Expect a Grand entrance
The new Grand Cherokee is making a big impression in the US and will be here soon, writes Paul Gover
THE most important new Jeep in a generation has been unveiled in the US and is coming to Australia early next year. The new Grand Cherokee sets the tone for Chrysler under its new Fiat ownership.
Chrysler has deliberately chosen its flagship vehicle — and the bestseller for the brand in Australia — to do the job.
And there are surprises, such as the Mercedes-Benz ML mechanical package under the Jeep bodywork and the promise of better quality and refinement.
Chrysler Jeep Australia spokesman Jerry Stamoulis says the new Jeep has an exciting future.
‘‘It is, without a doubt, the most important launch since the new ownership. It’s probably the most important since the Jeep Wrangler in 2007,’’ he says.
‘‘This vehicle will show people exactly where the Jeep brand is headed. And it’s also about the future of our product interiors and powertrain technology.’’
Jeep has shown its commitment to the car with a $31,000 starting price in the US, where it is using a rear-drive model as a price leader.
It comes with an all-new Pentastar V6 engine with fuel economy of 10.2 litres/100km, and 216kW from 3.6 litres. The cruising range for the petrol V6 is a claimed 805km.
The cabin has 17 per cent more cargo volume as well as improved passenger space.
On the safety front, it has six airbags as standard, active head restraints, electronic stability control and anti-skid brakes.
Off-road ability is a given for the Grand Cherokee, even though the brand has been led into a more urban focus in recent years.
Australian prices will not be decided for several months.