Review - Jeep Cherokee
April 07, 2021
Want the most popular SUV on the market? Then you want the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Starting at around $48,500, the Grand Cherokee has received more awards over its lifetime than any other SUV.
The Grand Cherokee has big appeal. And big is the most accurate way to describe this car. Think a mix of muscle car and modern SUV. Something retired pop stars and footy players would definitely drive.
The Jeep’s popularity here in Australia has been on the rise in recent years (no thanks to its rather annoying ad campaign). In fact, Grand Cherokee sales have grown from just 3,374 units in 2011 to 16,582 units in 2014. So they’re doing something right.
Old world luxury at a reasonable price
The cabin is big. Like, really big. The five seats really are five seats. That means five adults, lanky teenagers or waring children can fit comfortably without too much touching.
The driving position is high and offers good visibility whether you’re off-roading or cruising the suburban streets. The ergonomics are well designed. The dash is almost square on, and all of the major and most-used controls are easy to reach. The loading deck of the boot is high but the floor is flat and wide.
The inside of the car backs up its exterior promises, with elegant finishes, wood accents, and chrome detailing. There’s also a premium leather-trimmed heated seat option available for those cold early mornings.
Possibly the most impressive feature of the car is its 8.4 inch Uconnect touch-screen interface. The Grand Cherokee offers up one of the best, most intuitive systems on the market (read: easy to use for the less savvy amongst us). With clear graphics, easily navigable menus, and a good list of standard apps and functions, you can get the system set to your own personal preferences without too much fuss.
She really goes
The Grand Cherokee gives you a number of options, specs-wise. Under the bonnet there’s a 3.6 litre naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine, or a 3.0 litre turbo-diesel V6 boasting 184kW and 570Nm. Experts say the diesel engine handles better and the diesel fuel efficiency is a big plus. The petrol uses 10.4L/100km while the diesel uses 7.5L/100km on the combined cycle.
If you’re after a proper muscle car engine, the SRT option might be the one for you. Press the start button on this monster and you’ll feel the 6.4 litre HEMI V8 rumbling to life in your bones.
All of the Grand Cherokee engine options come with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system with selectable driving modes. What does this mean for the average Jane? It’s an easy car to handle and all of the options compare well to their market rivals. Add in the seven airbags and a five star ANCAP safety rating and it’s the sort of car you’ll be happy to trust with precious cargo.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a car with road presence. It’s not just a girlie SUV. In fact, this wagon has enough gravitas that the men in your life won’t be embarrassed to be seen in it.
Five specs you need to know
- Engine: 3.0 L diesel, 3.6 L petrol, 6.4 L petrol
- Transmission and drive: eight-speed auto, all wheel drive
- ANCAP safety rating: Five stars (scored 34 out of 37).
- Official fuel economy: 10L/100km (V6 petrol)
- Time from 0–100km/h as tested: Varies
- Plenty of space
- Stylish interior
- Huge touchscreen
- No 7-seat option
- Reliablity worries
- Petrol models can be thirsty