BY THEODORE OPARA
IT took Jeep about 11 years to replace the last Jeep Grand Cherokee and when it finally hit the market earlier this year, the entire Sport Utility Vehicle segment was shook to its very foundation. The Jeep has done it again, by setting the benchmark like in 1963 when the first Jeep Wagoneer was born as a pure and first luxury Sports Utility Vehicle.
Like the Jeep Wagoneer, the Grand Cherokee changed the rule in the entire Sports Utility Vehicle segment in terms of finishing, performance, safety, comfort and amenities. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is returning with a bang and no one can stand on its way.
Grand Cherokee comes in three engine variants including a 3.6 Pentastar V6 engine, 3.0 litre diesel 6-cylinder engine and a 5.7 V8 engine.
The new Grand Cherokee engines are refined and powerful, yet very fuel efficient. Each of the engines are infused with variable valve timing, VVT.
For instance the all-new 3.6 Pentastar V6 engine excels its predecessor in every ramifications. It deliver 286 horsepower which is 38 per cent more powerful than the previous model and 11 per cent more torque. It also has 10 per cent improvement in extra urban fuel economy.
The 5.7 V8 engine version, which is the top of the range with fuel saver technology and VVT can tow up to 3500kg and it can deliver 352 horsepower during cruising speeds, turning it into a four-cylinder model of efficiency. But when you want full action, step on the pedal and all eight cylinders roar to life delivering full 520NM of torque and power upon request. It’s Variable Valve Timing VVT technology contribute to better fuel efficiency.
Grand Cherokee owes its road-handling to its quadra-lift air suspension system. This revolutionary system allows you to easily raise your vehicle up to 105 additional millimeters from park mode to a minimum 270mm of ground clearance.
Also the select-Terrain system enhances grand Cherokee’s renowned 4WD capability. This feature automatically adjusts and coordinates 12 vehicle management systems, all with a simple turn of a dial.
Inside the Grand Cherokee is an interior that leaves noting to want. Leather covered tilt/telescoping steering wheel with cruise control, EVIC, and remote audio control are standard. Available real wood heated, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, including Uconnect with voice command, hand-free phone and adaptive cruise control.
Others are keyless enter-N-go whereby with your key in your pocket or purse you can simply push a button and start your car.
However, all Grand Cherokee seats are premium and designed for comfort and versatility. Eight-way power drivers seat, power lumber control, reclining rear seats and detailed stiching makes your stay inside the Grand Cherokee a remarkable one.
With nothing left out to make your Grand Cherokee a five start trip, the SUV is loaded with features like Quadra-Trac II 4 wheel drive system, select-Terrain vehicle management system, rain sensitive wiper system, smart beam bi-Xenon, high tensity discharge HID headlamps with auto-levelling and headlamp washer.
You are however in touch with the world with Grand Cherokee’s Uconnet media centre 431, MW/FM/CD/DVD radio, Uconnect phone, Alpine premium audio system etc.
No wonder, the European press thumbed up for the Grand Cherokee on introduction in the European market predicting that it is the SUV to watch. This prediction has come to pass as the Grand Cherokee had earned awards the world over for its outstanding qualities.
Marketed in Nigeria by Weststar Associates Nigeria Limited, the Grand Cherokee shares the same showroom with Mercedes as well as service outlets which guarantees its after sales back-up by Jeep.