February 27, 2011

Things I like/don't like about the Grand Cherokee

Even with its air suspension cranked to its highest position, the
Grand Cherokee can't match the clearances of the Wrangler
with ARB lift kit – but it's close.
Following the launch report here, I've had a week to play with the Grand Cherokee with Hemi V8 on home turf. So here are some of the things I like, and don't like, in no particular order.
  • The outside mirrors that tilt when reverse is chosen. Nothing new here, but many others' tilt to the point of being useless. Jeep has got it just right and the big mirrors make reversing on- or off-road a pleasure. 
  • The factory satnav is one of the more intuitive I've used. Why do some manufacturers have to make the controls as difficult as possible to fathom out?
  • Fuel economy of the Hemi V8. Okay, it guzzles gas but for a petrol V8 it's good and has been using little more than the slightly dreary 3.8 V6 in my Wrangler that doesn't even have the aural advantage of the Hemi's muted rumble.
  • Good quality paint job – better than I've seen on some of the Japanese product. Chrysler seems to do paint really well.
  • The way the tyres stick out past the 20-inch alloy rims; you'll have a hard job curbing one of these, and they also provide a measure of protection off-road. Hope they have strong sidewalls, though.
  • The way the diffs are tucked out of the way, thanks to the all-independent suspension.
  • The way it's still good off-road despite the all independent suspension.
  • The practical two-piece tailgate; hardly a Jeep exclusive but always nice to have.
  • That when fitted to the V8, the five-speed transmission isn't quite as bad as it could be (an eight-speed is the go in the latest Range Rover Vogue TDV8).
  • The sensible "quick-flick"sequential shifting arrangement.
  • Grand Cherokees have always made me want to drive aggressively, especially in red like the one I've been in. Not good.*
  • Raked-back A-pillar and a dash that swoops towards the front-seat occupants offer a much less spacious feeling than a more upright design, such as the Range Rover Vogue.
  • Seriously dislike the foot-operated parking brake, whether it's on a Jeep or anything else.
  • True, the interior's better, but the plastic trim around the lower doors and lower dash is still naff.
* Of course I'm blaming the vehicle and not my attitude.


  1. It looks like a big boat in the photos. Quite nice, though.

  2. Good quality paint? Put youre glasses on dikhed, every Jeep I C has crap paint, orange peal, streaks, runs real bad.