Unveiled last year, the fifth generation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee has finally arrived in Italy too, with the first cars expected in dealerships in recent weeks. An SUV all new, which changes in design but above all in mechanics. In fact, the new Grand Cherokee was born on an unprecedented and specific platform for the new SUVs of the American brands of the Stellantis group, which aims to significantly improve driving while maintaining the comfort and off-road qualities typical of these cars.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee its volumes and some details are inspired by the Grand Wagoneer and Cherokee of the 70s and 80s, so the style is classic and linear, but made contemporary by the details. We are talking about the grille, still with seven slits as in all the cars of the house, but less high and well integrated with the full LED headlights. Behind, the thin LED lights are connected by a contrasting element in glossy black, which houses the logo of the house; typical of all Jeeps are then the square wheel archeswhich add a touch of personality to the side.
Luxury (almost) everywhere
Inside the Jeep Grand Cherokeeleather, wood and aluminum are the masters, all embellished – in the rich Summit Reserve of the test – from really neat contrast stitching. Only some plastics, such as the glossy black ones in the central tunnel, and controls such as the rotor for selecting between forward and reverse gear are not up to par with the rest of the car (and its price). There’s no shortage of screens. The one opposite the front passenger (10.25”) is dedicated to multimedia: an electronic device can be connected via the HDMI socket in the glove box and, for example, watched a film. From the driver’s seat, this display is not visible to avoid distractions. Instead, they have a diagonal of 10.1” and both the digital dashboard (full of information and display possibilities, but with not very attractive graphics) is the screen in the center, for the multimedia system, which runs well and offers all the functions one would expect from a car of this type, while not being the fastest. Then there is the digital rear-view mirror (the screen, connected to the rear camera, offers a wider view and not limited by the presence of headrests, pillars and any luggage), and the head-up display which projects the data onto the windscreen.
Spacious? Yes, of course
As the dimensions of this new one suggest Jeep Grand Cherokee (491cm long and 196 wide), the space is generous for luggage and for all occupants. The second row of seats comfortably accommodates three medium-sized adults and is complete with side seat heating and ventilation; The quadrizone “climate”. allows you to set different temperatures on the right and left side, and among the sockets for recharging electronic devices there is also a household type. The trunk has a capacity of 580 liters with the sofa in use, and the square shape of the roof and rear window allows you to load a lot even in height, reaching up to the ceiling. There load threshold is low for an SUV, also because with a button you can lower the rear air shock absorbers to recover a few more centimetres. Too bad there are no levers in the compartment walls, to recline the backrest without having to open the doors: the controls are on the side of the seat. Numerous compartments for small objects, among which we point out numerous bottle holders, even in the door pockets.
The change of pace compared to the old edition of the Jeep Grand Cherokee it is quickly noticed while driving: the precise steering, the brake pedal with not too long travel, the good visibility in all directions and the easy perception of the dimensions inspire confidence. The rather soft suspensions cause a certain delay when trying to change direction suddenly, but this powerful SUV certainly has no sporting pretensions, and the good insulation from the imperfections of the road surface is greatly appreciated. The numerous electronic driving assistants guarantee Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, which is particularly useful on the motorway. Where you travel in comfortbut where you would also like better soundproofing from air hiss in the rear-view mirror area.
Power you feel
Il plug-in hybrid system and transmission are the same as the Jeep Wrangler 4xe. The electric motor is integrated in the responsive eight-speed automatic transmission, complete with reduction gears, which can transmit its power (alone or together with the internal combustion engine) to all four wheels, guaranteeing four-wheel drive in all driving conditions and independently from the mode of operation. The battery is under the seats: according to the manufacturer, with its 17.3 kWh the Grand Cherokee can travel up to 51 kilometers with zero emissions in the urban cycle. When driving, there is considerable panache: the combined power of the two engines is 380 HP, sufficient, according to the manufacturer, to take the approximately 2500 kg (empty) of the Grand Cherokee from 0 to 100 per hour in 6.3 seconds. It’s just a pity that, especially with a flat battery, the 2.0 turbo four-cylinder makes itself felt a bit too much.
Facile in off-road
Although it has changed profoundly, the Jeep Grand Cherokee it has not lost its great ability to move away from the asphalt, as we were able to appreciate in a short off-road test. Traction is great even without switching to the driving modes dedicated to off-road, and you can move easily on most of the routes that the owner of a 100,000 euro SUV might want to tackle. If the going gets tough, there’s no shortage of low gears and cameras, which allow us to see with excellent precision what’s around and even under the car.
How much does it cost
But let’s get to the prices, because the new one Jeep Grand Cherokee combines an important enrichment in terms of technology and dynamic behavior with a very demanding list. There are four versions available, with the price list starting from 82,000 euros up to 106,000 euros for the richer Summit Reserve, the subject of these first driving impressions. The endowment, however, is very rich for all.
In our opinion
> Guide. Suspensions, steering and brakes offer a good compromise between comfort and driving precision.
> Off road. Challenging trails are tackled with surprising ease.
> Space. The cabin offers plenty of ease (and comfort) for all five passengers. The trunk is roomy.
> Plastics. Some components clash in comparison to the luxury of the seats and dashboard.
> Prezzo. It is true that it is much richer and more modern than before, but we are still over 100,000 euros.
> Hybrid system. It pushes properly, but the four-cylinder makes itself felt a little too much in the passenger compartment.