What's the used Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 like?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is excellent off-road. With a fine four-wheel drive system and good ground clearance, it will get you much further into the wilds than some of its competitors, such as the BMW X5, which focus on their on-road performance.
It's not too bad on the road, either, and the light power steering is a real help manoeuvring such a big car around town. However, compared with a Land Rover Discovery, its fidgety ride and lack of refinement are disappointing.
It's also something of a surprise to find that such a big car is quite so cramped. Some drivers will find the headroom tight - the lack of reach adjustment on the steering doesn't help - and room in the back is not as generous as in some.
There's also no seven-seat option, but at least the boot is a decent size and shape, albeit with an awkwardly high floor.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4?
The Grand Cherokee is still a relatively young car. We're yet to hear of any major problems, and if anything does happen, it should be covered under the new-car warranty. Likewise, there have also been no recalls as yet.
On the other hand, the performance of Jeeps in previous surveys does give some cause for concern. Although previous versions of the Grand Cherokee have not been included in recent JD Power surveys, the Cherokee finished in 110th place (out of 124) in 2005, with owners reporting too many problems with the engines and switchgear.
Similarly, Warranty Direct says there are far more claims than average on Jeeps. They are worse even than Land Rovers, and considerably below the standard of Mitsubishis, the only other all-4x4 brands on the company's fleet.
However, in fairness, older Jeeps were responsible for these disappointing results, and initial reports from owners of this latest model are far more positive so far.
What are the most common problems with a used Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4?
Is a used Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 reliable?
What used Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 will I get for my budget?
How much does it cost to run a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4?
Keen prices are one of the Grand Cherokee's biggest selling points. Not only is it cheaper as a new car than the X5 and Discovery, its residuals are weaker, making it an even cheaper used buy.
However, when you take into account some of the running costs - fuel economy in particular - things don't look so rosy. The Jeep returns fewer than 28mpg, meaning annual fuel bills could be hundreds of pounds more than its rivals. The 5.7 V8 is also less frugal than its major competitors, but at least insurance groups and servicing costs are par for the course for a big 4x4.
If you need unscheduled work done, you'll find labour rates at Jeep dealers are only a little above average, but you should still be prepared for a possible shock. Warranty Direct says that average bills for Jeeps are among the highest of all makes because of the time it takes to fix them.
Which used Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 should I buy?
For now, the Grand Cherokee is a rare sight as a used car, and you're unlikely to see one for sale outside a Jeep dealership.
There are three engines, and none is short of performance. There are two V8 petrols: the 5.7 makes the Grand Cherokee as fast as almost any hot hatch and the SRT-8, with a 6.1-litre engine, can hit 60mph almost as quickly as an Aston Martin DB9.
Our favourite, though, is the V6 turbodiesel. Not only is it far more economical than the V8 petrols - almost 10mpg better than even the 5.7 - it's also got impressive pull low down in the rev range, which is just what you want in an off-roader.
You'll have no worries in terms of kit - every model is well equipped, although only the diesel has any choice of trim level. The petrol cars each have their own unique specification.