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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jeep Grand Cherokee impressions

Yes, it is strange to see a Jeep review on a Saab blog. But who likes Saab mostly likes cars in general and definitely would catch a possibility to test drive something else the same way as I did.

It's good to have friends in automotive industry, friends which trust you, that you dont wreck their test cars. I have such a friend, so I get from time to time a chance to drive something interesting. This time it was a really large car - a Jeep Grand Cherokee. A close to new one, with only 10.000 km driven.

My experience with SUVs is rather limited - i drove XC90 D5 for a couple of kilometers and a Chevrolet Trailblazer for around 5.000 km through the United States. So the impressions are good for people with similar experience maybe considering to buy an SUV.

The engine was the stronger version of 3.0 V6 CRD (diesel) performing 241 hp / 550Nm,  automatic transmission, edition Overland, which means nearly fully equipped car with leather everywhere and all the modern electronic toys incl. blind-angle alarm, adaptive cruise control, 5 chassis regimes, rear parking camera, intelligent lights, keyless entry  and so on. Tyres were 265/60 R18.

Like :
- robust impression both interior and exterior
- nice interior. After seeing some other Jeeps, which looked from inside like produced in Legoland, this was a very positive surprise.
- drive economy of the diesel - it had 10-11 litres of testing drives consumption on the computer. While driving on cruise-control 90kmh it was around 7 litres.
- sunroof, not loud at all even at 100kmh.
- adaptive cruise control which breaks as well as accelerates
- AUX, 2x USB inputs and Hard Disk for music. wow.
- it didn't had the typical diesel tractor sound

Neutral :
- the 3.0 V6 diesel engine drives the car fine and the drive economy is OK. But this car weights 2.3 tons so you dont have this feeling of push from the seats while accelerating. So if someone search for a bit more swiftness, better choice would be one of the petrol engines.
- rear camera - no need

Dislike :
- too many light - aluminium colored parts on the dashboard
- too hard chassis, I was expected a softer "boat", no problems with holes in the road but you feel them (in no sport mode)
- only one handle behind the steering wheel with everything on it, things like direction indicator, wiper regulation etc. Too many things on one handle.
- the envy of others, grumbling around, that SUV is useless
- list price of 56k €

In general i was very positive impressed. As a Saab fan I would rather go for the 9-4X, which is smaller, but imho with nicer shapes. If I wouldn't be a Saab fan, this would be one of the hottest options so far. Of course not for 56k€. But I started seriously to consider, that the "working" car, which should come to our family could be an SUV. When the situation allows that ...

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