Jeep Grand Cherokee L: it’s revolutionary

The ‘old’ Grand Cherokee has been around for something like a decade now and it has had some brisk sales in its career. It put Jeep on the map in the luxurious big SUV segment but now there is an all new one to build on this legacy.

98% all new in fact. There was some debate as to what part it is that was carried over but we’re not clever enough to spot it. Model derivatives will look familiar however, with Limited, Overland and Summit Reserve rounding off the offering. The three models are derivatives of spec levels and 4×4 drivetrain but with the same engine same gearbox.

This is a big vehicle. It’s over 5.2m long. It weighs something like 2.2 tons. It stands 1.8m tall. It is not a Fiat Panda. You can park a Fiat Panda in it with something like 2.5 cubes of loading space with all the seats folded down. Which means one Fiat Panda and probably some suitcase space left over in case you need it. Of course it is a 7 seater (6 seater with the Summit Reserve with 2 captain’s chairs replacing the middle bench) with the two rear seats electrically powered for folding neatly.

A big vehicle needs a big engine and the 8 speed auto box in this case links with the PentaStar 3.6l normally aspirated V6 (210 kW, 334 Nm). Claimed combined cycle is an irrelevant 10.6 l/100, but literally no one will care.

We drove it for a few hours on launch and the game we came up with was to find the niggles. By supper time this game was boring so we decided to eat and go to bed. The next day on the way home we tried again. After quite some time I decided that fuel consumption was probably it.

Other than that, the Grand Cherokee is about as complete a package as you are going to find. What’s interesting is that there is no options list with any of the three models. There’s only standard equipment at each price point.

So, if you want massage seats and an infrared night vision camera so that you can swerve and avoid the cute little bunnies frolicking across the road in the dead of night, buy the range topping Summit Reserve. If you want the 19 speaker 950W McIntosh high end sound system you can have that in the middle of the range Overland. If you want one without air suspension (which is excellent from what I saw and felt on launch) you buy the Limited which is the ‘entry’ level model.

If you want a stupidly comfortable, incredibly composed ‘quiet like a church on a Friday evening’ ride you can pick any of the three. Did I mention, that from a self-confessed Land Rover fan that the Grand Cherokee comes the closest to anything I have yet driven that might park itself in my driveway on a permanent basis and I would not look back. It is a vehicle that immediately impresses you. And then continues to impress you the more time you spend with it.

Jeep has pulled off keeping the Grand Cherokee identity and not just taking a few steps forward as an evolution because this new Jeep is a revolution.

I hope it does as well as it deserves to. If only so that I don’t look like an idiot with all this gushing. I cannot wait to see if the first impressions carry through. In the meantime, go and drive one if only for the sheer “I wasn’t expecting that” factor. Let’s see if we agree.

L 3.6 4×4 Limited                             R 1 299 900

L 3.6 4×4 Overland                          R 1 479 900

L 3.6 4×4 Summit Reserve             R 1 679 900

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