The new Grand Cherokee is Americana on wheels
It might be Jeep’s global flagship, but there’s no mistaking where it’s from
As the headline and pictures may have already given away, this is the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, on its way to the UK – and the world at large – in 2022. And as the first new global product from Jeep under multinational parent company Omni-Global-Hyper-Mega-Corp... er, Stellantis, Jeep’s keen to ensure the new Grand Cherokee remains distinctly American.
Of course, just building an SUV isn’t going to cut it anymore; companies from all car-building nations are picking that low-hanging fruit these days. Offering a 350bhp 5.7-litre V8, on the other hand, is an excellent way to wrap the stars and stripes around the concept. Other engines are on offer, of course, including a V6 that doesn’t look terribly interesting and a hybrid setup that does. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder sends power to an electric motor-generator, instead of a torque converter, before heading to the gearbox. A clutch on the engine side can disconnect engine power entirely when it’s not needed, and a clutch on the gearbox side acts... well, much like a clutch in any mechanical car you’ve ever driven. Add the whole thing together and there’s 375bhp and 470lb ft on offer – more than the V8 manages. Clever stuff, really – as is partnering with an American EV charging company to put charging stations at the heads of popular off-road trails.
Measuring its interior space in cubic feet is another all-American solution, given that the metric-thinking world won’t have the foggiest idea of how big that is. We can say that the new one has another 4.1 cubic feet of space for you and 1.4 cubic feet of space for your luggage. And, after a little digging, we can also say that this means room for an extra-small North Face Base Camp duffel (other duffels are available and do an equally good job of laying bare just how much of a Walter Mitty you are) and two good-size bed pillows’ worth of space in the cabin. Y’know, if that helps conceptualise things at all.
But silly measurements aren’t wholly American. Take the Brits, for instance – any day now, we’ll start measuring fuel economy in fluid drams per furlong, and 0-60 times in fractions of a Morris dance.
Not to worry, however – the GC’s built in Detroit, which is a) definitely in America, and b) tremendous news for the city. And the GC’s interior fitout is a bit of an American power tour in itself – the 19-speaker stereo’s courtesy of the audio meisters at McIntosh, the radio’s powered by SiriusXM, and Amazon’s chipped in with Fire TV, Prime Video and Alexa (presumably for use while stationary). The satnav, however, is Dutch. But that makes sense, too, given most Americans would need a map and a good five minutes to figure out where the Netherlands is.
Yes, it’s still called the Grand Cherokee and no, we don’t know why – particularly after the Chief of the Cherokee Nation asked Jeep not to use their cultural identity to sell SUVs. We would have thought the obvious move would be a quick name change – maybe a dip into the all-American, flag-waving names Jeep’s used in the past, like Liberty and Patriot – but then we don’t run a car company. Probably for the best...
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