We’re approaching the end of 2022. However, some vehicle manufacturers won’t let the year end without new releases. The latest manufacturer to dance to this tune is 81-year-old American automaker Jeep, after recently releasing the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee Long wheelbase 2023 model.
Unlike its predecessor, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L is the first three-row version of the Jeep family’s 4X4 SUV and offers more space, luxury and off-road capability.
It is available in three trims; the limited 4×4 seven-seater, overland 4X4 seven-seater and the summit reserve 4X4 six-seater, with two-seater first class arrangement in the second row seating area.
Powered by a 3,600cc V6 petrol engine, with stop/start fuel-saving technology and an efficient eight-speed gearbox combined with a powerful 4×4 system, the L version is larger than its predecessor. It doesn’t come with any diesel options due to the phasing out of more polluting diesel in favor of future electronic vehicle technology. However, its off-road ability was never compromised. The 4X4 system distributes the power depending on the road conditions, which leads to further savings on fuel consumption.
In terms of performance, the SUV can be driven on any terrain. The ground clearance is adjusted with a button (overland and top models only). When pressed, the closed air suspension system allows you to increase the vehicle’s ground clearance to comfortably drive it even on the most uneven off-road roads.
According to Zepha Matovu, Sales Manager of Spear Motors Limited, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Long wheelbase model is equipped with a 360 degree camera that allows you to see the surroundings of the vehicle to avoid accidents from all sides, even side collisions. It also comes with a lane change system that helps you stay in your lane to prevent lane collisions, especially when you aim to overtake at the same time as the driver behind you, or the one from the oncoming lane. This Jeep also comes with airbags in all doors, including those for all passengers.
In the event of a serious frontal crash, the Cherokee comes with a strong protective metal barrier around the engine bay area to prevent the engine from pushing the steering against the driver’s chest.
It also has the brake assist system which allows the car to brake by itself, for example when something suddenly jumps in front of the car.
The car also has a setting to warn you when you are tired or dozing off. For example, if you drive out of your lane, the steering will automatically swerve and bring you back into your lane. When you try to get out of your lane without marking, the vehicle will warn you audibly to continue in a straight direction and will only turn without warning when you use the turn signals.
With a top speed of 240 km/h, the Cherokee is purely fuel dependent but with an improvement over the previous model in terms of performance and fuel consumption. For example, for city trips, one liter covers about eight kilometers and about 12 km on the highway, with a full tank carrying 96 liters.
“It has a digital heads-up display so you can see your speed without looking down and notifies you of map directions or incoming call alerts to prevent you from using your phone while driving. You can also control your phone using the steering wheel ”, explains Matovu.
The other fascinating form of new technology on board this car is the wireless phone charging system and a 10.1-inch ultra HD screen. The screen also shows you the fastest route to use, road terrain ahead and the time it will take to get to your destination.
In addition to the radio, you can also control the air conditioning system and the interior mood lighting on the smart screen. It also has a co-driver’s 10.25-inch screen, with the option of seeing something completely different to that on the main screen. When driving at night, the Cherokee is equipped with a night vision camera that helps you see the distance ahead, while bringing objects closer.
Unlike your car which has a sliding shifter to switch between functions, the long wheelbase Cherokee has a rotary knob, similar to the one on a radio, where you shift into park, reverse, neutral and drive modes. The rearview mirror can also act as a camera to monitor what the passengers behind are doing.
It has many buttons on the roof between the driver and front passenger seats to open the trunk and the sunroof, among other things. It also has McIntosh music system speakers well spaced on all doors and battery powered buttons that operate the seats to massage you. You can also cool the seats or make them warm at the touch of a button. It’s also a remote start SUV, meaning you can start it when you’re out and about.
According to Matovu, the cost of a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee Long wheelbase 2023 model ranges between $150,000 (Shs555m) and $185,000 (Shs684m), depending on the edition you choose.
Jeep Grand Cherokee models
The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a mid-size SUV sold in five trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland and Summit. The trims generally follow a typical tier structure, with the upper levels adding more features to those on the trim below. The exception is the Trailhawk, which has unique off-road upgrades not found on other models.
Drive type Four-wheel drive
Total seats 5
Base engine size 3.6 L
Base engine type Gas
Horsepower 293 hp at 6,400 rpm
Torque 260 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm