Jeep Grand Cherokee moose-test rollover controversy explained

Jeep Grand Cherokee moose-test rollover controversy explained

Earlier this month, a little-known Swedish magazine called Teknikens Värld (Technology World) released a video of their “moose test” for the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, essentially an emergency lane-change manoeuvre, where the Jeep almost rolled over. Since then, there has been a public back-and-forth between the Swedes and the Americans over the issue.

The “moose test” is designed to simulate an evasive lane change act that a driver would carry out to avoid a large object, such as an animal that suddenly runs in front of the car. The test became famous when back in 1997, the then-new Mercedes A-Class failed the test, forcing Mercedes to upgrade the A-Class with a better stability-control system. Since then, numerous other vehicles have failed it, such as the earliest Smart Fortwo models and the latest Toyota Hilux.

In the Swedish mag’s test, which says they’ve been doing for decades, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee went up on two wheels and “nearly” rolled over during the moose test, travelling at 63.5 kph. They also say the VW Touareg and the Volvo XC90 managed 70 kph with no issues.

The magazine claims the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee in question, an Euro-spec diesel model with 20-inch wheels, was loaded according to Jeep’s official data submitted to the Swedish transport authorities. A driver, four passengers and some cargo weight by way of sand bags restrained to anchoring points in the trunk were loaded in the car for this test. The Grand Cherokee was provided by Jeep, and all four tyres were filled with correct air pressure as specified by Jeep. All other settings, such as air suspension, were set to normal mode.

After the car went up on two wheels in that initial test, Chrysler then apparently sent engineers to meet the magazine editors and made numerous attempts to reproduce the wheel-lift in a properly loaded vehicle. Extensive testing produced no such result. Three vehicles performed 11 runs on a course prepared by the magazine. None reproduced the original stunt, although the magazine points out that several of them suffered from burst tyres.

Now, Chrysler says the Swedes overloaded the vehicle beyond its maximum capacity to make it do the wheelie, while the Swedes claim that Chrysler had not fully loaded up the vehicle to the maximum when they re-did the tests, while also saying that the maximum load capacity is overstated in documents. On top of that, Chrysler has already lambasted the magazine publicly in not-so-nice ways.

However, in a new bit of news, famous German magazine Auto Motor und Sport recently conducted the same moose test and failed to find fault with the Jeep. The Grand Cherokee already was awarded a “Top Safety Pick” by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and was awarded a four-star safety rating by Euro NCAP, with no rollover issues mentioned.

What is our take on this matter? Well, if you’re so worried about rolling over, then don’t buy an offroad-capable 4×4. You might be happier with a road-going crossover SUV instead. When we drove the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee, we were more than happy with the handling, even in sudden manouevres (though obviously we didn’t do anything like what the Swedes were pulling off). The complaint here is generally surrounding the fact that the electronic nannies aren’t doing enough. The Jeep already handles much better than trucklets like the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Chevrolet Tahoe, and better than our own older Jeep Grand Cherokee, which we survived just fine. If you’re going to drive any overloaded tall vehicle, just take more care of your surroundings and watch out for moose.

What do you think?



  1. You mean the Moose which dont exist on the roads of uae? 😛

  2. I welcomed these tests done by small magazines because they keep manufacturers on their toes. Jeep’s coorporate blah blah blah doesnt impress me. As far as I can see on the video, the car nearly fliped. The same loading/overloading can happen in every day life any time.

  3. Heck, they should advice the consumers against buying the Nissan Patrol, Toyota Land Cruiser, Mitsubishi Pajero, Nissan Xterra, Toyota LC Prado, Toyota Fortuner, Ford F-150, Jeep Wrangler, Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Tahoe and..err…what not?

  4. The way the Touareg maneuvered makes the Jeep looks silly !.

  5. SO, Mash, When are we gonna see similar tests in DA ?? (btw, I’m not responsible for the injuries)

    • Author

      When you supply the cars, the track, and the insurance, hah! Companies start whining for police reports over minor scratches here, let alone something like this.

    • So, I reckon you should respect the independent magazine who did the test. You said it how difficult it is. They did it and to me it looked fair. The other cars were just fine.

    • Author

      Hope you know your Prado is going to fall over much worse than this. Comparing an offroader with softroaders is always going to look bad. They say they do moose tests with every car, yet they hardly have any other videos of that. Smells of a publicity stunt.

    • hahahaha. What has Prado to do with Jeep’s test? We are talking about Jeep Grand Cherokee here. You can’t defend Jeep by saying that my Prado will do just as bad. 🙂 If you want to compare the Grand Cherokee put it next to Touareg, Murano, XC70, Mercedes M-Klass, BMW X5, Ford Edge. Prado is in different category.
      And talking about Prado, Toyota had a far better atitude when dealing with the same issue. Here is your article:
      Im not saying that Jeep should do the same but just denying the test is not very convincing for me. Another video done by Jeep together with that magazine to prove the opposite would have done wonders.

    • You are comparing the Jeep GC with all of the soft-roaders, and says it is uncomparable to the Prado as Prado is in a different league – I did not get traction on that one! As a matter of fact, the GC and the Prado fall in the same category – mid-size SUV – while all the others are soft-roaders which are not capable beyond some beach sand. GC “is” an off-road capable SUV which has low-range gearing, chassis engineering and suspension setup, all configured for true off-road venturing unlike a VW Touareg, Murano, XC70 or the X5.

    • No offence to your Prado or you Mitch, but my point here is, if Grand Cherokee can be compared to the soft-roaders, so can the Prado be. as they both do belong to the same league. And I am sorry to say, the Prado will fare no better; so is the case with my Pajero, or any other off-road capable SUV.

      Its a matter of choice; if rolling-over is a bigger concern than off-road abilities, go for the soft-roaders, which are tuned the best for on-road performance.

    • Author

      Indeed, Prado is in the same category, even in terms of price. Compromises to onroad handling have to be made to retain offroad capability. Also, Toyota did react quickly to the Lexus Prado scandal, because they were already in serious trouble for initially denying that accelerator-pedal fault and wanted to fix their reputation.

    • Come on guys.:) You are cars experts, dont make it easy for me. Prado is a 7 seater off-roader, a lot taller than Jeep GC and also heavier. Jeep GC should do considerably better than Prado so the comparison is not really fair. Mash, as a matter of fact, you state on Prado page that its competition is (quite right) the Ford Explorer, Pajero and Pathy.
      I like the Jeep GC and I test drove it when I was shopping for an SUV. I also test drove the Touareg and many other SUV’s. I must say that Jeep GC has a poor handling, Touareg is like driving a sports car compared to the GC. Americans have a lot more to learn from the european competitors when it comes to handling and fine tunning.

    • ^^^^^dude..categorization is not based on the number of seats..Chevy Captiva and Toyota Rav 4 fall under the same category – Compact SUV segment; but the Captiva seats 7 while the Rav 4 seats only 5!

      As for the weight, the weights of grand cherokee and the Prado doesn’t differ much – probably by abt 100-150 kgs. And a grand cherokee overland can stand as tall as the Prado with its height adjustable suspensions.

      And i guess Mash and Vivek were not talking about comparisons between vehicles in the same category, which is what the Swedish magazine did. They were rather trying to point out the unfair comparison between soft-roaders and proper off-roaders, despite all of them belonging to the mid-size segment!

    • hellboy seems to get the point..

    • The ‘7 seats’ make no difference bro. Even if the prado is supposed to be an off-roader, it is mostly used by soccer-moms to drive kids to school and toyota knows that. So, they should’ve have made it more safe. A case in point is the Range Rover.

    • @mash
      if prado will fail just as bad as Jeep GC is up to you to prove it as this is what you state. without any test to prove the contrary your assumption doesn’t stand up. Its just an assumption/prediction.

      I get your point. I really get it but I beg to differ. Why? because this is not about Prado, Thaoe or Pajero, it is about Jeep Grand Cherokee and the test the car failed.

      Be aware that I’m far from defending my own car addressing this issue. I know Prado also has a poor handling. Its a compromise that I accepted for a 7-seater SUV, good resale value, realiability and off-road capabilities. Otherwise I had VW Touareg as an option for better handling. And, I repeat myself by stating that Jeep Gc faild the test not Prado so I’m only commeting on Jeep GC video test. Also, don’t come up with the option of me offering my car for a test, its up to auto journalists/manufacturers to organize these tests not to private owners.

    • yes yes, if no one tests the tall Prado, it must be awesome. excellent logic, my friend. next you will say Tata bus is safer than Jeep because no one tested it. My mind just exploded.

    • if you mind exploded just drive to the nearest hospital.

  6. “If you’re going to drive any overloaded tall vehicle, just take more care of your surroundings and watch out for moose.”

    Or just buy a VW Touareg or a Volvo XC90 that is if you have an extra Dhs100k lying around.

  7. The notion of the people that SUVs should handle like ford mondeos (not to make uncle vivek happy) kinda reminds of a similar fact where people complain about stiff rides in sports cars. If you want more stability and ride comfort, just buy a traditional car. I agree some SUVs and sports cars have addressed the issues in their respective segments such as the porsche cayenne and the mclaren mp4-12c (sorry if the name is wrong) but most of them are just the way we expect them to be. So, stop complaining about it.

  8. Hence why he said ‘I agree some SUVs and “SPORTS CARS” have addressed the issues in their respective segments such as the porsche cayenne and the mclaren mp4-12c’

  9. What a silly article.

    There are now Jeep Cherokee apologists?

    Its a bad model, its an offroad vehicle that will literally go off the road and propably on its side when it is trying to avoid a small obstacle.

    Now I know this website is a bad source for automobile information.

    Probably paid off by car companies.

  10. The problem is with the air suspension. It is bouncy as a ball and that is why it behaves so bad. It can be seen in the videos. The Mercedes ML has the same suspension but the shock absorbers have an active dampening system which mitigates this bouncy behavior.

    The standard coil suspension will have no problems, but the air one is really under the safety standards, and I own one of these overlands with air suspension(which means I am not happy at all).

    Jeep have really failed with this type of suspension for just an extra 600$, which is what the active dampening system would cost if it was included as a standard…

  11. If you want to drive like a hoon dont buy a 4WD in fact dont buy a car at all we have a 2004 jeep overland bought new so we have had it 8 yrs no need ever to dodge a moose or anything else nor has it ever lurched uncontollaby of the road. I am guessing the new overland handles better than ours. Its not a sports car nor should it handle like one. Don’t manny A5 audi’s on the beach.

  12. lol stupid publicity, you can see with volvo and vw the speed was lower and they turn the steering slower and less angle than the jeep ;P

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