The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine is available in two power outputs. The 188bhp version is available only in entry-level trim, while the rest of the range gets 247bhp. The lower-powered version provides ample pull but, besides only being available in the entry-level Grand Cherokee Laredo, we’d recommend going for the more flexible 247bhp engine if you can.
All models get four-wheel drive and a slick eight-speed auto transmission. The gearbox does a good job of keeping the diesel engine in its strong mid-range and is particularly effective in relaxed cruising. There’s also the flagship 6.4-litre petrol SRT8 version, which is devastatingly quick but predictably expensive to run.
Laredo and Limited models sit on steel springs, which give a decent-enough ride 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, slow steering and a hefty kerb weight combine to make the Jeep feel fairly cumbersome.
All diesel models get full-time four-wheel drive and an active off-road system that adjusts the systems to suit different terrains, but the Overland, Summit and SRT8 versions get more advanced and capable four-wheel-drive systems. In any specification it’s a very capable off-roader, though, as you’d hope for a Jeep.
The Grand Cherokee isn’t the quietest car in its class, though. Substantial engine noise creeps into the cabin at motorway speeds or even under moderate acceleration, although neither wind nor road noise are much of a problem.