Despite having been available in the US for some time already, Jeep have only just got around to launching the new Grand Cherokee in the UK.

The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee arrives in the UK this June and is all-new from the ground up. For the first time, the Grand Cherokee uses a new independent front suspension and rack and pinion steering system for more responsive and precise on-road ride and handling.

A new 3.0-litre V6 CRD engine offers 33 per cent more torque and 28 per cent more power than the previous model’s diesel engine, while the 5.7-litre V8 Hemi engine has a top speed of 129 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 7.1 seconds.

For on and off-road traction and control, the latest Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system uses electronic limited slip differentials and has the ability to keep Grand Cherokee going even if only one front wheel has grip, on and off tarmac. The Jeep Grand Cherokee also includes safety features including ESP, traction control, side curtain airbags and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Simon Elliott, Managing Director for Chrysler Group UK, said: “The new Jeep Grand Cherokee has lost none of its off-road ability or its great Jeep looks. The new Quadra-Drive II system will give you extra traction on anything from a wet roundabout to the Rubicon Trail!

“But the real story is on the road – independent front suspension, a great Mercedes-Benz diesel engine or a HEMI petrol engine, a sequential gearbox and new safety systems like ESP all help to make the Grand Cherokee as much fun on road as off. Its ‘car-like’ road manners will help to make the new vehicle an even bigger sales success than the previous model, which has sold to more than 16,000 UK customers since 2001.”

Three engines – the 3.0-litre V6 CRD, the 5.7-litre V8 Hemi and previous model’s 4.7-litre SOHC V8 – will be available in the UK, all with a five speed sequential gearbox and Quadra-Drive II as standard.

Maximum power of the 3.0 CRD engine is 218 hp at 4000 rpm and peak torque is 376 lb.ft. from just 1600 rpm. Top speed is 124 mph and 0-62 mph in 9.0 seconds.

The 5.7-litre HEMI engine produces 326 hp at 5000 rpm and 369 lb.ft. at 4000 rpm. Jeep Grand Cherokee is also the first SUV to offer the Multi-Displacement System (MDS). On the 5.7-litre HEMI engine, MDS deactivates half the cylinders during cruising and light acceleration to increase fuel economy by up to 20 per cent, depending on driving conditions.

The 4.7-litre SOHC V8 produces 231 hp of power at 4500 rpm and 302 lb.ft. of torque at 3600 rpm. Top speed is 124 mph and 0-62 mph in 8.8 seconds.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee also delivers class-leading towing capacity of 3500 kg (7716 lbs including nose weight).

Prices start at £29,495 for the entry-level Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD. The Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Limited and 4.7 V8 Limited are priced at £32,895 while the top of the range 5.7 Hemi Limited costs £37,995.