Credible and appealing, but top-end spec pushes price very high

What is it?

This is the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee in the higher spec Overland trim, which brings a long list of luxuries such as a sat-nav system, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control as standard.

Through an earlier road test of the entry-level Limited trim we’ve already established the latest spec Grand Cherokee is a quantum leap better than the model it replaced and, save for weak off-road credentials and poor interior quality, up there with the best of its rivals.

What’s it like?

It’s an entirely credible car to drive, an experience which is underpinned by the V6 motor, which delivers a highly competitive 237bhp and 406lb ft. That equates to 0-62mph in 8.2sec – plenty fast enough in a near 2.5 tonne vehicle.

At higher revs it is coarser than rivals, but not by much, and at a cruise it is perfectly quiet enough despite being linked to an automatic five-speed gearbox that, while adequately smooth, doesn’t deliver the last word in refinement.

The chassis is tight and poised and the suspension compliant in almost every situation; only the biggest pot holes upset the car, even with the large 20-inch wheels fitted to our test car.

The interior is a nice place to be, but is not quite the success of the car’s dynamics. While road and wind noise are nicely suppressed, it’s roomy in the front, back and boot and the driving position and visibility are mostly good, minor disappointments come in the form of the quality of the leather and other trim materials. They are decent enough in isolation, but don’t quite stand the test of comparison with rivals.

Should I buy one?

Let’s get this straight: the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a good car. However, you’re going to have to weigh up how much kit you want for your budget very carefully before committing to buy this Overland model.

At this price you are firmly into Land Rover Discovery and BMW X5 money. Sure, you won’t get nearly as much kit as standard on either rival, but in our estimation both are marginally better ownership propositions.

Which way you go depends on your priorities – while we find the entry-level Limited trim level easier to recommend, if you buy this we can still state unequivocally that if you opt for the Jeep then you are unlikely to be disappointed.

Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD V6 Overland

Price: £44,995; 0-62mph: 8.2sec; Top speed: 126mph; Economy: 34.0mpg; CO2: 218g/km; Kerb weight: 2280kg; Engine type: 6 cyls, 2987cc, diesel; Installation: Front, longitudinal, four wheel drive; Power: 237bhp at 3600rpm; Torque: 406lb ft at 1800rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd automatic

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Horatio Q Birdbath 8 April 2012

Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD

Well it is an attractive car visually and much better than the new Mercedes ML which is closely related but very awkward looking. I'm sure will drive well enough and when depreciation gets a grip it will be very good very careful before deciding to buy. I made the mistake of being attracted to a good deal and showroom appeal only to spend the next 30 months having bits fixed and waiting for Rescue Services to arrive. In 24,000 miles I had...... New rear suspension bushes New steering wheel as the leather peeled off A noisy rear axle from day one which hummed nicely like an old bus. New front steering joints Refitted rear shock absorbers replacing the undersized bushes New automatic gearbox complete after the original selected forward and reverse together filling the sump with filings. New fuel filter housing complete after the electrical terminals melted the top causing an air leak and subsequent destroyed ECU New alternator after the integral clutch broke up and wrecked the whole thing. Had I been paying the bills it would have cost c.£8900 in repairs! Good bits...the supplying Dealer who was very helpful and worked hard to fix the thing. Driving it..oddly when it worked it drove quite well..but it didn't work well very often! So...I traded it in as a non runner at just three years old! My advice is that I can understand why you might fancy one but make sure you only own it under a FULL MANUFACTURERS GUARANTEE and SELL it before it runs out!

Will86 7 April 2012

Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD

This new Grand Cherokee is really growing on me. Its smart without being overly blingy, something Range Rover could do with taking note of. As for the off-road ability, it's a bit unclear on the Jeep website which suspension the Limited model gets, though being a Jeep I would expect to be able to have the best off-road spec even on a base model.

mrcliodCi 6 April 2012

Re: Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD

bomb wrote:
Crying out for the 8-sp ZF 'box and not much else.

Agreed. A 5-speed auto is a little off the pace now.