Jeep Grand Cherokee

Summit 3.0

MultiJet-II V6

Jeep Grand Cherokee, front
Jeep Grand Cherokee, front
Jeep Grand Cherokee, front
Jeep Grand Cherokee, front
Jeep Grand Cherokee, front
Jeep Grand Cherokee, rear
Jeep Grand Cherokee, rear
Jeep Grand Cherokee, rear
Jeep Grand Cherokee, rear
Jeep Grand Cherokee, interior
Jeep Grand Cherokee, interior
Jeep Grand Cherokee, side

LAND Rover generally tends to claim the high ground as the original 4x4 pioneer but it's worth remembering Jeep got there first.

The original Land Rover unveiled in 1948 was inspired by the Willys Jeep, as used by the Allies during the Second World War, and originally devised as something of a stop-gap to get British car making up and running again.

Land Rover's soaraway success on the back of that model - which later became the Defender - is well documented, whereas Jeep's journey has arguably been less well publicised.

Perhaps that is in part down to a few ups and downs and changes of ownership along the way, though Land Rover too has had its ups and downs and many owners.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee first landed 25 years ago and since then has aimed to compete as an alternative to luxury SUVs made by the likes of Land Rover and now many more car makers besides.

The Grand Cherokee has faced a tough battle in that regard.

While it has traditionally been a consummate off-roader - as one might expect given Jeep's origins - it has lacked the quality and refinement of rivals.

However the fourth generation version of this long-serving model does much to counteract the limitations of the past and the latest Grand Cherokee is a more than capable contender in a very competitive segment.

First off if you like rugged looks - and many SUV buyers do - the Grand Cherokee scores highly.

While it sticks to a familiar boxy design blueprint it has both character and presence in abundance, particularly with its ‘waterfall' bonnet and large seven bar grille.

On the inside too it has made great strides and while it might not quite match the Europeans when it comes to interior quality it isn't far off.

Such shortcomings have to be offset against the fact it is significantly cheaper than rivals like the BMW X5 or Land Rover Discovery and equipment levels are most generous.

While it is still not a cheap car, an entry level Limited+ costs almost £49,000, buyers do get quite a bit of kit for their money.

A Limited+ comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, electric leather seats, keyless-go, 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, reversing camera, Bi-Xenon headlamps, parking sensors, a powered tailgate and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Step-up to an Overland and you will get additional features like air suspension and a panoramic roof.

This was a very plush feeling Summit, characterised by opulent Alcantara leather and an 825 watt Harman Kardon sound system.

It also has adaptive cruise control, active braking, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.

Other plus points include a noise cancelling system and a wonderful wood and leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, which felt almost Bentley-esque.

Onboard technology is impressive via a Uconnect System, with 8.4-inch touchscreen, featuring 3D navigation, DAB radio plus Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity.

The Grand Cherokee's cabin is suitably spacious. If you're the driver or passenger it has a big luxury feel up front, inspiring the confidence that you could comfortably complete a mega US road trip spanning prairies, desert and mountains.

In the rear passengers are well catered for with comfortable seats and an abundance of head and leg room.

The 782-litre boot expands to 1,554 litres with the rear seats folded and access is quick and easy via the powered tailgate.

Engine-wise the standard offer is a 247bhp 3.0-litre diesel mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Given the Grand Cherokee's weight and bulk it powers the vehicle along smoothly and with ease.

It will take you from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 126mph.

The official combined economy figure is 40.4mpg, though in the real world it will be a little less than that.

Given its size the Grand Cherokee feels surprisingly nimble and manoeuvrable on the road.

The ride and overall driving experience are significantly enhanced by air suspension which also boosts off-road capability.

When it comes to reversing the onboard camera on this car proved a big asset, though you could also let the smart automatic parking function do the job for you.

There are on and off-road driving modes for pretty much every road condition or eventuality one could imagine.

FAST FACTS

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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