- Strong performance
- High equipment levels
- Off-road capability
- Low-rent interior
- Poor fuel efficiency
- Weak residuals
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is designed to offer on-road refinement with Jeep’s legendary off-road capabilities. It’s a car you should be able to use on a day-to-day basis while still being able to cut the mustard on the rough stuff.
People will recognise that it’s a more modern, upmarket version of the previous model but underneath lies a new platform, that’s shared with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class, as well as an all-new 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions have been improved, while power and refinement betters the previous generation.
Despite the increased levels of on-road sophistication the Grand Cherokee’s still very capable off-road. Inside the Jeep benefits from lots of equipment and a refined cabin but there are some low-quality feeling materials and a lack of detailing in areas.
It’s hoped that the Grand Cherokee will appeal to successful business people, or those with active young families, but it’s got some serious competition from the Japanese, German and British brands. Does the big off-roader offer up a winning combination or are Jeep’s designs stuck in a rut?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee now comes with a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine that packs 247bhp or an entry-level version with 187bhp on Limited and Laredo models.
At its most powerful the diesel Grand Cherokee covers 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and thanks to a very generous 550Nm of low and mid-rev shove it can overtake most slower traffic with surprising ease for a car of this size and weight. In comparison the lower-power model takes another two seconds to complete the same test.
Another new addition for 2013 is an eight-speed automatic gearbox - up from the previous model's five-speed unit - which is smooth in operation and suits the Grand Cherokee well in its bid to compete with the likes of the BMW X5 and Mercedes ML.
Only a little tell-tale diesel grumble from the engine lets the side down now and then.
Poor fuel economy
A combined fuel consumption of 38.0mpg might not seem too wicked for a large SUV, but when compared to its competitors the Jeep Grand Cherokee looks a little thirsty.
It's worth noting that despite the lower power, the 187bhp diesel engine Grand Cherokee doesn't emit less CO2 (198g/km) than the 247bhp model and economy is exactly the same too.
The most obvious change to the Grand Cherokee is at the front, where the grille is now shorter and flanked by a set of slimline LED headlamps. At the rear the Jeep badge has been made more prominent while once again the tail-lamps have been enhanced also.
A new Summit trim level has been introduced, offering enhanced luxury at the top of the trim line up. The main instrument pack now sports a digital screen with multiple configurations and the UConnect and upgraded hifi is now available.
That new eight-speed transmission has had a positive effect on emissions, economy and refinement too, while there's a range of new safety assist systems making it the safest Grand Cherokee so far.
The German rivals provide strong competition; read our full Jeep Grand Cherokee review to find out if the Jeep can pass muster.