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Jeep Says Toyota Can’t Match Its Rock-Climbing Prowess


In general, automakers tend to keep things to themselves competitive. That’s why you often hear phrases like best in class or lead segment than Toyota can’t do what we do. So when a high-ranking executive at a large auto manufacturer makes such a claim, it tends to attract attention.

The comments regarding Toyota are exactly what Jeep’s Head of Global Marketing Jeff Ellsworth said, according to the Australia-based news outlet. Car Guide. It came during the international launch of the new Grand Cherokee 4xe, where Ellsworth offered a few friendly words to Toyota before proclaiming Jeep dominance. In particular, Car Guide citing Ellsworth as saying that Toyota has some advantages elsewhere in the off-road field, “but for rock crawling, it’s going to be a Jeep all the way.”

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It’s an oddly special call for a vehicle like the Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid. A sizable two-row SUV isn’t often associated with crawling through rough terrain, let alone an expensive electrified model with a luxurious feel. In the US market, the Grand Cherokee 4xe starts at under $60,000 and comes with a 17-kWh battery pack, which allows for an electric range of just 25 miles. Electric power works with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, offering a combined output of 375 hp (280 kW).

We suspect the Trailhawk trim level is the optimal rock crawl cover for the Grand Cherokee 4xe. It adds a Quadra-Lift air suspension system, offering an adjustable ride height of up to 11.3 inches (28.7 centimeters) of ground clearance. The Quadra-Drive II active transfer box also features an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential. For is it right rough terrain, there’s a sway bar breaker system, and as every rock-crawling fan will tell you, having productive suspension articulation is key to overcoming obstacles.

It was clear that Jeep wanted a larger share of the Australian market where Toyota is firmly rooted. Would such a direct call from Jeep convince buyers to abandon the Land Cruiser in favor of the Grand Cherokee? That answer will come when the vehicles start hitting showrooms later this year.



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