The Grand Cherokee is a medium-sized SUV that Jeep has offered since 1992 in five model generations. It first came with a unibody chassis when most competitors used a truck-based body-on-frame construction. It has remained a successful model throughout its three decades in production and is one of the most award-winning SUVs from Jeep.
In 2021, Jeep introduced a new and improved Grand Cherokee to replace the outgoing model, which had been unchanged since 2011 and was showing its age. The vehicle has built and maintained a reputation as a practical mid-size SUV while packing off-road capabilities infamous with its rugged siblings in the Jeep lineup. The new model compromises little and is a good mix of an exclusive, high-tech and quiet cabin with incredible off-road chops, but at a premium price compared to the competition in the segment. Here are things every off-road enthusiast should know about the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
10/10 The Grand Cherokee offers robust, stylish styling
Jeep Grand Cherokee’s iconic and striking appearance perfectly reflects its rugged yet refined temperament. Appearances change slightly over the trim, but they’ve all received fresh exterior styling with the new generation.
It exudes a modern design with features such as premium LED headlights, taillights and fog lights (optional). The tapered roof gives a sculpted look while improving the SUV’s aerodynamics. Options like the two-tone roof help the Grand Cherokee stand out.
9/10 Comes with outstanding standard security features
Jeep is quite generous with the standard safety offerings on the Grand Cherokee. It has an extensive set of standard safety and driver assistance technologies, including full-speed forward collision warning with active braking, automatic forward emergency braking, Adaptive Cruise Control with stop and go, Active Lane Management, etc.
For an additional cost, you can equip the Grand Cherokee with Active Driving Assist, which uses radar and sensors to make subtle adjustments and help increase your safety on the road. Also available are Drowsy Driver Detection, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intersection Collision Assist, Night Vision, and Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist.
8/10 HEMI V8s are thirsty as an option
The Grand Cherokee comes with three peppy powertrains: the efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, the high-performance 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and the future-ready PHEV hybrid. The V6 is rated at 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and can tow up to 6,200 pounds. It has an mpg rating of 19 city and 26 highway in RWD.
If you need some serious punch for your off-road adventures, you can opt for the Hemi V8, which has 357 hp, 390 lb-ft of torque and tows up to 7,200 pounds. But this engine is pretty thirsty, with an mpg rating of 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
7/10 All-wheel drive is not standard
The Grand Cherokee features three advanced 4×4 systems for the ultimate all-weather capability. They include the Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Track II and Quadra-Drive II, all with an electronic locking limited-slip differential. But the catch is that four-wheel drive isn’t standard on the lower trims.
The base model V6 comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and you’ll have to pay more to make it off-road capable. But all V8 trims have 4×4 as standard. There is also no manual as all models have an 8-speed automatic transmission.
6/10 Exceptional terrain characteristics
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most capable off-road vehicles in the mid-size SUV segment. You can choose the trail-ready Trailhawk model, equipped with more robust off-road equipment and improved off-road capability. It has the best ground clearance in the segment at 10.9 inches, and the GMC Yukon AT4 comes close at 10 inches.
This SUV carries over the legacy of the older generations but adds more capability with better grip, ground clearance, manoeuvrability, water lining and articulation to explore and conquer rugged terrain. You get cool features like the class-exclusive Quadra-Lift air suspension, a two-speed transmission and the available Selec-Terrain Traction Management System.
5/10 Commendable On-Road Manners
The robustness and incredible off-road characteristics do not come at the expense of comfort on the road. The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a pleasant driving experience on the street. It has a smooth and comfortable ride with little body roll, and you can easily tell you’re in a premium SUV.
The optional Quadra-Lift air suspension provides the best results in off-road prowess and on-road comfort. It provides composed handling and advanced technical features such as Active Driving Assist increase safety and security on any adventure.
4/10 Higher trims offer exclusive cabins
Even in the base Laredo, the Grand Cherokee offers one of the nicest interiors in the segment. The 2022 redesigns brought a fresh, well-crafted design, and you get all the essentials in the standard models. Few can match its infotainment, and the intuitive Uconnect interface provides incredible responsiveness and ease of use. But higher trim provides best-in-class comfort to create a luxurious cabin. Both rows have plenty of legroom and headroom, even for taller adults.
In addition to the base trim, you get leather seats, and the higher you go, extra fancy stuff like massaging seats, 4-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof and a McIntosh sound system with 19 speakers.
3/10 New high-end Grand Cherokee models are expensive
With a starting price of $39,395 in the base RWD Laredo trim, the Grand Cherokee tops the class price pyramid. And the prices get steeper as you move up the trim levels. The high-end trims can give more expensive luxury SUVs a run for their money in terms of features, but they are quite expensive.
The Hybrid 4xe trim starts at $58,095, while the trail-ready Trailhawk starts at $54,235. You’ll have to pay $68,345 for the top-of-the-line Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve before you start adding other costly extras.
2/10 The Grand Cherokee 4xe introduces electrification to the range.
The 2022 Grand Cherokee redesign introduced an all-new 4xe plug-in hybrid model. It uses a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with the help of an electric drivetrain, which combines 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. This is the highest power output, although the hybrid powertrain has the lowest towing rating, up to 6,000 pounds.
Jeep claims the 4xe can drive up to 25 miles on electric juice on a single charge. It has sensitive and grippy rain brakes, which take some practice to get used to. This model is also the most efficient, with a rating of 56 MPGe and 470 miles of combined driving range.
1/10 There are five generations of the Grand Cherokee
There are five generations of Grand Cherokee built since 1993. Each iteration brought improvements such as better steering, more efficient engines, Hemi V8, supercharged SRT, transmission upgrades, new trim levels, exterior upgrades, etc.
So there are plenty of Grand Cherokee options on the used car market. Used early-generation models can fetch as little as $7,000, but you’re still getting a durable ride with quality interiors, a roomy cabin, and great off-road capability.