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Car reviews - Jeep - Grand Cherokee - Limited V8

Overview

Jeep finally produces a world-class Grand Cherokee medium-size off-roader

Jeep logo4 Nov 2011

By MIKE COSTELLO

DURING the ructions of the 2008 economic downturn, not only was the embryonic WJ Jeep Grand Cherokee at risk of failing to reach production, but also the Chrysler group itself nearly keeled over. With the humiliating publication of highly confidential WJ design sketches and the many ups and downs of a company facing oblivion, it is a surprise Jeep got the WJ out at all. Instead, the upheaval seems to have galvanised the company, because the WJ Grand Cherokee is one of the best Jeeps yet.
Model release date: 1 February 2011 to 1 June 2013

Previous model

Grand Cherokee

Released: July 2005
Ended: January 2011
Family Tree: Grand Cherokee

SHARING some components with Mercedes’ second-generation (W164) M-Class SUV, the third-generation Grand Cherokee arrived with an all-new body, redesigned suspension and a host of improved drivetrains, with the diesel coming courtesy of then-owner Daimler.

Three engines were offered at launch, all mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox – a 160kW/510Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel from Mercedes, a 170kW/410Nm 4.7-litre V8 petrol and a 240kW/500Nm 5.7-litre Hemi V8.

Model grades were Laredo and Limited, both with high levels of off-road ability thanks to an on-demand 4x4 system.

A 148kW/315Nm 3.7-litre V6 petrol was briefly offered on the base Laredo from 2007 to 2008, but the big news was the high-performance SRT-8, belting out 313kW/569Nm from a 6.0-litre Hemi V8.

A range facelift from August 2008 upped the 4.7-litre V8 to 223kW/445Nm, while a 2010 model cull saw the Laredo become diesel-only and the Limited gain a 259kW/520Nm version of the 5.7-litre V8.

Jeep Australia also imported 50 up-spec Overland models to test the market for the all-new WK replacement released in February 2011.

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