Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
1157 kilometres on a single tank of fuel. That’s a good effort for any vehicle let alone a full-size luxury SUV with all the bells and whistles.
But, that is the range I got out of a single tank of diesel in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit.
I decided to take the big Jeep for a real road-test – all the way up the Pacific Highway from Sydney to Brisbane and back and if there’s one thing I learned from this 2,000 kilometre journey its that if you are covering long distances, then you want a vehicle like this Jeep.
Aside from being frugal – I averaged 7.3L/100kms on the trip!, the 3.0 litre turbo diesel V6 does a brilliant job of moving the big Austrian built SUV around, both from a standing stop and at cruising and overtaking speeds.
Mated to the brilliant new 8-speed automatic, the 184kW and 570Nm is delivered to the wheels in a smooth, efficient and reassuring manner.
Around this terrific engine and transmission is a vehicle that goes about its business in a completely fuss-free manner. The Quadra-Lift suspension in the Grand Cherokee finds the right ride height and suspension setup for the speeds you are travelling and the terrain you are on.
On the highway it moves automatically into the ‘Aero’ mode giving you the most efficient ride height.
The brakes are great, the steering is lovely and the ride, despite having relatively low profile tyres on the Jeep’s 20-inch alloys, is exceptional.
Armed with distance control cruise control, auto headlights, auto high-beam and auto wipers, on the highway all you need do is sit back and keep the Grand Cherokee between the white lines.
Inside the cabin the ever satisfying Grand Cherokee layout impresses even more in the Summit grade version; a huge 7” inch digital driver info screen and the massive centre info/touch screen are the highlights.
Seats that keep you comfortable over long distances (heated all round and ventilated in front), feature lighting, heaps of legroom, heated steering wheel, push-button ignition, awesome sound system, massive sunroof; this is a vehicle that really does have it all.
The boot space is massive and the tailgate is electronic.
Possibly the only place I could take some marks off the Grand Cherokee Summit is on the safety front – it features only a four star ANCAP rating.
Summing it up – what a lovely vehicle this is. Big, comfortable, efficient and easy to live with, the turbo diesel engine is tremendous, the eight-speed auto just as impressive.
Sure, the price tag is up there, but when it comes to luxury SUV’s this is one you definitely want on your test drive list!
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 3.0 litre diesel producing 184kW and 570Nm
Transmission: Eight speed automatic
Safety: Four stars
Price: From $81,426 (drive away)