First drive: Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • Face-lifted Grand Cherokee
  • Priced from £27,995 to £42,235
  • On sale now
Jeep's Grand Cherokee has a heritage that makes most large 4x4s look like pimply young upstarts. The latest model is big, cheap and brilliant off-road, too, but it's always been let down by its low-rent interior.

This revised model aims to improve its appeal. New headlights and grille give the exterior a boost, but Jeep has wisely chosen to concentrate its efforts on the interior.

In the cabin
There are new colours and materials, fresh instrument clusters, more leather for higher-specification models and a steering column that now adjusts for reach as well as height.

They're welcome additions, but the changes don't go far enough. There are still a lot of hard, grey plastics and the overall ambience is downmarket compared with that of a Land Rover Discovery.

Frankly, the Grand Cherokee isn't practical enough - for a big car, it's surprisingly short on headroom and the wide centre tunnel means that the front footwells are cramped.

Rear legroom isn't generous, either, and although the boot is a good size, the high floor is a mixed blessing.

On the road
Nothing has changed under the skin, so the diesel engine is as strong as ever, but the Grand Cherokee still feels big and unwieldy.

Equipment and pricing
Prices have gone up, but remain keen, and equipment has been boosted.

All diesel models now have hill-descent and hill-start systems, and the upgraded satellite-navigation system includes a 20GB hard drive that can store up to 1600 MP3 tunes.

There's also a new S-Limited model, which looks similar to the beefed-up SRT-8 performance model, but costs nearly £10,000 less at £32,600.

Prices for the new Grand Cherokee start at £27,995 and rise to £42,235, and the car is on sale now.

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