In towing the GoSee Grand Cherokee Laredo cruises at 95kmh (about 1900rpm) with the Jayco Sterling 21ft caravan on the drawbar. Loaded the Jayco Sterling 21 footer is 2500kg on weighbridge scales and it loads 270kg on the towball.
GoSee lets the 5-speed auto box make all the decisions. This produces impressive efficiency from a tow tug with a serious 2500kg caravan load to handle.
An electronically-controlled five-speed automatic transmission is standard with the 3.0-litre CRD diesel engine and the thirstier 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine.
Chrysler says that when properly equipped 3,500 kg can be towed with the 3.0-litre CRD diesel engine or 5.7-litre HEMI petrol engine. A Trailer Sway Control (TSC) feature detects excessive trailer sway and takes action by automatically reducing engine power and applying the right amount of braking to the appropriate wheels to counteract the sway of the trailer.
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee offers trailer tow capability of up to 2,268 kg on models equipped with the Pentastar V6 petrol engine. This also applies to the cheaper Cherokee which retains the look and profile of Jeeps all-round rugged and off-road tradition.
The rig is well balanced with HR gear and anti-sway towing aids
The interior of the Grand Cherokee is by designer Klaus Busse who was with Mercedes-Benz for about 10 years. He is now head of interior design for the Chrysler Group.
The driving position in the Grand Cherokee is similar to that of a BMW X5 or Range Rover Sport. A downside is the lack of a six-speed automatic box for more flexibility and smoothness when accelerating and even better fuel economy at highway cruise speeds.
Optional Quadra-Lift air suspension, allows drivers to raise the ride height of the Jeep for 271mm of ground clearance. Park Mode lowers the vehicle by 38mm. With Quadra-Lift fitted the vehicle automatically adjusts itself for level travel above 100kmh, Chrysler says.
Editors Note: GoSee found a significant improvement in the handling of the Jeep Grand Cheroke Laredo after fitting the Hayman Reese anti-sway cams. GoSee believes as the fitting of the cams eased the Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) by half a link in the tensioning chains the Grand Cherokees automatic height levelling and Trailer Sway Controls worked better with the Hayman Reese towing gear.
GoSee is working through fitting issues with Hayman Reese engineers in relation to the anti-sway cams and the outcomes will be the subject of a another more detailed Information Article.
Editors Note: The Cherokee petrol 4x2 is worth a look for towinglighter caravans and trailers. It runs a 3.7 litre petrol V6 and develops 314Nm at 4000rpm, costs about $30,000 on the road and is rated to haul 2270kg on a ball weight of 227kg.
There is also a 2.8 turbo diesel option. This is smaller than the 3 litre diesel 550Nm 1800 to 2800rpm option in the Grand Cherokee but still develops a healthy 460Nm between 1600 and 2600rpm in a design which reflects Jeeps rugged outdoors traditions.
Diesel engines always cost more to build but fully optioned, with sunroof, at $45,000 the Cherokee interests GoSee as another value unit.
Specifications Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre V6 Turbo diesel.
Power 177kW at 4000rpm.
Torque 550 at 1800 to 2800rpm.
Compression ratio 16.5:1.
Service interval 10,000km.
Fuel Cycle - (Urban, Extra-Urban, Combined) = 10.3/7.2/8.3.
Transmission: auto 5-speed. Electronic range select, adaptive electronic control, Brake-Pack Interlock and electronically modulated torque converter.
4WD Quadra-Trac 11 NV245 active full time.
Turning diameter kerb to kerb 11.6.
Fuel tank capacity diesel 93.1 litres.
Kerb weight 3 litre turbo diesel 2,272 - 2,355kg.
Max Gross Vehicle Rating 2,949kg.
Trailer towing capacity 3litre V6turbo diesel up to 3500kg.
Tongue (towball) load limit 3litre V6 turbo diesel up to 350kg.
Chrysler requires a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) for towing loads which exceed 2268-2270kg.
Cargo volume with rear seats down 1554 litres. With seats up 782 litres.
Approach angle ( three settings) 26deg, 25deg, 30deg. Departure angle 24deg, 23 deg, 27 deg.
Breakover angle 19 deg, 18 deg, 23 deg.
Battery 800amp maintenance free in 3litre V6 diesel.
Body uniframe: all steel sheet metal and structural members welded and bonded into a single unit.
The GoSee team is working on evaluating two new company Jayco Sterling Caravans they are:
Behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo diesel 4x4 -21 ft Jayco Sterling with slide-outs.
Off the Jayco factory weighbridge (Tare - dry weight). 2387kg. Ball. 149 kg. These weights are being double checked with Jayco as they make the smaller caravan heavier than our 23 footer.
Loaded (full tanks and gas bottles) ATM 2640 kg. Ball down weight 272 kg.
Medium Duty Hayman Reese Weight Distribution kit is fitted plus the latest proactive Anti-Sway cams from the Hayman Reese engineers.
Behind the GoSee Toyota Sahara Turbo Diesel 100 series -
23 ft Jayco Sterling with slide-outs.
Off factory weighbridge. (Tare - dry weight) 2374 kg. Ball down weight. 167 kg.
Loaded (full tanks and gas bottles) ATM 2700 kg. Ball down weight 302 kg.
All up weight (tow tug and caravan on road with two people and their gear inside the tug) 6160 kg.
Towing aids: New Heavy Duty Hayman Reese Weight Distribution (WDH) kit is fitted plus the latest proactive Anti-Sway cams from the Hayman Reese engineers.
Editors Note: GoSee is working up the numbers on a direct comparison betweenour six-year-old Toyota Sahara TD 100 Series and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 turbo diesel. This Information Article will be posted to the Home Page this month as part of the Jeep, Toyota, Jayco Sterling caravan evaluation series. As tow tug cost is the obvious first point of difference GoSee will report on the nearest Toyota 200 Series model to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 we are using.
Hayman Reese towing safety aid kits now being evaluated by GoSee:
Heavy Duty 800 lb suited for 275 365 kg ball weight. On Jayco Sterling 23 with Toyota Sahara 100 Series Turbo Diesel 4WD auto tow tug.
Medium Duty 600lb suited for 135 275 kg ball weight. Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 auto diesel tow tug. On Jayco Sterling 21 footer. Both Jayco Sterlings have slide-outs.
Medium Duty WDH (up to 275 kg ball weight). On Jayco Westport with Holden Colorado auto LT-R VCDi 3 litre 4x4 diesel daul-cab.
Plus two sets of proactive Hayman Reese Dual Cam Sway Controls. Jayco Sterling 23 and 21 footers.
Plus safety chain extender brackets on Jayco Sterling 23.
The GoSee Toyota Sahara 100 series TD and Colorado LT-R are fitted with DPChip to enhance their towing efficiency.
Previous GoSee tow tugs which benefitted from being fitted with DPChip were a GoSee Holden 4WD 3litre Turbo Diesel LX manual Rodeo twin-cab ute and the GoSee Holden Captiva LX 2 litre auto diesel SUV. The DPChip is available for all EFI diesel 4wd's and independently alters both fuel and fuel timing to optimise the entire engine map.
More efficient use of the fuel system and correct fuel timing are important factors not only for achieving the best economy but to control peak exhaust gas temperatures for optimum engine durability.