Jeep Grand Cherokee 2.7 CRD

When Jeep was first allowed into Mercedes' engineering HQ after the companies merged, it must have felt like a child locked in a sweet shop. The Jeep range needed decent turbodiesels to be taken seriously in the UK 4x4 market, and Mercedes builds some of the best. Here is the first model to benefit from that collaboration - the Grand Cherokee CRD.

When Jeep was first allowed into Mercedes' engineering HQ after the companies merged, it must have felt like a child locked in a sweet shop. The Jeep range needed decent turbodiesels to be taken seriously in the UK 4x4 market, and Mercedes builds some of the best. Here is the first model to benefit from that collaboration - the Grand Cherokee CRD.

The five-cylinder 2.7-litre unit from the Mercedes ML range replaces the nasty 3.1-litre turbodiesel, which was the only alternative to the gas-guzzling petrol engines. It makes Jeep ownership a sensible economic proposition at last. The unit propels the heavy 4x4 with surprising ease - a 0-60mph time of 11.2 seconds is 2.3 seconds quicker than the old 3.1 TD and only slightly slower than the 4.0-litre petrol. However, that car returns 19.1mpg and the CRD will manage 27.9mpg.

Yet although the engine is competitive, the rest of the car has now fallen behind rivals. Its low-tech chassis means BMW's X5 or the Land Rover Discovery are better. But while the handling might make occupants green, the equipment could turn X5 drivers the same shade in envy. At

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