2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee: India First Drive
Everyone in India is familiar with the Jeep badge. For 48 years, right from Independence to 1995, Mahindra and Mahindra made the CJ Series Jeep in different avatars with the Jeep badge making it one of the most recognizable and popular modes of transport in India. Now though, Jeep is all set to make a comeback to India with a range of three new SUVs. Although most people’s visualizations when they think about a ‘Jeep’ in general is a spartan vehicle, the new Jeeps will be far from that. We took the new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee out for a quick drive to see how the brand has progressed through the years.
The Grand Cherokee is named after the American native Indian tribes that were known for their outdoorsy nature has developed into a completely different animal in its 2013 avatar. For starters, the Grand Cherokee is a spectacular looking vehicle as compared to its earlier generations showing exemplary evolution. The vertically placed 7-slat chrome grille might look familiar to most considering how Mahindra has been using the same design for a long long time. There is a generous serving of chrome on the front of the car with a large and rather well placed chrome accent piece running across the lower half of the front bumper and two handsome air intake ports with chrome linings occupying the top half of the front bumper.
What really captivated us was the sheer attention to detail in the sleek headlamp unit. The horizontally placed headlamps with embedded LED daytime running lamps gives the Grand Cherokee tremendous street presence and character. The headlamp units also come with small engravings that showcase the original Jeep form in them on one side and the words ‘Since 1941’on the other side paying homage to the vehicle that started the off-road trend. Incidentally, Jeep is also credited in making the world’s first luxury offroader, or what later came to be known as the SUV, the Wagoneer, which to some is the father of all modern SUVs the world over.
Coming back to the design elements on the new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, although the front of the car demands respect with its well crafted design, the rear of this range topping SUV does seem a little vanilla from the rear end due to its upright stance and large tail lamps. There is even more chrome on tap here though with the large Jeep badge dominating the boot lid. The rear bumper is festooned with two large trapezoidal exhaust tips and a large chrome accent piece dominating the rear bumper from one end to another. What does really stand out though is the sheer size and dimensions of the car amongst other cars on the road. We also like the large 20-inch split-5-spoke chrome wheels which although huge on paper look just about right on this huge SUV. In fact, if one is seriously considering buying the Grand Cherokee, we would beg you to go for the largest set of wheels Jeep as to offer just because this is one of those few cars that can actually pull a gigantic wheel off without looking awkward. The Grand Cherokee is most certainly one of the most brutish SUVs built and will certainly command instant respect wherever one takes it.