The Jeep is back and lookin’ good
- 30 July 2011
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Big American cars have a bouncy ride, can’t turn corners and fall apart when it rains right?
There’s a new breed, Jeep have come back to Irish shores and they mean business.
Recently Fiat bought Chrysler and Jeep came with it, for you the consumer that means you now have more choice in the market. For me that means I get some new toys to play with and best of all today’s toy comes with a 5.7 ltr Hemi V8!
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee is a big sensible looking 4×4, it has great ground clearance and lots of settings to raise it higher, make it lower, make it creep downhill; there’s even a setting for climbing some rock.
So it’s all very refined, a proper off road vehicle you might say. But, being American Jeep put a V8 engine under the bonnet. Don’t panic environmental people out there, the 352hp Hemi won’t be on sale in Ireland yet, today, it’s mine.
The exterior has a good utilitarian look with a little added bling in the form of the chrome grill, it’s a good look handsome yet tough.
The interior is well nailed together, I might even say luxurious. There’s plenty of leather and wood finish, there’s really good plastics used along with a touch screen radio and sat nav. There’s a few too many buttons but that’s because the Americans believe that a button should only have one function and giving it two would only confuse people. Heated seats and steering wheel which may seem like a step too far but you try getting into an all leather car on a freezing January morning.
I came thinking that when I start the engine that windows would break, small children would cry; a sound that would be more like Thor hitting Poseidon between the eyes with his hammer.
What I got was the purr of a finely tuned V8, much more a satisfied cat purr.
However, when you change it to sport mode and put your foot down there is a sound that no other type engine makes, a burble mixed with a bark and you’re off.
Handling, in sport mode, is easily a rival for the Range Rover sport and I like that.
I had a great time whizzing around the big Jeep, all the time trying to listen to the soundtrack under my right foot.
Later this year the Jeep’s will be hitting the street and if the one I drove is anything to go by I can’t wait for a proper run in the standard models but until then, I’m left with a memory of the big Hemi engine roaring around the roads.
Jeep is back and it looks like it’s spoiling for a fight.
Get over to the Jeep web site and see what they are up too http://www.jeep.ie/