I say, someone needs to be schooled regarding the trend setters of the automotive industry. By most measures, the Grand Cherokee is modeled after the successful and sought-after features of the RR. They may both have reputable pedigrees but it is the RR that defines the luxury SUV segment.
I beg to differ...the first luxury SUV was the Jeep Wagoneer (which FCA is thinking about re-proposing), RR came much after and borrowing American engines.
The word "Jeep" all around the world is synonymous with 4WD and SUV..Jeep own that market...it does not own the luxury end of it because management does not want to go that way...yet.
Going back to the RR Sport....no question it has better materials and fit and finish...reliability is just about the same if not worse than the GC and let's not forget the infotainment system behind maybe one generation compared to Uconnect (same with Jaguar).
I do not particularly like SUVs (our GC SRT is mainly my wife's ride) but I can tell you with a straight face that I would not swap a SRT for a RR Sport Supercharged...it may be faster (maybe) but it does not handle like it at all....
If money is really not an issue and I did want a super fast SUV I would go directly to the Cayenne Turbo S, skipping any RR....not interested in real off road.
Aside from the SRT and RR Sport Supercharged, a fully optioned Summit is a very nice place to be and do some off-roading...functionally it does not miss any feature of a RRS...including air suspension.
The market perceived difference between the two varies from different locales...in Europe, for example, prices are not that far apart from each other like in the US and even if the RR still has the edge a far as image goes, the GC is almost a Status Symbol in the old continent.....obviously it also helps the fact that they do not have the "El Cheapo" trims (leather is standard for example) over there (at least in Italy where I'm very familiar with), they go easy on the fake plastic chrome and all GC models are 4X4, no 4X2.
For example the entry level 250 HP diesel version of the GC in Italy costs 63K euros vs 68K for the Range Rover Sport with identical engine specs (3.0 V6 249 ponies)
Actually the RR extra layer of polish may be a better value in Europe given the already mentioned much smaller price gap, here in the US is outrageous....you pay dearly
for that additional dressing....not worth the amount of extra coin in my book.
Finally, I agree that it is a pigheaded management decision to put leather wrapped and contrast stitched dashboards, open pore wood, carbon fiber and leather paddings if the company leaves the hard plastic door panels with sometimes ill fittings....I would gladly pay 2 grand more for a GC if they took the hard plastic away (the center console look obscenely cheap) and do a better final quality control at the assembly line.... it would reduce a lot of the gap with the RR in terms of cabin appearance.