Jeep Grand Cherokee review
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is terrific off road and loaded with kit, but it's starting to feel its age
There’s no doubt the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee is head and shoulders above its predecessor when it comes to premium feel, ride comfort and the efficiency of its torquey 3.0 litre diesel V6 – although it's starting to lag behind rivals in this regard.
It’s stacked-out with equipment, too, making it look pretty good value on the showroom floor once the optional extras for its mainly European rivals start adding up. Satisfied Grand Cherokee owners rate comfort, performance and tech extremely highly, but they’re less impressed with build quality.
Fit and finish just doesn’t match up to the standard set by the Europeans, and a lavish spec-sheet can’t hide that fact. And while the Jeep is amongst the best in class off-road, it simply can’t match its rivals on it.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee sits at the top of the American brand’s range as a rival to large, luxurious SUVs including the BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Velar and Volkswagen Touareg. It’s an older car than all of these and certainly retains an old-school feel as a result – the Jeep remains a very capable off-roader despite its creature comforts.
Updates over the years have kept the Grand Cherokee fresh enough to be considered against its rivals. The brand’s latest 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment features alongside a 17.8-inch digital instrument display in the cabin, while a number of standard active safety systems are also included. Visual changes have been minimal since the current generation arrived in 2011, but minor cosmetic changes have been made to help the car keep pace.
The Grand Cherokee’s previously expansive range has been simplified to include three trims – Overland, Summit and Trackhawk. Standard equipment is generous: even entry-level cars get 20-inch alloys, auto-dimming mirrors, all-round parking sensors with a rear-view camera, heated and ventilated front seats and a host of active safety kit. With prices starting at just over £54,000, the Grand Cherokee offers good value for money in this class – at least from an equipment perspective.
The range is topped by the Trackhawk model, which comes with its own unique package of equipment. That includes titanium-finished 20-inch wheels, as well as a stealth-like body kit featuring deeper front and rear bumpers with four beefy exhausts thrusting out at the back. It’s a rival for the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and BMW X5 M, albeit one that undercuts those on price by some margin.
If you’re looking for an SUV with serious green credentials, the Grand Cherokee isn’t the best choice – especially given the absence of a plug-in hybrid model. An all-new model in the coming years should aim to address this.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Jeep Grand Cherokee is terrific off road and loaded with kit, but it's starting to feel its age
- 2Engines, performance and driveStandard air suspension ensures comfort on tarmac, but the Grand Cherokee excels off road
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDiesel economy isn’t too bad for a big 4x4, but other running expenses will be significant
- 4Interior, design and technologyHandsome - if occasionally over-the-top - the Grand Cherokee is loaded with premium kit
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThere’s plenty of room for five adults to travel in luxury, but rivals make more of the available space
- 6Reliability and SafetyA four-star Euro NCAP rating is disappointing, and reliability issues have been reported too