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Jeep Grand Cherokee Station Wagon engines, drive and performance

1999 - 2004 (change model)
Performance rating: 2.5 out of 52.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

The line-up in the Grand Cherokee feature some strong engines, but while the petrols sound good and deliver decent performance, they’re best avoided due to their high running costs and poor economy. Efficiency is far from impressive too – the 4.7-litre V8 musters 220bhp, which is very poor considering the size of the engine. It does manage to accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.0 seconds, but will average a paltry 21mpg.

The other petrol is a 4.0-litre with 188bhp that manages 0-62mph in 10.0 seconds, but is equally as thirsty, returning just 24mpg. Unsurprisingly most people opt for a diesel model. Early models came with a 3.1-litre TD but this was crude and noisy. With 138bhp, performance was sluggish too while economy was still poor at just 24mpg. In 2002 this was replaced by a more refined common-rail 2.7-litre CRD engine with 161bhp.

Not only is it quicker with better pulling power, but it’s also more frugal, managing 29mpg. All engines are good and none are limp-wristed. Five cylinder turbo-diesel is most economical and also sounds pretty good. Alternatively, there’s a strong V6 and more potent V8s offering considerable performance.

The Grand Cherokee is superb off road. It copes easily with deep ruts, slippery mud tracks and steep gravel inclines thanks to the excellent Quadra-Drive four-wheel drive system which delivers power to the wheels with the most traction. In fact the Jeep can take on seemingly impossible terrain with minimal fuss. Unfortunately it’s not as good on road.

There’s too much body roll in corners and the steering is very vague, requiring too many turns for driving at a decent pace. The ride is good on smooth surfaces, especially motorways, but it’s unsettled over rough roads and not great in town either.