Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

By Rajkamal

Jeep, the American carmaker had a lot of enthusiasts on the edge of their seats when the company announced its Indian entry. The Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee were showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo and were launched shortly after.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

The entry-level offering by Jeep in India is the Wrangler Unlimited that carries a price tag of Rs 56 lakh for the petrol variant and Rs 71.60 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi) for the diesel variant. The Grand Cherokee, the flagship offering from Jeep was what put to its test, which would set back a customer by Rs 93 lakh onward.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

First, let's do away with basics. The Summit variant of the Grand Cherokee is the second trim on offer and comes with a host of accessories such as three infotainment systems that can be used individually. The engine is a 3.0-litre diesel unit that makes 286bhp and 570Nm of torque with the help of an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

Now, one might think that the Cherokee is a polished SUV that is designed to be more of a city dweller than a hardcore off-roader — yes, but no at the same time. The Cherokee is a polished SUV, but is a capable vehicle when tarmac ends.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

The driver gets to chose between Snow, Sand, Mud, and Rock with the help of a dial located next to the gearbox. The mode is displayed on the instrument console.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

The Cherokee was put through a series of tests, and the first was to test the ground clearance on a steep hill. Slot the Cherokee into ‘Four-Wheel-Drive Low' and switch on the ‘Hill Descent', the vehicle will crawl down the hill. The driver need not touch the brakes to correct the vehicle — it is done electronically, and the only work the driver has is to steer. Once the vehicle reaches level grounds, the Cherokee will come to a stop.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

Also, at any given point of time, if the driver chooses to accelerate, the ‘Hill Descent' mode is turned off, and when the driver lets go of the gas, the assist comes back on again. The speed of the descent can be increased or decreased with the help of paddle shifters.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

The course set by Jeep was to showcase the various traits of the vehicle, be it water wading, to go up a steep incline, coming down a hill, and even tight manoeuvres. The Cherokee proved to tackle all these with a calm composure.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

Something different Jeep had in place was a fleet of stairs, that replaced the traditional ramp to showcase the Cherokee's ascend and descent ability. The amount of power available as low as 1,500rpm was more than enough to overcome the obstacle.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

Like most vehicles today, the Selec-Terrain system allows the Cherokee to suit itself to the path ahead. Traction is focused on those wheels that need it the most, and the SUV overcomes them without the slightest hint of stress on the engine.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

Now, coming to the most important aspect — is the Jeep Cherokee a worthy 4X4? Jeep, as a brand is well-known when it comes to off-roading, be it crawling over rocks in Moab, dune bashing in the Middle East, or even exploring an unknown trail in Australia. Jeep wanted to create a similar brand recall in India too, but the pricing has distanced customers from the actual product.

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

The Jeep Cherokee is a capable vehicle, no doubt. The reality is (let's all admit it), most would not even think of taking a vehicle that costs around Rs 1 crore away from the comfort of tarmac into the lesser known trail. This is when you ask yourself — would you shell out that money when there are 4X4 SUV options for half the price?

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

Jeep Grand Cherokee Pricing

Grand Cherokee Limited Rs 93. 64 lakh
Grand Cherokee Summit
Rs 1.03 crore
Grand Cherokee SRT
Rs 1.12 crore

Note: Prices are ex-showroom (Delhi)

Jeepers Creepers — Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Review

Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Spec Sheet

Engine 2987 cc, V6 Diesel
Power 286 bhp
Torque 570 Nm
Mileage (claimed) 12.8 km/l
Fuel Tank Capacity 93.5-litres
Ground Clearance 2016 mm
Kerb Weight 2455 kg
Boot Space 1025-litres

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The Jeep Wrangler is the only aternate offering in India by Jeep, and pictured below is a detailed image gallery of the Jeep Wrangler.

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Read more on: #jeep #review
Article Published On: Thursday, March 30, 2017, 14:00 [IST]
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