Jeep Grand Cherokee L: The best large family SUV Zim

Defining something as the best usually creates polarization and controversy. There are few times when I put my neck on the block when analyzing a vehicle. This is one of them. There’s a reason the Jeep Grand Cherokee L is the best in its class.

Last year I did it with Toyota Land Cruiser 300s. The demand and sales of the vehicle have proved me right. This year I’m bringing the Jeep Grand Cherokee L. Read on to understand why I say that

American automakers have a reputation for making large family vehicles. The new seven-seat Grand Cherokee is the best large family car currently on the market, in my opinion.

With the first V8 Grand Cherokee, Jeep produced one of its first large SUVs. They’ve definitely gone above and beyond with this new massive V6 beastie.

Design

Let’s discuss size. The vehicle I’m reviewing is the L model, which comfortably seats seven adults and has plenty of space (436 liters) for luggage in the back. It is the only one on the market at present. This indicates that it is both long and wide (5.20 meters).

Did I mention the space, with the big, comfortable tourist seats, picture-perfect headroom and huge windows that allow you to see all the animals without too much trouble if you decide to make it to Hwange National Park for the picturesque tourist attraction- see escapades?

The 2018 Grand Cherokee is a stylish vehicle from every angle, including the front, rear and interior. The dashboard is among the nicest I’ve seen in terms of aesthetics and use. The quality is well regarded. Driving is fun, but parking in small spaces or garages can be entertaining.

Interior

When you look inside, the eight-way electronically adjustable heated and ventilated seats with memory function and four-way headrests immediately catch your attention. You can also choose between analog or digital instruments on the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. The 10.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system also has a 10.25-inch interactive screen for the passenger.

The leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel is also heated, and it includes paddle shifters. Because you can tuck the “boot” all the way up to the top and still see behind you, this is the first production Jeep to feature a fully digital rearview mirror.

There is also a camera to monitor what is happening in the back seat. 2,396 liters of boot space is available when rows two and three are folded down, allowing you to take the whole house with you for the weekend. By pressing a button, the second and third row of seats can be adjusted.

The McIntosh 19-speaker 950-watt system with subwoofer and active noise reduction is the sound system in the Overlander model. Nappa leather seats and door trim, tri-zone climate control, heated second-row seats, multiple cup holders and, get ready for this, 12 USB Type A and Type C connections throughout the vehicle round out the interior.

Legroom in the third row is exceptional. Adults can sit back and relax effortlessly.

The fully customizable, extremely efficient head-up display comes in full color. The infotainment interface and Bluetooth were particularly easy to use.

Performance

This fifth-generation model’s engine bay houses the familiar 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar petrol engine made from aluminium, producing 210kW and 344Nm through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. In real life, you can expect average fuel consumption of 13.0L/100km, 9.0L/100km on the open road at 110km/h and 15.0L/100km in the city.

Quadra-Lift air suspension offers an exceptional 277mm of ground clearance, which you can move up or down to suit conditions.

There are simply too many safety features in the Grand Cherokee lineup to list, but thankfully some of them can be turned off or turned off. The emergency braking system is effective.

Driving the car gives you the impression that the engineers have included all the best features from Jeep and the larger Stellantis group, which also includes Citroen, Opel, Peugeot and Fiat.

The Jeep may be the best “urban” Jeep yet. Don’t get me wrong, it has all the tools needed to perform admirably off the beaten track, but I think the majority of Grand Cherokees will be used primarily on highways.

But don’t forget that off-roading is in Jeep’s DNA; so that’s a given.

Rapid acceleration occurs when moving forward or standing still. When you give her the V6 right, she sings with ecstasy. Without a hint of undulation, the obviously large car feels firmly anchored. This may be due to the air suspension. It handles road bumps with disdain and goes smoothly over speed bumps and around bends. The ride height can be adjusted to any of the six steps, although I kept it at step two for city driving.

Driving this Grand Cherokee is fun because of its well-balanced and well-tuned steering, brakes and accelerator pedal. The eight-speed transmission shifts seamlessly and the V6 provides constant power. It’s the perfect large family vehicle and checks all the right boxes.

The instrument cluster and displays are fully customizable and easy to read and use. The physical knobs and buttons, which are easy to use by hand, are a positive.

The front seats and steering wheel on the Overland model are heated and cooled. You can customize the lighting in the cabin and when you get out of the car, you can choose how long the entry lights and high beams should be on.

When you approach the car at night, the door handles are illuminated. To make it easier to get in and out, the driver’s seat slides back and the steering wheel is raised. You can customize your display settings for different drivers. All these little luxury touches make this the most affordable luxury SUV on the market today.

Following are the prices: The top-of-the-line Summit Reserve is $132,000, the Limited is $99,500, the Overlander is $127,000 (the model I analyzed), and the Limited is $99,500. Although the price looks high, keep in mind that they are extremely well furnished, so you don’t need to buy anything extra.

The SUV that gives you the best value in the current market is this one that gives you more bang for your buck than the Range Rover, Toyota Prado, Hyundai Palisade and others.

A three-year or 100,000 km warranty and a two-year service plan every 60,000 km are included as standard, which is a first for Zimoco and probably in Zimbabwe.

My choice

The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is a premium large SUV manufactured by a reputable brand full of heritage. It has strong sales potential as it offers the best value for money without compromising on quality, luxury equipment offerings and off-road capability. It can regain leadership in its category with astute, disruptive and incisive marketing. It’s my decision. Let me know yours. — andrew@muzamhindo.com

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