Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

[NEWS] Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee

jeep grand cherokee review 2023 01 tracking front
Originator of the SUV launches new PHEV-only Land Rover rival

Jeep takes a curiously small portion of the British SUV market, given that it’s the world’s biggest 4x4 company.Selling only a few thousand cars here per year, Jeep CEO Christian Meunier refers to its 0.3% share as “virtually non-existent”. However, it’s seeking to change that, with the super little Jeep Avenger electric crossover being followed by another all-new Jeep, albeit a more old-school one, in the shape of the fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee – a full-size, premium off-roader.It’s 4.91 metres long and 1.97 metres wide, so about the same size as the Land Rover Discovery. There’s an even longer, seven-seat version in the US, badged the L, but we won’t get that here. The Grand Cherokee lands in the UK with only one engine option, a 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid badged 4xe, and only one trim level for now, Summit Reserve, which sits at the top of the tree in its homeland – as well it might, given that it costs £85,615.The Grand Cherokee’s monocoque construction is derived from Alfa Romeo’s (now Stellantis’s) Giorgio platform, as used by the Alfa Romeo's Giulia and Stelvio and new Maserati Grecale. Versatile things, modern car platforms: the Giulia is a small, sporting executive saloon, while the Grand Cherokee is a massive, air-suspended, off-road-capable SUV that can tow 2.7 tonnes and wade through 610mm of water. Bagsy not trying that in a Giulia.The rest of the Grand Cherokee’s off-road credentials are similarly impressive. There’s air suspension as standard with five different height settings and up to 275mm of ground clearance. Its maximum approach angle is 28.2deg, breakover angle 20.9deg and departure angle 30deg – similar to the Discovery. Jeep has a trail rating for its cars: the 3dr Wrangler scores the maximum 10, the Grand Cherokee six or seven, depending on the variant. The PHEV powertrain is similar to the one that we tested in the Jeep Wrangler. It’s a complex system that involves a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine making 270bhp and 295lb ft, two electric motors and a fairly generous battery pack.The main motor is a 134bhp, 195lb ft unit mounted within the eight-speed automatic gearbox, between the clutch plates and the gears. This is what drives the car when you select EV mode and allows gearchanges and swapping into the low set of ratios just as if  you were driving on petrol.Then there’s a 48V integrated starter-generator on the front of the engine, making 39bhp and 44lb ft, available to boost low-end torque but primarily to start and stop the petrol engine and charge the battery when the car is stationary and in gear – which would otherwise be possible only in neutral, because there’s a multi-plate clutch rather than a torque converter.The Grand Cherokee gets a larger battery than the Wrangler 4xe, at 17.3kWh, chargeable at rates of up to 7.2kW. Jeep says it’s good for 25 miles of electric-only running, backed up by the US’s EPA ratings. On our combined WLTP cycle, it gets 108.7mpg while emitting 60g/km of CO2. As ever, you’ve got to consider how you use these things: once the battery is depleted on your daily grind, its economy figure will be in the low-20s. It’s pretty decent inside – less overtly rugged than the Land Rover Defender, less sleek than the Discovery or Range Rover but plusher than the (notably cheaper) Toyota Land Cruiser. There is a touchscreen, but it’s pretty straightforward and there are, gratifyingly, plenty of physical buttons as well: above the screen for vehicle functions, below it for the heating and ventilation, on the centre console for the driving and terrain response modes and on the front and back of the steering wheel for various other things. There’s still ample space for storage too, though, with a thick armrest and some deep cubbies. It’s less polished than a European SUV but, given how so many of their controls have migrated to a touchscreen, more functional and no less appealing to live with. Your front passenger gets a touchscreen on the dashboard too, from which they can select audio or watch the off-roading camera feeds. Neat touch. This cabin is spacious, too, with generously sized seats front and rear and plenty of head and leg room in the second row, where the seats are heated. I can’t find a Euro-spec boot size, but the US-spec figure is 1070 litres, measured floor to ceiling with the second row in place. It’s big, anyway, and there’s even space for a full-size spare wheel. Hallelujah.The way the Grand Cherokee drives isn’t dissimilar to its interior: it’s less sophisticated than the best of the European alternatives, but somehow that doesn’t necessarily matter all that much. It’s honest. The ride is relatively pliant and isolated and there’s certainly, to  be welcomed, a lot more engine noise absorption than in the Wrangler 4xe. Performance is strong. With total outputs of 375bhp and 470lb ft and the main electric motor pitching in from rest, the 0-60mph time is just 6.0sec. Sometimes, though, the motor and petrol engine take a moment to decide who’s doing what, so the latter will spin up audibly, and sometimes on back roads it’s preferable – and not unsatisfying – to take control of the gears yourself.The steering is smooth, particularly off road or at low speeds, but there’s some springiness to it at higher road speeds. Ditto body control, meaning the Grand Cherokee goes without the slickness, ease and enjoyment that you get from a Land Rover, whose chassis has been honed for European roads. But there’s a straightforwardness to it that isn’t without appeal, and it’s at least competitive with the Land Cruiser.Off road, it’s terrific. The lovely thing is, as with the Wrangler 4xe, to be able to stick it in EV mode and do all your driving that way. Because the motor is the gearbox side of the clutch, it pulls off incredibly smoothly and without hesitation, plus with all of its available torque from rest.And as with most proper 4x4s, you will probably run out of bravery – especially at this price – before it runs out of ability. I had it on a side slope showing more than 30deg, and if there wasn’t a Jeep bod on standby telling me that was fine, I would have convinced myself it was going to tip over. In other words, a caravan, weekend pony club, boat tow or winter shoot are things that the Grand Cherokee ought to cope with just fine. So, it’s big, fast and well equipped and has a lot of performance and ability off road and largely on it, all in a 60g/km package. I found it quite easy to like, although at £85,615 it’s not quite so simple to recommend. It will play its part as Jeep starts to take UK sales more seriously, but if you were selling its cars here, I’d bet you would be happier to see the arrival of the Avenger.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)