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

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

Add a comment…
ankaili 28 June 2011

Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD

I am disappointed by the bias in the review.

First, at the top "Price as tested" is GBP36k+, then at the bottom the reviewer states "at GBP43,995 it is in the heartland of premium SUVs". The model tested was the Limited, the higher price is for the Overland - which was not being reviewed here.

Second, economy is slated as being only 27.4 mpg. However, if you look on the Jeep website you will discover this is the urban figure; the overall figure for fuel consumption is 34.0 mpg - quite a difference!

Final gripe: the reviewer (and several blog contributers) keep comparing the Grand Cherokee with various other SUVs - many of which do not have the off-road equipment and capability of the Jeep e.g. low-range transfer case, Terrain-Select function, locking differentials, wading depth ability, ground clearance, etc. Please review the Jeep against the purpose for which it is designed. After all, you wouldn't criticise a Ferrari or Aston Martin because it could not cross a river!

fhp11 27 June 2011

Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD

Nobby Hightinkle wrote:
How can you know this on Friday before you "check it out" on Saturday?

Well in that question I was referencing the interior quality and prior to test driving the demo vehicle, I have previously viewed both of the display vehicles that were touring round the country to the different dealers.

Chill out detective!......

Having tested the vehicle I can say it was superb, the spec on the Overland was somthing that only the Much More expensive Range Rover betters. I only drove the Limited which doesnt have the air suspension but even that drove very well.

Just need to do some saving now!

Nobby Hightinkle 26 June 2011

Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD

fhp11 wrote:
from experience its much much better than the Sorento.

How can you know this on Friday before you "check it out" on Saturday?