The second generation Grand Cherokee was first introduced in 1998 and became a worthy successor to Grand Cherokee ZJ, the previous representative of the model range. The long-expected second generation Grand Cherokee went like hot cakes not only in the USA and Europe, but also in Armenia, and therefore I decided to test it and determine its potential.
The car I am going to go over point by point is a Laredo manufactured in 2005. It’s different from the standard version only in a few details: the two-colored wheel rims with unique trimming, tinted xenon headlights and bright color of the radiator grill- all these make the car look much more beautiful.
This model of 2005 is subtly different from the one of 1998, since the whole model range got restyled in 2003.
The abandoned area I found close to Arzni gorge was ideal for my test- almost no car is seen over there. But, while getting there, I tested the smooth running of the car on Yerevan-Sevan highway- and so, the car gave mixed impressions- from the moment I got into the car and started the engine, I never stopped feeling the “rebellious” character of the car: up to 100-120km/h, it behaved confidently and it was easy to handle, but as soon as I speeded it up to 130 km/h, all reactions slowed down as if it was moving through water.
By the way, the top speed is electronically limited to 180km/h. However, I would never advice to reach the top speed on SUVs, since almost all of them have a high center of gravity, which may lead to fatal overturns on bumpy roads or hairpins-this SUV defect is particularly referable to American off-roaders. Such cars, as a rule, float during the ride-the steering wheel is rather uninformative. On the other hand, Grand Cherokee is quite a comfortable and “soft” SUV- the suspension maintains high-level energy-absorbing qualities, which secures our comfort on bumpy roads. But, at the same time, this suspension causes big discomfort on wavy roads rocking the body of the car from side to side, so one can get seasick.
To be continued...