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Driven: 75th Anniversary Jeep Grand Cherokee arrives

Green eyed model: Jeep’s 75th Anniversary special editions hint at the brand’s military origins with a series of exclusive upgrades for just 200 Grand Cherokees.

Jeep offers a taste of Grand Cherokee update with 75th Anniversary special edition


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26 Aug 2016

JEEP is celebrating its diamond anniversary with a 75th Anniversary limited edition of its Grand Cherokee large SUV, but the special version also gives customers an early glimpse of the full range update that will arrive in Australia in the last quarter of the year.

The Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary is one of four models to which Jeep has applied a light aesthetic tweak and is based on a choice of either petrol- or diesel-powered Limited variants priced from $64,500 before on-road costs for the 3.6-litre V6 petrol or $71,500 for the 3.0-litre diesel.

For the extra $2500 over the standard Limited customers get 20-inch alloy wheels in a unique satin bronze finish, with the same colour applied to the iconic seven-slot grille throats, roof rails, rear step and lower fascia surround, along with ‘1941 seventy five years’ badging.

Paint colours include Brilliant Black, Bright White Billet Silver and Granite Crystal. Curiously, the Recon Green hero colour is not included in the price but is offered as a $400 option.

The enhancements continue on the inside with Moroccan Sun bronze trims throughout the cabin including the steering wheel, door handles, gear selector, air vents, centre console and instrument cluster. Morocco Black leather upholstery with Tangerine stitching and 75th debossed logos complete the special edition interior.

For added prestige, Jeep is capping the number of 75th Anniversary Grand Cherokees to just 200 nationwide so interested parties are advised to enquire early.

In addition to the aesthetic touches that celebrate Jeep’s 75th birthday, the exclusive Grand Cherokee has also been fitted with a number of features that will be applied to all variants when the model has a mid-life update at the end of the year.

Customers hopping into one of the 200 examples will be among the first to own the facelifted front end that features new-look headlights, a restyled grille and redesigned fascia.

The 75th also has a new ‘polystable’ gear selector that replaces the problematic version which returns to the same position after a gear is selected. The transmission mechanicals remain the same for now but the full range update will bring a revised automatic.

For the petrol-powered versions, the special edition heralds a mild engine update, with the Pentastar V6 gaining 3kW to 213kW, while idle-stop tech has contributed to a increase in fuel economy from 10.4 litres per 100km to an even 10.0L/100km.

A revision for the timing gear has added two-stage variable valve lift and timing for flatter torque curve, while exhaust gas recirculation completes the refreshed engine features.

The 75th Anniversary enhancements are rounded out with new electric power steering replacing the mechanical version, while some steel suspension components have been swapped out for lighter aluminium alloy, improving handling characteristics as well as overall kerb weight reduction.

The Grand Cherokee 75th Anniversary is being offered alongside equivalent versions in the Renegade, Cherokee and Wrangler ranges and Jeep CEO Mike Manley said the special versions honoured the heritage of the brand and its origin.

“Jeep vehicles have defined the authentic SUV and set the benchmark for off-road capability and freedom since they were first produced in 1941,” he said.“Today, Jeep SUVs continue to deliver 4x4 leadership, as well as fuel efficiency, world-class craftsmanship and premium on-road dynamics.

“In honour of the brand's 75th anniversary, we have created these eye-catching, special-edition vehicles that celebrate the unparalleled history of the legendary Jeep brand.” Beyond the updates and military-inspired touches, it is business as usual for the Grand Cherokee. The diesel powertrain is unchanged with a gutsy 184kW and 570Nm on tap from the V6, which finds its way to all four corners via the eight-speed automatic transmission.

Despite the large SUV’s size, the oil-burner manages an average fuel consumption of 7.5 litres per 100km. CO2 emissions are rated at 198g per kilometre.

For those looking to work their Grand Cherokee 75th, towing capacity is a meaty 3500kg with a braked trailer or caravan and up to 782 litres of things can be accommodated in the luggage area, or expanded to 1554 litres with the second row of seats stowed.

The Jeep Selec-Terrain system offers default Auto, Sport, Sand, Snow, Mud, and Rock off-road settings – the latter raising to the vehicle to maximum ground clearance if fitted with optional Quadra-Lift. Approach, departure and break-over angles are 26, 19 and 24 inches respectively.

Some of the Grand Cherokee update features have already begun trickling into Australia in the form of the strictly limited SRT Night, of which 128 have been allocated locally. The special edition is based on the range-topping SRT, but customers would have to shell out a bit more budget than the 75th to get the early insight, with the variant on sale for $97,000.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee pricing*
Laredo 3.6 2WD (a) $47,000
Laredo 3.6 4WD (a) $52,000
Laredo 3.0d 4WD (a) $59,000
Limited 3.6 4WD (a) $62,000
75th Anniversary 3.6 4WD (a) $64,500
Limited 3.0d 4WD (a) $69,000
75th Anniversary 3.0d 4WD (a) $71,500
Overland 3.6 4WD (a) $72,000
Overland 3.0d 4WD (a) $79,000
Summit 3.0d 4WD (a) $87,000
SRT 6.4 4WD (a) $90,000
SRT Night 6.4 4WD (a) $97,000
*Excludes on-road costs

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