Eat, sleep, Jeep. The brand is finally back in India. Fiat Chrysler sure took its time about bringing Jeep to India, having planned this launch for a couple of years. The Wrangler Unlimited and the Cherokee SRT will officially go on sale this year - yes, it was just an unveil at the Auto Expo 2016. Still, that's something. Being an iconic brand, there was a fair degree of interest in Jeep. Just walking around the Jeep stall, I could see plenty of folks taking selfies with it. But one comment made me do a double-take. One young bloke says - "Looks like a Modified Thar". Good grief! Jeep, you've got some real brand building to do. The Jeep Cherokee SRT will come to India only in this variant, which is the top-of-the-line fully loaded variant. It will be launched in mid-2016.
The grille is what makes it immediately recognisable, although those daytime-running lights could easily be mistaken for a certain German brand, if you quickly glance in your rear view mirror and see this bearing down on you.
The rear of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is fairly conventional, except for those neat LED tail lamps. The design is pretty boxy, keeping in line with what the Cherokee brand has always stood for. The Cherokee is more of a lifestyle 4x4, not really meant for hard core off-roading, although it is fairly capable. It's the kind of vehicle you would use more on-road than off-road. The twin exhausts though hint at what's under the bonnet. It comes with a 3-litre V6 diesel engine that puts out 237 bhp of power with an eight-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive.
The side profile of the Cherokee SRT follows the rectangular design theme. There's an uncanny similarity with the other American brand - Ford - and it's new Endeavour in the silhouette of this vehicle. The Jeep Cherokee though is sleeker.
Note the subtle extensions that act as mudflaps around the fender. This will prevent the sides from getting dirty. The Cherokee SRT is a five seater.
The Brembo discs even at the rear add character to the vehicle. Of course, with all that power (zero to 100 in 8 seconds) and bulk, uprated brakes are necessary.
The boot is huge. One can sleep in there! You get 782 litres of luggage space as standard, and if you flip-fold the rear seat, boot space goes up to 1,554 litres.
The interiors are luxuriously appointed win dual tone leather. All panels are soft touch. This SRT offers LCD screens for rear passengers as well.
The dash has a mix of soft touch leather and carbon-fibre finish. It has a foot-operated parking brake, and the automatic gear selector looks cool, with the selection indication on the lever.
Bluetooth phone controls, cruise control and audio controls on the steering. But check out the paddle shifts behind the steering.
The infotainment system can reflect your phone's apps, which you can access on the go.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will appeal to buyers looking for a luxury SUV, but want something different from the regular crop of BMW X Series or Mercedes GL class vehicles. This one looks a lot younger and fresher. Update on the Jeep Wrangler follows.
Heritage aside, it gives a bit of a basic or a utilitarian vibe vis a vis the likes of the X5 or the GLE or the new XC90, quite like a vehicle that is a generation or so older. Also, the brand's recall, limited to begin with, is more bare bones off-roaders than premium SUVs. They'll have to price it really well for it to stand any chance of getting noticed.
The vehicle that has all Jeep fans drooling though is the Wrangler. This Wrangler Unlimited, shown in both hard top and open top variants is what every true-blue, hard-boiled offroader will swear by. At least, it's one of the offroaders that they would want in their garages. The Wrangler has a tough battle though. The Wrangler is the original Jeep and has tried to stay true to its design philosophy over the years. In India, though the Mahindra Thar is based on the Jeep CJ5 design - and hence the striking similarity in looks. However, these vehicles are going to be poles apart - with the Thar at the Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh price point and the Jeep Wrangler at the Rs. 25 lakh plus price point. It will come in 2-door and 4-door variants. The Wrangler will actually compete with the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Hyundai Santa Fe!
While the Wrangler Unlimited with full metal body is what everyone would probably pick up, the one that is a crowd puller at the Jeep stall is the open top - the Jeep Wrangler as is meant to be, and accessorized with off-road bumpers. Notice the bead guards on the wheel rim. This disc is put in place to prevent the tyre from slipping off the rim when you air down the tyres for hard core off-roading, especially on sandy and rocky terrain. A flatter tyre offers more grip.
This accessorized Wrangler comes with mud-terrain tyres from Cooper. Those tail-lamps would be a familiar sight - as many Thar owners swap the OEM Mahindra tail-lamps for these Wrangler style tail lamps.
The seven-slat trademark Jeep grille is unmistakable. The Wrangler has a wider track now, and hence the wheel extensions were needed. The OEM bumper is a pedestrian-crash friendly one, and this is something that Mahindra too did recently with the facelifted Thar. Yet, for the simple design the Jeep Wrangler is actually a pretty complicated machine - it's loaded with technology.
Made for each other? Good Year Wrangler all-terrain tyres on the Jeep Wrangler!
However, if you plan to take the Wrangler off-road (and you must, after all it's a Jeep), these are the tyres to go with - Cooper Discoverer mud-terrains. Those rims too look hot (Momo has a similar design - I wonder if they've supplied the rims to Jeep).
The simple Jeep Wrangler dashboard. Round AC vents, a GPS navigation systems, automatic climate control, MID, hill descent control, traction control are all part of standard equipment. The outside rear-view mirrors are electrically adjustable - the adjuster is on the dash, below the AC controls. Of course, in this one below - there are no mirrors!
The Jeep Wrangler is powered by a 2,8 litre four-cylinder diesel engine that puts out 200 bhp of power and 460 Newton metres of torque. It comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, with a shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive system (Borg Warner) and limited-slip rear differential. The 4x4 transfer case can shift between 2-H (2-wheel drive high), 4-H (four-wheel drive high ratio), N (neutral for towing) and 4L (four-wheel drive low) for extreme conditions.
Here's a quick glance at the dimensions of the Jeep Wrangler: Length: 3,880 mm for 2-door, 4,400 mm for 4-door variant Width: 1870 mm Height: 1800 mm - 1840 mm Ground clearance: 223 mm Engine: 2.8 litre 4-cylinder diesel Power: 200 bhp Torque: 460 Nm Transmission: 5-speed automatic 4x4 transfer case: Shift on the fly 4x4 with low ratio The Wrangler is likely to end up being a life-style product in India. Not many would really venture taking it off-road, despite it being immensely capable. But for the select few who do take it to remote destinations, it is likely to be a trusted partner. We'll bring you a full detailed review of the Wrangler and Cherokee soon. Follow this thread for more updates.
I have had first hand experience with the Jeeps, wrangler included. It cannot hold a candle against the Toyotas, forget the top spec Land Cruisers, I am talking about the Hilux (which is a pick up) or even the 76 series. I promise you a Mahindra Thar is more reliable than a Jeep. While it is certainly a looker, the wrangler demands a lot of attention and is uncomfortable and cramped inside, not just for the passengers but also for the driver. The gear lever keeps hitting your left knee and the right knee is hitting the door. Ergonomically and reliability wise it is a big disappointment.
Kamran yeah, I suspect it would end up being a lifestyle vehicle only. Hard core offroaders would still pick a Thar to bash about. Enthusiastic ones would even modify a Thar to look like a Wrangler. I was just having this this discussion with someone yesterday about whether the Ford Endeavour or the Jeep Wrangler was the right choice for him. While he loves the Wrangler's looks, the practical side in him was leaning towards the Endeavour.
So Jeep apparently made a concept christened the 'Crew Chief'. The concept pick-up looks mad as hell. With a five foot long bed, 20 inch bead-lock wheels with massive military-spec non directional tyres, the Crew Chief looks every bit capable of surviving apocalypse. The engine powering this behemoth is a Chrysler Pentastar V6 with a cold air intake system. Additional ***-kicking equipment include dual winches at the front, tow hook at the rear with a stamped steel tailgate. The interior is also hard-core with crazy flip-switches and a spherical compass! Check out the pictures below: PC: truckyeah.jalopnik.com
JijoMalayil Reports suggest that Jeep is going to launch the Wrangler Unlimited (five-door version) model first and later followed by the regular Wrangler (three-door). If I am correct, the Jeep had a media drive (or was given to certain media houses) last year with the regular Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. Here is the regular Jeep Wrangler
Here is the Wrangler Unlimited
Here is the review of the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee done by Autocar India last year.
Themallustig Yes, it is reported to be the Wrangler Unlimited and the Grand Cherokee SRT at the launch, then perhaps followed by the regular Wrangler and Grand Cherokee versions. Engines on offer on the Wrangler Unlimited is likely to be the 2.8 litre turbo-diesel engine. While, the Grand Cherokee SRT will be powered a 6.4-litre Hemi V8 petrol.
JijoMalayil, the launch of the Jeeps is going to create a great buzz. Lots of people have been looking forward to it and the expected price point of the Wrangler will be detrimental to how well they do in India. If it comes in the 25 - 35 lakh segment, there are lots of options, but given the legacy of 'Jeep' as a brand, it is likely to do well. Also, given the response that the Ford Mustang got, it can be said that the Indian market has a market for premium iconic cars. Let's hope they price it right. And as far the Cherokee goes, the V8 is monstrous engine and gives that car go anywhere capability. It should be interesting to see how it does off road as compared to the Range Rover Sport SVR or the Autobiography.
So, Jeep has confirmed that the Wrangler Unlimited, Grand Cherokee, and Cherokee SRT will the first Jeep models to be launched. The Grand Cherokee will be powered by a 3.0 V6 Ecodiesel motor producing 240 hp and 550 Nm of torque. Check out this Autocar review of the same.
The Grand Cherokee is expected to cost between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 55 lakh. At that price point it will compete directly with the cheaper but smaller Audi Q5 and BMW X3 and also the more expensive Mercedes GLE. Compared to the the Audi and the BMW, the Grand Cherokee would be the SUV of choice for someone looking for a butch-looking SUV with boatloads of space. The Grand Cherokee will also win over the Merc GLE as the Cherokee will be available with a 7-seat configuration as well. The GLE on the other hand is only available with 5 seats. All that said, my SUV of choice would always be the new Ford Endeavour.
NikilSJ You can easily mistake the Cherokee in that red shade for a Ford Endeavour. At half the price, the Ford Endeavour is a much better value-for-money proposition when compared to the Grand Cherokee.
JijoMalayil, I beg to differ at this point. The only possible scenario in which the Grand Cherokee would resemble the Endeavour would be if you are half-blind and have no perception of size whatsoever. Not only is the Cherokee wider and longer than the Endeavor, the road presence of that thing makes even the Prado look small! The design cues on the sides are also way more somber on the Endeavor. And NikilSJ, if you had the budget to buy a 60 lakh rupee car, I really doubt you would even consider the Endeavor. When it comes to the mindset and purpose of buying a half-a-crore SUV, unfortunately, the Endeavor does not tick all the boxes.
CorsaVeloce FYI, the new Endeavour is longer and taller than the Grand Cherokee. And I have a full 6/6 score on my recent eye test results. As the Cherokee is wider, I agree the Grand Cherokee has more road presence than the Ford Endeavour. Jeep is known for their legendary off-road heritage. But frankly, how many of these owners will take an SUV like this off-road? "In my opinion", it's just a waste of money.
CorsaVeloce I'd rather buy the Ford Endeavour and kit it out to the max with the money I save not buying the Cherokee. Yes, Bollywood and mega-rich people will throng in a line to get their hands on the Cherokee no doubt. It has that commanding road presence that probably no other SUV can beat, not even the Land Cruiser. Why would I want to spend Rs 50 lakh for an SUV that equals the Endeavour in terms of on-road manners. I'd rather steal a bank and get the Grand Cherokee SRT instead!
JijoMalayil It's true that indian mindset wants a true blue full blown 4X4 SUV but how many of them actually uses there toys what they are made for. In a country like ours the Road presence & status value matters the most no matter how much the product cost. Compare any SUV costing upwards of 30L rupees sales figure & u would find the most SUV competent enough to handle pretty much any terrain, but how many of them are found playing with dirt. If a similar vehicle for say Audi Q3 4X4 would be offered in a lower trim with 4X2 there would be less salesdespite being economical than 4X4. So the point is people in India buys the product which cost the most or suits there status but don't actually use that what they are meant for. Talking about Cherokee i think one of the first buyers would be actor Ranbir Kapoor as he has a good taste in Powerful SUV (G-Wagon AMG) . Jeep being a iconic brand would be bought by only those who actually knows the brand expertise else the smaller german rivals would rule the sales figure in the same segment.
Ronny yes, you do have a point there. You are right about the mindset part. I have seen so many people go for the top-end model with 4x4 even though the sales person at the showroom says a 4x2 is enough for your daily needs. Somehow, owning a 4x4 has now become a status symbol rather than a symbol that you are an outdoorsy sort of a guy who likes going off-road once in a while. Unless that mindset changes, expect to see these big SUVs prowling the streets of Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh or wherever instead of the great outdoors.
NikilSJ and JijoMalayil, I cannot believe how you guys are even talking about the Cherokee and Endeavor in a single sentence! They are poles apart and belong to DIFFERENT SEGMENTS. Again, while you are in the market for a BIG Jeep, you will not buy the slightly smaller Ford. Period. And as far as serious off roading is concerned, neither of these cars is really gonna be cut out for that NikilSJ. And JijoMalayil, I really dont think its a waste of money. How many people do you know of who take their 60 lakh rupee SUV off road? I don't think anyone does. And if they do want to, they buy a cheaper Thar or Gypsy along with the bigger SUV to have fun in!
CorsaVeloce all I am saying is that it is a shame when you buy such an expensive SUV and don't take it off-road - the primary function for what it was built. If I was nuts about going off-road every once in a while and could afford one of the two cars, I'd rather go for the Ford Endeavour as it will be cheaper to repair and service when compared to the CBU-sourced Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee will definitely be a hit among the uber-rich for sure with it's looks. If I wanted to buy a Cherokee, it will be a decision I will have to take from my heart rather than the small head of mine but not so with the Endeavour.
NikilSJ Totally agree with you but If i were you & had to take a decision on a car which can outperform any terrain, has better road presence, can be repaired easily would be Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with shorter wheelbase. This is the car built for a reason not for your daily rides. Obviously T&C applied here IF I HAD GOOD MONEY. As CorsaVeloce said both the Cherokee and the Endeavour are good off-road performers with decent punch and can't be compared directly. Obviously, the Cherokee has much more technology beside the 4X4 than the Endeavour and would anyday perform better than Endeavour, The point is if a customer gets 90% of the vehicle capability at half the price why not to go for Endeavour.
Jeep brand has the Iconic value which the Ford lacks (Royal Enfield bikes sell like hotcakes for this reason only). I think people who will buy this car will put the brand value over the actual purpose. People who can afford these are probably bored with their Jaguars, Range Rovers and other stuff and are looking for something which has the initial exclusivity factor and has the rugged, go-anywhere image. Rs 50 lakh is also a great price range for the wannabe Evoque buyer to jump to the Jeep Wrangler. As long as it's comfy inside, offers good ride on our roads and has got the looks, it will sell.
JOY MRC I feel people buying it just for the looks and the rugged image of the car and not actually using it for the purpose it was built for to be a crying shame. Yes, the Cherokee will be a better alternative to the cramped and outdated (platform-wise) Range Rover Evoque.