Jeep Grand Cherokee

Summit 3.0 MultiJet-II V6

MY timing usually sucks and that's a fact. When blessed with glorious sunshine, I'm normally driving a beefy 4x4 off-roader and when faced with snow drifts, I will be twiddling the keys to my open-top two-seater with nervous trepidation.

But, for once, my coordination was spot on and I had matched a car to suit the conditions.

The vehicle was the mighty new Jeep Grand Cherokee and the conditions were snow, snow and more snow and that meant that whilst most of the UK ground to a halt, I was able to get out and about.

Priced at £55,980 (£61,180 with options fitted), the all-new Grand Cherokee has certainly taken a step up in the class stakes. In fairness it was always a very capable 4x4 vehicle but lacked a little finesse when it came to interior design and on-board technology.

However, the new model is very easy on the eye, packed with premium styling and all infotainment requirements are comfortably met.

The car was powered by a 3.0-litre V6 247bhp petrol engine mated to a super slick eight-speed automatic gearbox.

It can sprint from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds, maxes out at 126mph and, according to official figures, delivers combined fuel economy of 40.4mpg with carbon emissions of 184g/km.

The Grand Cherokee looks imposing from every angle thanks to its muscular styling, distinctive grille, sweeping headlights, tinted windows, chrome trim, panoramic sunroof and polished 20-inch alloys.

Move inside and there is an upmarket, premium feel to the car with quilted leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats that are power-adjusted, a heated wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, neat wooden inlays in the doors and dashboard, along with a raft of techno treats to explore along the way.

On-board creature comforts include the likes of an 8.4-inch colour infotainment screen with sat nav, DAB radio and voice command. There is also a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system which is another clear indication that Jeep wanted this car to challenge the premium marques.

Comfort levels are excellent with ample space for five adults to travel in style and storage options are also impressive with a boot capacity that ranges from 782 litres to 1,554 litres with the rear seats dropped flat.

The tailgate is power operated which is handy when approaching the car laden down with shopping bags.

Elsewhere there are a number of convenient storage options scattered throughout the car, including a lockable glovebox, deep door pockets, a central bin with CD slot, cup holders and a drop-down sunglasses compartment.

When it comes to performance the Grand Cherokee is ideal for the active family who may demand more than a soft-roading SUV.

Jeep has an excellent and well-established reputation for developing brilliant 4x4 vehicles and although I hardly put it through a challenging assault course, it was nice to be able to get out of the house during the big freeze in March. In Snow mode, the Grand Cherokee almost shrugged off the eight inches of snow as it ploughed its way along the country lanes and the road holding was reassuringly grippy.

After the big thaw, normal driving conditions were restored and it was nice to see how easy the car is to drive despite its bulk. It's deceptively agile and when faced with the open road has plenty of zip to power through the automatic gearbox - there are steering wheel-mounted paddles if you fancy taking a little extra control.

There are Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes as well as the off-road settings that are Snow, Sand, Auto, Rock and Mud so the Grand Cherokee really is ready for any challenge thrown in its path.

The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the elevated seating position and all controls and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use. My only slight gripe was the quite fiddly touchscreen which is difficult to access and navigate on the move.

But that aside, the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee was difficult to find fault with. It's also packed with safety features such as blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with crash mitigation and plenty more besides.


Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 3.0 MultiJet-II V6

Price: £55,980

Mechanical: 247bhp, 2,987cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 126mph

0-62mph: 8.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 40.4

Insurance Group: 43

C02 emissions: 184g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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