All round visibility is quite good, but at night the black tinted rear windows from the ‘A’ pillar back can hamper vision, especially when reversing.
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee now has hydraulic powered, variable ratio rack-and-pinion steering which replaces the previous recirculating ball system. The new system is more responsive, more precise and allows for far more accurate control over the vehicle. The system is great when parking and not too bad around town but on the open road it can feel a little woolly.
In summary the ride and handling are a great improvement over the outgoing model, but it cannot compete with the latest offerings from BMW, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.
Ease of Use
All round visibility is quite good, but at night the black tinted rear windows from the ‘A’ pillar back can hamper vision, especially when reversing. You can opt for a rear video camera which allows you to see what is behind you by utilizing the navigation screen. It automatically comes on when you select reverse, perfect for hitching up a horse box.
We found the transmission intrudes a little into the driver’s foot well, compromising the driving position. There is a fair amount of headroom in both the front and rear, but leg room is not as good as the exterior would indicate.
Our test car was fitted with the optional rear DVD entertainment system. The screen hinges down from the ceiling of the car which we found blocks vision through the rear view mirror. The exterior is protected by front and rear parking sensors, the interior by a Thatcham 1 category alarm and immobiliser.
You cannot discuss the Jeep Grand Cherokee without mentioning its four wheel drive capability which is arguably amongst the best in the business. Unlike the growing crowd of soft roader's the Grand Cherokee can venture where others dare to tread.
We only ventured onto local green lanes and across our friendly farmer’s tracks and we were very impressed. We are used to this course and on occasions we have come unstuck or rather stuck. We drove the Grand Cherokee in the winter and these tracks were very muddy and rutted and it coped with ease. Selecting the low gearbox ratios is any easy process, simply lifting a lever whilst in neutral.
If you have ever wondered why 4x4's are more expensive than similar size estate cars, then read on: - The Jeep is fitted with the Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system which combines the NV245 full-time transfer case with three Electronic Limited Slip Differentials (ELSD) - front, centre and rear offering arguably the best traction in its class. The system is very quick at detecting any loss of traction and can seamlessly redistribute the power to the wheels with most traction. In some cases, the system will even anticipate low traction and adjust to proactively limit or eliminate wheel spin.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 3.0 CRD|
|Colour||Brilliant Black Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||124 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||32.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||4|
|Warranty||3 years / 60,000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 12/01/07)||£33,990 OTR|