The latest instalment of the Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced in 2011 and seen a massive makeover in 2014. For the 2017 model the American manufacturer kept it small with minor adjustments in the grill and headlights. The new alloy wheel design is probably the only part that will give its model year away, except if it has a 75th Anniversary Edition badge. A sign of its heritage and reputation, well deserved. As the top-of-the-line Jeep especially the Limited (and more exclusive Overland edition) is a luxury vehicle like no other, but at the same time won’t be stopped when one of the specialised 4WD-modes is engaged.
Big, bulky and boisterous. Very American. That’s the first impression you will get from the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It has road presence, for sure. Its LED-lights looking at you daringly, while it’s 3.6L V6 petrol or (preferably) 3.0L V6 diesel is ready to pounce. For a real kick only the SRT-version with massive 5.7L Hemi V8 will do, but that’s a whole different ball game. Both other two engines have enough power to get the Grand Cherokee where it needs to be with ease and comfort. In regards to the latter the GC is in the top of its class. Inside you’ll find a 8.4-inch touch screen (5-inch if you pick the 4x2 version), comfortable seats fixed with leather from the Limited editon onwards and enough space to suite 5 occupants comfortably.
Where most ‘proper’ 4WD are not the most comfortable on the tarmac, the Grand Cherokee is a haven of peace. Whether it’s in the so` suspension, powerful engine or both, the GC is a pleasure to drive. Due to the high seating position the overall view is great though large in size with a length of almost five metres, the GC doesn’t feel uncontrollable. Leave it to the 8- speed gearbox to smoothly change gears and make sure that – especially in eco-mode – the fuel consumption is kept low. Where the 3.0L V6 diesel gets about 9l/100km the petrol version doesn’t perform quite as well: 12l/100km. Probably worth looking into forking out the extra few grand when making the initial purchase and safe on gas in the long run.
When it comes to liveability the Grand Cherokee again stands head and shoulders above it’s 4WD rivals. Standard features include a reverse parking camera and sensors, bi-xenon headlamps, keyless entry and 7 airbags earning the GC a 5-star ANCAP rating. It’s from the Limited model that things really get interesting: a 9-speaker Alpine Sound System, power tail gate, auto dimming mirrors, heated seats with memory function and satellite navigation. The almighty Overland model even comes with full speed collision warning, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning plus, features usually reserved for premium German sedans. Add all of these options and functionalities to a descent finish and use of proper materials and it makes the GC a car in which you want to take a drive for a fun of it.
Although the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x2 starts at $46,500 drive away, this is not the most interesting option. A GC without 4WD is a bit like a Ferrari without at least a V8 – just not worth it. Perhaps most will just be driven around town, but the possibility to take it off-roading should just be there. It’s still a Jeep. So for another $5500 you get a proper Grand Cherokee: the Laredo 4x4 at $52,000. From that moment it’s up to you to choose however many options you want and if you want to add some cash for the upgraded Jeep Quadra Drive II 4x4 system with air suspension in the Trailhawk or won’t settle for anything less than the Overland with all the bells and whistles.
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the best of both worlds. Whichever model (except the 4x2) you choose, you will get a proper 4WD that is capable of taking you anywhere. Add that to the fact that it will do so in relative luxury because of its option package and spacious interior and you have a very complete car. Especially with the diesel you will get very descent mileage and low end torque that gives the Grand Cherokee some grunt not to get boring. They might not hold their value like a Japanese car, but the complete package is worth the investment.
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