Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Review
Off the beaten track

Story and Photos by Mark Yeo
23 Jul 2011
 

The Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s flagship model. We find out if the new generation model is the ultimate Jeep.

Introduction, styling

Before the advent of the term SUV, off roaders and 4x4s are often called Jeep, along the lines of all MP3 players referred to as iPods. Jeep is, of course one of America’s most conic automotive brands and the brand synonymous with the Willys military off roader that played such a big part in many wars.

Jeep and its parent company Chrysler though, had been in the doldrums in recent years. Government bailouts and a merger with Italy’s Fiat Group finally secured Chrysler’s future as well as those of its iconic brand names like Dodge and Jeep. The latter is fighting back in the luxury SUV market with the all-new Grand Cherokee. The old school Wrangler aside, the Grand Cherokee is one of Jeep’s most popular models worldwide (with over four million sold so far), hence a rather important one as well.

The new Grand Cherokee features underpinnings from the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class and hence features more sophisticated monocoque construction rather than a utilitrian ladder frame chassis like its predecessors.

Up front, the Grand Cherokee features the distinctive traditional Jeep vertical slats radiator grille, making it unmistakable Jeep. The grille and the upright front give the Grand Cherokee a menacing face as well. The flanks are dominated by the sizable flares around the wheel arches but the rear looks somewhat nondescript – the Grand Cherokee can be mistaken for something Japanese or Korean when viewed directly from the rear. All in all, the new Grand Cherokee’s styling is very much a modern and contemporary interpretation of styling cues from previous generation models. The new American SUV does look well proportioned and purposeful enough as well thanks to those big wheels filling up those flared wheel arches convincingly.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 3604cc
Engine Type V 6
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Bore x Stroke (96.0 x 83.0 )mm
Power 285bhp @ 6350rpm
Torque 347Nm @ 4300rpm
Power to Weight 119.7 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 9.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 206 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 8.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 5 -speed Auto
Drive Type R4

Measurements

Body Type SUV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4822 x 2154 x 1781) mm
Wheelbase 2915 mm
Turning Circle 5.8 metres
Kerb Weight 2381 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 93.5 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs