19 April 2004

Land Rover’s Discovery stole the New York Show; it must have been difficult for the competition to get a look in. Showstopper or not however, Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee will meet the pride of Solihull head on when it arrives on our side of the pond next summer.

The possibility of a seven seater has already been dismissed but, judging by the Grand’s improved cabin quality, drivetrain and powerplants, it should still bring plenty to trouble the new Disco. Its biggest asset will be the HEMI V8 crowning its engine range. Borrowed from the Chrysler 300C saloon, it’s a powerful 5.7-litre unit capable of shutting down half its cylinders for 20 per cent leaner progress. There will also be 4.7-litre V8, a 3.7-litre V6, and a turbo-diesel option.

Jeep has also improved the limited slip differential on its flagship SUV, and honed its suspension. It claims the resulting car is much more capable both on the tarmac and off it.

The new Grand Cherokee will maintain its current price point when it launches next year; expect it to start close to £25,000, with its new HEMI V8 flagship extending the range beyond £40k.

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