We Indians have been familiar with the term Jeep through many models from Mahindra. Recently did many of us come to realise that Jeep was in fact not a vehicle model, but the American Car maker brand who introduced few of the prestigious SUVs to the world since 1941. Back then, they were named American Motors and were quite popular through the ubiquitous Jeep Willys of that time.
The story behind the making of a legend goes like this. During the World War II, American army primarily used only four wheel drive vehicles to commute between places. Bantam, Pigmy, Willis and Kaiser were different vehicle models launched at that time. It was around 1987 that Fiat overtook American Motors who manufactured civilian army vehicle models. Since then, the company started manufacturing SUVs for the modern world. Wrangler and Grand Cherokee were among the list of SUVs that took the name of this brand to a different level. Car enthusiasts in the country have been waiting ever since, for the Indian launch of these vehicles, due to their extreme admiration towards the lineup of SUVs from Jeep. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had to keep delaying their entry into the Indian market, due to unfavourable market conditions and a couple of other issues. But finally, the much awaited good news is here, as the Brand has set its foot on the Indian terrains with the launch of its two iconic SUVs- Grand Cherokee and Wrangler Unlimited.
Let us take a sneak peek into the features of Grand Cherokee now:
Grand Cherokee was launched in the global market, earlier in 1992 and turned out to be an instant hit. It was upgraded thrice since then and the fourth generation of this mid-size SUV was launched in the year 2011. It is this same model which has reached the Indian market now, with specifications as same as the global one. Grand Cherokee comes in an array of 3L, 3.6L, 5.7L and 6.4L engines. The dream of an SUV lover, The All new Grand Cherokee has been successful in the global market with around 2,77,236 units delivered worldwide.
The New Grand Cherokee or any other model from Jeep does not resemble the old Willys in terms of design. The only thing that holds some similarity is its wide grille. In fact, Jeep is one brand that has won many accolades over the years for its unique design and style on all its models.
Tobegin with, the huge seven slot grille and the muscular shoulders provide the Grand Cherokee with the aggressive look of an off roader. The imposing stance of this brawny machine is further accentuated by distinct headlamps with DLR (day time running lamps) outlined by chrome embellishments and broad side fenders on either side. Right beneath the masculine bumper, there is a wired air dam with generous amounts of chrome outlining, under which lies the authentic SUV scuff plate. While the front fascia of the Grand Cherokee has everything it needs to demand road presence, the side view does not display the same robustness. Instead, it looks more like a soft seven seater SUV with a pleasant style of its own. Distinguished body lines and enormous squared off wheel arches with chrome wheels and prominent quarter glass keeps the Grand Cherokee alive and distinct from the other SUVs. Its rear maintains the grandeur of the brand name with sculpted boot lines, twin exhaust pipes, rear lamps extending towards the sides with integrated spoiler and a chrome bumper line.
As mentioned earlier, even though the side view of the Grand Cherokee depicts a soft seven seater, it is actually a five seater with a massive boot of 1544L with enough space to accommodate a full size spare wheel.As you step inside, there are chances that you might get reminded of the Volvo XC 90 dashboard looking at the instrument panel.But get seated and you will quickly realise that’s not all to it.The dual tone dashboard and centre console carries elements of finesse with its black and aluminium accents, while the huge Jeep logo on the steering wheel enhances the pride of the vehicle. It looks premium with soft touch leather and mock wood panels running over it. The instrument cluster turns even more striking with an 8.9 inch touchscreen at its centre. What makes the infotainment system more exciting is the power to navigate through the touchscreen as all the controls are available at your fingertips on the steering wheel. No wonder, you feel stronger while driving the New Grand Cherokee. After all, power is strength here.
That’s not all, as the list goes endless while jotting down the features of this style icon. Features such as voice Control, Air suspension, four wheel Drive system, Radar based Adaptive cruise control, satellite navigation, Bluetooth Telephony, Parking sensors, Reverse camera, SD Card slot and USB slot can be viewed on the touchscreen as you control them using various switches arranged on the dashboard and steering wheel which has been designed to provide optimal access. The panoramic sunroof (available only in the top end variant) that extends until the rear adds a dash of sportiness to the Grand Cherokee.
The seats at the front row are electrically adjustable with heating option while the tailgate at the rear has electrical controls for open/close function. The cabin space is enormously huge inside the Grand Cherokee to accommodate passengers providing them with ultimate comfort and luxury. The automatic gear lever at the centre console gives a cockpit feel and thereby enhances the aesthetic appeal of the well-crafted interiors of this SUV.
New Grand Cherokee has been built with few tweaks on the 2012 Mercedes Benz M-class platform. This is perhaps one of the reasons why this SUV promises world class maneuverability on any terrain. It is available in both Petrol and Diesel trims. Under the hood, the 3L V-6 Diesel engine delivers 237bhp and 580Nm of torque at less than 2000rpm, and claims to touch 0 to 100kmph in approximately 9 seconds.The 6.4L HEMI Petrol engine churns out 468.5bhp and 624Nm of torque at around 4100rpm. Equal distribution of power is carried out by an 8 speed automatic gearbox from the German company ZF.
The steering system offers three driving modes to choose from namely Comfort,Normal and Sport. Shifting to the Sport mode, Grand Cherokee shoots up your adrenaline as it wakes up the behemoth inside to deliver its unparalleled throttle response at 4000rpm. Another impressive feature is that the passengers feel relaxed due to a comparatively lesser body roll while travelling in this mammoth that weighs 2400kgs, measures 4875 mm in length and has a wheelbase of 2915mm.
New Grand Cherokee is the dream vehicle of the off roaders who wish to conquer all terrains. This SUV has a terrain response system in close similarity to the one seen in Land Rover vehicles thatpump up the adrenaline as it zips through any terrain at ease by turning just a single knob.
New Grand Cherokee is available across its dealer outlets in three variants – Limited, Summit (Both Diesel) and SRT (Petrol). Price begins at Rs.93 lakh and ranges upto Rs.1.1 crore.