Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Of course this is the focal point for this model and with a 6.4-litre V8 engine Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT performance is exceptional. The new engine produces 461bhp and 624Nm of pulling power which allows the two tonne 4x4 get from zero to 62mph in just five seconds. The power causes the Jeep to surge forwards at an incredible rate and it’s very impressive.

This is all accompanied by a rather boisterous noise from the big V8. The new engine uses some clever technology to help you try to save fuel, which is akin to a fully armed B52 bomber carrying one less bomb. The “Fuel Saver” technology cuts the engine to just four cylinders when less power is needed, but quickly switches it back to full V8 mode once you put your right foot down.

This is all aided by the five-speed automatic gearbox. It's incredibly smooth and changes gear very quickly. It doesn’t hold on to the same gear when accelerating hard either, usually done in order to improve acceleration, which can often result in excess noise and abrupt gear changes. There’s so much pulling power on offer that it simply doesn’t need to and even in the higher gears the Jeep will still accelerate hard.

There are no pauses in the gear changes and in all modes it seems to work well. It gets standard steering wheel-mounted paddle gear shifters that mean you can manually select the desired gear when necessary.

Despite its large size and bulk, Jeep Grand Cherokee handling is reasonable. There is a fair amount of body roll in tight corners, though no more than you would expect from a car weighing more than two tonnes. On roads with rapidly changing cambers the Jeep can feel a little wallowy but given its size and bulk the suspension does a good job. The Jeep is fitted with an Active Adaptive damping system which can be altered by the driver, depending on the surface you are on.

It has five different modes including Auto, Tow, Sport, Snow and Track. In Auto the ride is compliant and the suspension adapts to the condition of the road for a smoother journey. Put it into Sport and things stiffen up somewhat and get a little bumpy on poor surfaces, while Track goes even further in an attempt to lower body lean as much as possible.

Tow mode helps to reduce the up and down motion of the car and Snow setting makes things more conservative in order for safe driving in adverse conditions. The steering is well weighted in the Jeep though it does feel a little light at times, particularly in Auto mode. In Sport mode the steering gives the driver much more confidence, particularly in faster corners, but it still lacks feedback.