Cosmetic updates and an eight-speed automatic transmission are among the alterations that have improved the Grand Cherokee for 2014. 

The top-end model in Jeep’s range has been trimmed at the front, with slimmer headlamps and a narrower grille, but the new gearbox is of far greater note.

It’s more efficient, and when hooked up to the 250hp 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, it’s responsible for upping economy by 10% to 37.7mpg and slashing CO2 by 9% to 198g/km.

That might not sound much of a drop, but the Jeep is well ahead of an equivalent Land Rover Discovery’s 230g/km, and VW Group rivals with similar power – VW Touareg, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne – all sit around the 190g/km mark, so it isn’t bad.

The new transmission suits the car well, too: it’s smooth and transfers the engine’s plentiful pulling power well, which makes the Grand Cherokee feel reasonably quick despite its heft.  

It’s not as good as the rest of the luxury 4×4 crowd, nor is it likely to make a serious splash in the large
4×4 fleet market, although it has to be admired for the sheer amount of kit on offer such as a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and a plush infotainment system with satnav and DAB radio, which is has to be applauded given the price and stingier nature of aforementioned rivals.

Substitute for a lower trim level and you can even get the P11D down to £36,465 on the entry-level Laredo model.

The downside is cost per mile, however – at 104.8ppm the much-improved Grand Cherokee is in the same ballpark as prestige rivals (the cheapest, surprisingly enough, is a Porsche Cayenne Diesel at 92.8ppm and the dearest is the Land Rover Discovery XS SDV6 at 104.0ppm), but it’s at the upper end, which is a hard sell given the strength of those other brands.

G. Cherokee 3.0 CRD Overland
P11D price £45,165
Model price range £36,465-£58,875
Residual value 34.7%
Depreciat­ion £29,476
Fuel £10,006
Service, maintenance and repair £4202
Vehicle Excise Duty £995
National Insurance £6607
Cost per mile 104.8p
Fuel consumption 37.7mpg
CO2 (tax) 198g/km (34%)
BIK 20/40% per month £256/£512
Service interval 12,500mls
Insurance (1-50) group 41
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 782/1154 litres
Engine size/power 2987cc/250hp
Top speed/0-60mph 126mph/8.2secs
On sale July 2013