Jeep Grand Cherokee Night Eagle 3.0 Multijet-II V6 Special Edition Review
The first impression you get from the special edition Jeep Grand Cherokee Night Eagle is that it’s a leviathan, a lumbering behemoth, something that could take on any other car and leave them a crumpled torn mess, without leaving a scratch on its own polished exterior, ditto with taking on any road surface or landscape.
So I took it down to the winding steep roads and rugged terrain found in Bude, Cornwall, a place where the hills along the coastline challenge even the best 4x4’s while providing some of the most inspiring scenes anywhere in England. The beaches here attract some of the finest surfers in the UK, as well as being home to the UK surf champion Reubyn Ash. I wanted to test out its all terrain abilities, particularly “sand” and the intriguing “rock” setting whilst exploring some of the amazing beaches that are not always easily accessible.
This particular model was the 3.0 MultiJet-II with V6 engine, 2987 cc with 247 bhp at 4000 rpm, impressive power even at a weight of 2328 kg. It had an eight speed automatic transmission with Quadra-drive ® II 4WD with Selec-Terrain Traction Control. It boasts 0-62 mph in 8.2 seconds, which is enough acceleration to lunge the car forward when needed, with a top speed of 126 mph. It also has a combined mpg of 40.4, pretty fair for a car of this size and intended use.
It came in a rich velvet metallic red pearl which would be my choice for this car. It stood out a treat and looked the business with the 20” aluminium black alloy wheels and black 7-slot grille & window surrounds. The interior is very comfortable and luxurious, with sumptuous capri black leather trimmed seats with suede inserts and gunmetal interior accents. You feel extremely safe and cosseted inside and the seats pamper you even over long journeys. It’s such a gentle ride, you feel like you’re sat at home in a plush armchair listening to the impressive sound system (9 Speakers Audio with Subwoofers and 825W Amplifier). The interior has taken many touch points from more luxurious cars and reminds me of a spacious boutique hotel drawing room, with modern technology employed to serve your every whim. You can even heat the steering wheel, as well as the seats. The smart phone connection, screen and sat nav are intuitive, taking seconds to learn and minutes to feel familiar.
The drive is smooth and powerful, with little roll around the corners, and you can alter the steering, suspension and response in settings to make it more sporty or more comfortable. It appears that you can vary almost anything on this car, to suit your taste or preference at any given moment, which was brilliant and kept me busy in between choosing songs to suit the inspiring landscapes of Cornwall. The journey from London to Bude was bliss, blasting out some tunes I had not had the chance to listen to for ages. The scenery and landscapes once you hit Cornwall are stunning and mythical, especially after Stonehenge.
The initial response on the gas is a touch soft, but if you slam the pedal down it will surge forward nicely. There is a sport mode that keeps it down a gear for better acceleration which performs well and eco mode for better mileage, which I stayed on for most of the way and it performed exceptionally well, using very little gas on the entire return trip to Cornwall and back.
The gear paddles are a worthy and entertaining addition. Tap the gear stick to the left and bang you’re in manual mode and can make use of those revs to generate a decent acceleration, way above sport mode. It also has a nice safety feature in manual that won’t let you change if the rev difference is too high.
The road holding on normal roads is superb, it feels stuck to the road and can take corners at impressive speeds for such a high off road vehicle. The 20” aluminium black alloy wheels perform exceptionally well, which along with the suspension glues you to the ground. As mentioned it is capacious inside and out, whilst not awkward to manoeuvre, giving a very real sense of confidence due to its capable and secure drive, even on the narrow country roads approaching Bude.
Parking the Jeep Grand Cherokee does demand some skill in tight spaces, but the reversing camera and park assist are finely tuned and will ably assist you. The steering is soft but not loose, the wheels do turn where you point them, as the steering is set for off road and therefore comfortable, but you can tighten this from the default, which I would recommend.
This is an ideal cross country touring car as it will take you anywhere in great comfort. There is plenty of space for the whole family or friends plus luggage for a cross continent trip, skiing, or weekend experience. This would be a superb car to cross the USA or Africa in. I’d love to challenge it in even more extreme conditions as it feels more than capable of a real adventure. This car exudes tank like safety. The Night Eagle is one for the weekend warriors. Comfort for all the family and the ability to go serious trekking over rocks sand and ice.Yes, there is an ice, sand and rock mode, damn it, it’s worth having the car for that alone.
So how did it do in Bude? Actually it was in its element, Jeep and Bude got on like a house on fire, a match made in heaven. The roads up and down to some of the more remote beaches reached inclines of 35% and were alternately flooded or covered in deep sand. The Jeep powered through without the slightest trepidation. The statuesque wheels just glided over and through everything and stormed up the hills with ease. Same down the steep narrow roads, the hill descent control brakes dominated every surface with complete control and self assurance. The Jeep Night Eagle is the perfect car to find every beach and get you as near to the sea as possible before you have to put your wetsuit on. Stick it in sand mode and it carves through the dunes with relish. Room in the back for the kids, their boards and the dog too. The rock mode works beautifully too, inching the car up and over the black granite and volcanic rock on Summerleaze beach with arrogant ease and aplomb. You just know this car will get you over and through anything.
This is essentially an exhilarating and luxurious living room come life support system on wheels that does 40mpg, and it’s trail rated for all surface and weather conditions. The Grand Cherokee range has won more awards than any other SUV and is getting better with each new model. Jeep’s designers have thrown every luxury at this special edition, with detailed stitching, keyless enter and go, front and rear input jacks, interior accents, 7” instrument cluster, power tailgate and a voice command that actually works efficiently. It would certainly be my car of choice to cross America, Africa or any other continent, for an awfully big adventure.
OTR price: £49,440 OTR price with options: £50,215