As with other Jeep and Dodge vehicles, interior quality and design are far below its competitors. Second row legroom feels a little cramped, too.
In the Grand Cherokee CDI, the diesel engine feels and sounds like what you'd expect. It burbles at low speeds and delivers a lumbering U-Haulish take-off during normal acceleration. Around town the Grand Cherokee feels positively pokey.
But there is a surprising amount of acceleration on tap, assuming you're ready to punch the gas pedal to get it.
If you do, the tachometer quickly runs up past 2,000 RPMs, and the turbocharger starts to do some real work. Combine that with the diesel engine's oversized torque output, and you find the Grand Cherokee tearing off in a way that seems otherwise out of character.
Fuel economy is only slightly better than you get with the base-model's gasoline-fueled V-6. But you get much more torque and towing power. The Grand Cherokee CDI is really for those who want V-8 towing power with better-than-a-V8 fuel economy.
The Grand Cherokee CDI gets 19 miles per gallon overall, based on 2008 EPA estimates, compared with 17 mpg for a V-6-powered Grand Cherokee or 15 with a V-8.