After years of delays and teasing the Indian off-road enthusiasts, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) finally brought the Jeep brand to India earlier this year. Leading Jeep’s charge in India are the Grand Cherokee and the iconic Wrangler. To showcase just how adept these vehicles are at off-road driving, Jeep India recently organized ‘Camp Jeep’ – an event aimed at giving prospective customers and media personnel a chance to experience Jeep products make light work of off-road obstacles. Here’s a brief round up of what went down at Camp Jeep.
We began the proceedings in a Grand Cherokee. Now, the GC isn’t as hardcore an off-road tool as the Wrangler, and hence, some bits of the course were kept off limits. However, on other parts of the pre-designed course, the Grand Cherokee was in its elements. The Grand Cherokee comes with Selec-Terrain traction control system. This system offers multiple terrain-dependent modes – Auto, Snow, Sand, Mud and Rock. Over the off-road course that was prepared for us, we sampled the Sand, Mud and Rock modes. In Sand mode, over surfaces where maximum traction is the key to to maintain momentum, this system balances the torque output between the axles, along with optimizing the throttle and braking systems, to make sure the GC manages to get the better of this challenging terrain.
In rock mode, the power and torque are evenly balanced between each axle. Also, the throttle response and brake response is altered. Basically, all this gimmickry allows the Grand Cherokee to breeze through the challenging terrains without any fuss. The most impressive thing about the Grand Cherokee, apart from its ability to easily deal with difficult terrains, is the level of comfort it offers to the occupants. Even the backseat passengers were pleasantly surprised by the comfort levels this SUV offered. Other driver aids on offer include Hill Ascent Control and Hill Descent Control. Though, honestly, we did feel the Hill Descent Control was a bit too intense. Progress with it engaged was sometimes painfully slow. But then, again, going off the road is all about slow and steady more than going fast.
A quick stop later, we swapped the Grand Cherokee for the Wrangler. In the SUV spectrum, these two are poles apart. The Wrangler is more hardcore. Everything about the Wrangler, from its exterior design to the interiors, has been designed keeping functionality in mind. There aren’t as many electronic aids on offer. There is a simple stick shift for selecting four wheel drive and that’s about it. While the Wrangler too gets Hill Descent Control, it isn’t as intrusive. It lets the car roll down at a greater speed and doesn’t cut in as eagerly as the Grand Cherokee’s system. During the off-road course, there was a marked difference between the behaviour of the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. The Wrangler is much more involving, reacting more to each throttle and brake input. It also boasts better water wading capabilities.
Jeep’s current offerings in India couldn’t be more different from each other. While the Grand Cherokee strikes a balance between being a comfortable urban SUV and an off-road vehicle, the Wrangler is a hardcore mud-plugger. The Grand Cherokee is more practical of the two. It is more comfortable, has more features and yet, it is really very good off the road. On the other hand, the Wrangler is a purpose-built off-road beast. It will take you through the most difficult of terrains and then some. However, one thing’s for sure- both SUVs are immensely capable machines and showcase why Jeep is considered off-road royalty.
Camp Jeep Off Road Review – Grand Cherokee Specifications
|Length x Width x Height||4828 x 1943 x 1802 mm|
|Kerb Weight||2432 – 2455 kg|
|Wheel Type and Size||18” Alloys|
|Boot Space||1025 L|
|Engine Type/ Displacement||3.0 L V6 EcoDiesel|
|Acceleration (0-100 km/h)||-NA-|
|Transmission (Gearbox)||8-speed automatic with paddle shift|
|Price||Grand Cherokee Summit
|Grand Cherokee Limited Price
Camp Jeep Off Road Review – Wrangler Specifications
|Length x Width x Height||4583 x 1877 x 1829|
|Kerb Weight||2078 kg|
|Wheel Type and Size||17” Alloys|
|Engine Type/ Displacement||2.8 L Diesel|
|Transmission (Gearbox)||5-speed automatic|
Stay tuned to CarBlogIndia for more on Jeep products. What do you say about our Camp Jeep Off Road Review?