MOST NEW 4x4s are lighter and greener than the models they replace. The Jeep Grand Cherokee follows that trend to some extent, but at heart it’s still a big, tough old-school 4×4.


The new Grand Cherokee tips the scales at 2272kg, a modest 38kg less than before. That’s not a lot, although it’s worth pointing out that the new car is longer and wider as well as lighter.


That extra space has been put to good use in the cabin. The old car was surprisingly small inside for such a big car. There’s now more space, especially in the back. The quality of the interior has jumped up a couple of notches, too.


There’s more than enough muscle for towing, courtesy of a new 3.0-litre diesel engine. With 237bhp and 405lb.ft of torque, the Grand Cherokee should comfortably tow any suitable match. And let’s face it, with a kerbweight the podgy side of two tonnes that means just about anything.


It’s not the most refined engine, although there is a certain gruff character to the engine note. Not so long ago official combined economy of 34mpg would have seemed impressive for a big 4×4, but the likes of the BMW X5 XDrive 30d promise better fuel-efficiency and lower emissions.


Prices start from £36,795. That may seem expensive but it undercuts similar Audis and BMWs, and includes plenty of standard equipment.


We’ll be reviewing the Grand Cherokee in more detail in the April issue of the magazine. We’ve also asked for a car to test at the Towcar Awards later in the year.