Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4 (2005 – 2010) expert review

By Adrian Higgins, 3rd June 2008

The verdict

The Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers everything its rivals offer at a fraction of the cost. However, running costs can become as steep as the hills this 4x4 can climb.

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Expert rating:

3.8

Pros

  • Smart looks
  • Decent level of kit
  • Updated and improved interior

Cons

  • Steering lacks feel
  • Uninvolving drive
  • High running costs

Full Review

1. Exterior

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4 is getting a bit long in the tooth now, but the rounded headlamps and bluff front end still ensure this 4×4 looks contemporary.  The Grand Cherokee looks imposing without appearing too big and cumbersome.
Our rating: 4

2. Interior

Jeep has updated and improved the interior of the Grand Cherokee with new soft-touch interior dashboard materials and reach and height-adjustable steering wheel as standard.  It still falls short of a BMW X5 or Mercedes ML but elements like the leather-wrapped parking brake plus help present the Grand Cherokee as a quality 4×4 without the luxury price tag.
Our rating: 4

3. Practicality

The Jeep Grand Cherokee isn’t just all show and no go, it has genuine off-road potential. Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist are now standard on diesel models and the Overland trim we tested comes with 4WD system Quadra-Drive II for improved ability. The boot of the Jeep Grand Cherokee has a reversible load floor that’s carpeted on one side and finished in easy-to-clean plastic on the other. The tailgate is split meaning the boot can be accessed without the need to open the whole door, although the floor is quite high off the ground.
Our rating: 4

4. Ride and Handling

The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a very comfortable ride as lumps and bumps in the road are treated with disdain. Its size and off-road ability take its toll with the handling, but not to the degree you might expect. There isn’t too much body-lean in corners and grip is good. However, it doesn’t involve the driver like the BMW X5.
Our rating: 3

5. Performance

There is a choice of the Mercedes-Benz-derived  215bhp 3-litre V6 CRD diesel engine and a 420-bhp 6.1-litre petrol model. The entry level standard model features a five speed manual gearbox while all others are automatic. The petrol model can cover 0-62mph in five seconds and has a top speed of 152mph. The more popular diesel is still quick for such a big 4×4, accelerating from 0-60mph in 8.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 122mph.
Our rating: 4

6. Running Costs

Jeep claims the 3-litre V6 diesel Grand Cherokee has a combined economy of 27.7mpg – and we managed to beat this figure – recording more than 29mpg on a sedate 80 mile journey. The emission levels for the diesel (270g/km) and 6.1-litre petrol (388g/km) are poor, placing them in tax band G . The powerful petrol will hit you even harder at the pumps too, averaging just 17mpg.
Our rating: 2

7. Reliability

This car’s predecessor proved reliable, and this evolution should be just as good. The Mercedes-Benz diesel engine and American V8 petrol are both strong engines which are designed to last.
Our rating: 4

8. Safety

There are a host of electronic safety features fitted across the range, including Electronic Stability Programme, anti-lock brakes and a rollover mitigation system which anticipates situations which could cause the vehicle to roll and stabilises the car by braking the appropriate wheel. Front, side and side curtain airbags are fitted and the Jeep Grand Cherokee performed well in Euro NCAP testing, scoring four stars for adult occupant protection.
Our rating: 4

9. Equipment

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in five trim levels. We drove the Overland model with roof rails, honeycomb grille, Quadra Drive II 4WD system, leather and wood-wrapped steering wheel, heated second row seats and satnav. The SRT-8 comes with 20-inch wheels, run-flat tyres, power sunroof and leather bucket seats. Options include 18-inch wheels, the ‘MyGig’ Entertainment Unit which is capable of storing upto 1600 songs. At the top of the range is the powerful petrol-engine SRT-8 comes with 20-inch wheels, run-flat tyres, power sunroof and leather-trimmed bucket seats.
Our rating: 4

10. Why buy?

This Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers a lot of  kit  for your money – including some strong engines. Buy a similarly specced Land Rover Discovery or BMW X5 and you will be spending thousands more.
Our rating: 4

Expert review 3.8stars

  • Exterior4
  • Interior4
  • Practicality4
  • Ride and handling3
  • Performance4
  • Running costs2
  • Reliability4
  • Safety4
  • Equipment4
  • Why buy?4

Our recommendations

Best on a budget:
Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD Limited
Good kit level and decent running costs.
Best-seller:
Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD Overland
Our tester is also the most popular model.
Blow the budget:
Grand Cherokee 6.1 V8 SRT-8
V8 offers big power and a great soundtrack.

Buy a similarly specced Land Rover Discovery or BMW X5 and you will be spending thousands more.