Owner Review

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Review

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We bought the Jeep to tow a biggish caravan. We were not alone in this decision. No, we have lots of company. At $50000 on road, there are few, if any rivals that will satisfactorily haul a 2.5 plus tone caravan.

Tradie utes may be about the same price but they are huge and not really comfortable. What senior wants to use a vast ute to go to the supermarket and afterwards to the favorite coffee haunt? Reports have it that utes, even the best of them, don't have the pulling power or stable platform to match the Jeep. No, for the budget, there was only one choice and it has proven to be very satisfactory.

The Jeep has the grunt to haul our van up hill and down dale while keeping up to the traffic. Of course we don't cruise at 1 10 kph on the Hume Fwy but the Jeep will happily sit on 95 to 100 kph in the slow lane and return 14l/100 km average.

Owners of certain very large Japanese built 4 wheel drives find that consumption figure in the realms of fantasy. Without the caravan the consumption rivals small fuel efficient cars when cruising. We drove from Melbourne to Sydney return and averages 7.2l/100 km. And it was quiet, effortless, comfortable travel.

So what's to beef about? The thing is cumbersome around town and should come standard with proximity sensors. The original reversing camera was a disaster. It's been replaced under warranty and is now very good. Service costs are very high and frequent. 1000th intervals are OK if towing but for ordinary use it should be 1000th. The same engine/gearbox in the US has a 10000 mile service interval. And don't tell me it's harsher conditions here.

Have you ever driven around Arizona, Utah or Nevada? Besides being great fun, those roads and climate are tough stuff.

Also the fit and finish of the body. The engine comes from Italy, the 8 speed auto from Germany but the thing is built in Detroit and the standards of quality they set themselves there don't match those from Wolfsburg or Hiroshima. Nothing has fallen off, nothing rattles but the carpet comes up short, some panels don't quite meet with consistent gaps and the paint seems soft. It leaves swirl marks easily.

In summary, if you want a tow vehicle with a mechanical package almost identical to a Landrover Disco4 to a VW Toureg but want to pay $30000 less then a Jeep GC Laredo is the only thing to look at.