The Grand Cherokee is a Jeep: a big, American SUV, wearing an iconic American badge. Compared to rivals like the BMW X5, the Mercedes-Benz ML and the Land Rover Discovery, the Grand Cherokee looks bluff and almost utilitarian.
But a recent makeover has added class and tech to this all-terrain stalwart, as DEON SCHOEMAN finds out.
Jeep. Now there's a brand steeped in gung-ho Americana if there ever was one. Germany has its Geländewagen, and Land Rover is proudly British. But Jeep is as American as apple pie, turkey sandwiches and the Empire State Building. Or is it?
In the aftermath of the credit crunch and the economic meltdown that followed, the US auto industry went through some very tough times, and Chrysler was one of the hardest hit. Today, Chrysler LLC, of which Jeep is a subsidiary, is controlled by the Fiat Group, with the mercurial Sergio Marchionne at the helm.
Does that make the Grand Cherokee the automotive equivalent of a spaghetti Western? Hardly. Just look at rival Land Rover, which remains as pukka British as they come, despite the fact that it's now owned by the giant Tata group.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the brand's full-size...