Jeep rode the Grand Cherokee to its strongest-ever Australian gross sales ends in the early 2010s.
Backed by a catchy promoting marketing campaign (you got a Jeep?), the final Grand Cherokee outsold the Toyota Prado to prime its gross sales section throughout 2014, and was one of many best-sellers in its class within the years surrounding it.
What occurred? It has struggled to service its clients because the gross sales growth, ending forward of solely Mitsubishi and Kia within the 2019 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey. Problems with elements availability and repair pricing have been effectively documented.
Kevin Flynn, Jeep’s native boss, is adamant its customer support programs have now been overhauled, and there’s a wave of latest vehicles coming Down Under led by this Grand Cherokee L.
The new Grand Cherokee L is being pitched as a extra upmarket, refined beast than something we’ve seen from Jeep earlier than.
The Limited variant on check right here doesn’t lay the luxuries on fairly as thick because the Summit Reserve flagship, nevertheless it additionally undercuts it by near $20,000.
Does the Grand Cherokee L really feel suitably luxurious? And does the Limited symbolize the candy spot of the vary?
The L Limited is the mid-range mannequin, nevertheless it’s a whopping $27,000 cheaper than the range-topping Summit Reserve.
It sits simply above the range-topping Hyundai Palisade Highlander Diesel AWD ($79,900) and Nissan Pathfinder Ti-L 4WD ($77,890), and slightly below the bottom Volvo XC90 Plus B5 ($92,990).
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L pricing:
- Jeep Grand Cherokee L Night Eagle: $82,250
- Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited: $87,950
- Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve: $115,450
Prices exclude on-road prices
In a phrase, it’s massive. The driver and passenger sit in several postcodes, separated by an enormous transmission tunnel, and the view over the remainder of the world is commanding.
The design is fashionable and enticing, with a clear dashboard housing a high-resolution touchscreen infotainment system, and a slick-looking transmission tunnel that wouldn’t be misplaced in a German luxurious SUV. It’s a disgrace it feels poorly assembled in locations, although.
Hard plastic strains the edges of the transmission tunnel, and the edges of the dashboard don’t really feel very stable. The lower strains and joins are a bit nasty in locations, whereas the indicator stalk feels brittle and low cost. For all of the visible sizzle, the GC L feels undercooked in just a few key locations.
Jeep is much from alone in laying on the gloss trim too thick, however the Grand Cherokee has one of the vital fingerprint-prone cabins on the market in the intervening time.
On the plus facet, the Uconnect 5 infotainment system is great. The interface is slick, the menu construction is straightforward, and it responds shortly to inputs such as you’d count on of a brand new, flagship system in 2022.
Wireless Apple CarPlay labored reliably, and the combination of contact and bodily controls for issues just like the local weather is good. Jeep reserves its highest-end sound system for the Summit Reserve, however even the Alpine system within the Limited packs severe punch.
The digital instrument cluster is much less of successful. It’s effective, however the animations are gradual relative to what’s on supply elsewhere, and the actual fact it minimises the fake full-sized analogue dials each time it has a warning – slightly than simply displaying it the place the journey laptop would often sit, like each different model – it exhibits extra refinement is required.
The head-up show is much more disappointing. It can’t be set to a peak that allowed colleague Mike Costello or I to really see it correctly, suggesting it’s near ineffective for anybody taller than about six-three.
At least the driving place is lanky-person pleasant. The Grand Cherokee L has greater than sufficient area for long-legged pilots to get snug on lengthy journeys, and greater than sufficient space for storing to accommodate all the things you want for a protracted drive with youngsters on board.
Space within the second row is strictly what you’d count on from such an enormous beast. There’s acres of legroom again there, and the bench is broad sufficient to accommodate three youngsters in consolation.
Kids will respect the USB ports there, together with the air vents and fold-down central armrest.
Even with the usual sunroof there’s loads of headroom, and the sliding bench means you possibly can select to prioritise second-row legroom or area within the boot/third-row seats.
Although the Grand Cherokee L is 200mm longer than a Hyundai Palisade, it doesn’t essentially function extra space within the third row.
It’s one of the vital snug massive SUVs again there, with ranges of area approaching what’s on supply in a correct folks mover.
Adults will really feel cramped however the boxy physique affords the Grand Cherokee L respectable headroom, and the sliding second row means it’s attainable to suit taller youngsters again there with ample legroom.
Folding or elevating the third row is straightforward, and the boot flooring is flat when these further seats aren’t in use.
Total baggage area behind the third row is 487L. That’s significantly extra cavernous than the likes of the Palisade (311L), Kluger (241L), CX-9 (230L) and Discovery (258L).
Drop the third row and cargo area expands to 1328L, whereas there’s a complete of 2395L with each the second and third rows folded.
The Grand Cherokee L has 12 USB retailers in complete, with 4 USB retailers – two USB-A, two USB-C – for each row of seating.
There’s additionally a 12V outlet within the entrance row and one within the boot, whereas Limited and Summit Reserve fashions additionally function a 230V outlet.
All variations of the Jeep Grand Cherokee L in Australia are powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre petrol V6 with 210kW of energy at 6400rpm and 344Nm of torque at 4000rpm, mated to an eight-speed computerized transmission.
The Night Eagle and Limited use Jeep’s Quadra-Trac I energetic four-wheel drive system with a single-speed energetic switch case. The Limited additionally will get the Selec-Terrain traction administration system.
Combined cycle gasoline financial system is a claimed 10.6L/100km, though we noticed nearer to 12.5L/100km on our week behind the wheel. All fashions have a hefty 104L gasoline tank.
Approach, break over and departure angles are 20.6, 18.2 and 21.5 levels, respectively, on the Limited. Running clearance and wading depth are 215mm and 530mm.
With the turbo-diesel V6 and petrol V8 engines gone, probably the most braked towing capability the Grand Cherokee L can muster is 2813kg.
It’s uncommon for such an enormous automobile (particularly one pitched as a luxurious automobile) not be supplied with a turbo-diesel choice. It’s much more uncommon when you think about the bottom petrol engine isn’t an environment friendly turbo four-cylinder, however a naturally-aspirated V6.
Although it’s not fairly the torquey, relaxed beast we’d hope down low, the V6 affords respectable efficiency while you lean on it.
It’s relaxed in metropolis driving, slurring by means of the decrease gears easily, and the eight-speed auto doesn’t fall into the entice of regularly attempting to find the proper ratio.
It’s quiet while you’re simply tiptoeing round city, though because the revs rise you get an old school V6 roar within the cabin. Some homeowners will like it, others will yearn for a bit extra peace and quiet.
Peak torque comes on faucet at 4000rpm, so the engine must be pushed moderately onerous to ship its finest, and even together with your foot welded to the firewall it’s by no means going to be greater than adequately fast – particularly with a household and their baggage on board, or a trailer approaching the 2813kg braked max.
It’s a disgrace there’s not a extra succesful engine within the Grand Cherokee portfolio regionally, as a result of the automobile is in any other case fairly a pleasant factor to drive – the US market affords a beefier 266kW/530Nm Hemi V8, nevertheless it’s not coming right here.
The steering is properly weighted, with the correct quantity of heft and linear responses off-centre, and the suspension errs on the facet of consolation.
Even with out the tough air suspension within the Summit Reserve it does a superb job filtering out smaller bumps at metropolis speeds, and retains the physique properly managed at freeway velocity while you hit crests or dips.
The trip truly felt barely higher on the Limited than within the air-sprung Summit Reserve, little question thanks partially to the actual fact the dearer mannequin rides on greater alloy wheels.
For all of the polish in the way it drives, the brake pedal is wood and uninspiring. It’s onerous to modulate at low speeds, and doesn’t encourage any confidence at excessive speeds when it’s time to cease this massive, heavy bus.
While it by no means feels lower than enormous, the well-tuned steering and respectable physique management means the Limited may be positioned confidently.
The commanding driving place affords a great view of the automobile’s extremities, whereas the reversing digicam and parking sensors make it simpler to fit into metropolis parking areas.
Why Jeep thinks it’s okay to order a surround-view digicam for the range-topper, with a price ticket within the $120,000 vary, is tough to grasp. It needs to be customary throughout the vary.
On the topic of energetic driver assists, the adaptive cruise management within the Grand Cherokee L is easy, however the lane-keep help is just too energetic.
You’re at all times near the sting of your lane in a automobile as vast because the GC, however no-one instructed the lane-keep laptop which beeps incessantly while you’re even barely off-centre on some roads.
Despite its love of good lane positioning, the Limited misses out on energetic lane-centring regardless of it being customary in considerably cheaper seven-seat rivals.
Grand Cherokee L Night Eagle highlights:
- 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels
- 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect 5 infotainment system
- Satellite navigation
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Wireless cellphone charging
- 6-speaker sound system
- DAB digital radio
- 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
- Tyre stress monitoring
- Dual exhaust retailers
- Leather upholstery
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Tri-zone local weather management
- Eight-way energy entrance seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated entrance seats
- Keyless entry and begin
- Power tailgate
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Tilt/telescope steering column
- Power-folding exterior mirrors
- Automatic reflector LED headlights
- LED daytime working lights with parking/cornering perform
A single-pane sunroof is a $2450 choice.
Grand Cherokee L beneficial properties:
- 20-inch polished alloy wheels
- 10.1-inch touchscreen Uconnect 5 infotainment system
- 9-speaker sound system with 506W amplifier
- Off-Road Info Pages
- ‘Capri’ leather-based upholstery
- Ventilated entrance seats
- Driver seat reminiscence
- Heated second-row seats
- Power tilt/telescope steering column
- Automatic high-beam
- Ambient lighting
The $4250 Vision Group bundle provides a panoramic sunroof and head-up show.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L has but to be examined by ANCAP or Euro NCAP.
Standard security tools contains:
- AEB with Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Lane-keep help
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Driver fatigue detection
- Traffic signal recognition
- Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
- Reversing digicam
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Front, front-side, entrance knee, curtain airbags
Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve provides:
- Highway Assist
- Active Driving Assist
- Surround-view cameras
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is backed by a five-year, 100,000km guarantee.
Servicing intervals are 12 months or 12,000km – whichever comes first. The first 5 providers are capped at $399 every.
The Grand Cherokee L is an attention-grabbing various to mainstream-branded SUVs just like the Hyundai Palisade, in addition to premium household haulers just like the Volvo XC90.
It’s undoubtedly one to think about, nevertheless it’s not a knockout. For one, its workmanlike petrol engine affords satisfactory punch however nothing extra in such an enormous automobile.
Jeep says folks ought to “rethink their wants” earlier than writing it off; however we’d argue it must rethink that technique and prioritise getting a extra fashionable turbocharged or hybrid choice Down Under.
Then there’s the cabin which, for all its lavish supplies and flashy screens, nonetheless feels poorly assembled in some high-profile locations.
Small misses just like the free dashboard trim and brittle indicators undermine what’s in any other case fairly an aesthetic inside, and one thing you’ll discover in one thing just like the extra inexpensive Hyundai Palisade.
If you’re looking at a Grand Cherokee L, the Limited shapes because the sensible purchase. It’s not an excessive amount of dearer than the Night Eagle and brings with it loads of further luxurious tools, and sits a cool $27,000 beneath the Summit Reserve.
It’s straightforward to see the enchantment within the GC L, nevertheless it’s not fairly the house run it might be. Here’s hoping Jeep continues to refine the method, and brings out the very best in what’s a stable seven-seater.
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