Grand Cherokee a

serious 4x4

Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep Grand Cherokee, front
Jeep Grand Cherokee, front, off road
Jeep Grand Cherokee, side
Jeep Grand Cherokee, rear
Jeep Grand Cherokee, off road
Jeep Grand Cherokee, interior
Jeep Grand Cherokee, boot

WHEN it comes to getting down to the real nitty-gritty of serious offroading, then chances are your instincts will point you in the direction of just two marques.

While Land Rover may be the number one choice for many UK owners seeking out a "go anywhere, do anything workhorse," you certainly can't discount Jeep's equally-impressive Grand Cherokee.

The all-American machine is a direct descendent of the US Army Jeep which proved its worth during the Second World War, and with such classical DNA to call on has evolved to become one of the finest exponents of conquering the roughest of the "rough stuff".

So as you expect with all its off-road capability, this refined and rather roomy SUV certainly doesn't disappoint and more than holds its own against the best of all the Chelsea tractors.

In fact the latest generation of Grand Cherokee, which first hit our shores in 2011, is ideally suited to British roads, whether they are of the motorway, town, or rural variety, thanks to its impeccable manners and great drivability.

Its massive cabin offers great comfort, while its softish-to-firmish suspension system can smooth out anything our rutted and poorly surfaced roads can throw at it, making it a great companion for more normal day-to-day use.

Under the bonnet, the Grand Cherokee is kitted out with a powerful three-litre V6 turbodiesel engine that packs a serious punch of either 187bhp or 247bhp depending on the version.

At its most powerful, the diesel Grand Cherokee takes just 8.2 seconds to cover the standard zero to 62mph dash and because of its hefty 570Nm of grunt can take on slower traffic with relative ease considering its pretty awesome overall size.

As expected, the lower-powered example does take a bit longer to hit the magical 62mph figure, but at 10.2 seconds, it is still no slouch.

Both three-litre V6 diesels were accredited with average fuel consumption of 34mpg and their CO2 ratings were also identical at 218g/km. Top speed was quoted at 126mph, making it powerful enough to keep it out of any unexpected trouble both on and off the black stuff.

On the inside, the entry-level Limited spec model was well kitted out, with leather upholstery, air conditioning, electric seats, CD sound system with large touch screen, steering wheel controls, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth.

The range-topping Overland spec model added satellite navigation with voice recognition, heated steering wheel, Nappa leather upholstery including ventilated front seats and Jeep's Quadra-Drive all-wheel drive system.

Other goodies included adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and blind spot warning system, while a power tailgate and larger 20-inch alloy wheels helped complete the package.

Developed in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz, the Grand Cherokee offered nicely-balanced steering and smooth acceleration, while its positive braking has also helped inspire bags of confidence to those behind the wheel.

Yet, surprisingly for such a large machine it is not the most difficult vehicle to park, thanks to its acres of glass and high driving position.

You'll need to part with between £15,230 and £19,715 for a 2011 11-plate Limited model and from £17,985 to £23,275 for a higher specification Overland edition.

Move on a year to 2012 and a 12-plate and prices will rise to between £17,960 and £22,660 for the Limited and from around £21,195 to £26,740 for the Overland.

However, with prices back in 2012 starting at £38,015 for the Limited and £45,015 for the Overland, it doesn't take too long to work out that a nicely looked after Grand Cherokee is something of a bargain for buyers looking for a serious offroading machine.


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