GRAND CHEROKEE SUMMIT PLATINUM
The features list isn’t out of place on a six-figure car, from adaptive cruise control and dual-pane sunroof to powered, heated and cooled front seats wrapped in leather, air suspension and active noise cancellation from the 19-speaker Haman Kardon audio. It all looks and feels as plush as many European rivals. The warranty is three years/100,000km and service intervals six months/12,000km.
The big seven-slot chrome grille lets everyone know you’ve bought a Jeep. Visibility isn’t as good as the Disco but the cabin layout is every bit as well composed, capped off by an 8.4-inch touchscreen that’s still one of the easiest to operate. The absence of third-row seating pushes cargo space to almost 800L.
The Jeep’s 3.0-litre turbo diesel is rated at 184kW/570Nm. As with the Disco, there’s a two-range transfer case and eight-speed automatic with official combined fuel use of 7.5L/100km. Jeep’s Selec-Terrain software tweaks the drivetrain depending on the surface and there’s a separate sports mode in the transmission itself.
A poor front crash score limited the Grand Cherokee to a four-star score and a rating of 29.95/37 when tested at launch in 2011. A seat slider failure, contact with the dash by the driver’s knee and an airbag “bottoming out” from a head impact all cost it points despite the structure staying stable.
With the big turbo diesel weighing down the front, the Grand Cherokee pitches more than we’d like and isn’t the fastest to change direction. Interior ambience is first-rate and acceleration is brisker than the Disco, if not by much. The steering has a softer, vaguer feel though the wheel itself is more reassuring to hold. Those 20-inch wheels, while filling out the arches, won’t help the Summit in off-road duties. Towing is rated to 3.5 tonnes.