The least expensive Grand Cherokee, the Laredo 4x2, comes with cloth-covered seats, a 5.0-inch touchscreen, 18-inch wheels, and the V6 petrol engine – which drives the rear wheels only.
Spend more and you can have a Laredo 4x4, with four-wheel drive, dual-range gearing (which allows you to drive comfortably at very low speeds on rough terrain), and the option of the diesel engine. The Laredo 4x4 also has a much bigger, 8.4-inch, touchscreen, and receives digital radio signals (DAB+).
Spend yet more for a Grand Cherokee Limited and you get, in addition, leather seats, which are heated for rear passengers also, and a power-adjustable, heated, steering wheel. The driver’s seat and exterior mirrors can remember your preferred settings, and the mirrors rotate down to show the gutter when parking. The Limited also has satellite navigation, and a high-output audio system with nine speakers – including a sub-woofer that boosts bass response. Wheels are bigger at 20 inches, and lower-profile tyres sharpen steering on smooth, paved surfaces.
The most off-road ready Grand Cherokee is the Trailhawk, and it costs a bit more than a Limited diesel. Available only as a diesel, the Trailhawk reverts to more off-road friendly 18-inch wheels, and comes with tyres that work off-road as well as on the road. It has a more steeply chamfered front bumper, which is less likely to scrape on obstacles, and four steel plates underneath that protect sensitive parts such as the engine and fuel tank. Two hooks at the front make it easier to recover the vehicle if you get bogged. And it has Selec-Speed Control, which is like cruise control for off-road use: you can set a very low speed that the car will maintain up and down hills – all you need to do is steer.
The Trailhawk has two other features that are very handy on rough terrain. One is Quadra-Drive II, a 4WD system that makes the Trailhawk much more effective off-road than standard Laredo and Limited models (these, confusingly, come with Quadra-Trak II). Quadra-Drive II’s advantage comes from its clever rear differential, which either sends most power to the wheel that has most traction, or in extreme situations locks and drives both rear wheels in unison.
The second is Quadra-Lift, which can raise the car so that it can negotiate obstacles more easily (and lower it so that it performs better at high speeds on the road). It uses air springs that can extend or retract the suspension.
On the luxury front, the Trailhawk has air-conditioned front seats trimmed with perforated leather.
For a small price premium over the Trailhawk, you could have the similar Grand Cherokee Overland, which has a more on-road focus and a suite of sophisticated active driver aids. They include automatic cruise control – which will match your speed to that of a slower car ahead on the highway, resuming your set speed when the way is clear. There is also autonomous braking, a blind-spot warning, and rear cross-path detection.
The Overland has seats trimmed in soft Nappa leather, extra leather trim in the cabin, and a self-parking system. Like the Trailhawk, it has Quadra-Drive II and Quadra-Lift. But it swaps back to 20-inch wheels and loses the Trailhawk’s underbody protection, chamfered nose, and tow hooks.
The most expensive Grand Cherokee is the SRT, a bespoke high-performance model that has the 6.4-litre V8 petrol engine, a single-range 4WD system, sports seats, suspension that adjusts automatically for smooth and rough road conditions, Nappa leather trim, the Overland’s active driver aids, and distinctive styling inside and out.
Optional on the Laredo 4x4 diesel is an Off-Road Adventure Group, which adds most specialist off-road features from the Trailhawk – including Quadra-Drive II, Quadra Lift, and the underbody protection. You can do the same for an Overland, in which case you get the absent features and 18-inch wheels and tyres.
Optional on the Limited and Trailhawk is the Jeep Active Safety Group, which brings you the active safety features which come standard on the Overland and SRT.