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Jeep has given its Grand Cherokee model range a comprehensive upgrade, with a facelift and tail-tuck, revised interiors, and added safety features. There are also detail changes to the engines for power and performance improvements.

But the biggest new is what Jeep calls ‘the adventure-ready’ Trailhawk. Which is designed to take an already competent off-road vehicle to bigger and better off-road running.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is powered exclusively by a 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 paired with Jeep’s proven eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. It uses Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system with an electronic limited-slip rear differential for even greater traction.

This is combined with a unique tune for the Quadra-Lift air suspension that further improves the Trailhawk’s wheel articulation and increases ground clearance to 260mm, the most ever in a Grand Cherokee.

The addition of four underbody skid plates gives the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk even more off-road toughness. Jeep is proud of the fact it is the only automotive marque to win a Purple Heart – for distinguished service during World War II.

Red front tow hooks complete the Trailhawk’s off-road enhancements, and combine with a matte black bonnet decal and neutral grey door mirrors and grille to give the Trailhawk its unique look.

In the infotainment field, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has a new version of Off-road Pages housed within the updated 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen. Off-Road Pages is included in all 4×4 Grand Cherokee models, with the exception of the SRT high-performance SRT Performance Pages.

The updated Grand Cherokee range also introduces active safety updates like LaneSense, Lane Departure Warning Plus, and Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist.

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Towing capability with brakes is 3500 kg. Owners can keep an eye on trailers or loads with the new Rear Trailer Hitch Camera View.

An acoustic windscreen and front door glass across the updated range adds in-cabin refinement.

The latest Grand Cherokee range also gets many engineering changes that improve efficiency; including a new electric power assist (EPS) steering system, as well as an Eco Mode as part of the standard eight-speed automatic transmission.

Grand Cherokee joins all other models in the Jeep range by having a five-year / 100,000 warranty, lifetime roadside assistance (provided the vehicle has always been serviced within the authorised Jeep network) and capped price scheduled servicing.

From 2017 onwards all Jeeps have service intervals of 15,000 km or 12 months for petrol models, and 20,000 km or 12 months for diesel models.

Trailhawk – the toughest of all off-road Grand Cherokee’s – will be joined downunder by Trackhawk by the end of the year. The ‘Track’ in the name tells what it’s aimed at. A 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 puts out 700 horsepower (527 kW in Australian terms) and 874 Newton metres of torque. Jeep tells us it will run from zero to 100 km/h in a ridiculously short 3.6 seconds. And reach the old standing quarter mile in a mere 11.6 seconds.

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Unfortunately, pressure of business meant we were unable to attend the four-day launch event of the uprated Jeep Grand Cherokee range in New Zealand. Those who were there tell us they were pretty impressed with what they saw and felt both on-road and off. We will confirm, or otherwise, their views when we get behind the wheel in a few weeks time.

The complete 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee range is:
Laredo 4×2: $47,500
Laredo 4×4: $52,500
Laredo TDV6 4×4: $59,000
Limited 4×4: $62,500
Limited TDV6 4×4: $69,000
Trailhawk TDV6 4×4: $74,000
Overland TDV6 4×4: $80,000
SRT V8 Supercharged 4×4: $91,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Jeep dealer for driveaway prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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