The Grand Cherokee was the first SUV to sport a driver’s side airbag back in 1993, and Jeep engineers have built on that safety legacy by adding an array of new occupant protection features to the 2005 model. Every new Jeep Grand Cherokee is fitted with next-generation multi-stage airbags for the driver and front passenger. These so-called “smart” airbags use sensors to measure the severity of a crash and deploy the airbags with the appropriate amount of force. An occupant classification system built into the co-pilot’s seat automatically turns off that airbag when it detects the presence of a child who might be harmed by the force of the airbag deployment. Of course, kids should always ride in the back seat. Elsewhere in the cabin, you’ll find head restraints and three-point lap-shoulder belts for every seating position. Tire pressure monitors that will alert the driver to low air pressure in any of the truck’s five tires (including the spare), are also standard.
Optional safety features include side-curtain airbags that drop down from the outer edges of the headliner to help minimize head injuries and keep passengers from being thrown from the vehicle in a rollover accident. Stability control, which constantly compares the direction of travel with the driver’s intended course and intervenes to correct an impending skid before it happens, is also available for the first time. Call us risk averse, but we wouldn’t buy a vehicle without both of these features.
In the category of nice-to-haves, you’ll find the optional ultrasonic rear parking assist, which alerts the driver to unseen obstacles behind the rear bumper while backing up. Those who do a lot of night driving may also want to check out the new SmartBeam headlight option that runs the high beams for maximum visibility until sensors detect the headlights of an oncoming vehicle