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Jeep Grand Cherokee (1999 - 2005)

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Introductionword count: 132

The late-shape Jeep Grand Cherokee has had some adjusting to do. Whereas the old model traded blows with the Range Rover as the plushest 4x4 you could buy, the current car has seen the Lexus RX300, the BMW X5, the Mercedes M-Class, the Volvo XC90 and latterly the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg all eclipse its position, ensuring that competition is hotter than ever before. This market focus on new metal has helped used buyers because, to a certain extent, many customers have taken their eye off what made the Grand Cherokee such a hit in the first place and some notable used bargains are out there to be had. For little more than the price of a Suzuki Grand Vitara you can now find yourself behind the wheel of Jeep's finest.

Modelsword count: 30

Models Covered: Second generation - 1999-to date (4.0 6cy St Wagon 5dr [Limited] / 4.7 8cy St Wagon 5dr [Limited, Overland] / 3.1TD St Wagon [Limited] / 2.7 CRD [Limited])

Historyword count: 183

Although the basic look remained recognisably Grand Cherokee, the 1999 revision to the range was pretty far reaching. The gas-guzzling 5.2 and 5.9-litre V8 were consigned to history, replaced by a more responsible 4.7-litre engine that was in any case usefully punchier than the outgoing 5.2. The 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine carried on much as before although power was boosted to 188bhp - up from a previous 174. The 3.1 turbodiesel was also carried over, although this was replaced in 2001 by a massively superior 2.7-litre CRD common rail unit. Other changes wrought during the 1999 relaunch included modernising the automatic transmission, offering more sophisticated all-wheel drive systems and styling the cabin to bring it up to the sort of standard that demanding European customers required. This was in addition to the mild exterior restyle that saw a bigger passenger cell, more luggage room due to relocating the spare wheel, the fitment of clear-lens headlamps and a shapelier grille. The Overland V8 flagship model debuted at the end of 2001 featuring an uprated 4.7-litre engine. 60th Anniversary limited edition models were launched in 2001.

What You Getword count: 257

Jump inside the second generation Grand Cherokee and you'll find more luxury, thanks to greater headroom in the wider cabin. Legroom is also increased, though taller drivers may still complain of a lack of rearward seat travel. Remember too that, unlike many of its rivals, the Jeep doesn't have the option of a third row of seats. Unlike the Discovery, it's not primarily aimed at the family market - which may explain the relative lack of oddment holders and storage cubbies around the cabin. Still, as far as equipment levels are concerned, you'll want for nothing with virtually everything you can imagine fitted to the leather-lined 4.0-litre petrol and 2.7-litre CRD diesel models, though the V8 betters them with a 10 CD autochanger and a power sunroof. Jeep have also got around to putting fingertip controls for the excellent stereo on the steering wheel - or, more accurately, behind it. It's the final touch to a smartly styled display spoiled only by the imitation wood liberally placed around the dashboard. It's the clever little touches that will stick longer in your mind, however. The infra-red rays that read your body temperature, then set the climate control to the correct level. The removable load platform that provides an ideal picnic base. The his-and-hers remote entry keys that memorise each driver's individual favourite settings for the seat, mirrors and radio. The electric rear tailgate glass that retracts so that you don't have to lift open the tailgate when you want to chuck in a bag full of sports gear.

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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
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