Cherokee 3.0 CRD V6 Overland
a lot more to the latest
Grand Cherokee than its handsome
under the skin this Jeep
is all new... and seriously better than
any previous Grand Cherokee!
NOW BEING BUILT back in the good old US of A, the Grand Cherokee's
seven-slot grille and 'classic' trapezoidal wheel arches make
it instantly recognisable as a Jeep. Albeit dressed up with eye-catching looks
and a muscular presence that makes it far more distinctive that any Cherokee
that's gone before.
Thankfully our Americans cousins have kept it simple for us Brits in
fact, the Grand Cherokee line-up couldn't be much simpler. Because on this side
of The Pond there are just two choices: rich man, poor man the £36,795
Limited and the über-specced £43,995 Overland, both powered by a new 237bhp
3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel.
And it's full of surprises, some that can't be seen. For a start, structural
rigidity is up by a massive 146%. And in spite of being longer, wider and taller,
as well as stronger and better specified, it's lighter than the old Grand Cherokee,
tipping the scales at 2,272kg.
trim level your wallet let's you buy, it will be powered by a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel
that pumps out 237bhp alongside a hefty 405lb ft of torque, put down on the
road through all four wheels via a standard-fit five-speed automatic transmission.
The auto 'box is happy to obey manual shift orders (made by moving the selector
lever sideways: a nudge to the left takes you down a gear; to the right moves
you up one) and the shift quality, both auto and manual, is good 'n' smooth.
Dont think that the auto
diminishes the Grand
Cherokees genuine off-
road ability it doesnt
because its aided
by generous ground
low-range gears and a
dial up Selec-Terrain
system for any on- or
And don't think that the auto diminishes the Grand Cherokee's genuine off-road
ability either, because it's aided by generous ground clearance, proper low-range
gears and a Selec-Terrain system which allows the driver to 'dial up' the most
appropriate of five modes for any on- or off-road situation, taking in Sand/Mud,
Snow, Rock, Auto, and Sport.
The Overland model maximises its off-road ability with Quadra-Lift air suspension
which can increase the normal ride height from 8.1 inches to 10.7 of ground
clearance, or lower it by 1.5 inches (Park mode) for easier entry/exit and roof
Jump in, push the Start button (both version have Keyless Enter-N-Go) and drive
around the block and you'll quickly discover that this new generation rides
amazingly well: the air suspension soaks up all kinds of road flaws, making
for unruffled progress amazingly so, given the 20-inch wheels and their
equally large 265/50 rubber.
On tarmac, the 'air sprung' Overland model's body control is good and the chassis
feels nicely composed with decent grip even running duel-purpose tyres. Adding
to the ease of driving is an impressively tight turning circle, and steering
accurate enough to make threading the Grand Cherokee through tightly packed
traffic a stroll in the park. And when you need to shave off some speed or even
stop suddenly, the brakes are strong reassuringly so.
new turbodiesel powerplant runs pretty quietly (no noticeable diesel noises;
just the agreeable sounds of a large capacity engine) and, thanks to its fat
torque, there's a solid swell of 'grunt' (405lb ft at 1,800rpm) for clean overtaking
manoeuvres 0-62mph takes 8.2 seconds. And all that torque comes in equally
useful when you need some engine braking.
Jeeps get the job
provenance is long-
established its roots
stretch back to
before Land Rovers first
rode the Earth;
all the way back to
the early years of World
the move, mechanical noises are well suppressed keeping it refined inside, which
adds to its easy mile-eating character cruising motorways you could easily
be in an expensive upmarket saloon. And should you need to tow a horsebox, boat
or the like, the Grand Cherokee pulls a significant 3,500kg.
Jeep's 'get the job done whatever' provenance is long-established its
roots stretch back to before Land Rovers first rode the Earth; all the way back
to the early years of World War Two. Not surprisingly, the Grand Cherokee is
as capable off-road as when it's driving over blacktop.
There's a rash of road-biased Sport Utility Vehicles around these days but few
can hack it in the rough stuff. Unlike many soft-roaders, Jeep has retained
a low-ratio transfer box in the Grand Cherokee; and it shows off-road
the Grand Cherokee can clamber over quite nerve-racking obstacles and claw its
way through deep mud that would defeat many. As you'd expect, wearing a Jeep
badge, its legitimate go-anywhere ability earns it an honourable place on the
short list of 'real McCoy' SUVs.
Ask most people looking at a Grand Cherokee for the first time to guess its
likely average fuel consumption and most would probably say "twenty if you're
lucky" the official figure is actually 34mpg; with 27.4 urban and 39.2mpg
extra urban. A week of mixed driving with a lot of town work thrown in saw a
real-world average of 26.8mpg.
cabin is an appealing and spacious place in which to travel. It's trimmed to
a high standard and there's plenty of leather, wood, chrome highlights and LED
lighting to set a welcome ambience. A panoramic glass sunroof floods the cabin
with light. The front section features express one-shot tilt 'n' slide and there's
also a one-touch sunshade to keep things cool on summer days. Your passengers
will also find plenty of comfort in the big seats along with huge amounts of
space in all directions.
Theres only one stalk
on the column
its on the left, and it
operates everything that
most cars use
two stalks to manage.
Like the Cherokees
brake, its different but
youll adapt to it very
driver, in particular, is well looked after with a power adjustable and heated
multifunction steering wheel, along with the same supportive and comfortable
heated (and cooled!) 8-way power-adjustable seat as is fitted for his or her
There's also power lumbar adjustment as well as a two-position memory for the
driver's personal seat, wheel and mirror settings. Door mirrors are of a good
size, heated and powerfold, and the front seatbelts are height adjustable. Comfortable
you will be!
wheel's upper rim is of smart lacquered dark wood with leather for the rest
and its thickness makes it easy to hold and pleasant to use. There's only one
stalk on the column; on the left and it operates everything that most
cars use two stalks to manage. Like the Cherokee's foot-operated parking brake,
it's different but you'll adapt to it very quickly. Needless to say,
there are plenty of generous storage spaces throughout the cabin.
The 3D touchscreen SatNav is sited centrally at the top of the centre stack
for maximum visibility and switches to view the feed from the rear-mounted parking
camera whenever reverse gear is engaged, backed up by front and rear audible
sensors. The media centre plays DVDs as well as CDs and can store 6,700 of your
favourite tracks. There's a compass but you don't need you know how to navigate
by one because a nice touch, this the SatNav's off-road 'trail'
facility will map your outward journey then retrace your steps back from the
wilderness at the press of a button. Also handy is a voice-input 'memo' facility.
driving position is commanding with A1 views in all directions although the
substantial C-pillars do hinder rear three-quarter visibility. However, from
behind the wheel the Grand Cherokee is easily placeable. There is also a mass
of room in the back (and two-stage heated seats!) for tall passengers. Plus
it's even pretty comfy for a third in the piggy-in-the-middle spot.
Accessing the sizeable
boot (782 litres) calls
for nothing more arduous
than pressing a button
or plipping the remote
the tailgate features
powered opening and
the sizeable boot (782 litres) calls for nothing more arduous than pressing
a button or plipping the remote the tailgate features powered opening
and closing. The mid-thigh level boot floor also has a hidden benefit: a full-size
spare wheel rather than one of the ubiquitous 'tyre repair kits' that aren't
much use on the road, let alone off-road. It also houses two deep and
handy lift out storage bins.
you need more luggage space, the 60:40 split-fold rear seat can be folded simply
by pulling on either rear seat's backrest adjustment lever at the side of each
seat, expanding the loadbay to a flat-floored 1,554 litres.
not enough space here to list all the equipment you get with the range-topping
Overland version. Suffice to say, it's kit- and equipment-rich, so you can take
for granted SatNav (with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display and a 30GB hard drive
with a 6,700 song capacity), excellent Alpine surround sound hi-fi, blind spot
and rear cross path detection, heated and cooled front seats, leather upholstery,
four one-shot up/down electric windows, 2Zone climate control, forward collision
warning, adaptive cruise control, auto-dimming mirror, Quadra-Trac II 4WD, Quadra-Lift
air suspension, hill descent control (for controlled 'no-fear' descents on rough
or slippery slopes), hill start assist, iPod interface, keyless entry and start,
panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, parking camera with front and rear sensors,
power-adjustable steering column, power-adjustable heated steering wheel, electrically-operated
heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, etc, etc.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is an all-purpose, full-size SUV at a competitive price
a price that pitches it well against the likes of Land Rover's Discovery
and Toyota's Land Cruiser. Along with the Jeep heritage, it's also an easy driver
with decent performance both on- and off-road, is stacked high with equipment
and boasts polished looks. O lucky man! MotorBar
Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD V6 Overland | £43,995
Maximum speed: 126mph | 0-62mph: 8.2 seconds | Overall test MPG: 26.9mpg
Power: 237bhp | Torque: 405lb ft | CO2 218g/km