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2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee  




The 2005-2007 Grand Cherokee introduced a more angular look to the Grand Cherokee, along with a massive dose of technology. Electronic front and rear differentials lock or unlock instantly, and a new independent front suspension (whicih Jeep pioneered in the 1962 Wagoneer) feels equally at home off road and on. The ancient engine choices - the AMC straight-six, the 318 - are gone, and two new engines with far more power than anything ever to be used in a Jeep are optional, with an active suspension.

Overall, the current Grand Cherokee has a smoother ride and better on-road handling than past models, yet is more capable on the trail. It feels nimble around paved turns but can still cross a stream; it can outrace some sports cars, but can also go into low-gear four wheel drive for 5 mph rock climbs.

Even though there are lots of electronics to keep the Jeep stable, it seems to do just fine on its own. The heavy vehicle feels fairly nimble and sure-footed around sharp turns and can handle curves at surprisingly high speeds, doing well on emergency maneuvers as well. Taking a turn in the Grand Cherokee on broken pavement at fairly high speed feels surprisingly firm-footed.

At idle, the diesel engine is nearly silent; it only made that signature clattery noise between idle and around 2,400 rpm, and it was quiet enough that people not listening for it didn't notice it. Full out, the engine seems no louder than a normal V8. The engine starts immediately (even in the frozen weather)) with little or no wait or "glow plugs" light, acting like a petrol engine except for that brief pause and the high torque; and of course the low redline coming in at 4,500 rpm.

Overall, the Grand Cherokee is almost an ideal vehicle for those who spend much of their time on the highway but also go off-road; it is more off-road capable than most competitors, including the Volkswagen Touareg, Ford Explorer, and Land Rover Discovery/Freelander/Range Rover, yet is nice on-road.

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