The Jeep® brand has been offering the Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer as off-road vehicles in the upper middle class in the luxury segment since 1993. 25 years on the market, FCA starts again at the beginning of this year with the revised 4. Generation of the Grand Cherokee. A new front-end design, a new model (Trailhawk) with optimized off-road equipment and new driver assistance systems are designed to attract more customers to car dealerships. Since October 2014 is now represented in every segment of the traditional brand: from the new little Renegade on the compact Compass, the Cherokee, the Grand Cherokee to the Wrangler. With this, Jeep® is continuously and consistently expanding its image as the fastest-growing car brand in Germany. Available now is the Grand Cherokee for the base price of 49.900 Euro.
The Jeep® Grand Cherokee in the first off-road driving report
Off-road expert in fur coat
Since its market launch, the off-road vehicle has been convincing with its rather massive external appearance. After its market launch in 2013 for the 2017 model year, its designers gave it a refreshed front view. This includes the typical seven radiator air slots above the raised bumper. The following LED headlights appear aggressive and thus underline the broad stance of the vehicle. The self-confident appearance extends over the flanks to the rear, where all vehicles of the model year 2017 are now equipped with an exhaust double tailpipe system. For today's presentation, FCA JEEP® would like to draw attention to both the driving characteristics with its different driving profiles and its comfortable performance on public roads. Those who don't necessarily have to go off-road all the time are well served with the four-wheel drive "Quadra-Drive® II". In the “Summit” model variant that we tested, an electronically controlled rear-axle limited-slip differential (ELSD) worked to provide all four wheels with the best possible traction. Its central transfer case with the electronically controlled clutch package ensures active control of the power distribution. In the best case scenario, this provides for a torque distribution with a ratio of 48:52 between the front and rear axles. During our trips, our test vehicle therefore steered with a confident calm through the winding landscape of the Vordertaunus. Back from driving on public roads, the Grand Cherokee 3.6 liter V6 Pentastar "Trailhawk" was waiting for us to demonstrate its properties in difficult terrain. Driven by the four-wheel drive "Quadra Trac® II", we crossed a course set out by FCA, which demanded a lot from us and the vehicle. The electronically controlled, permanent four-wheel drive system with its two-stage transfer case and traction control with brake intervention (Brake Traction Control System) ensures ideal off-road performance. To do this, the system uses several sensors to detect wheel slip as early as possible and to initiate appropriate countermeasures. Icy and snow-covered hills and hollows as well as driving through snow-covered thickets were not a challenge, at least for the vehicle.
When testing on public roads, we drove the Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 MultiJet II extensively. The off-road vehicle is standard and only combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The optionally available CommandView® panoramic glass roof, available from the “Limited” and “Trailhawk” equipment lines for 1.690 euros (standard from the “Overland” variant), makes the Grand Cherokee appear even larger and brings a certain sense of wellbeing. It not only offers the driver and front passenger, but also the passengers in the rear a clear view. When it comes to the trunk volume, FCA Jeep® has not cut back and offers the "best-in-class" values of 782 liters, or even 1.554 liters with the seats folded down.
Sovereign large-capacity aggregates
The range of engines is quite clear. In addition to a diesel, Jeep® offers its customers three petrol engines, each with one power level. A 3.6 V6 Pentastar with 213 kW (290 PS), a 5.7 V8 HEMI with 259 kW (352 PS) and a 6.4 V8 HEMI with 344 kW (468 PS) perform in the gasoline sector. The largest gasoline engine is the "SRT" and is exclusively sporty. All petrol engines are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine is a 3.0 liter V6 MultiJet II in the output levels 140 kW (190 PS) and 184 kW (250 PS), which, with the more powerful of the two, delivers a torque of 570 Newton meters at 2.000 rpm. Here, too, only an eight-speed automatic transmission supports the drive of the vehicle.
Equipment variants provide neat standard equipment
With the six equipment lines "Laredo", "Limited", "Trailhawk", "Overland", "Summit" and "SRT", the carmaker from Italy gives us enough options for every taste. The basic "Laredo" equipment already includes a 2-zone automatic air conditioning, hill start and hill descent assistants, LED daytime running lights (integrated in the headlights), uconnect® media center with 5-inch touchscreen with digital radio and Bluetooth® hands-free system, rain sensor and a speed control system and 18 -Inch alloy wheels. The following safety systems are available both as options and as standard: Trailer stability program, Forward Collision Warning & Crash Mitigation, emergency brake readiness, Smart Beam high beam assistant, LaneSense and blind spot assistant.
At the end... With the Grand Cherokee, the FCA Group continues a long tradition of luxury off-road vehicles as a technology carrier. The vehicle impresses with a combination of a comfortable SUV with generous space and high driving dynamics in all situations.
The Grand Cherokee has had cult status for 25 years and will not give it up anytime soon. It is and remains the first choice when buying a new vehicle for lovers of off-road driving who do not want to do without luxury.
Text: Stefan Beckmann, Photo: Stefan Beckmann and cover picture manufacturer