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Driven << Back


The WK Grand Cherokee is here. Thank goodness for that.

The WJ it replaces sold very well, but it never endeared itself to real 4WD enthusiasts in the way the smaller XJ did from 1984 to 2001. Every auto manufacturer makes a little boo-boo now and then. In Jeep’s case it was the design of the suspension fitted to the WJ wagon. On less than  smooth highway surfaces, the Jeep had a tendency to rock from side to side – just like when you are fishing from an alloy dinghy, and a speedboat whizzes past. Not comfortable. Even less so if you paid extra to get the slippery, leather-clad seats. Fitting a set of high-performance shock absorbers, such as Rancho's RSX 'reflex technology' series, seems to cue some of the problems. However, nothing short of a full rework of the suspension design (totally impractical) will provide a ride equal to many of the Jeep's competitors.

Enough! The new WK is here and it is proof that DaimlerChrysler made their suspension engineers write ‘Jeeps are not supposed to rock’ a million times in their homework books. With an independent front and a solid rear controlled by a new 5-link setup, the 2006 Grand Cherokee now has better ride, handling and predictability. Although, on rough, corrugated roads and tracks, the OEM shock absorbers are still not up to the job. 

The longer, wider WK has a ‘hunkered-down’ look that is a successful blend of style and toughness. We like the wider cabin, the choice of engines (including the stomping 5.7 Hemi, which runs on just four of its cylinders when the power is not needed), the reversible cargo tray and the amazing electronically-locking differentials.

However, the pick of the range is the CRD, powered by a Mercedes Benz 3.0 V6 diesel. It is quiet, frugal with fuel and, with an enormous amount of torque, can beat a 4.7V8 version to 60mph (100km/h).

If you decide to buy a WK, and intend to use it off sealed roads, you would be crazy not to choose one with the Quadra-Drive II  package. This superb drivetrain technology provides automatically-locking front, centre and rear differentials that operate in a blink. Only one tire needs grip to keep the Jeep moving. It is simple, fast, effective and superior to any of the traction systems used by Jeep’s competitors.


If you own, have Driven or have something to say about the Grand Cherokee, email us.

Your comments could be posted here!

 SPECS & STATS - Jeep Grand Cherokee HEMI

Under the hood
Engine Type5.7L Hemi V8 Petrol 
Horse Power330 hp @ 5000rpm246 kW @ 5000 rpm
Torque375 lb-ft @ 4000rpm518 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Consumption14  mpg city - 21 mpg hwy17L/100 km city - 11L/100 km hwy

5-Speed Automatic 545RFE

The ride
Front SuspensionShort/long independent (SLA), coil springs, gas-charged, twin-tube coil over shock absorbers, upper and lower control arms, stabilizer bar
Rear SuspensionLive axle, link coil-with track bar, gas charged twin tube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Size me up
Exterior Height70.3 in           1785 mm
Exterior Width84.2 in 2138 mm
Overall Length186.7 in4742 mm
Wheelbase109.5 in2781 mm
Ground Clearance8.5 in215 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity 20.5 (gal)77 (litres)

Make up - 9 Colors
Dark Khaki PearlcoatDeep Beryle Green PearlcoatLight Khaki Metallic Clearcoat
Inferno Red Crystal PearlcoatStone White ClearcoatMignight Blie Pearlcoat
Inferno Red Tinted PearlcoatBrilliant Black Crystal PearlcoatBright Silver Metallic Clearcoat

* Options & specifications may vary in different regions