18th Dec 2012 by Admin
“After assessing its likely competitors for the title, it was felt by the judging panel that none could throw out a serious enough challenge to the big Jeep to warrant inclusion. So, for the first time in the award’s seven-year history, a reigning champion has been crowned before testing even begins.
The Grand Cherokee last year ambushed the former reigning champion, Land Rover’s Discovery, in a two-way shootout that highlighted the Jeep’s strong value, refined road manners and a vastly improved interior that almost equalled its rival’s more salubrious but also significantly more expensive cabin ambience.
In what could have been a lay-down misere for the US-based off-road specialist, one of the closest competitors to winning a berth in this year’s contest was another Jeep. The cheapest version of the cut-price Cherokee you can buy with four-wheel-drive, the Cherokee Sport, now costs an eye-opening $30,000.
For that price you get a petrol-powered 3.7-litre V6 engine that might lack the refinement, pulling power and economy of the Grand Cherokee’s diesel unit, but its 151kW and 314Nm still has plenty of shove.”…. Drive Judges.