Car review: Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit

Top Stories

On the road
On the road

An upper-class Jeep? Well, it is call the Summit

By David Light

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 29 Feb 2020, 5:14 PM

Last updated: Tue 3 Mar 2020, 10:42 AM

AN ENDURING RUGGED, off-road origin story - that's how we all tend to picture Jeeps: military green, haring across some far-flung exotic location. Much like we envisage, Jason Statham was hewn from a slab of granite and immediately put to work making other actors look soft, in many people's minds a Jeep is meant to outdo even the company's arch-rivals Land Rover in the bare bones, wilderness-taming stakes. So what happens when you're presented with an incarnation, which not only possesses Natura leather seats, but also boasts Fancy Dan extras like Apple CarPlay and blind-spot monitoring? What are we supposed to think? Has Statham morphed into Hugh Grant? Are we going to see the tough nut go from knocking bad guys through walls to knocking on doors, standing in the rain, just asking the person answering to love him? Because that appears to be the metaphorical situation we are facing with the latest Grand Cherokee Summit! Perish the thought. Let's see if the car offers sufficient Jeep grunt to make it worthy of the badge, shall we?
Under the bonnet is where it counts
So it may look a tad smooth on the outside, but what are the numbers like? While the façade says 'cocktail reception', underneath there's a rebel and workhorse rolled into one looking to get out. The Cherokee Summit comes with a choice of engines - a 3.6-litre V6 or, the one we tested, a 5.7-litre V8. Our larger motor produced 360hp, 529Nm of torque and provides a best-in-class towing capacity of 3266Kg. When we hear the phrase, 'best-in-class' we usually take it with a pinch of salt, but with even the briefest glances around other SUVs' figures, we can deduce you will be able to get your small pleasure craft down to the beach slightly easier than with what you're currently driving. Top speeds and 0-100km/h times aren't wholly necessary for this class of vehicle, but you'll find yourself sprinting from a standing start to 100 in around six seconds.
Off-roading qualities?
This car has them. The Quadra-Drive II system, with a rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), delivers a lot for your drive out in the desert. The system instantly detects tyre slip and distributes engine torque to those tyres with traction. In some cases, the vehicle will anticipate low traction and adjust in order to actively limit or eliminate slip. Then there's the Select-Speed Control with Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control, which allows you to tether the speed both up and down steep gradients with the steering wheel paddle shifters - without the need for throttle or brake input. Unique to its segment, the Hill-descent Control also works when the vehicle is in reverse. If you're constantly getting stuck, this is one to look out for.
So it can pull its weight, what else?
In the intro we could be accused of sneering at this Jeep's luxurious nature. Forgive the gentle ribbing. Since when has looking and feeling nice been a bad thing? We've proved this 4X4 can go anywhere, so why not do it in style? An 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a nine-speaker audio system with active noise cancellation and blind-spot monitoring come loaded as standard. This SUV is comfortable, roomy and geared-up. You can put it good use on a caravan holiday, or it wouldn't look out of place at some swanky function. Love it!
. Engine: 5.7-litre V8
. Power: 360hp
. Torque: 529Nm 

Motoring along
Motoring along
Space inside
Space inside

More news from