Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 full 9 point review
The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine is available in two tunes. The 188bhp version is available only in entry-level trim, while the rest of the range gets 247bhp. All models get a slick eight-speed auto transmission, which does a good job of keeping the engine in its strong mid-range and is particularly effective in relaxed cruising. All diesel models get a low-ratio gearbox. There's also a 6.4-litre petrol SRT8 version, but we haven't tried it yet.
Ride & Handling
Laredo and Limited models sit on steel springs, which are fine over eroded tarmac but allow a lot of body movement and can be jarring over bigger intrusions. Higher-spec models get air springs, which deliver tighter body control and good ride comfort. Even so, with very slow steering and a hefty kerb weight, the Jeep feels cumbersome in any situation. All diesel models get full-time four-wheel drive and an active off-road system that adjusts the systems to suit different terrains.
The Grand Cherokee isn't the quietest car in its class. Substantial engine noise creeps into the cabin at motorway speeds or even under moderate acceleration, although neither wind nor tyre noise is too much of a problem.
Buying & Owning
The Grand Cherokee is not a cheap car, but it does cost less spec-for-spec than its main rivals. Average clamed economy of 37.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 198g/km are competitive, but depreciation is likely to be steeper than on rivals like the Land Rover Discovery and BMW X5. Don't even ask about the SRT8; the costs involved will be laugh-out-loud ridiculous.
Quality & Reliability
Despite a huge 8.7-inch touch screen and digital instrument display for the driver, the Jeep still falls short of the sense of exacting build quality that sets apart the best premium SUVs. Jeep scored poorly in our most recent reliability survey, coming 33 out of 36 manufacturers tested.
Safety & Security
The Jeep has front, side, curtain and driver's knee airbags, plus various systems to warn you if you're about to have an incident. However, it's disappointing that the car only scored four out of five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. There's also a proximity-based 'keyless entry and go' system.
Behind The Wheel
Big, armchair-like seats make it easy to find a comfortable seating position in the Grand Cherokee, and the dash is entirely dominated by a huge colour touch screen that's reasonably intuitive to use. Simple climate control buttons sit beneath the screen, whilst a crisp, clear digital driver display can show a bewildering array of information.
Space & Practicality
The 782-litre boot is usefully large and squared off, but does suffer a high load height as a result of the full-size spare wheel beneath the floor. The Jeep also has only five seats, whereas many rivals offer at least the option of seven. There's generous amounts of head and legroom for tall adults in the front and rear seats.
All models come with climate control, automatic wipers, USB and auxiliary inputs. Limited adds front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, leather upholstery, a powered tailgate, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, and a stereo upgrade, while the Limited Plus adds sat-nav. Overland is even more generously equipped, with a sunroof, blind-sport monitor and adaptive cruise control. Summit gets a 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, along with various style upgrades.