The 2023 Grand Cherokee is a multifaceted SUV

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.  Photos/David Lubowa 

What you need to know:

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is comfortable and relatively spacious, and offers class-leading towing and genuine off-road capability. It also has well-tuned advanced driving aids that help make driving easier and safer

We are coming to the end of 2022. However, some vehicle manufacturers are not letting 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 comes in three trims; the limited 4x4 seven-seater, the overland 4X4 seven-seater and the summit reserve 4X4 six-seater, with two seat first class arrangement in the second row seating area.

Features

Running on a 3,600cc V6 petrol engine, with stop/start fuel saving technology and an efficient eight-speed transmission combined with a powerful 4x4 system, the L version is bigger than its predecessor. It does not come with any diesel options due to the phase out of more polluting diesel in favour of future electronic vehicle technology. However, its off-road capability was never compromised. The 4X4 system distributes power depending on the road conditions, leading to additional savings on fuel consumption.

Performance-wise, the SUV can be driven through any terrain. The ground clearance is adjusted by a button (overland and summit reserve models only). When pressed, the closed loop air suspension system allows you increase the vehicle’s ground clearance to comfortably drive it even on the most uneven off roads.

Safety features

According to Zepha Matovu, the Spear Motors Limited sales manager, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Long wheelbase model is fitted with a 360 degrees camera that allows you to see the surrounding of the vehicle to avoid accidents from all directions, even side impacts. It also comes with a lane departure system that helps you to stay in your lane to prevent lane departure crashes, especially when you aim to overtake simultaneously with the motorist behind you, or the one from the oncoming traffic lane. This Jeep also comes with impact airbags in all doors, including those for all passengers. 

In case of a serious head-on collision, the Cherokee comes with a strong protective metal barrier around the engine compartment area to prevent the engine from pushing the steering to the chest of the driver.

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 fatigued or dozing. For example, if you are driving out of your lane, the steering will automatically turn and take you back to your lane. When you attempt to get out of  your lane without indicating, the vehicle will warn you audibly to keep moving in a straight direction and will only turn without any alarm when you use the indicators.

Speeds

Cruising at a maximum speed of 240km/hr, the Cherokee is purely fuel reliant but with an improvement from the previous model in form of performance and fuel consumption. For example, for urban drives, one litre covers approximately eight kilometres, and approximately 12km on the highway, with a full tank carrying 96 litres.

“It has a digital heads-up display to enable you see your speed without looking down and notifies you of map directions or incoming call alerts to keep you from using  the phone while driving. You can also control the phone using the steering,” Matovu explains.  

Smart screen features

The other fascinating form of new technology aboard 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. 

Apart from the radio, you can also control the air conditioning system and the interior ambience lights on the smart screen. It also has a co-driver’s 10.25 inch screen, with the option of watching something completely different from that on the main screen. When driving at night, the Cherokee is fitted with a night vision camera to help you see the distance ahead, while also bringing objects closer.

Unlike your car that has a pushable gearlever for shifting into different functions, the long wheelbase model Cherokee has a turning knob, similar to that of a radio, where you shift to parking, reverse, neutral and drive modes. The driving mirror can also serve as a camera to monitor what the passengers at the rear are doing.

It has numerous buttons on the roof between the driver and co-driver’s seats for, among other purposes, opening the boot and the sun roof. It also has McIntosh music system speakers well distributed on all doors, and battery powered buttons that power the seats to massage you. You can also cool the seats or make them warm by pressing a button. It is also a remote start SUV, meaning that you can start it while outside.

Cost

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 midsize SUV that is sold in five trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland and Summit. The trims generally follow a typical ladder 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.

Specifications

Drive Type                 Four wheel drive

Cylinders                    V6

Total Seating              5

Base engine size         3.6 L

Cylinders                    V6

Base engine type        Gas

Horsepower                293 hp @ 6,400 rpm

Torque                        260 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Valves                          24

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