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2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee makes a powerful statement

‍Muscular, with a powerful stance, the feel behind the wheel of the fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland is one of sophistication and class, writes Prashirwin Naidu.

Last Tuesday I headed to Alpine Boutique Hotel in Menlo Park, Pretoria for the launch of the fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. Excitement and anticipation circulated in the early morning air, among the motoring media in attendance.

This is the shorter wheelbase version of the Grand Cherokee L which was released in 2022. The vehicle comes in three grades: Limited, Overland and Summit Reserve. The Limited starts from R1,329,000. The Overland we drove is priced at R1,539,900 and the top-of-the-range Summit Reserve goes for R1,735,900.

Equipment levels set the trio apart, but all are powered by the same engine: a 3.6-litre petrol unit, with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It produces 210kW and 344Nm.

Stepping into the Overland, I was quite impressed by the level of quality and attention-to-detail. The seats are plush and comfortable, the feel behind the wheel is one of sophistication and class.

A staunch and muscular aesthetic!

The basic Limited comes with an 8.4-inch ‍Uconnect touchscreen, while the Overland and Summit Reserve feature a 10.1-inch display.

Both systems have navigation, as well as wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A dozen USB ports can be found in the vehicle.

The McIntosh audio system in our Overland was impressive, with its 19 speakers and 950-Watt amplifier. The Limited has a nine-speaker system. In terms of boot space, you have 1,068 litres available.

Looks wise, the Grand Cherokee is muscular, with a powerful stance, a clear evolution from the 1992 original. Colour options are varied: Baltic Grey Metallic, Silver Zynith, Rocky Mountain Metallic, Velvet Red Pearl, Midnight Sky Metallic, Bright White, and Diamond Black Crystal.

Classy and just simply beautiful.

We sampled the Jeep in its natural element, in an off-road environment. This being my first time bundu bashing, my nerves were tense.

Nobody wants to be responsible for harming a luxury sport-utility vehicle, after all. But the Jeep makes light work of challenging conditions, easy to manoeuvre despite its size.

Some might argue that the petrol engine needs a bit more kick, but it seemed to perform reasonably well in our applications off-road, cruising over gravel and sessions on the freeway.

We drove up a rocky mountain and descending it too. That put the rear electronic limited-slip differential and air suspension to good use. There are four driving modes on offer: Sport, Rock, Snow and Mud. A default Auto setting is also part of the mix.

The air suspension, with adaptive damping and makes for a smooth ride and steady on-road presence. Under hard acceleration, the V6 delivers a pleasant sound.

There are four driving modes available: Sport, Rock, Snow and Mud.

Claimed fuel consumption is 10.6l/100km. We achieved 11.2l/100km. Towing capacity is 2,813kg braked and 750kg unbraked.

Motorists who like to haul caravans and trailers might find other options more appealing in this regard, as there are rivals with towing abilities of up to 3,500kg.

All in all, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a balanced package, being accomplished on the road and excellent in off-road settings.

With its luxurious interior appointments, generous standard equipment levels and pricing that is competitive for the segment, families in want of full-sized, premium transportation will find it a compelling pick.

Prashirwin Naidu
Prashirwin Naidu
Aspiring scribe, Prashirwin Naidu is a writer focusing on cars and the arts.
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