Owner Review

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Review

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Like many, we bought the Jeep diesel for its 3.5 tonne towing capacity. That rating, whilst matched by other beasts, example Ford Ranger, is backed up by a huge torque output. Towing a high, 2.the tonne caravan, is a breeze.

The fuel consumption a vargas at about 16.5l/100 km towing. Land cruiser owners can't get that without a van on the back. Cruising the freeway to Sydney and back without the van yields a surprising 7.3l/100 km. Damn good for a big beast.

Handling is OK. It's not a VW Golf around the city but it was never intended as a Prahran market shopping trolley. If that's what you do, get something else. But highway cruising is very quiet and effortless.

Servicing? It's a major ripoff. The initial purchase price was relatively low and I suspect the dealers are clawing back as much as possible by suggesting bad things will happen unless genuine Mopar filters and oil is used.

Complete tripe of course, but it's a tactic used by many makes. Recalls have been dealt with at service times so there has been no inconvenience. It's interesting that the service intervals for the mechanically identical car overseas are considerably longer. 10000 miles vs 10000 km. The dealer claimed this is due to Australia's harsh conditions. I asked if he had ever been to Utah or Arizona. Change subject.

Now the gripes. Firstly, the rear view camera is a total and utter disgrace. It's fitted aftermarket in the Laredo and a cheaper, more shoddy camera could not be imagined. White screen at night, white screen in bright sunlight.

It's just plain dangerous but Jeep Australia don't want to discuss the matter Parts availability? OK if you live in Melbourne close to the single warehouse but otherwise be patient. Roadside assist is available but be prepared to deal with a minimally trained assistant, not a skilled mechanic. The auto gear shift selector and the foot park brake? What ever were those designers thinking?

Leave all that aside and what have I got? A comfortable, powerful and frugal tow vehicle at a very good initial price. I'll bite the bullet, and the wallet, and get a proper rear view camera system fitted. I'll get the car serviced with compliant parts at a Jeep specialist and I'll use eBay to get bling bits cheap. With a genuine Italian industrial diesel and a ZF gearbox the car is 85% of the way to being perfect.