Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Whatever Grand Cherokee you choose, there’s no shortage of pulling power. Most impressive is the 3.0-litre V6 diesel, which is sourced from Mercedes-Benz. On the move, prodding the throttle unleashes a surge of power and the Grand Cherokee gains speed rapidly. It offers straight line speed that outdoes most of its rivals, including the Volvo XC90 and Land Rover Discovery, and sprints to 62mph from rest in 9.0 seconds.

That’s just behind the 228bhp 4.7-litre V8 at 8.8 seconds and within two seconds of the 322bhp 5.7-litre V8. Both few people bother with the petrol models due to their thirst and high running costs – so it’s no surprise they were dropped from the line-up in early 2006. High performance fans should go for the rare SRT-8 version, which is covered in a separate Parker’s review.

This is one of the areas most improved from the previous model. The new Grand Cherokee has tighter steering and less body roll than its predecessor making it a decent drive along country roads. Low-speed ride is excellent, making light work of potholes and speed humps. At higher speeds, the ride can be rather choppy but as you’d expect from a brand with 4×4 heritage, it’s pretty nifty off-road.

All cars have the modern Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system and it’s as impressive as the name suggests. The Jeep is normally rear-wheel driven, but automatically senses when a wheel is slipping and delivers power to it. It’s also possible to lock the gearbox into low ratio for extreme conditions. The Grand Cherokee’s front bumper is removable, so it doesn’t get damaged when tackling more severe work while also increasing approach and departure angles.