UK Car Road Test

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 ltd 2001

 Movie Clips of this Car

Exterior Movie Interior Movie

 


The Grand daddy of the four by four.;

Jeep aka Willys produced the War Time Utility  off roader that started it all, and here they are tilting at the Luxury end of the 4*4 market with  a car to challenge the Range Rover and its competitors. 

Im sure the Incredible Hulk should be green

Jeep having been doing very well thank you very much in the UK market of late  and here is one of the reasons why.

Whilst Land Rover spotted the market niche for a luxury off roader, and then exploited it to the full with the Range Rover, Other Marques have entered the market to compete. We immediately think of the Japanese big bangers like the Shogun, and such like as the competition.

But over stateside home brewed competition has long existed. As our idea of a car has grown and theirs has shrunk the inevitable happened and some of the Yankee iron officially started to find its way here.

Once a 4.7 litre V8 yank tank would have received a cool welcome on these shores with their gargantuan size and gas guzzling bad manners, but now things have got are not so clear. The falling Dollar makes these look ever cheaper and when you look at the Metal you get for your hard earned pennies the Jeep starts to look a positive bargain.

Off Road cars tend to have a fairly fixed look and layout. So many of the styling idiosyncrasies of the American market do not get into the Car. We normal have to accept they like their cars to look one way, we Europeans another. But within the confines of  2 box off roader the lines blur and the funny bits get left off.

What we get left with is an imposing car still of great size, though fairly compact by American standards. I would describe the side treatment as a little Japanese, but that's probably being unfair as the Japanese probably robbed it from the Americans. It presents a more sophisticated, rounder, curvier look than the plainer Cherokee which is a bit of a shame as I thought the older square model stood out from the crowd a bit more. It is neatly devoid of the lashings of chrome that American aimed motors sometimes tend to carry. Settling for a much more restrained overall look. Compared to many 4*4s it actually looks long low and sleek. ( only compared to 4*4s though)

A good large array if lighting liberally covers the front and rear ends. Both end look short and well kicked up which bodes well for more challenging terrain.

With its roof bars, tow bar, side steps it looks fully equipped, so you get a full package not a wallet emptying list of extras.

Inside is like stepping into a beige sitting room. The Arm chair like seats dominate your initial view. They look big and soft and cosseting they are just that.  Its like somebody has nicked a couple of Joey chairs from friends and stuck them inside. They are very inviting and you relax into them without a care.

The beige trim is a little eye popping on first view contrasting only with the darker beige of the dash. Whether you find beige makes the interior light and airy, or old and pensioner   like is up to you. 

The interior is hard to compare to European standards, some call it tacky, some wacky. Obviously we have different opinions of what is good taste over here. Some do find it a little tacky and crude,  others do not really care and just wallow in its level and depth of equipment. I am sure they could spend a fortune making the switch gear more attractive, but whether it would actually improve the car I somewhat doubt.

 

 

Is it well equipped! does Yogi go to the toilet in Jellystone Park! It is pretty much a case of lob everything Jeep have in their parts bin into the thing and tick all the boxes on the spec sheet.

Just above you can see the cup holders. And at first sight they are very basic Items indeed, unlike the Alien technology device so often found. But they hold cups just fine and wonder of wonders the tray pulls out and can be washed of the spillings. Simple but a nice touch.

Computer does most thing, 
OS more Linux than Windows

CD multiplayer hidden away.

Huge car, small glovebox. 

 Maximum dials minimum design..

Features
Adjustable Steering Column
Adjustable Steering Column
Centre Arm Rest Front
Centre Arm Rest Front
Centre Arm Rest Rear
Centre Arm Rest Rear
Cup holders
Cup holders
Drivers seat Lumbar Support
Drivers seat Lumbar Support
Electric Height Adjusting Drivers Seat
Electric Height Adjusting Drivers Seat
Head Rests (front & rear)
Head Rests (front & rear)
Heated Front Seats
Heated Front Seats
Height Adjustable Seat Belts
Height Adjustable Seat Belts
Split rear seats
Split rear seats
Time Clock
Time Clock
 
Colour Coded Bumpers
Colour Coded Bumpers
Colour Coded Mirrors
Colour Coded Mirrors
Electric Aerial
Electric Aerial
Heated Rear Window
Heated Rear Window
Rear Load Cover
Rear Load Cover
Rear Wash Wipe
Rear Wash Wipe
Tinted Windows
Tinted Windows
 
Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette Lighter
Cruise Control
Cruise Control
Electric Memory Seats
Electric Memory Seats
Electric Mirrors
Electric Mirrors
Electric Windows (front & rear)
Electric Windows (front & rear)
Heated Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Leather Steering Wheel
Leather Steering Wheel
Leather Upholstery
Leather Upholstery
Radio Cassette
Radio Cassette
Trip Computer
Trip Computer

 

 

If petrol cost a pound a gallon would we all be driving V8 engined behemoths.  The answer to that is most probably yes.

Not that American V8 are what they once were.

Nope now they are sophisticated, clean (ish) and lustily powerful. Gone are the days when petrol was so cheap that if you needed more speed you dumped the Five litre and strapped in the Seven litre. Nowadays they have things like overhead cams and other shocks.

The Americans were always capable of building high tech high power reliable motors, it was just that low tech hyper swept volume was so much cheaper and easier to do. Emission regulations  and MPG targets have changed all that which is why we get  Cubic Capacities within GCSE math's counting range.

Rumble, gurgle, rumble

 Small block rolling Yankee thunder

Want to have a little fun, blip the Gas at idle, and watch as the V8 twists on its mountings to your right dipping the Car with it. Small Block or not its an awful lot of engine rotating away there up front. 

It puts out a reliable 220bhp and of course is laden with deep reserves of torque. That 220 horses does have to fight with a 1900kg kerb weight, but the performance is still creditable or should that be incredible as the monster slurs up to 60mph is a touch over 8 seconds and runs on to a rather frightening 124mph top end. Just what its latent mass is at these velocities and how much work the brakes have to do I will leave to your imagination.

Using the performance is not so much finding a road long enough as one wide enough.

The performance really is quite stunning for such a big beast, surprising myself and  cars foolish enough to pull up outside it at traffic lights in the hope of an easy hop across lanes.

17.7mpg 22.1mpg 13.2mpg 

are the quoted urban, ultra urban, and speed economy figures (or should that be guzzle figures) Interestingly its one of the few cars with better urban consumption better than its speed figure. I guess that shows that all those curves and smoothed in lights count little for on its aerodynamic behavior, its still about as aerodynamic as a bus. If you can and do manage 22mpg then you really have bought the wrong car and the Turbo Diesel would suit you better.

Drive is through that American institution the Automatic gearbox. They have been doing them so long they really should be good at them now. 

At first I thought the Box was going to present a real problem. From cold it was somewhat oversensitive to the throttle, lurching up and down the gears in a frenzy. Once warmed up it settled down to a sensible responsive unit, Though it does not really like an overly active right foot. I also thought it failed to make use of the V8 motors inherent strengths, changing down under the slightest provocation and point blank refusing to let the motor grunt along at low revs. It constantly seemed to want or need to accelerate hard in a single handed attempt to drain the Earths oil resources. 

For motor way use the cruise control can be set and it takes the hassle and worry away, all you have to do is slide into every second garage and empty your wallet. 

The biggest shock was really how well the Grand Cherokee rides and drives. I refrained from using the word handling as its a phrase that challenges most 4*4's to the utmost. Yet this Jeep does it remarkably well. Considering the size the last thing you really want to do is start hustling it around corners and I refused to run the risk of planting a large hole through a few local hedges. But it is competent at all speeds that most of us would call sensible and then some.

The Steering imparts a fair degree of confidence back to the drive and its body control is excellent for this class of car.

The front sun visors carry some rather ominous horror warnings about rolling over and getting crushed to death. They are a bit over the top, a little sobering and will give your children nightmares. I know the American legal system makes them overly cautious, but It sets you wondering and put doubt into the back of your mind.

In use the car never feels like its going to tip over and you have to wander just how stupidly you need to behave to make this happen. On the road I doubt if the tyres grip will last beyond the point where it rolls over. Off road on silly cambers, well that's a different story but you really should not be venturing along too difficult terrain without a modicum of training, and personally I would have a roll cage fitted before getting that serious.

On tarmac it also rides really quite nicely, with none of the usual wallowing, axel shuddering and bouncing normally associated with big Off Roaders.

The tyres must go a long way towards aiding its behavior, big and cushioned their tread is less than knarly and  knobbly and definitely road biased.

Obviously.

Quadra Drive, posh name for "4"

Not that you should worry about its off road ability , jeeps have been crushing the dirt into submission for as long as anyone can remember. Though a spare set of  knobblies would help make the most of it abilities.

As a tow truck though it is rather good with a 2500kg towing capacity, which is a lot of horses or a big boat.

 

From my point of view 1900kg of car is going to be fairly safe in the majority of crash situations as it will impart its damage on to the other generally smaller vehicle. Its uses the object of your impact as its crumple zone.  Euro NCAP tests tend to be a fixed speed crash with an immovable object so huge heavy cars carry to much mass to do well in these tests. Most crashes involve other vehicles and I for one think it will do pretty well in these situations. 

Most other cars tend to give way at the sight of an oncoming Grand Cherokee so tight squeeze situations are minimized.  The commanding seating position and large glass area help to give you a view of the road second to non. You can see all the extremities very easily for such a big car and that is a big bonus.

Its fleet footedness also helps on some occasions, in some lesser powered 4*4 getting out of busy junctions or slipping into heavy fast traffic can be a real bind, the V8 removes all those hassles.

If those  tactics does not work then the Jeep carries a backup plan of some modern safety aids built into its ageing design chassis. Though air bags are limited to frontal one.

Not exactly the height of  fashion.

 Minor styling effort

 

The Jeep also has a good level of security, with I believe a computer function related to car jacking suppression. 

Safety/Security Features
Alarm
Alarm
Antilock Braking System
Antilock Braking System
Child Locks
Child Locks
Engine Immobiliser
Engine Immobiliser
Front Twin Airbags
Front Twin Airbags
High level brake Light
High level brake Light
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Wheel Nuts
Locking Wheel Nuts
Rear Seat Belts Fitted
Rear Seat Belts Fitted
Remote Central Locking
Remote Central Locking
Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Protection

 Though a Gun rack and Hunting rifle may be even more use.

 

Sure Its big and its roomy. But probably not as roomy as you would expect given the exterior dimensions. Its a standard 4*4 problem their interior to exterior ratio always seems quite small. Still when its this big there is still plenty of space despite its wastefulness. 

Perfect for shootin varmints outta

Lots of space dirty spare well hidden

The boot is good and large and in this car not a pretend space for a couple jump seats. the floor space is flat and lacks intrusive objects. As you would expect the lip is quite high but the rear bumper is well protected to double up as a resting point come step.

 

 Push to open 
"well I never would have guessed"

 Step helps granny get onboard

Huge speakers emit huge sound

Good quality Stereo as standard 

Noise laws mean most engines sound pretty strangled nowadays, and the V8 burble is pretty well strangled in this instance.

Unlike the Air con which pumps out a barrage of air capable of running you through death valley without getting a sweat on, you will be very deaf though.

You can try and drown the fan out with the super stereo system which has some of the largest speakers I have ever seen as standard fitment.

 

Rubber more Road than Mud orientated

Rear leg room only so,so for a car this size.

All 4*4s are dynamically compromised on the road so lets not worry about that to much. Non are really that economical, neither at the pumps or on General running costs.

Yet we seem to still love them. As a big posh work horse this car excels, if you need to tow big, the ability to do it outweighs the cost of fuel and so the pitiful economy is probably of little concern.

This is the 4*4 for those of you who demand the absolute maximum for your money. And that's where the Jeep scores big. New the price is a seemingly bargain 30K.  When you put that along side the price of a new Range Rover you begin to understand why the Cherokee is so popular. Some of the details may grate a little but you get a whole heap of car for your money.

The last comment is when being tested this car used so much fuel so quickly. when we got stuck in traffic it stopped 200 meters short of the fuel station on a busy road.


 

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UK Car Road Test Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 ltd 2001

UK Car Road Test Keywords: 4*4 AutoGrand Cherokee 4.7 ltd