Well, who would have thought this? I wanted to get out of my 5 year old Navara ST-X work vehicle and into an SUV. I canvassed all the brands, including the Toyota Prado Kakadu and decided on a Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit.
The standard motor is the Italian Motori 3.0-litre turbo V6 (same as the Maserati Levante) mated to an 8-speed ZF transmission. The motor is strong and very quiet with powerful acceleration. The transmission shifts are imperceptible. Highway cruising with the standard radar cruise control is a breeze and very safe.
One amazing feature not even found in cars three times the price is the Active Noise Cancelling feature, aided by sound reducing front and rear screens and special laminated door glass.
You literally do not hear any traffic noise outside of the car, including passing traffic coming in the opposite direction! The Summit is the quietest car I have ever driven.
I also have the occasion to tow customer's large trailer boats and with this task the diesel Grand Cherokee does with ease... up to 3500kg.
I ordered Bright White with the Black Nappa Leather interior. The paint finish is perfect and the leather trim and general design and finish of the interior is to European standards, which I feel is totally surprising.
I am 6-foot-2 tall and the driving position is perfect with multi-directional power/memory seats, all heated and cooled.
I use the Summit five days a week, and since my March 2020 delivery I have travelled 17,000 kilometres.
The two longest trips have been Sydney to Brisbane, which was done in total comfort with two brief stops each way and averaging 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres. City driving averages 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
The U-Connect system is brilliant. There is perfect sound quality from the standard Kardon Harmon system with speakers everywhere, Apple CarPlay, DAB radio, Bluetooth, the best mobile connectivity and navigation system, and being typically American is so bloody easy to use!!
These cars in my opinion are very underrated, due to some poor back up and marketing a few years ago, I believe. It appears that FCA have woken up and with a 5 year/100,000 kilometre warranty they seem to have reinvented themselves.
Dealerships still appear to be a little thin on the ground around the place.
Overall, coming from a Mercedes-Benz owner (currently 2013 CLS500 and 2016 C250), I am more than surprised with the Summit package as a whole. It has so far delivered everything I have expected without a single issue.
And significant deals are out there as well. $10,000 came straight off the drive-away pricing in my case.
In a nutshell, I would very, very highly recommended the Summit if you are looking to purchase a medium-sized fully-equipped diesel 4WD SUV in a sensible price range.
The Summit is a very tough, well built and laid out SUV with every possible option as a standard feature, similar to what you will find in the optioned up European line up, all costing twice the price.