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Jeep Grand Cherokee 'all road award' shift in role, use and perception of 4x4 in Aust

January 08, 2014
Jeep Grand Cherokee 'all road award' shift in role, use and perception of 4x4 in Aust

By Garth Morrison Editor GoSeeAustralia and GoSeeNewZealand.

This month Jeep's Grand Cherokee Overland CRD diesel beat Range Rover Sport SDV6, RangeRover SDV8, Holden Colorado 7, Holden Colorado ute and Isuzu MU-X to earn the title 4x4Australia Magazines 2014 4x4 Of The Year. Grand Cherokee won Best 4WD two years running inthe Best 4WD in Fairfax Medias Drive Car of the Year Awards.

Editor of 4X4 Australia, MattRaudonikis says the competing vehicles are judged and scored against a set criteria two of which areValue for money' and Doing The Job under which items like towing capacity and warranty wouldcome in to consideration and are certainly areas where the Jeep would have scored well.

Matt Raudonikis responded to questions from GoSeeAustralia about the magazine award structure.

GSA's questions were referred by Fiat Chrysler Group Australia to Matt Raudonikis after GSAinitially asked Chrysler's Director of Corporate Communications Karla Leach -

Do the 4x4 AustraliaMagazines 2014 4x4 Of The Year judges use a structured points score similar to the Auto Clubs Carof the Year Award?

Is there a weighting for towing ability and warranty cover in the 4x4 Australia Magazines 2014 4x4 Of The Year process?

Your correspondent believes the magazine award underlines a shift in the role, use and perception of4x4 in Australia. 'Doing the Job' has whole new meanings.

This resounds in the media release whichannounced that Jeep's Grand Cherokee Overland CRD diesel had beaten Range Rover Sport SDV6,Range Rover SDV8 for the 4x4 magazine's award.

Right off the bat the 4x4 Of The Year judgingpanel, includes past and present editors of the magazine and other industry experts, and they awardedthe Jeep SUV in a unanimous decision.

4x4 Australia Magazine Road Test Editor Fraser Stronach said: This is a brilliant back roads tourerthat, by 4x4 standards, feels like a sports car.

He said the judges concensus highlights Grand Cherokees all-round abilities.

Unanimous results are rare in the history of this award and this speaks volumes for the attributes,performance, appeal and, above all, the value of the Grand Cherokee CRD, Fraser Stronach said.

GoSee respects these opinions, but raises a caution for enthusiastic drivers. The Grand CherokeeOverland CRD diesel is certainly no sportscar in your correspondent's experience. Uniquely powerfulfor its size, build and design, yes, but its handling on road and offroad is that of a 4x4 and safety andthe owners manual requires that its design limitations as well as its strengths be kept in mind.

4x4 Australia Magazine Editor Matt Raudonikis said:

This is a great all road touring vehicle, sure it doesnt have the unstoppable off road ability of a JeepWrangler but it does everything else so well.

iJeep Grand Cherokee hits shallow water at speed.
Jeep Grand Cherokee hits shallow water at speed.

The Grand Cherokee Overland has a level of performance, safety, comfort and convenience features that belie its $71k price tag, he said.

All contenders for the award were put through a demanding week-long drive program that comprisedon and off road terrain, highways, country roads, gravel roads, steep rocky tracks and beach driving,he said.

Regular users of this website know that GoSee has formed opinions about vehicles which are capableof heavy duty towing. Many of these, due to their specifications, are 4WD. They include Jeep'sGrand Cherokee Overland CRD diesel.

The Australia's Best Cars website reported in November 2013 that the Land Rover Discovery 4TDV6 took its narrowest victory ever in last years Australias Best Cars program in the All Terrain4WD category. The $75,469 (Indicative Drive Away) Discovery took home an Australias Best Carstrophy for a record ninth time this year (2013).

For the second time the 2nd placed Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 3 litre V6 turbo, diesel auto hit itscompetition right between the eyes, the Australia's Best Cars Website said.

In 2013 the Jeep Grand Cherokee fronted with a new, fuel efficient eight-speed transmission.

But GoSeeAustralia believes that to inform Australian buyers who plan their vehicle purchase to includehauling caravans, boats, horse floats and trailers the Australia's Best Cars category criteria shouldreport outcomes from the point of view of those who tow in the relevant categories among the 15evaluated.

Jeep Grand Cherokee in  sandy going.
Jeep Grand Cherokee in sandy going.

In 2012 GoSeeAustralia observed that - The Auto Clubs Australia's Best Cars Awards, out now, are not about value for dollar tow tugs. The category is All Terrain 4WD. The Land Rover Discovery 4SDV6 SE wins for the 8th time in a row on its carefully calculated all-terrain merits.

The key category words are All Terrain 4WD. In that category, evaluated in the offroad 4x4 sense,Land Rover is an awesome benchmark. But now 4X4 Australia magazine is in new territory with anAll road award. Times have changed for 4x4.

Editors note: A byline on a GoSee story indicates it includes opinion.

These Information Articles from the GoSee Free library also relate to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. GoSeeAustralia has two Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 3L diesels among its tow tugs.

Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6
Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6

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