mReview: 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee - A Polished All-Terrain Beast

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Luxury SUVs worth their weight in gold when the going gets tough are a rarity. Car makers know consumers would happily trade mud plugging abilities for the finest in luxury and technology.

And I wouldn't blame them. 4x4s have gained the reputation for being 'Chelsea Tractors', an almost-derogatory term for SUVs that only see use as status symbols in crowded urban streets. However, car manufacturers are still churning out immensely-capable mud-pluggers that also cocoon their occupants in luxury.

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The Brits and Germans do this very well, with a plethora of rugged yet opulent vehicles on the market today. And you can now add the Americans to that list, with Jeep’s all-new Grand Cherokee.

First Impressions Matter

Everything's bigger in America. And this adage definitely holds true when you first walk up to the car. Its size isn’t just an optical illusion, though the boxy design certainly aids in exaggerating its stature.

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A bold, but modern, take on Jeep's iconic grille adorns the front fascia of the car. Refreshingly simplistic light clusters certainly add an air of elegance to this American brute. On this end of the vehicle, there's more than just a subtle hint to its MOPAR heritage, with strong lines dominating the lower section of the bumper.

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The car is more stylistically simple round the back, its design ethos paying homage to ideology used in the creation of their iconic offerings. As a whole, the car is visually cohesive, and juggles being undeniably American and yet sophisticated at the same time.

It's Properly Comfortable Inside

It isn’t just big on the outside - the cabin space feels properly optimised too. I challenge you to find an uncomfortable position from within the cockpit. The upholstery and foam used throughout the cabin are plush, and the seats offer decent support.

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You’ll find yourself perched high and upright in the driver’s seat, offering you a brilliant view out of the vehicle. Despite its large footprint, excellent forward visibility means the car is actually much easier to place than its large size would suggest.

With no sloping roofline and large window apertures, rear seat passengers will never feel claustrophobic. Knee, shoulder and headroom are also in no short supply, possibly as a result of the designers catering for our more generously-proportioned friends in the American market.

On Road Mannerisms

Unlike the other Jeep offerings available locally, the Grand Cherokee is properly capable on road. It is (generally) refined, with NVH levels properly regulated thanks to sufficient insulation. The steering is obviously geared towards making it easy-to-drive, with plenty of power assistance to improve manoeuvrability. Whilst we may never get the higher output variants locally (no thanks to our road tax structure), the 2.0 litre four pot in our test car does a good enough job of hauling this 2.1 ton SUV.

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As long as you are in the right gear, power really isn’t an issue. You’d find the car in the optimal powerband for it to spool the turbo, generating this wave of torque that pulls the car along effortlessly. The gearbox shifts fairly quickly for the most part, with it really only struggling to rapidly kick down when you need to overtake someone.

You can solve this by manually pulling the shift paddles, which will drop you into the correct gear. However, unlike many other vehicles, the Jeep will hang onto that ratio for as long as possible, refusing to automatically shift up or down even if the car is obviously struggling for pace. You can also really feel the mass of the vehicle when it comes time to shed said pace - provision some additional stopping distance over what you’re used to.

Properly Polished, but Still a Brute at Heart

Those craving a slice of ‘Murica in their lives can now do so without having to put up with an agricultural machine. Jeep has created a vehicle that can (for the most part anyways) take the fight to the Europeans.

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This is by far the most polished Jeep product yet. Which is good news for the Jeep fanatics amongst us. The Grand Cherokee preserves what makes a Jeep good in the first place, but now comes packaged with far improved on-road manners!

Jeep Grand Cherokee Specifications
Price: $373,888  VES Band: C2
2.0 litre
264 bhp, 400 Nm
8-Speed Automatic
Driven Wheels:
10.3 km/L
8.2 s
Top Speed:
210 km/h
Fuel Tank Capacity:
4,900 mm x 1,979 mm x 1,797 mm
2,964 mm
Cargo Capacity:
1067 L

Photo Credits: ACube Creative (@weareacube)

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