With 550Nm available from 1800rpm the 3 litre six-cylinder diesel Jeep reeled in the long, steep truck buster of a hill. Diesel grunt bit and as 106kmh filled the speed read we backed off in recognition of the 100kmh Geelong Ring Road limit.
At 90kmh with 2640kg behind hooked to our Hayman Reese Heavy Duty drawbar the GoSeeAustralia Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesel impresses.
The second of two Jeeps now in our tow team came of age on a section of the Geelong Ring Road which VicRoads says is - The steepest (sustained grade) we want to go.
The 5 per cent section of about 2.5km from the end of the Hamilton Highway on ramp to the crest high above the long run down to the Waurn Ponds intersection sorts real 4x4 heavy haulers from the SUV pack.
With more than 5000km of thoughtful driving to break it in since new the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesel came out of the blocks from a full stop at the Hamilton Highway on ramp lights.
The 5-speed auto box chose third gear and 3000rpm came up on the tacho. 2640kg of GSA Blue Sky Fairhaven Viento caravan snug on its Hayman Reese Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) followed rock-solid on twin-axle track behind. With 550Nm available from 1800rpm the 3 litre six-cylinder diesel Jeep reeled in the long, steep truck buster of a hill. But this climb is a real sleeper.
There is a pinch just before the Highton-Ceres exit which leaves many trucks breathless. Usually the GSA Holden Colorado auto LT-R VCDi 3 litre 4x4 diesel daul-cab ute is in harness to haul the GSA Blue Sky caravan. At this point, usually, the Colorado is in third at 80kmh. That is no mean feat on this grade with 2640kg in tow.
At the pinch the Jeep showed 90kmh on its digital speed LED, with the rig accelerating under two-third throttle in 4th gear. Kickdown brought big, fat chunks of torque. Diesel grunt levelled the hill and as 106kmh filled the speed read we backed off in recognition of the 100kmh Ring Road limit.
GSA towed an interesting route on the Jeep-Blue Sky evaluation run from the Geelong suburb of Grovedale along the Princes Highway towards Colac and then on fair to moderately good roads to Inverleigh. GSA has camped for a few nights at Inverleigh and it is an interesting, historic experience.
The Historic Town of Inverleigh website compiled by the Inverleigh Progress Association has this to say.
Inverleigh at the junction of the Leigh and Barwon Rivers was proclaimed a town in 1854. Country town Inverleigh, on the Hamilton Highway, Victoria, is 28 km west of Geelong and 87 km from Melbourne. Inverleigh was once home to the Wathaurung tribe whose territory stretched from the Werribee River onto the Western Plains.
There were three clans in particular around the Inverleigh area, the Tooloora, Wongerrer and the Wudthaurung. The Leigh River or the Yarrowee (as the aboriginals called it) and the Barwon River acted as borders for these clans.
It is said that the first European to arrive in Inverleigh was William Buckley, but the first European known to have visited Inverleigh was the surveyor J.H. Wedge who arrived in 1835, probably naming the Leigh River which runs beside the town after his Tasmanian farm Leighlands.
William Buckley, the Wild White man, was named Murrangurk by the Wathaurung people. He was a giant, variously said to have stood between 6ft 3in and 6ft 7in tall.
Buckley, an escaped convict lived among the Wathaurung people for 32 years before being granted a pardon by Lieutenant -Governor Arthur.
He died in Tasmania in 1856 aged 80 after a fall from his gig at Greenpond near Hobart.
About the 2012 and 2013 GSA Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 4x4 5-speed auto diesels.
The 5-speed auto 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo was purchased from Bayside Jeep, Frankston, Victoriain March.
Additional features fitted to the two GSA Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredos are:
Leather seating x 1 Jeep (the other has cloth); Off road Adventure Group ll - Fuel tank, transfer case, underbody and front suspension skid plates, Quadra Drive ll 4WD system, rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential (ELSD), 3.45 axle ratio, 230mm rear axle, The first GSA Jeep uses 265 / 60 R18 All-season tyres, and GSA1 our latest tug has Michelin P265/60 R18 boots on 18 x8-inch polished aluminium wheels.
GSA1 is fitted with a sun roof.
Both GSA Jeeps have Quadra lift Air Suspension. This raises the vehicle up to 104mm higher for a maximum ground clearance of 271mm or lowers the vehicle 38mm for easier entry, exit and loading.
The system also raises the vehicle from back to front to help keep headlights safely focused downward at the road ahead.
In towing the GoSee Grand Cherokee Laredos cruise at 95kmh (about 1900rpm).
Loaded the GSA Jayco Sterling 21 footer is 2500kg on weighbridge scales and it loads 270kg on the towball. The latest Hayman Reese anti-sway cams are used with our Jayco Sterling 21 footer.
The heaviest fuel consumption so far towing the Jayco Sterling with the Jeep is 17 litres per 100km into a strong headwind. The lowest fuel use is 13.2 litres per 100km with a tailwind. Towing between Sydney and Canberra fuel use ranged from 14.2 litres per 100km in the flatter highway running to 14.9 litres per 100km in steep, hilly sections. In flat towing with no wind the Grand Cherokee Laredo returns 14.1 litres per 100km.
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.
Chrysler says their Trailer Tow Group of vehicle choices includes a Class IV receiver hitch, trailer tow wiring harness and Trailer Sway Control (TSC). Chrysler says its policy is to only fit heavy duty towbars to its vehicles.
Specifications Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre 5-speed auto 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 V6 turbo diesel up to 3500kg.
Tongue (towball) load limit 3litre V6 turbo diesel up to 350kg.
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.
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