The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a mid-sized SUV produced by Chrysler through its Jeep division in cooperation with the Italian car manufacturer Fiat. The Grand Cherokee started production in 1992 but development for the SUV began as early as 1983 when AMC was coming up with a successor to the Jeep Cherokee (XJ). When Chrysler acquired AMC in 1987, the Grand Cherokee continued development. Unfortunately, it had to take a back seat because redesigning Chrysler minivans was prioritized. When the Grand Cherokee was finally released in 1992, it was marketed as a competitor for the Ford Explorer. The fourth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee was announced at the New York Auto Show in 2009, officially going on sale in the summer of 2010.
In terms of design, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has ventured farther than it has ever gone before and borrowed the very same platform used by the Mercedes M-class. It is also a whopping 146% structurally rigid than previous model, providing the vehicle with a stiff chassis that would allow for excellent handling of noise, vibration, and harshness because the suspension is given ideal conditions to function in.
The Grand Cherokee also has interesting engine options, one of which has the same stroke and bore as the 3.0-litre V6 engine from Mercedes though it was apparently built by VM Motori following developments from Fiat. This engine should be the most suitable for the UK market though other engine options are available, like the 6.4-litre V8 petrol engine, to address the whims of anyone willing to get the most expensive choice despite being impractical.
As for the interiors, the Grand Cherokee still has ways to go but compared to other American cars it is leaps and bounds better. For starters, there’s plenty of room both in front and at the back. And there’s a sizeable boot to place a lot of luggage in. The driver’s seat is also positioned quite nicely, offering excellent visibility from all sides. The list of standard equipment is also impressive (including soft, smooth leather seats) and it’s even more appealing because it’s considerably cheaper compared to what the Grand Cherokee’s rivals are priced with.
On the road, the Grand Cherokee offers a comfortable ride. But what’s even better is that it manages to cruise along so quietly, which is not always possible with many off-roaders. Wind noise is suppressed very well, alongside the engine’s, and there’s very little rumble from the tyres when they’re passing on concrete surfaces. The Grand Cherokee also reasonably goes from 0 to 60mph in 7.9 seconds.
The five-speed gearbox on the Jeep Grand Cherokee does what is required of it and nothing more. In fact, it may have been able to perform like that only because it is working with engines with wide powerbands and potentially the shortest overall gearing for its class. There would’ve been more appreciation for the gearbox if it was actually chosen to be placed in the Grand Cherokee and not simply used out of necessity. With the acceleration this Jeep is capable of, imagine what it can do with a six- or seven-speed transmission system, which is available with rivals of the Grand Cherokee.
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