Big, butch and in

your face

Jeep Grand Cherokee, front
Jeep Grand Cherokee, side
Jeep Grand Cherokee, boot
Jeep Grand Cherokee, interior

JEEP'S Grand Cherokee is a real alternative to Mercedes and Land Rover heavyweight 4x4s.

It's a direct competitor to the Discovery and the M-Class and still uses a detuned version of the Mercedes 3.0-litre V6 engine.

Chrysler and Jeep are now virtually owned by Fiat and, for Europe, the big Cherokee is built in Austria.

It's a tour de force of a machine, big and in your face. But it's also very wide and that can make finding a supermarket car park space a problem.

Power from the 3.0-litre diesel is more than adequate and it is supremely easy to drive thanks to a standard six-speed automatic gearbox.

It is hugely comfortable, very refined, reasonably economical and, although I did not get the chance to try it, the off-road ability should be second to none - it is a Jeep after all.

The gearbox has a manual setting and it comes with adjustable air suspension so that ride height can be changed for different conditions.

In Overland form, sumptuous is the only suitable word for the inside, with heated and cooled electrically adjusted leather seats and even a heated steering wheel for those cold mornings.

There's an electrically opening tailgate, a huge but high floored boot, a wide range of other kit and plenty of room for five to ride in comfort.

FAST FACTS

Price: £45,615

Mechanical: 237bhp, 2,987cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 126mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 34

Insurance Group: 42

C02 emissions: 218g/km

Bik rating: 35%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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