unavailable to the Altitude) has an advanced 4x4 system called "quadra-drive II." This system utilizes a two-speed PTU and active transfer case to deliver torque to the wheels with the most traction. By comparison, this is more effective than the single speed transfer case, as the torque is only directed to all wheels if slip is detected. Furthermore, the Trailhawk also has a more advanced "select-terrain" system that allows the driver to tune the transmission, suspension and traction systems to optimize performance on different surfaces. These systems give the Laredo a clear advantage over the Altitude when it comes to off-road performance.

4.3. Towing Capacity

Overall, these Jeep models are more than capable of aiding with any sort of towing needs. The Laredo will suit those looking to tow heavier items and will be slightly more fuel efficient as the tradeoff for the extra towing capabilities. The Altitude will do well for owners who do occasional towing and can save even more money on gas with the V6 engine as opposed to the V8. Both vehicles offer well above average towing capabilities and won't leave the owner feeling like the engine is strained while getting the job done.

The towing capabilities of these Jeep models are certainly suited for those with items to tow, ranging from trailers to small boats. The Laredo has a maximum towing capacity of 6200 pounds when equipped with a 4x2 drive system. Those with a 4x4 Laredo will have a maximum towing capacity of 5800 pounds. The Altitude can handle an impressive 6200 pounds with rear-wheel drive and 5800 pounds with 4x4. Any potential buyers looking to tow more weight will want to lean towards the Laredo for the higher towing capability as well as save some money in terms of fuel considering the higher end Laredo with a V8 engine has close to the same towing capacity ratings as the Altitude. This 6200 pound towing capacity is quite impressive for both models compared with other vehicles in their class.


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Jeep Laredo vs. Altitude

Discover the differences between Jeep's Laredo and Altitude trims in terms of features, design, and value. Learn more by exploring these resources:

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