Just days after it has arrived in New Zealand Jeep showrooms, the new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk was named US 4x4 magazine Four Wheeler’s 2017 SUV of The Year. “The addition of the Trailhawk to the Grand Cherokee model line-up is yet another example of Jeep’s commitment to producing vehicles that are just as nimble and capable in the dirt as they are on the paved road,” said magazine editor Ken Brubaker. “The Trailhawk model takes a capable vehicle and makes it even better.” Over the course of a week, the magazine’s judges conducted a variety of tests spanning more than 1600 km of terrain that included pavement, gravel, dirt, sand, rocks, mud and snow at elevations ranging from sea level to more than 3,000 metres. During the off-road portion of testing, judges evaluated visibility from the driver seat, four-wheel-drive system selection and performance, tyre performance and durability, engine power and cooling, transmission function and cooling, suspension tuning and performance and traction control system function. On the road they evaluated handling, ride quality, interior comfort and steering feel. Other factors also taken into consideration included price, fuel efficiency, tyre size and ramp travel index ( RTI), which tests suspension articulation.