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2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Proving There Are Still Off-Roaders For Those Who Actually Off-Road

On Friday, November 4th, 2016

When you’re talking about 4x4s, one of the companies that always gets thrown in the mix is Jeep. Their lineup has been a steadfast choice of enthusiasts for decades now and with good reason. The Grand Cherokee, in particular, has always been Jeep’s choice for pushing further and harder than with any of their other models. So how does the 2016 edition hold up? Is it still offering the ‘no compromise’ drive that has become its main selling point? Or is it, for one, letting the enthusiasts down?

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

The drive

With any real 4×4 contender, the first place you look has to be under the hood. With the latest Grand Cherokee, we’re looking at a standard 3.6-liter V-6 engine. That’s 295 horsepower as standard on the Lareto model. Rear-drive is standard, too. But if you want something that can really tame the wild as well as the city, you want to upgrade to the 5.7-liter V-8 engine, instead. That takes you up to a significant 360-horsepower. You’ll also want to go for one of the three four-wheel drive options if you’re a proper enthusiast. This means looking at the Limited, Overland or Summit options. Either option gives you a smooth and rather agile drive for the size of the beast. You’ll get off from a stop with little issue with a 0-60 of 7.1 on the Summit option we’ve looked at. With the reduced weight from new aluminum suspension components, you get a Grand Cherokee that’s a good deal lighter on its feet. Not light enough to make it terribly fuel efficient, but we’ll get to that later. Overall, 4×4 enthusiasts will be glad to see that the Grand Cherokee is still as steadfast in resisting the trends of its competitors. It’s a car that can still handle the real outdoors, not just urban environments. There’s also the high-powered SRT version, but that’s a beast with a £13k difference in price. It’s worth a review on its own at some stage.

The interior

It’s plenty of power that the Grand Cherokee is most well-known and beloved for. Still, Jeep has done plenty to warrant the rising price tag of their much-loved behemoth. Luxury and tech are all part of the game, now. Leather dashes, wood-rimmed steering wheels. You can see that you’re paying for the quality treatment. As standard, you’ll get access to a lot more safety tech, including a Rear Park Assist Setting and Rear Backup Camera. With a bit more money into it, you can also see about getting yourself a U-Connect media station and satellite navigation. Control has seen a marked improvement in the 2016 model as well. That’s mostly thanks to a change in the shift lever. Instead of its clunky (and recalled) pigeon-holing method, now it’s a simple nudge system. Forward for park, back for drive, in easy to maneuver steps in between.

Buyability

As for the price point, let’s see what we’re looking at. The Summit trim that we looked at comes with pretty much all the options you can hope for and it makes a difference in the price. For the Summit, you’re looking at an RRP at £51,525 when bought new. For the much more basic Lareto model, with only the V-6 engine available, it’s closer to £45,050 from dealers like Thames Motor Group.

Cons

While the powerful engines do a good job of moving all that weight smoothly, they guzzle a lot of gas to do that. On all models except diesel, you’re not looking any higher than a combined 22 miles per gallon. Besides that, there’s plenty of noise from the engine that can easily get on your nerves. Especially with how busy the suspension systems can be. It’s a mighty safe car at a 4/5 star rating from the Euro NCAP tests. Still, this is one factor in which Jeep is still being outdone by some of its tamer competitors. The Grand Cherokee is a vehicle that has definitely focused on taking the off-road experience and adding plenty of tech and luxury to it. In more civilised settings, there’s a lot of competition for the price-point you’ll find it at.

The Grand Cherokee has undergone a lot of changes, a lot of which are reflected in the new price-point. There’s no doubt that it continues to be the Jeep that, above all else, says ‘no compromises’. It’s making effort to reduce fuel consumption through lighter aluminum components, too. That said, it remains thoroughly a car for enthusiasts of off-roading. It’s a waste if you force this vehicle to stick to civilised settings, so make sure you give it plenty of fresh air in wild settings.

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