Jeep Grand Cheroke

Jeep’s Grand Cherokee has copped a new eight-speed auto box, a futuristic facelift, performance boost and improved fuel consumption. The new model was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show.

The GC was already pretty damn impressive - it won our 4X4 of the Year 2011 title – but a new Star Wars-stylish headlights-and-grille combo, as well as a customisable colour-screen instrument cluster, suede roof lining, advanced infotainment system, and upmarket-slick arm rests, doors and trim, have boosted the GC’s appeal.

Engine options – 3.6-litre V6, 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel, or 6.4-litre V8 – remain unchanged.

The eight-speed auto has increased functionality, including a launch-control mode for faster starts, and an eco mode that adjusts throttle and transmission calibrations to reduce fuel use.

The new Summit becomes the range’s flagship model.

The range’s rebel, the high-performance SRT8, now has “unique styling touches” (Jeep’s words, not ours). SRT boss Ralph Gilles reckons the tweaks – which include dumping shiny bling-bling chrome for frosted exterior lights and black-out finishes - were inspired by aftermarket tuners – and Star Wars.

"This is really the Darth Vader of the line up," he says.



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