Jeep’s India entry has been a long time coming but has been postponed multiple times. The reasons cited for the delay in introducing the brand are the volatile exchange rates coupled with the slowdown in the automotive market resulting in unfavourable prices for these SUVs that would be at a very steep premium than competition, making buyers move to more established brands (from Germany). Fiat firmly believes Jeep needs to be in India but the market condition is not right and being a CBU, foreign exchange fluctuations make the launch unfavourable at the moment.
Since Fiat-Chrysler plan to launch more affordable Jeep models which will come via the CKD route and also be locally manufactured in India, the launch of the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are of prime importance for Jeep as the fully imported models will act as brand builders for the American automaker. Thus Fiat will launch both the Jeeps models, the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler in the second half of the year, pricing them at Rs. 65 lakhs and Rs. 25-30 lakhs respectively. Let’s have a quick look on what these cars are all about.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a luxury SUV powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine that produces 237 BHP of power and 549 Nm of torque which shall be the mainstay for India. The other engine option is the 6.4-litre true blue American V8 producing 470 BHP of power and 624 Nm of torque. The engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, while power is sent to all four wheels via an all-wheel drive setup.
We will get the updated Grand Cherokee which features the rather controversial front facia. The SUV has intimidating presence on the road with its muscular wheel arches and sharp character lines. Jeep has retained the classic seven-slot grille giving it a softer appearance coupled with completely redesigned headlights with integrated LED DRLs. The tail lamps also get LEDs and a refreshed tail gate. The SUV rides on 17-inch alloy wheels.
Moving on to the interiors, the Grand Cherokee will engulf its passengers with loads of space and luxury. We will get the five-seater version with the seats finished in finest quality Nappa leather. The suspension has been tuned for a comfort ride especially for Indian conditions. Jeep also offers the innovative infotainment system, park assist and a host of other electronic goodies. Being a Jeep, the Grand Cherokee is also a capable off-roader and you get the Selec-Terrain system, which allows the driver to configure the drive train as per the road condition.
The other model that will be brought to India is the legendary Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler is not a volume based product, but rather a lifestyle product for the selective few who take off-roading very seriously. The timeless design and the brute looks only add to this SUV’s presence on and off-road. The Jeep Wrangler will be available in 2-door and the 4-door guise. The 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine with VVT produces 285 HP of power and 350 Nm of torque is available on the 2-door Wrangler Sport version; while the 4-door Unlimited version gets a 2.8-litre 4-cylinder common-rail diesel producing 197 BHP of power and 459 Nm of torque. The engines will be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 5-speed automatic version.
The interiors of the Wrangler are equipped with all the necessary creature comforts and boast of high levels of quality compared to other cars in its segment. The Wrangler is the go anywhere kind of an SUV and won’t disappoint you on tarmac as well. Read our Jeep Wrangler Review to know more about this macho vehicle.