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2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee: More safety and entertainment

 

Jeep Australia has revealed an updated Grand Cherokee for 2020 with extra safety. The Night Eagle trim returns as a permanent fixture as the entry-point to the capacious Grand Cherokee.

Having been on sale with very similar underpinnings for nearly ten years, the Jeep isn’t the freshest horse in the shed. However, competitors like Ford Everest and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport are of similar age. The softer Hyundai Santa Fe also offers a decent alternative to the base model Grand Cherokee.

Thankfully, Grand Cherokee pricing has remained line-ball with 2019 data retaining a key value point for Jeep.

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We like the slightly quirky uConnect system.

It’s still one of the most purposeful looking SUVs out there. The addition of some styling pizzazz on the Night Eagle is appreciated, giving the base model muscular exterior reminiscent of more exotic variants.

Inside the Grand Cherokee is standard Jeep fare for the 2020 and clearly designed around Americans, not Europeans. It’s starting to date in there,, but the uConnect has won favour with us, even with that quirky square touchscreen.

But if you want a berserk brute of an SUV, it’s hard to go past the American offering. Some will rejoice that for 2020 the gas-guzzling 6.4-litre V8 344kW/624Nm SRT and Trackhawk’s bananas 522kW/868Nm Supercharged V8 stick around. 

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The new entry-level Night Eagle.

No other brand offers so much grunt for so little cash – $92,450 (driveaway pricing TBA) and $134,590 (driveaway pricing TBA) respectively. The Germans will offer similar lunacy with BMW’s X5 M Competition and Benz’s AMG GLE 63, but they’re nearly twice the price.

Of course, there’s more to the Grand Cherokee range than mental headline figures of the V8 models. The new base Night Eagle variant packs leather upholstery, a square 8.4-inch touchscreen, 20-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors and a 7-inch digital driver display.

Updates for 2020 are limited to more standard safety tech with AEB, lane-departure warning and auto high-beams standard.

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It’s definitely a Jeep.

Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included across the Grand Cherokee range now.

Two engine options are available for the Night Eagle; the 213kW/347Nm 3.6-litre ‘Pentastar’ V6 starts at a reasonable $59,950 (driveaway pricing TBA), the torquier 184kW/540Nm diesel commanding a premium at $65,950 (driveaway pricing TBA). All Grand Cherokees are four-wheel-drive and sport an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Stepping up to the petrol-only $63,950 (driveaway pricing TBA) Limited sees the addition of Capri leather seats, premium Alpine sound system, power boot and heated steering wheel. Safety is bolstered further with adaptive cruise, rear cross-traffic alert and park assist.

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Less purposeful in white we think.

Further up the extensive Grand Cherokee range is the $72,950 (driveaway pricing TBA) S-Limited with the option of a diesel V6 or 5.7-litre V8. Additional specification includes ‘heritage’ leather seats, more aggressive body kit, SRT bonnet and dark finishes on the lights and mirrors.

For 2020 the S-Limited also gains self-levelling rear-suspension and a 220amp battery for better towing and camping performance.

Jeep’s off-road focussed $75,950 (driveaway pricing TBA) Trailhawk and $79,450 (driveaway pricing TBA) Overland and premium $85,950 (driveaway pricing TBA)  Summit variants remain unchanged for 2020.

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Urban assault in the Grand Cherokee.

However, Jeep Australia has introduced a capped-price servicing scheme for all 2020 Grand Cherokees. That means the first five years of services are capped at $399 and, yes, that even includes the supercharged Trackhawk.

If space and performance are essential attributes, then the Grand Cherokee offers an excellent value proposition. 

The extra features on the less expensive variants and capped-price servicing make the American option more desirable than ever before.