The Jeep models have the worldwide recognition for its high performance SUV with luxury and the perfect off-road capability.The Jeep Grand Cherokee specifications have a great combination of high torque engine and the drive train with advanced traction management system. The interior fit and finish are enhanced with natura plus leather and real open-pore wood trim. The entertainment system with U-Connect 8.4-inch touchscreen and the instrument cluster with 7-inch multi view display are featured as a standard.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
The Grand Cherokee Summit certainly stands out against other Grand Cherokee models. The front fascia has a much lower approach angle, features chrome accents and the center-mounted radar unit for the cruise control system. The upper grille is familiar, but treated to chrome rings and chrome mesh inserts.Along the side, chrome trim runs along the rocker panels, around the windows, and resides atop the mirrors and roof rack. The 20-inch, 20-spoke polished aluminum wheels bring a more upscale look to the Grand Cherokee, giving it a premium appearance.Around back, chrome trim lines the bumper’s top edge, while bright trimwork resides around the reverse lights. Hexagonal, chrome-tipped exhaust outlet protrude from under the bumper, finishing off the high-end look.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
When one steps inside a Rs. 1 crore plus car, they expect the quality of every material around them to be of the highest grade. Sadly though, this is not the case with the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. Although the interior layout is nice, most wouldn’t like the use of lesser materials all around. If someone asked me the two elements which I liked about the interiors, those would be the front seats and gear lever. The front seats offer excellent support and no matter how hard you push the car, they keep you in place. The gear lever gives one a typical American car feel which is much appreciated.
However, if someone asked me the bits of the interiors which I hated, there would be plenty. Firstly, the presence of hard plastics all around bugged me to no end. Then comes the instrument cluster which simply put, doesn’t befit a car of this stature. The infotainment system touchscreen is adequately sized but the system isn’t fluid enough like that of its German rivals. The American car maker has ensured that the sound quality isn’t compromised and the SRT is equipped with nine speakers and an amplifier. A 19-speaker Harman Kardon system is an optional extra and takes the audio experience to a new level altogether.It is a known fact that American car makers concentrate more on the engine and external looks while putting together interiors which are just about adequate. However, over the years, these companies too have realized the importance of plush interiors. To put things into perspective, Ford has greatly improved the quality of interiors in the Mustang which has led to a huge rise in sales globally. Jeep could have taken a leaf out of Ford’s book and provided the Grand Cherokee SRT with interiors it truly deserves.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
The Jeep Grand Cherokee runs a 3.0-litre V6 diesel that has been designed by VM Motori of Italy which is partly owned by Fiat. The engine has similar specs to the competition with 240PS and 580Nm of torque on offer. It has a smooth refined quality but with a nice burble (for a diesel) when you rev it. It’s all about the strong bottom and mid-range shove here, and there’s no point going beyond 4000rpm. The 8-speed ZF transmission is nothing short of excellent and always has the right gear handy while being smooth and imperceptible. You can shift using the steering-mounted paddle shifters, but the box is so good that there’s really no point in a hefty diesel vehicle like this. This Jeep weighs 2.4 tonnes but the combination of a diesel engine and a smart gearbox meant we got a decent 8.8kmpl in city and 12.8kmpl on the highway. A 93-litre fuel tank translates to an impressive range of over 900km if driven carefully. Nevertheless, performance is brisk with an 8.3 second run to 100kmph, strong in-gear acceleration and a top speed over 200kmph. Braking performance is reassuringly strong and the hefty machine grinds to a stop in an short 42.6m. Brake feel is good and theres strong and progressive bite that adds further confidence to the experience.
The Grand Cherokee feels like a very accomplished package both on and off road and that’s probably because underneath the skin it’s based on a modified 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class platform. The Summit we are driving is the top variant available and rides on air suspension. High speed ride on smooth roads is fantastic with an unruffled and isolated feel from the road that you only associate with very high-end vehicles. There’s strong, confident performance from the brakes as well. The Grand Cherokee is, however, an off-road vehicle at heart and there is some pitch and roll when you start to push it. It also doesn’t seem to handle higher speeds on rutted roads as well as its German competition. The electrically assisted steering offers good feedback when you’re off road, but tends to follow the breaks and undulations in the road surface at speed requiring you to make corrections. The Grand Cherokee, however, comes alive once you get off the beaten path. The air suspension can raise the car by up to 66mm, while the Selec-Terrain traction control system sets up the power delivery depending on whether you’re driving in snow, mud or over rocks. We never had to but you can also engage the low ratio transfer case via a small button to get through the really tricky stuff. Most people won’t use this Jeep the way it was intended to, but rest assured it can handle almost anything you throw at it with complete ease.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
Like we do in our other reviews, we weren’t able to ride the vehicle personally. But we did unveil a lot about its inner infrastructure, and we can’t say we weren’t impressed. A steel suspension is present for two of the lower end variants, while an active damping suspension is present for the top end trim. A conventional front axle differential, along with a conventional rear axle differential has been equipped onto both arms of the chassis, helping to further bolster stability and handling. An electro-hydraulic power steering system augments the handling, and we hear that the steering response is just as clean as a driver could want it to be. Its rugged composition is sure to relieve occupants of the regular road hassles that come from potholes and other road anomalies. Passengers on the inside could feel occasional hitters with the more punishing road formats found in our country, but the overall ride quality is said to be okay. As for the braking part, 4-wheel disc brakes help to ease out the halting and cornering process, ensuring that you meet little strain during tighter situations. A low level of body roll is naturally expected, given the vehicle’s bulky size, but we’re confident that conventional Indian audiences can take it without breaking a sweat.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
Jeep has armed Grand Cherokee with plethora safety and security equipment such as 3-point centre rear seat belt, 4-wheel traction control, active head restraints, advanced multistage front airbags, cargo compartment cover, child seat upper thether anchorages and cruise control. A bunch of other primary features available on the SUV includes driver inflatable knee-bolster airbag, electronic rear limited-slip differential, hill descent control, hill start assist keyless entry, LATCH ready child seat anchor system, park-sense park assist system in front and rear, Parkview rear back up camera, rain brake support, ready alert braking, remote keyless entry & proximity keyless entry, sentry key theft deterrent system, supplemental front seat mounted side bags and side curtain airbags and trailer sway damping.
Jeep’s introduction of the Grand Cherokee to our Indian market via the CBU route meant that it had to sport an eyebrow raising price tag ranging from Rs 97.8 lakh to Rs 1.08 crore, for the ‘Limited’ and ‘Summit’ variants. Jeep’s task here would be to market their vibrant legacy to an extent where our Indian consumers could eventually warm up to their products. And how well will this fare? It looks like only time will tell.