Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee is the latest generation of the iconic SUV and it keeps up with the times while keeping true to expectations.

On my easy off-road trip through Proctor Valley, the Grand Cherokee had no problem with the dirt. I had the Selec-Terrain system on automatic, so the 4×4 high and other traction control systems would kick in if needed; they weren’t.

Select-Terrain allows drivers to pick a road condition — sand/mud, snow, sport or rock, that tell various systems how to react. Air suspension even lifts the vehicle to a maximum 10.7 inches of ground clearance. None of this was needed on Proctor Valley Road.

A leap forward for Jeep’s bread and butter vehicle, the Grand Cherokee had improved highway manners but continues to have full off-road capability, something that’s disappearing as gas prices rise.

It seemed to make no difference whether I was taking curves at 55 mph on Highway 94 in Jamul or the dirt twists on Proctor Valley Road at 25 mph. The Grand Cherokee was always in control and giving me a very comfortable ride.

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