Powering the Grand Cherokee is a diesel motor that’s good for 240bhp and 570Nm of torque. This 3-litre V6 mill works closely with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. On the go, when you pedal the throttle in ‘Normal’ mode, it will respond with an eager shove from idle and the motor propels this SUV to gain momentum in a swift and linear manner. One wouldn’t realise the advancement in velocity until you hear the sporty growl, or spot the revs hitting the 4000rpm limiter. Superior insulation is the culprit here!
Lift the foot off the accelerator pedal and the motor immediately upshifts so that the revs are gradually dropped to as low as 1500rpm for effortless long distance driving. However, shift into ‘Sport’ mode and the engine reacts instantly through the rev range to now meet the driver’s throttle expectations by clinging to each gear all the way to the redline. Even if you back off the accelerator pedal in this mode, a lower gear is hung on to, so that the motor can plunge you ahead as soon as you feed an input.
Barring some kick-down situations where the transmission took a bit longer, the gearbox usually carries out most shifts smoothly and quickly.Engineers have equipped this Jeep with a light steering that’s quick off the centre, so basic city driving should be easy. However, this steering requires a number of turns from lock-to-lock and this means one will need to work their arms a bit to conduct tight manoeuvres. On the other hand, while highway driving is a breeze, the steering weighs up much slower at higher speeds.Despite this being mechanically correct, one will need to put in more effort to drive around a bend as the motor just slingshots to top speeds without a sweat, and could catch you unaware.
Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction control system features on the Grand Cherokee, and it provides the driver with five pre-set modes for driving in sand, snow, rock and mud conditions. Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II 4WD systems on-board this SUV also augments the traction considerably.Armed with a stiff suspension setup, the firm damping translates into some vertical movement, and the stiffness can be felt at slower speeds, even while inching across large potholes.One eventually starts going over undulations a bit faster than usual whenever possible, just to counter this.
However, the ride quality improves drastically when speeds rise, and at higher speeds the Grand Cherokee relentlessly flattens most bumps. The only decibel that’s audible in this cabin is the faint noise from the suspension components working away while the vehicle tramples over the undulations our roads tend to offer in spades. Though we noticed that the brakes offer an awesome bite, we would have welcomed more feedback at the end of the pedal travel. Our test car also had a tendency to nose dive under slightly harder braking.