Before a single customer drives just one mile in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, an engineering and testing team will have logged approximately 7.5 million miles behind the wheel, testing and retesting the functionality, reliability and durability.
The team put several million miles on the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee during the development process before a single production-level vehicle was built. For the last several months, a fleet of more than 70 early production vehicles have been driven every day and every night.
The team was told to operate the vehicles a little tougher than most new car owners would drive their shiny, new Grand Cherokees in an effort to shake down the vehicles for any potential problems.
Engineers tested things as simple as making sure windows roll up and down properly; opening and shutting glove boxes and other compartments; testing to make sure components function and sound as expected; verifying that seats are still comfortable six hours into a road trip; and ensuring the flawless performance of the all-new 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar Engine that powers the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Every latch, every sound and component was checked and rechecked.
Of course Chrysler Group has always had a comprehensive testing program for new vehicles. But this is the first time they’ve added drivers with no connection to the company and development team to drive millions of additional miles on public roads. From young parents to empty nester retirees to rural folks and city dwellers with varying backgrounds and ethnicities – these test drivers represent the diverse customer base for the Jeep Grand Cherokee.