The larger big brother to the basic Cherokee, Jeep's Grand Cherokee offers new sleeker styling, has adapted a new range of powerful engines and offers exceptional off-roading abilities. Great value for money, together with premium style, grace and performance, Jeep Grand Cherokee leasing provides an exceptional vehicle to rival the VW Touareg, the Range Rover Sport and BMW X5.
A sizeable competitor over European SUV variants, the new Jeep offers spacious interiors and a wide stance, complete with plenty of headroom and ground clearance thanks to the prominent design aesthetics of this superb vehicle. Comfort and luxury touches enable you to relax and take in the views, wherever your destination could be! A true off-roader, discover our Jeep Grand Cherokee lease deals and say hello to a new, refined driving experience.
In contrast, the Grand Cherokee is more old-school in its approach, with its high, commanding leather-lined perch. It’s a lovely place to be if all you want to do is cruise around.
The headline news with the improved MK3 design is the fitment across the range of an up-to-the-minute eight-speed ZF auto transmission to better manage the VM Motori 3. 0-litre V6 diesel, which in its standard guise now features a slight power hike to 247bhp.
There are two distinct levels of 4WD and suspension technology, the base ‘Laredo’ and ‘Limited’ variants are the ones most likely to be taken off road, they get the less capable of the two all-terrain set-ups, so-called ‘Quadra-Trac II’ 4WD mated to conventional coil-sprung suspension. Only if you have the top-spec ‘Overland’ and ‘Summit’ models do you get something more sophisticated underneath. Jeep calls its top 4WD set-up ‘Quadra-Drive II’ and adds an ELSD Electronic Limited Slip Differential to it, along with Quadra-Lift air suspension.
Every diesel model provides a two-speed transfer case with the kind of complete set of low range gear ratios that all committed off roaders will want. And all the diesels also get Jeep’s clever ‘Selec-Terrain’ system, enabling you to adapt the car to the kind of ground you’re driving over across a choice of ‘Sand’, ‘Mud’ and ‘Rock’ modes, plus an ‘Auto’ setting that’ll adapt the car to any on or off-road situation. Certain models even offer the neat option of a neat ‘Selec-Speed Control’ function that allows you to control the speed of the vehicle up or downhill using the steering wheel-mounted gearchange paddles rather than the pedals.
But what additional capability does a top diesel Grand Cherokee offer with the more sophisticated Quadra-Drive 4WD, limited slip rear diff and air suspension. All versions of the Jeep have a drivetrain able to push power between front a rear axles depending on where it’s needed, but only the very plushest Quadra-Drive diesel models can go a step further and, thanks to an ELSD rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential, switch torque between the individual rear wheels as needed too.
The real benefit of stretching to a variant with the more sophisticated mechanicals will come in terms of ride quality. The four corner air springs you get in a top Quadra-Lift-equipped Grand Cherokee will waft you round town with a magic carpet ride, drop the car by just over half an inch for optimal high speed cruising and at parking speeds, lower it a further inch for easier passenger entry and exit.
Even though this improved third generation model is now more sharply suited, it’s still instantly recognisable as a Jeep, thanks to the way that the brand’s two most recognisable design cues – the classic squared-off trapezoidal wheel arches and the traditional seven-slot front grille – are both present and correct. But they’re now included as part of a far more contemporary look with smaller, meaner HID bi-xenon headlights leading off what the stylists hope is a more muscular, athletic look emphasised by a steeply raked windscreen and high waist line.
Inside, the dash of the original third generation model offered a big step forward from that of its predecessor but it still wasn’t as classy as the competition. So the designers have tried harder and the cabin ambience you get in the improved version is much closer to the exalted class standard, especially if you choose a top variant with its stitched copper leather, careful use of wood and suede-style A-pillar and headliner covering. The interior’s dominated by a couple of large TFT displays, the most eye-catching of the two being the 8. 4-inch touchscreen that controls the latest Uconnect infotainment system. Ahead of you is another TFT screen, the 7-inch display replacing conventional instruments and driver-configurable to show everything from your sat nav setting to the Terrain mode you’ve selected, as well as the usual dials.
Overall, I’d certainly say that the feeling is still quite different from that you’d get in rivals but what’s changed is that now, that’s a difference you might prefer. True, if you look a little closer, there are still some hard plastics to be found – the glovebox lid for example – but overall this is a good effort, offering a more commanding feel than rivals provide. You sit high up grasping the re-styled leather-wrapped three-spoke Jeep steering wheel and, with the exception of pretty thick rear C-pillars, enjoy a great view out, which makes town work pretty straightforward.
In the back, a wheelbase increase of 130mm enables this model to offer over 100mm more legroom than its predecessor, which makes a big difference to a rear seat able to accommodate three adults on shorter journeys or two on longer ones. It can also recline by up to 18 degrees to improve headroom and comfort.
It’s now the best-looking car in this segment and it’s now got a credibly upper class cabin that at last feels special enough to compete at this level. The technology’s now class-competitive too and running costs are more acceptable than they used to be.
If it’s the little things that make life grand, then it’s equally true to say that with this car, Jeep has got more of them right than ever before.