Jeep is an iconic brand in most places around the world, including in India, and not just because Mahindra used to assemble WW2 Jeeps. The go-anywhere ability of the Jeep brand has been retained over the decades, and an element of luxury has been added especially to their big models like the Grand Cherokee.
The 'Grand' in the name offers a hint of luxury all on its own, but it also denotes the fact that this Cherokee is the larger of two siblings, but there still is no capacity for three rows of seating. However, in markets around the world, it goes toe to toe with two-row SUVs like the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5, with a notable three-row mention being the Land Rover Discovery 4.
The Grand Cherokee seems to be a good fit for the Indian market: the current generation boasts a 3.0-litre V6 diesel that generates 237bhp and 549Nm and feeds power to all four wheels. The only other engine option is a 470bhp, 6.4-litre petrol V8; it is extremely unlikely that anyone in India will want one of those. The suspension is tuned for comfort rather than handling, just like the steering - and that will be perfect for Indian roads. It helps that it has electronic control over the suspension, differentials and stability control that is programmed for a one-touch suitability to different surfaces like Land Rover's Terrain Response System.
Where the Grand Cherokee will lose ground to the others is in the area of perceived quality: the leather, wood and dashboard quality all lag behind the segment average, which is something Indian consumers won't overlook for very long. Other quirks include the lack of a footrest for the driver's left foot and the full-size spare wheel that limits boot space and makes the load bay really high off the ground.
We expect the Grand Cherokee to make its way to the Indian market very soon; as soon as March next year is likely.
It retails in most European markets for Rs 34 lakh before taxes and duties, so expect it to be priced around X3/Q5 territory when it goes on sale here.