The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is here, sporting a facelifted look, sharp pricing and extra specs over the old model. There is also a new off-road oriented model, and some subtle mechanical tweaks.

The lower-spec Laredo starts at $47,500, making it eagerly priced against smaller and less-specced competition. That’s a 2WD model, mind you. The cheapest 4X4 Grand Cherokee goes for $52,500, giving off-road capability a $5,000 premium.

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a reworked interior, with a new infotainment unit that brings it up to speed with the best in the market.

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a reworked interior, with a new infotainment unit that brings it up to speed with the best in the market.

With that pricing, the Grand Cherokee is going to be competing against mid-to-high spec ute-based wagons like Toyota’s Fortuner, Holden’s Trailblazer and Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport. Going up in size, the LandCruiser Prado and Ford Everest is some other direct competition. The Prado’s prices start from around $55,000 for the base-model GX, going up to $86,000 for the specced-out Kakadu.

The list of available drivelines on the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is familiar, but there are some important things to note: The smooth and powerful 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 now has stop-start technology for improved fuel economy in the ‘burbs, as well as some extra power: now up to an impressive 213kW. Ten years ago, you needed a guzzling 4.4 litre V8 to make that kind of power.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee retains the same automatic gearbox, but with updated internals for smoother operation.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee retains the same automatic gearbox, but with updated internals for smoother operation.

The transmission, an 8-speed automatic, has been optimised for smoother and cleaner shifting, by reducing drag on the clutch packs with an updated lubrication system. The 3.0 litre VM Motori turbodiesel is still available, giving you an equally impressive 184kW/570Nm. And that 6.4 litre Hemi V8, making 344kW of thundering Yankee power. It also has 624Nm available, and is a beautiful engine in every way (except the glorious consumption). Unfortunately, this model misses out on low range, and the special street-tuned suspension does have big shortcomings off-road.

There’s a new model, as well. ‘Trailhawk’ models are bred with increased off-road capability, with an electronic rear LSD, and specially tuned ‘Quadra-lift’ air suspension that gives you up to 260mm of ground clearance. You also get some skid plates underneath, a litany of decals and some flash red tow hooks. They aren’t called recovery points, and we aren’t sure what these are rated at (if at all), but will find out. The Trailhawk goes for $74,000.

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, which gains improved off-road capability.

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, which gains improved off-road capability.

The range of Grand Cherokee models has adopted electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) for improved fuel economy in 2017, as well as an ‘eco’ transmission mode. The 2017 range of Grand Cherokees also has a 3,500kg braked towing capacity.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any word yet whether Jeep is moving from the MA classification on the Grand Cherokee, which does have negative trickle-down effects for owners who actually want to go off-road and dabble in modifications. In comparison, Ford’s Everest and Haval’s H9 have been re-certified with MC ‘off-road classification.

The warranty setup on Jeeps has recently changed, as well. Now you have a five-year, 100,000-kilometre warranty, ‘lifetime’ roadside assistance and capped-price servicing. It’s called the ‘There & Back Guarantee’ and is part of Jeep’s strategy at winning back lost confidence in the brand.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Pricing and specs

Model Engine Power/Torque Transmission MSRP
Laredo 3.6-litre V6 213kW/347Nm 8AT, RWD $47,500
Laredo 3.6-litre V6 213kW/347Nm 8AT, 4×4 $52,500
Laredo 3.0-litre TDV6 184kW/570Nm 8AT, 4×4 $59,000
Limited 3.6-litre V6 213kW/347Nm 8AT, 4×4 $62,500
Limited 3.0-litre TDV6 184kW/570Nm 8AT, 4×4 $69,000
Trailhawk 3.0-litre TDV6 184kW/570Nm 8AT, 4×4 $74,000
Overland 3.0-litre TDV6 184kW/570Nm 8AT, 4×4 $80,000
SRT 6.4-litre V8 344kW/624Nm 8AT, 4×4 $91,000