Jeep Grand Cherokee

All-new flagship off-roader doesn't reach the UK for another 12 months, but already we've put it to the test.

With an independent rear suspension, a 290bhp V6 and underpinnings from the Mercedes M-Class, the new Grand Cherokee represents a fundamental shift for Jeep. For those buyers interested more in on-road refinement than hardcore off-road adventures, this is a welcome change, although fuel consumption could be better. That said, the Jeep’s off-road capability is still impressive. With a raft of well-built European soft-roaders to choose though, we’ll have to wait and see whether Jeep has done enough to keep up with the competition. 

The Grand-dad of SUV’s is back! Meet the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee - it’s not on sale in the UK until the middle of next year, but Auto Express gatecrashed the US launch to bring you a idea of what to expect.

Short overhangs, squared-off wheel arches and a new interpretation of the classic seven-bar grille give the car a handsome, chiselled new-look. In the cabin the finish isn’t yet up to Audi standards, but the quality has taken a huge leap over the last-generation car.

Using the Mercedes-Benz M-Class platform, the brand-new 3.6-litre ‘Phoenix’ V6 petrol engine and a full-time Quadra-Trac II four-wheel-drive system, Jeep’s flagship provides a plush on-road ride and off-road prowess that’s synonymous with the brand. A multimode system, similar to Land Rover’s Terrain Response. offers five settings - Sand/Mud, Sport, Auto, Snow and Rock.

The big-seller when the car arrives in the UK in mid-2011 will undoubtedly be Mercedes’ 3.0-liter turbodiesel. Regardless of which engine though, the Grand Cherokee is refreshing product from a historic American brand recently back from the brink.

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