If its an off-roader with looks that are guaranteed to turn heads you’re searching for, then the Jeep Cherokee and its big brother the Grand Cherokee are made for you. The vehicles ooze class by the bucket load and have so much ability you will be praying for snow.
The goodChunky design and great performer
The badSadly, drivers are too scared to get it dirty
Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 3.0 MultiJet-II V6
I have a confession to make – my timing usually sucks. When blessed with glorious sunshine, I’m generally driving a beefy 4×4 off-roader and when faced with snow drifts, I will be twiddling the keys to my open-top two-seater with nervous trepidation.
But, for once, my coordination was spot on and I had matched a car to suit the weather conditions. The vehicle was the muscular new Jeep Grand Cherokee and the conditions were snow, snow and more snow and that meant that whilst most of the UK was grinding to a standstill, I was able to get and about with a degree of confidence.
The all-new Grand Cherokee costs £55,980 (£61,180 with options fitted) and it has certainly upped the ante in the class stakes. In truth, it was always a very capable 4×4 vehicle but lacked a little finesse when it came to interior design and on-board technology.
However, the new model is very easy on the eye, packed with premium technology and features all the infotainment and connectivity capabilities needed in a car these days. The test model was powered by a 3.0-litre V6 247bhp petrol engine mated to a super slick eight-speed automatic gearbox. It can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 8.2 seconds, tops out at 126mph and, according to official figures, delivers combined fuel economy of 40.4mpg with carbon emissions of 184g/km.
The Grand Cherokee looks imposing from every angle thanks to its muscular styling, panoramic sunroof, distinctive Jeep grille, sweeping headlights, tinted windows, chrome trim and polished 20-inch alloys.
Move inside and there is certainly a premium feel to the car with quilted leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats that are power-adjusted, a heated wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, smart wooden inlays in the doors and dashboard, along with a raft of techno treats to explore along the way.
On-board creature comforts include the likes of an 8.4-inch colour infotainment screen with sat nav, DAB radio and voice command. There is also a 19-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system which is another clear indication that Jeep wanted this car to challenge the premium marques.
The comfort levels within the Grand Cherokee are excellent with ample room for five adults to travel in style and storage options are also impressive with a boot capacity that ranges from 782 litres to a whopping 1,554 litres with the rear seats dropped flat. In addition, the tailgate is power operated which is really handy when approaching the vehicle laden down with shopping bags.
Elsewhere there are a number of convenient storage options scattered throughout the car, including a lockable glovebox, a central bin with CD slot, cup holders, deep door pockets and a drop-down sunglasses compartment.
When it comes to performance and practicality the Grand Cherokee is perfect for the active family who may demand more than a soft-roading SUV option. Jeep has a well-established and much envied reputation for developing accomplished 4×4 vehicles over the years and although I hardly put the test car through a challenging assault course, it was great to be able to get out of the house during the big freeze in March. In Snow mode, the Grand Cherokee almost shrugged off the eight inches of the white stuff as it ploughed its way along the country lanes with ultra-grippy road holding.
After the big thaw, normal driving conditions were restored and it was nice to see how agile the car is despite its larger-than-life dimensions as it weaved its way through the busy city centre traffic. And then when faced with the open road it has ample zip to power through the automatic gearbox – there are steering wheel-mounted paddles if you fancy taking a little extra control.
There are Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes as well as the off-road settings that are Snow, Sand, Auto, Rock and Mud so the Grand Cherokee really is ready for any challenge thrown in its path.
The driver benefits from superb all-round visibility thanks to the elevated seating position and all controls and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use. My only slight gripe was the quite fiddly touchscreen which is difficult to access and navigate whilst on the move, especially on out pothole-ridden roads.
But that aside, the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee was difficult to find fault with. It’s also packed with safety features and driver aids such as blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with crash mitigation and plenty more besides.
All in all, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a car that is beautifully styled, offers excellent driving dynamics, is bursting with technology and will never be fazed by one of Mother Nature’s mood swings.
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD V6 Summit
No matter what Mother Nature has in store for us, there is something very re-assuring about being behind the wheel of the mighty Jeep Grand Cherokee.
That’s because it’s big, bold, beefy and ready for anything thrown in its path.
Boasting cutting-edge technology, all the 4×4 capabilities you could dream of and a whole array of creature comforts, the Grand Cherokee is a vehicle that’s not to be messed with.
There’s no denying the vehicle’s imposing presence thanks to its massive di-mensions along with plenty of other eye-catching attributes such as LED day-time running lights, silver roof rails, deep tinted privacy glass, a dual-panel panoramic sunroof with power shade, a chrome grille, chrome door handles, a powered tailgate, 20-inch five-spoke alloys and lots more.
The luxurious interior is beautifully laid out with a whole host of techno treats and creature comforts to be explored. For example, there are leather powered seats with memory settings and lumbar support along with heat and ventilation functions, a leather-trimmed dashboard, door panels and armrests, and a leather-wrapped three-spoke heated steering wheel with wood inserts, audio controls and paddle shifts.
There is technical wizardry to be found at every turn – in fact, this vehicle is guaranteed to keep the fussiest techie geek satisfied for hours on end.
The 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system produces pitch perfect sound and can be linked to all multi-media systems to keep you connected on the move. Then there is the Uconnect 8.4-inch colour touchscreen where you can access the DAB radio, sat nav and Bluetooth systems. And elsewhere there is a CD player in the front armrest, a reversing camera with dynamic grid to guide you into place, rain-sensing wipers and plenty more besides.
Powered by a mighty 3.0-litre diesel engine delivering a whopping output of 247bhp, the Grand Cherokee is definitely no slouch and can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in a very impressive 8.2 seconds with a top speed of 126mph. Admittedly, it’s not the greenest or most environmentally-friendly vehicle on UK roads with combined fuel efficiency of 37.7mpg and carbon emissions of 198g/km, but this is a vehicle that will keep on going no matter what the weather or driving conditions.
The top-of-the-range Summit model was mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission which was beautifully smooth as it moved up through the gears. And the option of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts means you can take extra control if you fancy changing gears manually.
With its high seated driving position, the all-round visibility is excellent and even back seat passengers can stretch out in complete comfort – they are also treated to heated or ventilated seats.
And luggage limitations need never apply as the Jeep’s boot is like a Tardis with a generous capacity of 782 litres which can be increased to 1,154 lites with the rear seats folded flat.
When it comes to 4×4 capabilities, the Grand Cherokee has a very established and proven reputation to live up to and the latest model is just as well equipped to deal with rougher terrains. With the turn of a dial, it can cope with sand, snow, mud or rocks along the way.
And the host of safety features cannot fail to impress with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, hill descent control, forward collision warning with crash mitigation, blind spot monitoring, tyre pressure monitoring, hill start as-sist, adaptive cruise control, numerous airbags and a whole lot more.
All in all, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is packed with quality. Admittedly, it’s not the cheapest option out there with a price tag of £50,165 including £670 for specialist paint, but it’s a vehicle that’s guaranteed to keep moving when most around it have ground to a halt.
In fact my week behind the wheel coincided with the NATO Summit in South Wales and this vehicle would have been very much at home in any president or prime ministers’ motorcade.
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD V6 Summit
Big, beefy, bold, brave and beautiful – that just about sums up the mighty Jeep Grand Cherokee.
It really is an impressive piece of kit and looks like the largest 4×4 on steroids with its chunky design traits.
In fact, it’s a vehicle that is guaranteed to turn heads when approached from any angle thanks to its 20-inch alloys, very handy side steps, deep-tinted privacy glass, powered tailgate, satin silver roof rails, front and rear LED lights with daytime running lights, chrome door handles and striking seven-part grille.
But the Grand Cherokee has a softer side to its character too and that needs to be explored from within the cabin.
From the moment you take your seat behind the heated, multi-function steering wheel, it’s impossible not to be impressed with top quality levels of craftsmanship that greet you.
That’s because Jeep has incorporated fine leathers and suede with eye-catching wooden inlays and flashes of chrome to create a premium quality interior.
Light floods into the cabin through a double sunroof and there is a real sense of space for all, with back seat passengers stretching out in style and enjoying their own individual heated seat settings.
And as one might expect from a vehicle topping £50k, there is a multitude of built-in technology to be discovered. Features include a 19-speaker sound system, an 8.4-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav, Bluetooth, rain sensitive wipers, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control and lots more besides.
The front seats can be heated, ventilated and electronically adjusted with memory settings for the driver. And from the high-seated driving position, there is outstanding all-round visibility. Even the rear headrests can be folded flat so the view through the rear screen is unobscured.
Despite its size, the Grand Cherokee handles very well and proved deceptively agile and nimble. In and around town, it cruises effortlessly amongst the busy city centre traffic – although finding a parking space big enough can be a challenge!
But it’s out on the faster roads that the Grand Cherokee really comes alive as the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine packs a mighty punch providing all the power you could dream of.
This is a vehicle that can sprint from 0-62mph in just 8.2 seconds which gives some indication of its capabilities. Acceleration through the eight-speed automatic transmission is remarkably smooth and if you fancy a slightly edgier response, the sport mode adds a little dynamism to the handling.
There are also steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts to control gear changes manually if so desired.
And at the other end of the financial scale, if you want to see improved economy, there is an ECO mode which helps to maximise fuel efficiency. According to official figures, the vehicle can deliver combined fuel economy of 37.7mpg.
Luggage restrictions will never be an issue in the Grand Cherokee as the generously-sized boot’s capacity of 782 litres can be increased even further to 1,554 litres thanks to 60:40 split-folding rear seats.
And of course, the vehicle is equipped to take on any terrain in any weather condition thanks to a range of driving modes that can tackle snow, sand, mud or rocks.
Jeep has fitted the Grand Cherokee with a comprehensive range of safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, hill descent control, hill start assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring with rear cross path detection, trailer sway damping, forward collision warning, numerous airbags and plenty more.
All in all, the Grand Cherokee is quite a catch. It may not be the most practical or economical for everyday driving especially in the city, but it’s certainly ready and waiting for Mother Nature when she’s on the warpath.
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Limited
With its perfect combination of premium on-road performance mixed with its legendary all-terrain capabilities, the Jeep Grand Cherokee really does offer the very best of both worlds.
First impressions are vital and the Grand Cherokee boasts a muscular, athletic stance with steeply raked windscreen, that traditional Jeep seven-slot grille, flared wheel arches, tinted windows, chrome trim, body-coloured door mirrors, smart 18-inch alloys, bright exhaust tailpipes and roof rails.
The all-new Grand Cherokee is powered by a mighty 237bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine and is available in two trim levels – Limited and Overland.
The test model – a Limited version – boasted an impressive array of onboard technical wizardry and comfort levels were exceptionally high with seats resembling a favourite armchair.
Jeep has incorporated the finest materials to give the cabin a premium feel and all occupants are surrounded by luxury leather, real wood and chrome trim along with features galore.
Creature comforts include a media centre including a brilliant sound system with a 30GB hard drive and connectivity to all modern music devices, sat nav controlled via a 6.5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, heated front and rear seats, a heated multi-function steering wheel, rain sensitive wipers, keyless start and stop, parking sensors with rear parking camera and a whole lot more besides.
Comfort levels are extremely high and there is ample space for five adults to travel in style. Luggage limitations are non-existent thanks to the very generously-sized boot which can be increased even further thanks to 60:40 split-folding rear seats. And the boot even carries a full sized spare wheel under its floor.
So the Grand Cherokee certainly looks the business and there’s no doubting its premium SUV quality, but how about performance?
Well, once again the Jeep is the winner.
Despite its massive size, the Grand Cherokee actually proved itself to be deceptively agile and even parking in tight spaces was made all the easier thanks to brilliant all-round visibility and those parking sensors.
In and around town, it ambled along and weaved effortlessly through the congestion.
However, it was out on the open road where the vehicle really came alive.
The 3.0-litre engine delivered ample power, and acceleration through the five-speed automatic transmission was responsive and smooth.
The Grand Cherokee takes 8.2 seconds to reach from 0-62mph and has a top speed of 126mph. The test model carried a price tag of £36,795 (on-the-road).
Handling, road-holding and turning was impressive as was the very quiet cabin with virtually no engine or road surface noise of note.
The vehicle is packed with safety features, including anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, advanced multi-stage airbags and a very sensitive alarm system to keep away unwanted attention.
And never forget the Grand Cherokee’s off-roading capabilities. With a full range of driving modes geared to different terrains and conditions, this vehicle can take on anything Mother Nature throws in its path.
And with more than four million sales worldwide, why change a winning formula.