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Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk confirmed for Australia

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, with the new facelift
The updated 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee hasn't had a good start to sales.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, what Jeep are calling the most capable Grand Cherokee yet, is confirmed for Australia in the 2nd quarter of 2017. It will join an already big range of Grand Cherokees, including Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT models.

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk get improved ground clearance through a reworked air suspension system
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk get improved ground clearance through a reworked air suspension system

Jeep will be hoping this raises the credentials of the brand in Australia, as lots of recalls have hurt their sales figures. As the name suggests, this one is tailored to increased off-road capability. So, let’s get down to the nuts-and-bolts of it.

It uses Jeep’s Quadradrive II full-time 4WD system, along with an electronic limited-slip rear differential. It’s not fully locking, but if it is teamed up with a decent off-road traction control, it should be almost as good.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk interior
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk interior. Don’t worry, the Aussie version won’t be left-hook.

The Grand Cherokee offers up to 278mm of ground clearance, which is quite impressive. This must be when the air suspension is jacked up for increased clearance, so we’ll have to see how it performs in the real world.

The approach angle is 29.8 degrees, improving to 36.1 when you remove the front airdam. 27.1 is the rampover angle, and 22.8. We assume these are all when the suspension is at it’s maximum height.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trail Hawk, emblazoned with the 'Trail Rated' badging.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trail Hawk, emblazoned with the ‘Trail Rated’ badging.

Off-road tyres will be standard, which look to be a Goodyear Wrangler of some description. There are also some skid plates, and something Jeep are calling an ‘anti-glare’ bonnet. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Trailhawk without Jeep’s special selection of decals and badging, both inside and out, so your neighbours get the message that you’re a real tough off-roader type.

There is the usual list of off-road aids in the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, like Traction Control, Hill Ascent/Descent Control and Selec-Speed control (a kind of cruise control for rock crawling), amongst others.

Being a 2017 Grand Cherokee, the Trailhawk will get the new front grille and fascia, and the new infotainment unit inside. We have used this already, and have been well-impressed with the improvement over the old model.

Stay tuned, as we bring a full roadtest of this new model.


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  • Isn’t is amazing how the non owners of Jeep are so predictable in their criticism of the brand yet they have never owned one.
    I have owned 2 Jeep Grand Cherokees in the past 5 years and driven a combined 160000 km over all of Oz including 70000km towing a 2 tonne van. This followed years of ownership of many other 4WD brands. Both of my Jeeps are Laredo V6 Diesels and I rate them the best all purpose 4WD available. They have proven to be comfortable, quiet, fantastic value for money, powerful, super reliable and unbelievably fuel efficient.
    My current one has air suspension and outback pack…all for around $60K.
    Recently we travelled in tandem with friends towing our vans through NT and WA including the Gibb River Road. We filled up together and the Jeep averaged 15 l/100km against 22 for his LandCruiser.
    My only advice is to get rid of the tyres they are come with and fit a good ATR one like Grand Treks or BF Goodrich. I tried Coopers ATR and they were are a disaster with us doing 3 of them in the Kimberley with 2 of these on the bitumen.

  • we have the 2014 3 litre diesel grand Cherokee overlander with the off road kit (fitted at the factory in America).our first long trip was in july 2015 from central coast to Darwin towing a 1.3t 4×4 camper.we travelled via white cliffs,tipabarra,cameron corner,william creek and many other off road tracks for 12000 kilometers. the most difficult was the track between white cliffs and tipabarra they had the road closed for one week due to heavy rain and we were the 3rd 4×4 on it after re opening.the other 2 one with a camper turned back warning us not to go on as they got bogged in the mud.we did get through,but had to back out of mud several times but we always got through.thetwo landcruiser ive had befor the grand Cherokee were not as capable on or off road without options.also the mileage for this trip with camper averaged 10.5litres and no dust problems.

  • I’ve got a Jeep Grand Cherokee limited with bull bar
    Roof racks, spot lights, UHF radio and tow a two ton caravan and completed 60,000 kms
    Been off road thru creeks and I’m very happy
    Too many people listen to the grizzlies

  • I was commenting , as was the article, about the 8 speed RWD Grand Cherokee 2013 onwards, it’s recall history (about 7 to date I believe) and it’s upcoming Trailhawk version not the current 9 speed FWD Cherokee Trailhawk which is a different car.
    I was seriously considering purchasing the diesel 3 lt. but fortunately did my homework and chased up all the owners forums, and road tests, here and in USA just in time before making such a huge (for me) one off purchase with my super.
    How about that banging noisy bottoming out suspension when the going gets tough that the reviewers always comment on and the limp home problems with the DPF if you don’t maintain 100km regularly.

  • A typical ignorant comment from a non-Jeep person. After driving 2 previous 4WDs over 8 years – (new NISSAN Patrols both tricked up with lifted suspension, Bull bars, 2 spares, and Cooper ATRs or STs) I purchased one of the original JEEP TRAILHAWKS in 2013. Now done 80,000 kms without any issues. Only 1 recall other than those done during standard services, original tyres still have plenty of kilometres left. Have done a number of off-road trips (admittedly not the Simpsipon or Kimberleys), but have matched every track that my sons Prado with full off road gear has tackled. Biggest issue is the lack of a full size spare ( I would fit a Full size spare on a pack rack for longer trips), but the air suspension works a treat.. Without doubt the best tow vehicle I have ever owned – we tow a 2+ tonne boat interstate every year, and performance and fuel consumption are excellent. By the way you can get a Bull bar, the standard tyres are better than Cooper ATRs on and off road, and the air suspension kills the need for permanent higher lift suspension.
    I will be due to replace the current TRAILHAWK next year, and will definitely consider the new model.

  • No one in their right mind would take a Grand Cherokee offroad, they might miss the next recall. I see lots around my area but none even have bull bars or any other offroad
    accessories fitted so there’s confidence for you.
    It should be compulsory for dealers to supply Club 4X4 policies with all Trailhawks sold.
    It is a long way to get home from the Simpson in limp home mode.

  • I may be old these days , but used to to do all of this as a young man and still desire to do what I can when able . It brings joy to my very soul to watch your travel’s to see the great gear available to do these adventures Regaurds Barry Hayward

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