Lifestyle

Jeep Grand Cherokee impresses in road test

The Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee.

LIGHT is appearing at the end of a sales tunnel for the Fiat Chrysler Group.

Some of the strongest sales figures produced Down Under have occurred in 2012 and the momentum is building.

Playing a large role in that success is the Grand Cherokee. Since its launch in 2011 sales have more than doubled.

The Grand Cherokee's success is due to strong off-road underpinnings, impressive features and a luxurious ride.

Part of that success is due to the shared underpinnings the big SUV has with the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

Most recently Jeep added a honking SRT8 version to its ranks, but we tested the Grand Cherokee one rung down - powered by a 5.7-litre V8 engine.

Comfort

Grip the steering wheel and it provides an immediate feel of the vehicle you're piloting. Thick and burly, it delivers a feeling of control as you sit perched above the traffic.

Our Overland derivative boasted the best of what's on offer and the leather trimmed dash and seats offset with real woodgrain features provided a touch of class.

Apart from some use of hard plastics at the base of the dash and console, its finishes were up there with some far more expensive Europeans offerings.

There's a panoramic sunroof which stretches into the back, push button start and also and automatic tailgate to sweeten the opulent deal.

Five adults can find comfortable accommodation inside with the pews supportive in the right spots. The head and leg room is impressive, but expected given the external dimensions.

On the road

Big brash and smooth, its United States origins quickly come to the fore.

With the might of a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 beneath the hulking frame it makes light work of the 2.3-tonnes its pushing. And it can haul nicely, 0-100kmh can be achieved in 8.7 seconds while accompanied by a typically sporting V8 note.

Air suspension that can be raised or lowered by about 80mm while on the move gives a silky ride over the harshest of surfaces.

On the bitumen that can feel wallowy, especially in corners when it's best to opt for sport mode to avoid feeling every centimetre of its size.

While it's adept on the bitumen, the Jeep is not afraid to tackle the beaten track. Unlike some of its rivals the Grand Cherokee has serious off-roader underpinnings.

The Quadra-Lift suspension can be controlled via several buttons on the console, and you can scramble up rocks, through mud, sand or snow simply by pressing the appropriate mode.

Or you can just leave it in automatic mode, and the electronics do the rest.

What do you get?

There are bells and whistles aplenty on this range-topper.

Among the standard fruit is real ash wood trim and Nappa leather, Alpine audio system with nine speakers plus subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier, auto wipers and lights, automatic high beams that dip when oncoming traffic is sensed, heated and ventilated front seats and steering wheel, 16.5cm touch screen, GPS navigation, voice command and Uconnect Bluetooth phone system and 20-inch painted aluminium wheels.

Safety is about as good as it gets, including multi-stage air bags, ABS brakes with rough road detection, brake assist, blind spot warning system, radar cruise control, traction control, enhanced accident response system and forward collision warning.

Other options

Those looking for a similar size could consider the VW Touareg V6 TDI 4XMotion ($83,990), Toyota Prado Kakadu petrol ($87,990), but if you want to also match the power there is the Land Rover Discovery V8 ($129,400), Mercedes-Benz ML500 ($119,400) or the Porsche Cayenne S Wagon ($151,900).

Running costs

It's a big V8 moving a heavy skin…and that donk takes some feeding.

Its official average is about 14 litres for every 100km, but plenty of city driving will see that figure climb fast.

Regular servicing shouldn't be much over $500, but the major tune-up required around 50,000km is forecast to cost about $1500.

Practicality

With good space for five and an impressive allowance in the boot, this is a handy family hauler or perfect for active people who carry various equipment.

The back seats have a 60-40 fold and collapse flat into the floor at the pull of a handle.

Funky factor

Just like the American market it was built for, the Grand Cherokee is confident and in your face.

You can't miss the chrome seven-slot grille on the big SUV which looks like an up-market offering and feels like it inside with a strong list of standard inclusions.

 

The lowdown

Those looking for value in the large SUV segment would struggle to get past Grand Cherokee. It has the ability to go off-road and all the trappings of luxury - in this Overland guise it boasts the features found on some rivals that cost double.

Its V8 powerplant is thirsty, so those concerned about consumption would be better served by the turbo-diesel. But for those who want the burly bent eight soundtrack, it's probably worth stumping up an additional $6500 and getting the fire-breathing SRT8 version.

VITAL STATISTICS

Model: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland.

Details: Five-door large luxury four-wheel drive luxury sports utility vehicle.

Engine: 5.7-litre petrol HEMI V8 generating maximum power of 259kW @ 5200rpm and peak torque of 520Nm @ 4200.

Transmission: Five-speed automatic.

Consumption: 14.1 litres/100km (combined average).

CO2: 327g/km.

Towing capacity: 3700kg; tongue weight limit 350kg.

Bottom line: $69,500.

 

What matters most

The good stuff: Equipment and safety levels, internal finishing.

What we'd like to see: An electric park brake instead of the foot operated function, better economy.

Warranty: Three years, 100,000km. Servicing intervals are set for every 12,000km.

Topics:  cars jeep motoring road test



New driving program for the disadvantaged

ON THE ROAD: This program offers the opportunity for people who have found it difficult to navigate the licensing system.

The program offers up to 10 free driving lessons with an instructor

Magpies and Thunder armed and ready for memorial clash

AUSTRALIAN Army Thunder vs Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies Matthew Locke MG Charity rugby league match in Bellingen.

Community to again pay respects to fallen local hero at league event

Premier League's newest team faces FFA Cup challenge

HOT FAVOURITES: Coffs United is expected to progress through to the second round of the FFA Cup.

Grafton United faces reigning premier in first round FFA Cup clash.

Local Partners

Coffs kids kicking off with respect

Rugby players from the Australian Army Thunder team are in town and delivered a special program to schools ahead of their clash with the Bellingen Magpies.


REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

A taste of the country life without the hard work

HERITAGE PARK: This home on the cover of the Real Estate Property Guide has everything you love about semi-rural living.

Get a taste of the country life without all the hard work

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!