From £37,360
Streets ahead of old model and laden with equipment. Strong diesel, but ride lets it down

Our Verdict

Jeep Grand Cherokee

The current Jeep Grand Cherokee is almost indescribably better than its predecessor

22 June 2011

What is it?

You could be forgiven for thinking the Jeep Grand Cherokee had retired from the sales charts. Not so. It’s just been malingering too far down the scale for most people to notice. That’s hardly surprising when Jeep sold barely more than 2000 cars in the UK in 2010. Now, in partnership with Fiat, the US marque has more ambitious plans, and much hinges on this new model.

What's it like?

The Grand Cherokee is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, and remains unashamedly American in style, with its classic seven-slot chromed grille. An extra 135mm on the wheelbase of the all-new platform provides a useful amount more rear leg space and a larger boot.

Stretching the wheelbase has not compromised the new Jeep’s off-road ability in any way. Every version has Quadra-Trac II all-wheel drive, and high and low ranges, which are selected at the touch of a button.

In Overland trim, you also get air suspension (only an option on the Limited model) and Selec-Terrain. Selec-Terrain is Jeep’s answer to Land Rover’s Terrain Response, and it works well – you can choose between Mud, Sport, Snow, Rock or Auto modes at the turn of a dial.

However, it’s on Tarmac where the new Grand Cherokee must impress to spark its revival. It’s vastly improved over the last-generation car, and doesn’t loll in corners any more. However, the ride constantly fidgets and the steering is light but low geared, so there’s even more arm twirling than in a VW Touareg.

On properly surfaced roads, the car’s new 237bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel offers acceleration on a par with its rivals, through a smooth five-speed automatic gearbox. Average economy is nothing to write a letter from America about, though, at 27.4mpg.

So the Grand Cherokee is good, but not great, to drive. It’s the same inside, where it’s spacious and lavishly equipped, but some materials and quality fall shy of Europe’s best.

Should I buy one?

Jeep says the car, is better value than any of its main rivals, but at £43,995 it’s in the heartland of premium SUVs, where value is not always a prime consideration. Even so, Jeep’s sales hopes of 2000 Grand Cherokees alone in a full year look far more attainable now.

Al Suttie

Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD V6 Overland

Price: £43,995; Top speed: 126mph; 0-62mph: 8.2sec; Economy: 27.4mpg; CO2: 218g/km; Kerb weight: 2272kg; Engine: V6, 2987cc, diesel; Power: 237bhp at 3600rpm; Torque: 406lb ft at 1800rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd automatic

Join the debate

Comments
14

24 June 2011

Not a bad looking motor but it would make a whole lot more sense if it had a couple of extra seats in the boot floor.

24 June 2011

I still cannot understand why Autocar continues to bash big heavy 4x4s like this Jeep for example about its driving dynamics! This car plainly is not going to handle well. The review of this car should be done based on its target market which is a market where driving dynamics are not a priority. Get real and review the car as a 4x4, not a sports car.

24 June 2011

The interior looks a far nice place to be over the old model but it is doesn't look to be any better than a Kia Sorento which is over ten grand cheaper.

I am not sure what it's off road credentials are (nothing in the report) although I would assume you would have to go down the Discovery / Range Rover route to better it, rather than the X5 / ML path. That considered, it may well be an attractive alternative to the British car but considering most of these vehicles won't see even the slightest bit of mud, I would find it difficult to look past it's Korean competitors.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

24 June 2011

I think it looks great.

I am heading to the dealer to check it out tomorrow.

The absence of the Hemi V8 is dissappointing, nevertheless, the interior looks great.

24 June 2011

When the 8 speed auto arrives this should really become a car to watch. Shame the ride/handling isn't as well resolved as it should (probably the same settings as NA - had a ride in one recently over here) - a little more softness in the springs, a little more damping, stiffer bushings and it'd be good to go.

24 June 2011

[quote Autocar]The Grand Cherokee is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor[/quote]

I can't see anyone sitting in the previous Grand Cherokee and thinking "you know what, nice car but it could do with being a bit bigger".

To add some balance, A very nice interior.

24 June 2011

[quote tannedbaldhead]I can't see anyone sitting in the previous Grand Cherokee and thinking "you know what, nice car but it could do with being a bit bigger[/quote]

To be fair, I have often thought this. Width was OK, but regualrly wished for a bit of extra height in the cabin (which you get with the new one) and a little bit of extra length.

24 June 2011

I keep seeing camouflaged probably rebadged Grand Cherokee near Mirafiori, an Alfa version of this is probably coming...the engine developed by VM motori can't compete with big German diesels, I am wondering why FPT hasn't developed one in house properly...

25 June 2011

[quote matsoc]I keep seeing camouflaged probably rebadged Grand Cherokee near Mirafiori, an Alfa version of this is probably coming[/quote]

Could be the Alfa version or even possibly the Maserati version...

[quote matsoc]the engine developed by VM motori can't compete with big German diesels[/quote]

I would say to be honest looking at the Specs that it can compete.

- Better emissions than LR Discovery, Range Rover Sport, Mercedes ML, Volvo XC90

-Quicker than LR Discovery, Range Rover Sport, XC90

-More Economical Than: LR Disco, RR SPort, Mercedes ML, XC90

So I dont think the new engine is shamed in any respect.

Should be driving one tomorrow though so will have a better idea about it.

25 June 2011

[quote TegTypeR]The interior looks a far nice place to be over the old model but it is doesn't look to be any better than a Kia Sorento which is over ten grand cheaper[/quote]

Its not exactly a Range Rover admittedly, but you ought to go and have a look. from experience its much much better than the Sorento. Indeed the Sorento makes the Grand Cherokee look good value when you see how much extra you get.

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