Appreciation of styling is subjective, but to our eyes, the minor exterior styling changes work much more effectively in the metal than they do in pictures. The new Grand Cherokee remains unmistakably Jeep, but the refresh has softened off some of the bluff edges enough to give the large SUV a touch more Euro-centric appeal.
Like the outside of the outside Grand Cherokee, the cabin has benefited from a mild makeover and features some higher quality materials. Three rear passengers won't be left wanting for leg, shoulder or head room, and there's a 782-litre boot space with the rear seats in place.
One of the stand-out features in the cabin is a new infotainment and multimedia system, which is controlled via a modern-looking 8.4in touchscreen.
The big and bold graphics make it easy to use on the move without diverting attention from the road, and its useful that regularly adjusted systems such as aircon and seat heaters can be operated from the touchscreen without having to fumble around the cabin for switchgear.
Another new piece of technology, the TFT instrument display, gets a more cautious thumbs-up. It can be configured in hundreds of ways to show a seemingly endless torrent of information about the car – pretty much everything apart from what the driver had for breakfast, it seems – but at a quick glance the on-screen clutter can make it difficult to ascertain vital signs like speed and fuel levels.
On the road, it doesn't take long for the qualities of the eight-speed automatic to become evident. It is a good match to the Grand Cherokee's flexible 3.0-litre V6 engine. The set-up is more suited to cruising than sporty driving; although the engine has a substantial amount of grunt from low revs, it still has to haul almost two-and-a-half tonnes up to speed, and the 0-62mph sprint takes 8.2sec and feels comfortable rather than exhilarating.
When the Jeep Grand Cherokee has selected the biggest cog and settled into a steady pace, it feels very composed. The engine sounds very refined apart from during heavy acceleration (such as the kind you might employ during an A-road overtaking move) when it coarsely grumbles about the extra demands.
We sampled a top-spec Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, which comes with Jeep's air suspension as standard and rides on 20in wheels and tyres. It felt composed and effectively cushioned, yet also adapted well to keep body roll largely in check during cornering. By contrast, the standard mechanical suspension we tried in the lower-specification Limited variant wallowed more in bends.
The Grand Cherokee's light steering does a competent job of making a large vehicle feel easily manoeuvrable, which is particularly useful around town, although on twisty roads at higher speeds it lacks feel and communicates little to the driver.
In keeping with Jeep's rugged 'go anywhere' roots, all Grand Cherokee models are equipped with a low-speed transfer 'box. Some light off-roading on our test route showed off the potential of Jeep's four-wheel-drive and the Selec-Terrain system, which offers pre-configured traction settings for snow, sand, mud and rock in addition to the standard 'auto' mode which makes its own mind up.
The air suspension can be jacked up through five settings to a maximum ground clearance of 280mm, compared to the standard ride height of 220mm. Ultimately, though, even Jeep company chiefs concede that the majority of Grand Cherokee buyers won't venture near a green lane in their luxury SUVs.