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Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 Multijet in the test

Thomas Starck
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 Multijet in the test
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D he prejudices are well known: off-road vehicles never really drive off-road these days. Forbidden everywhere. Pointless technology. And so on and so on. However, as is often the case with prejudices, in this case too you lack in-depth knowledge.

That already begins, it cannot be repeated often enough, with the definition of 'terrain'. Because this begins, in a very trivial way, beyond a paved path and not just at a meter-deep mud passage. Accordingly, the phrases repeated for decades by 90 or more percent of off-road vehicle owners who allegedly never leave the asphalt with their vehicle should be treated with caution. There has never been a reliable source for such statements and probably still does not exist - after all, who should conduct an empirically correct survey among a statistically relevant part of German SUV owners?

Off-roading with the Jeep Grand Cherokee -Tour

So much as a long preface, for one simple reason: We drove off-road again, on a longer off-road tour, which, especially at 4wheelfun , is more of a rule than an exception represents. However, with a vehicle that - very expensive, very luxurious and very noble - at first glance does not make you want to beat it with verve through botany. You can be wrong ...

The fourth generation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee luxury off-road vehicle is a great sales success for the brand, as was its predecessor. But it was only with the current model, first introduced in 2010 and extensively upgraded for the 2014 model year, that the Americans confidently compete with rivals from Europe's luxury houses on the old continent. Mercedes M-Class or BMW X5 - the Jeep Grand Cherokee faces this competition with its head held high.

As Overland a great touring car

In fact, the current Jeep Grand Cherokee is a comfortable and competent touring vehicle, especially in the tested Overland version with maximum equipment. Fine leather, fine wood, assistance systems in abundance. In addition, a really bearish pulling, at the same time pleasantly subdued and cultivated running six-cylinder diesel. Making miles is extremely easy with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This applies even more to the facelift version with theEight-speed automatic, which lowers engine speed and fuel consumption over long distances at a higher speed than its predecessor.

The overland equipment of the Jeep Grand Cherokee still brings two things to the 4.82 meter long luxury off-road vehicle: that Drive package called Quadra Drive II, which supplements the standard version with permanent all-wheel drive, off-road reduction and special drive programs with an electronically controlled rear axle differential brake. And the Quadra-Lift dubbed air suspension with five adjustable height levels, two of which can be used specifically for off-road driving. The ground clearance of the Jeep Grand Cherokee can be raised up to 270 millimeters, which is a respectable figure even among hardcore off-roaders.

Air suspension is especially useful on the road

With this air suspension, however, a 'but' must be added. Because the increased ground clearance is undoubtedly a trump card on rough terrain. The remaining spring comfort in the two high positions is not so much. The already not particularly famous twisting of the landing gear is noticeably reduced again, the crew in the highest setting is shaken quite hand-tight. With a pace beyond walking pace this is not much fun, which is why the standard height is usually the best choice in everyday off-road use. This is especially true for steep, impassable uphill and downhill slopes, where the tires can lose contact with the ground in the highest suspension setting and there is a risk of loss of control.

The Grand Cherokee driver can look forward to such passages Functioning hill descent control, which can be adjusted in speed via the gear lever, guarantees nerve-saving safety even on extremely steep descents.

Off-road programs in the Jeep Grand Cherokee

In this context, it is important to familiarize yourself with the Familiarize yourself with the actual functions of the terrain programs (Snow, Sand, Mud and Rock). This is because, beyond the designation, these have very specific control properties that can also be contro-predictive in a current off-road task - for example through the automatic raising of the landing gear in rock mode. Ultimately, the most plausible way to drive the Jeep Grand Cherokee off-road is actually with manual, deliberate use of the various options (ESP /terrain reduction on /off, chassis mode, hill descent control) and leaving the selector switch in the automatic position.

So the summary for the big Jeep is a both-and, with identical reasons. The move away from the rigid axle chassis of the predecessor models brings a significant advance in driving comfort and safety on the road. And it is precisely this road-optimized independent wheel suspension that is naturally a step backwards in the field when things get really tough. To the unstoppableDespite a lot of high-tech, the Jeep Grand Cherokee does not come close to the Rödel characteristics of the Jeep Wrangler, but it drives it up and away in every respect in everyday road life.

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