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Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

There is a 6.4-litre petrol V8 engine for the SRT-8 version, but that is regarded as a standalone model for best Jeep Grand Cherokee performance, so we’ll concentrate on the more UK-relevant diesel motor here.

Available with two power outputs for the first time, the 3.0-litre V6 diesel now delivers 247bhp (up 10bhp from previous) or 187bhp in entry-level Laredo or Limited spec cars.Torque is up to 570Nm as well, while the lower-power model utilises 440Nm - though it is available earier on in the rev-range.

That car will sprint from 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds, while the 247bhp example dispenses with the benchmark sprint in only 8.2 seconds.

You’ll still hear a little of that typical diesel clatter when the engine’s cold, or accelerating from a stop, but once on the move it’s quiet and refined with the only notable noise being a distant whistle from the turbocharger. Performance feels a little flat at low speeds but once the Jeep is moving the power delivery is satisfyingly strong and in general the Grand Cherokee performs strongly and feels willing on the road.

By far the biggest improvement in performance has to be attributed to the new eight-speed automatic gearbox though. The ratios are well-judged and swapped between with speed, precision and smoothness - while manual controls on the steering wheel add an extra layer of engagement for the driver.

The Grand Cherokee has had development from Mercedes-Benz, so you’d expect the ride and handling to be a lot more composed than the previous generation. The Limited model, riding on conventional steel springs however, is disappointing.

The Jeep feels like it has little grip on the road and there’s no feedback through the steering. The ride is soft and poorly damped, resulting in the Grand Cherokee pitching and rolling around corners, while small bumps are transmitted into the cabin. Consequently the handling doesn’t inspire any confidence.

Unfortunately the changes when upgrading to the Quadra-lift air-sprung cars don't go deep enough in this department. The Jeep is improved, with more poise and a much more positive feel on the road while the suspension delivers improved handling and ride along with sharper-feeling steering.

But the differences are minimal, and the Grand Cherokee still wallows round bends and sends sharper surfaces changes straight through to the cabin occupants.

Push the Grand Cherokee hard and the dyanmic shortcomings bubble to the fore even more, with pronounced understeer on tighter bends and un-conrtrolled responses to mid-corner bumps.