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JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 3.6 4X4 OVERLAND

A mere nine months after the introduction of its seven-seater sibling, the five-seater Jeep Grand Cherokee has arrived. With all the attributes that made the seven-seater such an impressive entry, albeit in a smaller, and marginally restyled form, the précised Grand Cherokee still punches above its weight. We recently spent time with the Overland derivative.

The new, five-seater, Jeep Grand Cherokee has made landfall here, nine months after the highly anticipated Grand Cherokee L. Despite its smaller dimensions, the newer Grand Cherokee retains the impressive attributes that made its larger counterpart stand out, and it is poised to make an impact in the premium SUV segment. 

LOOKS THE PART

The Grand Cherokee sports handsome styling cues that are universally appealing. With its well-proportioned, sculptured body, it undeniably carries the iconic Jeep DNA. The front grille has been modernised and is flank by sleek redesigned LED headlights, while the rear features redesigned taillights that add to its modern aesthetic. The design blends classy elements with a rugged and purposeful presence, commanding attention and receiving admiration from onlookers. The Grand Cherokee is available in three trim levels, namely Limited, Overland, and the range-topping Summit Reserve.

Inside the cabin, the Grand Cherokee delivers a high level of luxury, a well-thought-out interior layout, improved fit and finish, and premium materials that rival some top names in its segment. Standard features include keyless entry and start, customisable mood lighting, a 10.25” digital instrument cluster, a digital rear mirror, smartphone connectivity, wireless charging, and 8-way adjustable front seats. In the flagship trim we tested, additional features included heated and cooled front seats with a massage function, leather upholstery, a 10.1” touchscreen infotainment system with a 360-degree surround view camera, and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof. The standout feature for audiophiles is the brilliant 10-speaker McIntosh sound system, which delivers crisp audio quality. There is also an optional passenger-side 10.25” touchscreen unit, which seems somewhat gimmicky unless front passenger-only entertainment is high on your list of SUV wants.

In true Jeep style, the seats are supremely comfortable, with ample space for up to five adults, although luggage capacity in the five-seat Jeep shrinks to 1,068 litres.

Under the hood, the Grand Cherokee is powered by Jeep’s proven 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine, generating 218 kW and 352 Nm of torque. While SA won’t get the brand’s 5.7-litre Hemi V8 or diesel options this time, the V6 engine paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission performs well. On the handling front, the Grand Cherokee features a unibody chassis and is equipped with Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II 4×4 system, which includes an active transfer case that improves traction by sending torque to the wheels with the most grip. 

The big SUV also comes standard with Quadra-Lift air suspension and a semi-active electronic damping system. These features work together to ensure good driving dynamics on and off the road. Additionally, the Grand Cherokee introduces a front-axle disconnect system that switches between two-wheel and four-wheel-drive depending on driving conditions or driver input.

ACCOMPLISHED CRUISER

Living with the Grand Cherokee is convenient, especially in daily commuting. Being 292 mm shorter (than the seven-seater), the new Grand Cherokee offers improved manoeuvrability, particularly in city traffic and when parking. The V6 engine performs smoothly in the city, providing more than adequate performance. The engine’s power delivery is enjoyable, and the exhaust note adds a touch of character. The absence of a V8 engine is felt, as it would have added more grunt and personality to the Grand Cherokee. 

Regarding fuel consumption, the official average figure is 9.9 l/100 km, but our experience showed a more realistic average of just under 13 l/100 km.

Ride quality is impressive, thanks to its unibody chassis and well-calibrated air suspension. The Grand Cherokee easily handles road imperfections and remains composed around corners, exhibiting only slight, controlled body roll. Overall, the new Grand Cherokee offers direct and communicative handling, making it enjoyable to drive both leisurely and dynamically.

TRAIL RATED

While most Grand Cherokees will likely spend their time on paved roads, it’s worth noting that the new – still trail-rated – Grand Cherokee retains its proven off-road capability. If anything, its smaller size improves the mighty SUV’s overall off-road prowess with better approach, break-over, and departure angles than the larger Jeep. Ground clearance (276 mm), wading depth (610 mm), and turning circle (11 m) remain the same.

Although we didn’t have the opportunity for a proper off-road trial, our launch experience (see Driven May 2023 edition) proved that the more compact Jeep performs as expected when the tarmac runs out.

Safety features are abundant in the new Grand Cherokee. Advanced systems include features such as advanced brake assist, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, full-speed collision warning with active braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, rear cross-path detection, adaptive cruise control, and active lane management. The Grand Cherokee is designed to provide luxury and good looks and prioritise safety for you and your family on the road.

LAST WORD

In summary, finding faults with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is challenging. The combination of luxury, attractive design, and solid performance is rarely found in a single package, but the Grand Cherokee seamlessly achieves this cohesion. While there are many contenders in the market, the new Grand Cherokee is a worthy option that we have no reservations recommending.

JEEP GRAND CHEROKEEENGINEPOWER
(kW @ r/min)
TORQUE
(Nm @ r/min)
TOP SPEED
(km/h)
0-100 KM/H
(seconds)
FUEL
(l/100 km)
PRICE
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.6 4×4 OverlandV6; 3,604 cc210 @ 6,400233 @ 4,000N/AN/A9.9R1,539,900
Toyota Land Cruiser 300 3.3D GX-RV6; 3,346 cc turbodiesel225 @ 4,000700 @ 1,600-2,600210N/A8.9R1,416,400
Ineos Grenadier 3.0TDIn-line 6-cyl; 2,993 cc turbodiesel183 @ 3,250-4,200550 @ 1,250-3,0001609.99.5R1,513,100
Land Rover Defender 110 D250 XS EditionIn-line 6-cyl; 2,997 cc turbodiesel183 @ 4,000570 @ 1,250-2,5001888.38.3R1,560,700

Report by BRYAN KAYAVHU | Images ©  JEEP SOUTH AFRICA

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