The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a capable tow car, although it’s not quite good enough to challenge the very best in the heavyweight class.
In the lane-change test the Jeep leaned dramatically and failed to complete the manoeuvre on the third and fastest run. The Grand Cherokee was much happier in a straight line, remaining stable at the legal limit and beyond, with only slight steering corrections needed in blustery weather.
It takes serious brawn to pull a big twin-axle tourer up to speed, and the Jeep’s 3.0-litre diesel engine obliges, pulling from 30-60mph in 11 seconds. It’s not the quietest engine, though.
The foot-operated parking brake isn’t as easy to use as the electronic parking brakes fitted to many rivals. It needed a firm push to hold car and caravan steady on the 1-in-6 slope, and if it wasn’t pushed hard enough at first it’s instinctive to press it down again, which releases the brake. This foible aside, the Jeep had no difficulty with the hill-start test.
In everyday driving the Jeep’s air suspension delivers a very comfortable ride, but you never forget that this is a big, heavy car: it feels cumbersome compared with the Land Rover Discovery or Range Rover Sport.
The large boot accommodated a full load of holiday luggage, and the reversing camera is useful when hitching up.