First drive: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 in the UAE

First drive: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 in the UAE

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the UAE 19
We used to own a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee right up till last year. Despite what hype you may hear, the Grand Cherokee has never been a Range Rover rival; more entry-level luxury rather than premium luxury. But the real reason we bought one back then was because it was the cheapest way to get behind the wheel of a midsize SUV with a big V8 under the bonnet. The latest Grand Cherokee still offers the same formula for those who prefer it, with a little more premium gadgetry now thrown in.

The launch of the 2014 Grand Cherokee started off from the Dubai showroom with a drive towards the Al Maha Desert Resort. Lined up were the top-spec Overland and Summit models, both powered by a 360 hp 5.7-litre V8 mated to an all-new 8-speed automatic. The 290 hp 3.6-litre V6, also with the 8-speed, is only available on the lower-spec models. The 2014 models, including the basic Laredo and mid-range Limited versions, all feature LED-tube running lamps in the reshaped HID headlights, a redone rear-end, new wheel designs and several variations of the front bumper, depending on the trim level. For example, the Overland is identified by its extra chrome on the stock front bumper, while the new Summit model gets an SRT-style front bumper. Both also ride on 20-inch alloys and come with adaptive height-adjustable air suspension.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the UAE

We set off in an Overland, a version so loaded that you wonder what more the Summit could offer. The Overland gets a stitched-leather dashboard and upper-door trim, real wood, powered cooled seats, panoramic glass roof and the new 8.4-inch multimedia touchscreen with Garmin navigation. The amount of premium cabin trim matches that of a VW Touareg, but not quite that of a BMW X5 or a Range Rover Sport, by virtue of more hard-plastic use in lower areas.

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The refinement could best be described as “good enough” for an entry-level luxury vehicle. Power delivery on acceleration is linear and smooth rather than strong and abrupt, though there is always enough juice. Wind rush and road noise are mildly noticeable but never intrusive, while the ride is largely smooth with a slight hint of truck-like jiggle felt on certain surfaces. The steering is on the firm side and offers limited feel, while the brakes are pretty decent and linear. In short, it feels a lot like the pre-facelift Overland we drove in 2011.

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We hit the gravel trails after lunch, right through some mountains, driving a Limited with 18-inch wheels. The most visible differences it had inside were a smaller touchscreen with no navigation, rubberised dash instead of leather-stitching, and slightly fewer gadgetry. Some of the terrain was pretty aggressive, with sharp drops and what not, but it was all pretty easy to manage, especially since the electronic suspension was set high and the lower part of the front bumper was easily removed before our trip.

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The Jeep people even set up a little rocky course somewhere in the hills, to demonstrate their new hill-descent feature that can also do ascents. We didn’t take it too seriously, until we were able to manage the entire course without even touching the pedals, letting the car do all the low-speed throttle inputs and soft braking to take the Jeep down and up the steep rock surfaces, sometimes with one tyre in the air, sometimes scraping the rear bumper due to the tight angles, and sometimes even recovering by itself when the car starts slipping sideways down a rock surface! All we did was steer. This unique feature is only available on some trim levels, and it’s pretty darn amazing.

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After an overnight stay at the resort, we went for a desert drive in a convoy early in the morning to beat the heat. The lower half of the front bumper still off, suspension raised up, tyres deflated, and the terrain-management system set to “Sand”, we drove on the soft sand dunes inside the conservation reserve surrounding the resort. We were again driving a limited with the 18-inchers, so the tyres were better suited for sand. Others in the convoy had 20-inch wheels and they seemed to be managing fine, aside from one or two who kept getting stuck due to lack of momentum, or possibly skill. None of them needed to be towed out.

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The Jeep can manage the sand just fine with a V6, but a V8 in the desert is never a bad thing. The current Grand Cherokee is a pretty heavy car, and that weight can be felt, especially since you have to give it a bit more throttle input to overcome the street-biased tyres. It can feel like it’s bogging down occasionally, as the traction control cannot be fully defeated in 4-high mode, but pressing the accelerator a centimetre more made sure we kept moving, with a flurry of sand in our wake. It’s easy to control the gears too, with the new paddle-shifters, so you don’t have to mess with the stubby new electronic shifter.

Ground clearance is more than enough with the raised suspension and the half-removed bumper, so we never hit anything even when certain downward slopes ended with an abrupt flat area just a few metres below a sharp crest. At one point, my driving partner managed to get fully bogged down on an uphill dune. I just told him to stop spinning the tyres, back down in 4-low, and try again with more speed, which he successfully did. It’s all about basic technique. With that V8, you can power out of most situations with the right throttle input.

The Grand Cherokee remains at the top of its game. What little it lacks in refinement, it more than makes up for in proper offroad capability, something that is becoming increasingly rare among midsize SUVs. With that V8 under the bonnet, it pretty much has no rivals in its price range that can do as much as the Jeep can. And for that, it remains a favourite in our minds.

What do you think?



  1. The V6 actually good?

  2. How do you compare it to Toyota Land Cruiser.

  3. Dear Mashfique,Could you post the prices of the range.

  4. Dear Mash,
    Thank you very much for this post i have been waiting for long time for this.

    Insha Allah i willl have a look Grand Cherokee V8 soon.
    How much is the difference in refinement compared to 2013 model?

  5. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    All I can say from this short drive is in the story.
    Prices in the buyer guide.

    • Dear Mashfique,

      I really like your website and reports, but you always refer people to the buyer guide for price range. Unfortunately, the prices listed there (for all brands) do not reflect the real price range offered by the dealers. in the case of GC, your price range starts at AED 139k, while Al Futtaim offers the 3.6L Laredo at AED 159900. the same goes for all brands and models.


  6. What would you say is better about the Range Rover’s Off Road technology than the Grand Cherokee’s? Air Suspension, Terrain Settings, Ascent/descent all seem to be similar features?

  7. what about the 8 speed gear box ?
    how is the fuel efficiency ?

  8. tell us about 2014 SRT-8 version . these are nothing comparing to that !!

  9. For those who seek the price range…

    Here it is:
    > GC Laredo 3.6L: AED 159900
    > GC Ltd 3.6L Std: AED 174900
    > GC Ltd 3.6L Plus: AED 179900
    > GC Ltd 5.7L: 189900
    > GC Overland 5.7L: AED 209900
    > GC Summit 5.7L: AED 224900
    > GC SRT 6.4L: N/A (est. AED 260900 – 270900)

    All come with 5yrs manufacturer warranty or 100kkm. The price list is from Al Futtaim Enterprises (Jeep distributor in Dubai)


    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      Seems we received a different set of prices earlier. I heard about this from another reader, and found it surprising. These are ridiculously high.

    • Is a AED 330K X5 a better value than a AED 220K Summit?

    • well, one is a lower-mid-level SUV, the other one a quality luxury statement. hence the pricing difference..

      if cash is no issue, then there is no question that the X5 kills the GC in no-time..

  10. hi,
    will the overland summit be a good car for a young adult in uni and well it perform well against most of the cars?
    does this car have a fast suitable acceleration from your experience?

  11. al futtaim should be broken up into pieces its a monopoly which worked fine in yester years but now its pure greed. no one group should be allowed to own two brands in the same range or even business as that leads to price fixing and we should have a federal law. It doesn’t make sense they own honda and toyota

    • Hi Moaz. You are absolutely right. I had mentioned about this in the Dodge charger section too. But it is the same for Ford too. If you check the prices here and compare it with the US prices, it is a rip off. It was this reason I decided to go for the Hyundai Genesis over the charger or the Mustang.

  12. i asked last week about the grand cherokee overland in ksa they said it will be at 219000 rs and probably will start at 170000rs . So now im thinking about other options like : land rover LR2, volvo xc60, audi Q3 …dont know yet 🙁

  13. Hi Mashfique.

    Very helpful report I am considering buying a limited but not to sure if the quadra lift feature from the overland is worth paying 20000dhs extra.

    I will mainly drive car on road with occasional 4×4 wadi rides and some sand dunes.. I guess if I remove front bumper from limited would be enough.. Or quadra lift is a must?

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      Depends on the level of offroading you plan to do. Even a Toyota RAV4 can handle wadis, but dunes are variable in size.

  14. Great review Mashfique, I enjoyed reading it and it is fantastic to have a local opinion expressed on the truck and its abilities in OUR conditions. After reading your review, I headed in to Trading Enterprises SZR to enquire about buying a Summit but arrived at 1.59pm (on a Monday). The duffuses just sat on their chairs staring at me as I tried the locked door to the showroom, fantastic customer relations guys! So, I’m off to Nissan tomorrow to enquire about an Xterra Offroad instead. Keep up the good work mate.

  15. Just in: SRT price for 2014 model (quoted from TE Dubai) is 289900!!!

    Out of the question I am afraid

  16. Planning to get the Limited V6. But with no Quadra lift installed, how this machine be lifted during off-roading?

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      Our test cars had Quadralift optionally installed. If you wait long enough, the dealer might be able to order one for you, at extra cost.

  17. Thanks for your quick response Mashfique.

    Unfortunately can’t wait any longer as my old car is good as sold. And very excited already to drive the GC 2014. Well that’s a best bet to wait for a while but the cost might be quite high.

    Do you think V6 limited plus is good enough for a occasional off-roader (not extreme)?

  18. what about that moose test ? has it been done for the 2014 ? is there any new safety features added by Jeep in response to the test , if at all it was a genuine test as I feel it is bit biased ?

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      The Grand Cherokee’s fine as is. Every Japanese-built offroader is more likely to roll over, none have been targeted by that magazine. Don’t worry about it if you drive like a sane person.

  19. Any feedback or user experience from owners here in UAE?

    I booked an Overland model that shroud be delivered in a month..

    • Drove my GC 2014 V6 Limited to Al Ruwais and tested it as well on Sand Dune…all I can say it was an amazing well rounded 4×4.

      The On-road driving was pretty cool and very comfortable it feels like you’re driving a saloon car.

      The Off-road experience is even more cooler and exciting…driving up and down on quite serious slopes is pretty easy even for V6 limited with out the Lift. To conclude the V6 power is more than enough for both on and off-road driving.

  20. I am also thinking about buying a GC for my family, but i got confused after watching a vedio on Youtube ( the Moose test) , is this true ? do anyone have any feedback about this issue ?…

  21. Stumbled upon the following site where i could find many complaints and issues about 2014 JGC Limited. Most of them are very recent.

    Anybody faced these kind of issues in Middle east. Or is there any Website where we can get same kind of statistics for Middle east Vehicles.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      All the issues seem to be involving electronic components, some of which are new features. The thing about electrical issues is that it affects some people, but not others. Hard to say how common any issues might be, since it’s only 44 complaints out of several thousand sold. They may fix it all by the next model year with a software update under warranty. A friend of ours owns a 2012 Grand Cherokee V6 and has had no issues whatsoever, but his car has the older multimedia system.

  22. Thanks dude for the immediate reply.
    Lets hope 🙂

  23. Hi Guys,

    I bought a Jepp GC Limited, V8 which is available at AED 189,900 from Dubai dealer.

    Can anyone let me know whether this model has “remote start” and “panic” key?

    The key I got has only 3 buttons, lock, unlock and power lift gate.

    but the jeep web site shows that this model has remote start. (

    I doubt whether the dealer has gven me a wrong key.

  24. Hello,
    Dear Mashfique, can you tell me if there is the (uconnect apps) in the Jeep Grand Cherokee summit 2014 like the one in srt, to use WiFi hotapot, 0-100 timer ..etc it is there in the American specs car, I would like to know if it is there in the gcc specs car

  25. HAI,

  26. Hi Mashfique,
    Can you please give your expert comments about the A/C system for the Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 Limited. Is the cooling good enough for the harsh UAE climate? Is the A/C strong enough? Considering it has vents only in the front and the middle section – does it cool fast enough? Is the A/C as good as Toyota Prado? Please give your opinion as I have heard that the A/C in not very strong. Thanks

  27. Hello dear Mashfique
    Where did this gathering take a place ( the off roading ) &
    Is there a actual jeep gc offroading group. ??

  28. Do you know this gathering took place?

  29. Was thinking of a GC 2014 Laredo or Overland. Not much of an off-roader but new jobs & growing family seems to demand more. In general liked it’s road presence (even though not menacing as the Durango) & upmarket feel without going for a Merc or BM.

    But some light reading put me through to some horror stories on reliability of the 2011 & 2012 models (both on Drivearabia & outside). Is this still the case? Electronics & Engine issues on V6. More of electronics on V8.

    Coming from an Accord 3.5 user with 6yrs & no issues. I’d hate to be kept in the garage.

    Appreciate your valuable feedback from 2013 & 2014 GC Users. Plan to use it 3-5yrs on avg.

    • Hi Charles, If you want a reliable family SUV, I will guarantee you are going to love this one. I’ve been using mine for 6 months now and so far don’t have any issue with it, aside my bumper was being replaced with new one due to small accidents hitting dune bumps.

      I’ve used mine as everyday drive to office and sometimes drive it on dunes (not extreme) with the club. It’s very capable.

      My only issue with GC 2014 is the mileage around the city during heavy traffic (which is everyday) is quite high around 13.5 L/100kms on average. However, when drive the GC at highways it ranges only from 9.6 to 10.8 L/100kms. Hope this helps.

  30. Mr.Andre how much it cost you to get your bumper replaced?

  31. Hi Mash.

    Your feedback on the vehicles is already adding a huge value to our society as it helps us users to make the best choice of automobiles based on one’s budget, the expectations from the vehicle and the user’s need. Your feedback has also made manufacturers take their customers seriously and constantly improve their quality.
    A suggestion which I believe your highly informative website can make a bigger contribution to society.
    A larger role of a wonderful vehicle experience is played by the dealer and it is very important to get feedback of the dealer service before buying a car. A similar feedback of dealer service quality will ensure dealers take their customers seriously and improve after-sales service quality.
    You could build a section (in your website) where your readers can rate their service experiences with their respective dealers. You may even recognise top dealer service providers in your website. With so many followers of your website, you are bound to get accurate ratings and you may even ask dealers to respond to the issues escalated by your readers.
    I remember Gulf News doing something similar for their readers in relation to issues they face with retail bankers.
    Just a suggestion…

  32. Mashfique,

    Where I can find the GCC grand Cherokee specs, since it’s vavy from USA specs. Please provide me with a link.

  33. Hi all GC users and experts,
    It is been more than an year that GC is in the market. i am considering to buy this in Saudi. Just wanna hear from you guys if there is any issue that you noticed/heard in last few months.
    just got couple of other questions
    1. How hard is steering vs. Infinity Fx 35 (i found Infinity quite hard).
    2. Do you hear the engine, road or air noise on highways?
    3. Hows the multimedia?

    Thanks in advance.

  34. Hey Mashfique,

    I am planning to purchase the 3.6L Laredo as its the most commerically economical option for me, however i was confused between the Ford Explorer and The Grand Cherokee. Any Opinions on what shall i select as i am travelling twice weekly from Abu Dhabi – Dubai. Preferably by styling i feel the grand cherokee looks far better than the ford explorer but is it a long term car is my question!?

  35. Hi Mashfique,
    I need your feedback regarding the 2014 GC 2014 limited 5.7Hemi
    Your quick advise is highly appreciated.

  36. I am planning to buy the GC here in dubai. I have nissan pathfinder. Just worried with the AC if its not that good. Any recommendation and any technical.problems with the car.

  37. Hi Mashfique,

    First, I really would like to thank you for this amazing review. I’am about to buy a used Summit 2014. The car was registered in July 2013 and driven for 43K Km. I will be the third user. Actually, I can’t afford a new Summit, which is currently priced @ AED 230K. I loved the shape of the Summit and the additional Radar (Anti-Collision) option. The used summit 2014 is for AED 179K, which is still high for my budget but ok given the stylish look and options.

    I really need the reviewers opinion about this deal. Is the offered price is a fare ? Taking into consideration, that the new 2015 model comes with a Harmen sound system which is not available in the 2014 model.

    Also, the warranty will end after the coming 60K Km. So what about the price of the parts ? And the maintenance cost of this car ? Any idea about the resell value ?

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      Ask the dealer about an extended warranty. If available, then go ahead. Call service center for the fixed service costs.

  38. Guys , i am about to buy the GC Loredo 2015 (V6) for 140K + 5years Service + 5 yrs Warrenty , is it a good deal ?

    I also have an offer for 130K for GC Limited V6 (2014 MOdel ) bought on 2013 with 40K KM and with no service contract , and warrenty for 5 years ( ending 2018 )

    What do u think ? which one is better ?

  39. Wait for the new honda pilot. It shud be out soon. Better than this and the nissan pathfinder

  40. I own 2015 .the 3.6 engine and i have ti admit its more than fine , the tick comes with the HP , 290 is really good. i took it nonce offroad and it works very well. if we are comparing to Land cruiser or other Japanese makers. i would say you Jeep is more affordable and you can rely on

  41. Hai,

    I’m planning to Buy Grand Cherokee Overland V8 2015 Model pre-owned. It’s warranty is going up-to Dec 2020. What about your opinion to take this car?

    What all points i have to check before taking. Is this car consider as good to use after warranty period?

    • I own the V6 2013 GC and have had it for a year and 45000 kms now, with the odo ticking at 177,800 kms. I have never taken it to TE and pretty much everything has been done from trusted garages outside. Most of its parts are on the cheaper side compared to its Jap counterparts, and from what the garages say, it’s pretty much easy to work on. I have had a couple of overheating incidents owing to a cracked trans oil cooler and blown radiator, both of which were relatively cheap fixes (690 dhs and 550 dhs respectively incl labour). The radiator I have now is a US-made aftermarket alternative, the original would have costed 750 for parts alone, which is still somewhat cheap. The air con is excellent, and the ride n handling is pretty great for an SUV. The V8 has a lot more power (linear delivery though), and a sweet hum you would love. Jeep’s 4×4 system is unparalleled in its class, but mind you, while it can get you to several off road territories, it isn’t a Wrangler at the end of the day; so unless you know what you are doing, go easy on it for the sake of that beautiful front end. If it comes with the adjustable suspensions, get it thoroughly checked, those can be expensive to replace. Fuel efficiency is great too. If you are certain of the vehicle’s ownership history and if it comes clean off a detailed visual and computer checks by the dealer or any good garage, I would totally recommend it. The GC has had several recalls, just ensure that those have been carried out by the dealer. Good luck.

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