Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee is almost too cheap to be true, but does it compare to the king of the class, Toyota’s Prado, and the budget Land Rover D4?
The Grand Cherokee struggled, slowed and almost came to a stop. It was having trouble keeping all four wheels on the ground so there was little effective traction to be had. But just when all seemed lost, it regained its composure and edged forward towards and then up and over the crest. I guess that was the rear electronic locker chiming in and doing its thing.
Moments before, it was the Discovery’s turn. Despite putting on more of a show than the Jeep, with wheels flailing madly in the air, it was able to maintain more consistent momentum and never felt like it wouldn’t make the climb.
But neither the Discovery, nor the Grand Cherokee, could match the fuss-free, almost effortless display by the Prado. While the electronic traction control came into play on several occasions, the Prado barely lifted a wheel and just walked up the climb as it if it wasn’t a climb at all and the deep ruts simply didn’t exist.
For that, you can thank its rear live axle and supple long-travel suspension. But that same suspension that is so effective off-road does the Prado no favours on-road. And, that’s just one of the swings and roundabouts of this contest.