Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland reviewedBy Chris Walsh
January 12, 2012
Most people who are familiar with this column may already know that I am not the world’s biggest fan of American Automobiles. The majority of which, are usually comprehensively outclassed and outshone by either a European or Japanese equivalent. But the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the most American of all, has been given a new lease of life that permits it to sit at the top table of SUVs – well near to it anyway.
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The first reason is that the Jeep brand is one of the only American car manufacturers that actually has any credible motoring heritage whatsoever, so it gets a big tick in the box straight away. Secondly, the Grand Cherokee shares most of its underpinnings with the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class, an outstanding car by anyone’s standards. Then, and probably most significantly, European made Grand Cherokee’s continue to be assembled at the Magna Steyr plant in Austria alongside such prestigious cars as the Aston Martin Rapide and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Two cars whose build quality will out last the Sun.
The new Grand Cherokee has still been designed to deliver on-road performance while maintaining Jeep’s legendary four-wheel drive off-road capability. New Jeeps feature a two-speed transfer box with low ratio gears and an electronically controlled clutch that allows variable torque distribution.
This uses a variety of sensors to determine tyre slip at the earliest possible moment to take corrective action. Throttle Anticipate senses quick movement in the throttle and maximises traction before tyre slippage is detected and as much as 100 percent of available torque is instantly routed to the axle with the most traction.
The Grand Cherokee also offers a Quadra-Lift air suspension system that gives the driver over four inches of lift. Air springs provide a cushioned, premium ride and it operates automatically or manually via console controls. In addition, the all-new Selec-Terrain traction control system lets the driver choose the appropriate off-road setting for the optimum terrain. This feature electronically coordinates up to 12 different powertrain, braking and suspension systems, including throttle control, transmission shift, traction control and electronic stability control (ESC).
Jeeps 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 engine is more powerful, more fuel-efficient and produces lower emissions than its predecessor. This new engine produces 237bhp at 4,000 rpm and has a maximum torque of 550Nm between 1,800 and 2,800rpm. This translates to 10 per cent more power and eight per cent more torque than the engine it replaces. Fuel economy for the new engine is 34.0mpg on the combined cycle, a 19 per cent improvement over the old engine and CO2 emissions are also reduced by 20 per cent, to 218 g/km.
The Grand Cherokee range starts from £36,795 with the 3.0 CRD V6 Limited, while the flagship Overland starts from £43,995.
Model: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
Price From: £43,995
0-60: 8.2 seconds
CO2 emission: 218g/km
2010/2011 VED: £260pa (1st Year £580)