Jeep Grand Cherokee Night Eagle, reviewed

In Car Reviews, Jeep by Tom Scanlan

For £49,440 plus £775 if you want pearl coat paint, you can have your very own Native American Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Tom Scanlan gets the big sky feeling in one of America's finest.
You get a 3-litre V6 Diesel engine delivering 570 Nm of torque and 247 bhp. All that urge gets to the wheels via an eight-speed auto transmission.

Those are the impressive basics, but why ‘Night Eagle’?
A little detective-work reveals that there is a choice of two fictional characters: a male Native American chief called Night Eagle who helped out Dr Who before ending up in Area 51; and a female Shaman-like, bird-like Night Eagle who helped Superman get out of Hell. So if you tend to call your car ‘she’, then it’s the latter creation from DC comics that could be the inspiration. (How about Lexus naming their next SUV the Lexus Luther...get it?)

Back to reality, then, and first impressions of the big Jeep was its smart looks, the test car in a deep maroon with 20-inch black wheels.

Out on the road, it was fun to drive. It’s a hefty lump, weighing in at 2403 kilograms, but is quite agile and happy to wind briskly along country roads. The weight becomes more apparent under braking, which, however, pushed hard, proved manful enough for the task...ventilated discs all round. On motorways, the car was a smooth rider and very quiet at 70 mph.

Zero to 62 mph can be reached in 8.2 seconds, putting the Grand Cherokee well up the big SUV acceleration list, and the claimed top speed is 126 mph (like Mallard, the world’s fastest steam locomotive, by the way, as I am sure you know).

As to emissions, it is Euro 6 and, considering its weight and performance capabilities, 184 g/km is a very reasonable score.

Strangely, the fuel consumption was shown on the trip computer in kilometres per litre, 11.7 overall in the test week of 660 miles. That translates to a quite satisfactory 33 mpg; and the fuel tank holds a very handy 93.5 litres.

The Grand Cherokee is not the most spacious of the big SUVs but will be roomy enough for most occasions.

Several Jeep Cherokees that I have sampled over the years on some severely-challenging off-road routes have all proved just how capable they can be. I did not take Night Eagle onto such adventures, but, like Superman’s pal, I am sure it would have got me out of trouble. It is equipped with Quadra-drive II and includes its low-ratio Selec-Terrain Traction Control. Different settings can be selected for mud, sand, rock or snow. There’s also Hill Descent Control and Rain Brake Support, a system that keeps the brakes dry when very wet situations might cause problems in that area.

Caravan- and trailer-towers benefit, as ever, from Sway Assist. Eco and Sport driving modes are also on board and, to help keep the car quiet, Active Noise Cancellation. This works through the audio system and seems like the sort of feature that you wouldn’t want to change...but it seems that some Jeep drivers don’t want this and fiddle about with it. But they should beware because that could create some unwanted further issues.

So, well-furnished, comfortable, capable, that’s the Grand Cherokee Night Eagle, and very I would dearly love to sample ‘the world’s fastest SUV’ the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: 0-62 mph in 3.5, that’s not a misprint. Pity, it’s stuck in the USA...or, Jeep folks at HQ, will we get it here?

Car reviewed: Jeep Grand Cherokee Night Eagle 3.0 CRD V6 250hp 4x4 Auto - Base Price On the road £49,440 price as tested £50,215 0-62mph 8.2 secs Top speed 126mph Fuel Economy combined 40.4mpg CO2 emissions 184g/km Engine 2987cc 6-cylinder diesel EU6 Max Power 250bhp@4000rpm Torque 570Nm@2000rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic with manual mode

  • A capable off-roader

  • Well equipped and spacious

  • Great towing vehicle

  • Can be thirsty on fuel

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About the author

Tom Scanlan

'Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars. He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0. In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.'

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