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Road Test: Jeep Grand Cherokee 2.7 CRD Limited 5dr Auto (2001-2004)

£30,212 when new

Car specifications

Budget
£30,212
Brake horsepower
161bhp
Fuel consumption
29.1mpg
0–62 mph
11.20s
CO2
255g/km
Max speed
118Mph
Insurance Group
31D

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As I write this, if you sign up for a 4x4 you can personally take the rap for the planet overheating along with the wilful slaughter of pedestrians nationwide. Such acts are deeply anti-social yet more of us are buying off-roaders than ever.

When we’re talking about a Jeep Grand Cherokee that does little more than roam urban streets it’s easy to see why there’s some malice present, but move out to the country, stick a big trailer on the back, and suddenly it all makes sense.

That’s what I did for the week our Grand Cherokee was around. I hitched my friend’s hot air balloon trailer on the back and we went flying for the weekend. While everyone slithered about in their rear-wheel drive estates, we drove round muddy fields without having to worry about getting stuck, thanks to the permanent four-wheel drive.

Even better is the comfort in which you can tackle the slippery stuff. Although the ride is fidgety and there’s too muchy transmission whine, there are enough creature comforts on hand to distract your attention. The leather-trimmed seats are incredibly comfortable while there’s masses of space for five; it’s just a shame there’s no arm rest in the middle of the back seat.

Performance is perfectly acceptable, with 295lb ft of torque on offer and an automatic gearbox that swaps ratios without being intrusive. Acceleration isn’t going to lead to neck braces being required, but if you need to get past a dawdler on an A-road (even with the trailer in tow) you cam manage it with a bit of planning.

Because the Grand Cherokee is so easy to drive, it isn’t as barmy to punt one around town as many would have you believe. But it’s a big beast that’s a pain to park (especially as there are no parking sensors) and your fuel bills could get frightening if you’re constantly stuck in traffic. But who cares about such practicalities? Surely it’s worth buying one just to stick two fingers up at Ken and co.

Richard Dredge
 

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