by Jez Spinks

A new rear-wheel-drive base model, a new eight-speed auto and improved fuel efficiency form three of the major changes to the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

This is the first significant makeover for the current generation of the American 4×4 brand’s flagship model released in early 2011 in Australia.

The first 4×2 Jeep Grand Cherokee to be sold here brings the price of the large SUV down by about $4000 to $45,000 driveaway.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Larado front

For buyers looking for the full Jeep, go-anywhere experience, the four-wheel-drive range starts slightly higher at $46,000 before on-road costs for a Laredo grade powered by a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine with 210kW of power and 347Nm of torque.

A 184kW/570Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel provides extra pulling power – including and lower consumption, though continues to carry a $5000 premium that is higher than the industry average for a diesel.

The two engines are also available on the next-up Limited and Overland grades, which also add a ‘Hemi’ 5.7-litre V8 to the choice mix that produces 259kW and 520Nm.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited profile

The diesel and 5.7L V8 share the highest-in-range braked towing capacity of 3500kg.

The performance-focused Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, which only went on sale locally in late 2012, is also included as part of the upgraded range, continuing with a 344kW/624Nm ‘Hemi’ 6.4-litre V8.

All engines are carried over, though each is now paired as standard with a ZF eight-speed automatic that is becoming increasingly popular among car manufacturers.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo rear 3q

The extra ratios over the old standard five-speed auto improve fuel economy across the range, while a new Eco mode is a default setting on start-up that brings retarded throttle response and earlier upshifts from the auto.

The 4×4 petrol V6 improves from 11.0 to 10.4 litres per 100km, the diesel V6 drops from 8.3 to 7.5L/100km, and the 5.7L V8 now officially slurps 13.0 litres per 100km rather than 14.1.

Choosing the 2WD Jeep Grand Cherokee saves 0.3 litres compared with the 4×4: at 10.1L/100km.

SRT makes the smallest gain, from 14.1 to 14.0L/100km, though the auto also gives the fastest Jeep Grand Cherokee slightly quicker performance courtesy of a new launch control system. It now clocks 4.8 rather than 4.9 in the 0-100km/h sprint.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo steering wheel

All Grand Cherokees are fitted with paddleshift levers behind the steering wheel, which also allow drivers to select the speed for the hill descent and hill ascent control systems when off-roading – where Selec-Speed is specced.

The four-wheel-drive systems available depend on model.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×4 models employ Quadra-Trac II, a full-time system with a two-speed transfer case. In the default 4WD High, torque is varied between the front and rear axles up to 100 per cent either end depending on available traction. Selecting Low range via a console button splits torque equally.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT driving

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland models are equipped with Quadra-Drive II that includes the benefit of an electronic limited-slip rear differential.

The flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT (pictured above) features Quadra-Trac, an on-demand set-up that apportions more torque to the rear wheels in general driving for sportier handling and can send 100 per cent torque to a single rear wheel to aid traction.

Variable-height air suspension that can increase the Jeep’s ground clearance from a low of 221mm to a high of 287mm is standard on the Overland and optional on Laredo and Limited.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Selec Terrain

All Grand Cherokees except the RWD base model come with Selec-Terrain, which allows the driver to choose various vehicle calibrations depending on surface – including Sand, Snow, Mud and Rock, plus an Auto mode.

The system previously included a Sport mode, which has now moved to the gearshift lever.

Feature highlights (not including mechanicals) for the four trim grades are:

Bi-xenon headlights with auto high beam
LED daytime running lights
Heated side mirrors
Auto-dimming rear view mirror
18-inch chrome wheels
Electrically adjustable front seats with heating
Leather steering wheel
Dual-zone climate control
7 airbags
Rear view camera
Tyre pressure monitor
Hill descent control
Rain-sensing wipers
Instrument display with 7” TFT screen
5-inch touchscreen (4×2)
8.4-inch touchscreen (4×4)
Voice command Bluetooth

Alpine 9-speaker audio with subwoofer
Satellite navigation
Auto tailgate
20-inch alloy wheels
Leather seats
Heated rear seats
Heated steering wheel
Front and rear parking sensors

Dual-pane panoramic sunroof
Tinted glass
Nappa leather seats
Leather trim for upper dash, doors, console and armrests
Ventilated front seats
Wood and leather steering wheel
Adaptive cruise control
Blind spot warning
Forward collision warning

Adaptive bi-xenon headlights
Ventilated bonnet
High-grade Nappa leather sports seats
Flat bottom sports steering wheel
SRT Performance pages for touchscreen display
Optional Harman Kardon surround sound audio with 19 speakers


2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee range

Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×2 V6 $43,000 ($45,000 driveaway)
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×4 V6 $46,000
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×4 V6 diesel $51,000
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited V6 $56,000
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited V6 diesel $61,000
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited V8 $61,000
Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V6 $66,000
Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V6 diesel $71,000
Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland V8 $71,000
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT $77,000

  • marc

    45k for 2wd & 46k for 4wd – Is that correct? Either way it’s a lot of metal for the money.

    • marc

      ok 45k driveaway. makes the small suv’s look pricey.

      • Yetiman

        Good point but what if you live in the city and likes to drive SUV?

  • Pal

    Isn’t it a 2014 model?


  • Jeepgal

    It is the MY14. I think someone got confused.

  • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

    Looks like they have also increased the output & torque of the diesel from 177kw &
    550nm. Pretty serious outputs, makes the diesel Prado look very average

    • amlohac

      Tourque is the same, the KW has gone up though!

      • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

        You’re incorrect, torque has risen from 550Nm as I said to it now being 570Nm for the new model

        • amlohac

          Odd that the brochure i have in front of me says it hasnt changed though? Thats what i was going off.

    • Mishi

      Reliability? Just saying. These things might be flogged out in 5-10 years while the Prado will be still going fine. I don’t think Toyota is overly bothered by big outputs on it’s 4×4 diesel – they are selling like hot cakes and if people want a fast one they will get the V6.

  • chir0nex

    wow, these are serious value. i commend Jeep for introducing models at such competitive prices!!

  • Tone

    The front looks slightly less ugly than I remember. Maybe the pricing is the automotive equivalent of beer goggles?

    • birdseye

      I think you might be thinking of the “ugly twin sister” the Cherokee as opposed to this being the Grand Cherokee which is due next year.

      • Monk

        That’s undoubtedly true, but I agree with Tone – these pics are noticeably better than the previous GC pics shown on here a month or two ago. I was wondering if it was a revised front bumper or just the lighting in the photos.

      • Zaccy16

        yep i think tone must be thinking of the hideous cherokee not this that actually looks quite good

    • Horst68

      In the flesh they look quite good. Inside is a definite improvement although the gear stick is a shocker and the foot break from a bygone era. Lot of kit for the money but only if you actually need a 4wd otherwise its like one of those mobile phones with every feature that you never use. Needs to be driven off road otherwise a complete waste and money better spent on a road orientated SUV.

  • Dieseltorque

    Diesel is expensive but its certainly worth it for all that torque. Great fuel economy and you can actually achieve the claimed fuel consumption. Nice work again Jeep.

  • MisterZed

    What’s the fuel economy on the 4×2 model?? And no Summit model?!

  • Norm

    I large rugged and handsome car with a nice V6 – RWD – and a great automatic transmission. Apparently it’s not the sharpest tool dynamically but If it could lose a few hundred kilos and lower the floor level a bit then you’d be looking at something like a contemporary Aussie 6.

    If this months sales figures are anything to go by it sadly doesn’t look like the VF is changing anyones mind about what is a desirable new car in 2013 and beyond.

  • kasimbi simuchimba

    The limited V8 is the one, I love it.

  • Mishi

    Only 5 seats? No thanks.


    Is the crash safety issue of Gen One, aka kiddy dummies hitting their head on the B-pillar, addressed in the update? One of the biggest deterrent for family buyers, I would think? Still think Gen One looks better, but looking forward to the new blacked out gangsta version.

  • Zaccy16

    Looks good, looks great in black srt8 trim! with this new 8 speed suto it is bvery good value for the price!

  • Sheldon

    Front – bit overcooked. Rear – Toyota bland. Great side profile, i think.

  • MisterZed

    Why would I spend $43k on a RWD Grand Cherokee when for $35,400, I can get a Dodge Journey SXT with the same engine (but 6 speed auto instead of 8 speed). The Journey is actually a bigger vehicle (longer), while it offers more equipment including larger 19″ wheels, leather seats, and GPS? The only thing it lacks is the xenon headlights, but for $7600 less I think it’s better value.

    • aussiecree

      have you ever looked at a dodge journey???? oh and 1100kg towing??????? Why wouldn’t you spent the extra?????
      The JGC is an awesome bit of kit. You clearly haven’t driven the MY14.

      • Pal

        Have you?

  • gtrxuone

    The new Jeep looks fantastic.V6 petrol or Diesel or V8 hemi.Its been a long time since a new car review has gained so much attention from myself.
    FiatChrysler are on to a big winner here.

  • Gus

    AMERICA!! F$%K YEAH! take that compact suvs, with your over-inflated extortionist prices and mediocre equipment spec levels and poor off road capability

  • Jon

    45K driveaway ?? More like 48K driveaway !! Well that’s what the Jeep website is saying for me today !? So which is it ??
    This car is awesome! drove one yesterday (Laredo)..compared to a Kluger, and a Challenger…this is by far the best SUV Ive driven…you can ‘feel’ the refinement…some of us who are more vertically challenged will just need a step ladder to get in and out!

    • Ernie koenig

      Purchased Laredo diesel with qaudralift suspension .love the torque so effortless to drive and is better on fuel than expected 9.5 around town 7.0 highway same as my old kia sportage diesel and less blind spots .and a much better drive well done Jeep

  • OJay

    Its a nice everyday rider drives smooth just turn off eco mode because the car gear changes are jerky.

  • george

    Im looking at buying the petrol laredo. Whats the actual fuel consumption, city n open road? Is 10.1/10.4L realistic?
    Still deciding if I should go for 2wd or 4wd. Any comments, experience, resale value, service cost, etc…