2014-2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Used Vehicle Review

vehicle type

Mid-size SUV

History/Description

The 2014 model year brought a major update to the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup.

Following the launch of the WK2 generation for the 2011 model year, the 2014 update brought a host of upgrades designed to create additional value for shoppers, increase selection and raise the bar on feature content and technology.

A new diesel-powered V6 engine was available, with a best-in-class towing capacity of 3,357 kg (7,400 lb). A new transmission improved efficiency, performance and off-road capability. A top-of-the-line Summit model also joined the lineup as the most luxurious version of the Grand Cherokee to date. The long-running two-row rounded out its 2014 upgrades with revised exterior design and increased safety features across the model range.

A new eco mode was added, allowing drivers to reduce throttle response in the name of efficiency with any of the model’s engines, including the proven and popular 3.6L V6, a 5.7L V8 and the new 3.0L diesel.

The terrain management system was refined to offer five settings and advanced off-road speed control. Meanwhile, available air suspension can add more than 100 mm (3.9 in) of ground clearance at the touch of a button, or lower the Grand Cherokee’s body for improved aerodynamics in Eco mode.

What owners like

The Grand Cherokee is an absolute top. Owners and reviewers tend to appreciate its ability to transition comfortably from condition to condition, providing consistent ride quality and confidence on the road or trails and in all weathers.

Many owners appreciate the diesel’s strong torque and reasonable fuel consumption, and enthusiasts willing to foot the bill tend to appreciate the performance of the V8. Push-button access to a variety of confidence-boosting technologies helps round out the package.

What owners dislike

Some owners desire a more logical placement of certain controls near the driver, higher safety scores and a roomier rear seat for larger passengers. Others desire higher performance from the V8 engine in exchange for its fuel bill. Finally, customers looking for a three-row model will have to look elsewhere, with Jeep finally returning to the three-row segment in 2021 with the Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models.

Test drive customers should be aware of several problem areas reported by some Grand Cherokee owners, which we will outline below. The following tips are designed to help you make the most of your test drive time with the goal of finding the best used Grand Cherokee for the dollar.

Sunroof inspection

Several owners have reported problems with the sunroof on their Grand Cherokees, mostly dealing with unwanted squeaks, rattles, buzzing or clicking noises that may be more apparent in certain temperature ranges, or when driving over certain surfaces. Other owners have reported non-functional sunroofs that do not respond to their switches.

On your test drive, keep an eye out for unwanted noises from the sunroof and roof skirting above. Be sure to quiet the cabin and listen carefully when driving over any rough surfaces. Open and close the sunroof – and sunshade – several times. In any case of lack of functionality, unwanted noises or other issues, plan to have the vehicle inspected by a professional before you buy, as issues like these can reduce resale value and overall enjoyment and cost you money.

Most of the Grand Cherokee’s common sunroof-related problems seem to be easily resolved with improved fasteners, cleaning and lubrication, or adjusting and tightening various components that hold it in place. In some cases, wiring connections may need to be inspected and replaced, which could mean the costly removal of the Grand Cherokee’s headliner. Here’s some more reading.

Water leaks

Some owners have reported frustrating water leaks, which can cause mold, unpleasant odors, rust, damage to electronic systems, and even visible dripping on the occupants while driving. Most have not.

Like all vehicles, the Grand Cherokee has a variety of grommets, seals, passages, drains and trim pieces in and on its body designed to seal water out of the vehicle. In this discussion, owners share their stories of leaking Grand Cherokees and provide more information. This link downloads a file of diagrams and illustrations provided by Jeep to dealer technicians for use in diagnosing water leaks.

On your test drive, look out for a musty, musty smell from the vehicle’s interior, foggy interior windows, and signs of moisture, standing water, or pooled water in the vehicle’s footwell. Check under the cargo area and carefully inspect the headliner, dome lights, roof console and the entire perimeter of the sunroof, which may show moisture on or near the edges of the headliner or electric sunshade if there is a leak.

Most Grand Cherokee owners don’t report water leaks, although they can be frustrating, expensive and difficult to diagnose if they exist, so it pays to be on the lookout.

Shivering, shifting, banging

The Grand Cherokee owner community has done a great job of documenting various drivability issues related to its powertrains. Some owners report shuddering, inconsistent engine performance, hard or clumsy shifting from the transmission, excessive gear hunting while using cruise control, hesitation, difficulty selecting the correct gear at high altitude, and more. Most people don’t.

These problems are usually solved with updated software designed to improve the operation of the engine and transmission of the Grand Cherokee. For example, transmission problems are usually fixed with a reprogramming of the transmission control module, and engine performance problems can also be solved with the application of new control software. In addition to always using a fresh and healthy battery, ensure that the Grand Cherokee you are considering is running the latest software updates to ensure optimal performance and responsiveness.

If in doubt, check it out before you buy – while lumpy performance is usually a software-related problem, it can also be a sign of more serious problems. Knowing before you buy can save you thousands of dollars.

Greasy wheels

On your test drive, spend some time down there checking out the wheels and tires. Inspect the wheels for signs of damage and confirm that all four tires are in solid shape, with plenty of tread left. Note that gouges or bubbles on tire sidewalls usually mean replacement tires are needed, and that uneven wear across the tread indicates an alignment problem that could cost you money.

Be sure to carefully check the inside surfaces of the wheels, including behind the spokes. If you see splattered bits of heavy grease, similar to the pictures in this thread, or an oily coating all over the inside of the wheels, it’s best to have a technician examine it before you buy.

This problem has been reported by many owners and appears to be caused by an improperly attached clamp on the Grand Cherokee’s shoulder shoe. This boot is designed to contain a supply of lubricating grease around a fast rotating joint. If the seal or clamp breaks, grease can squirt out and spray onto the inside of the wheel. This can result in a mess, not to mention shoulder problems and other discomforts. Although easy to fix, this problem can lead to other problems if not detected and addressed.

Recall of electronic gear

More than a million Grand Cherokees from this generation were recalled to address a latent safety flaw with their electronic transmissions that could cause the vehicle to roll away — even when put in park. Recalls are designed to correct serious safety issues and are performed free of charge in a dealer environment. Some Grand Cherokee models were affected by the recall, while others were not.

If you buy a Grand Cherokee that is regularly serviced at a dealer, chances are this recall work (and others) has already been done. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be checked here to see what (if any) recall work is outstanding for the model you are considering. Talk to a dealer’s service advisor if you have any questions.

Air suspension

Some owners have reported problems with the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s available air suspension system. Most have not. Proceed with caution if you are considering a device with this feature. Although the vast majority of owners do not report problems, problems with aging air suspension systems in vehicles of all types are never a good time.

On your test drive, be sure to work the system through its various ride height levels several times. Keep an eye out for warning lights and error messages and make sure that any altitude mode you choose can be activated within seconds. At a minimum, have the system professionally inspected before you buy, as it can reveal problems that could cost you a lot of money. Purchasing an additional warranty covering this system is also recommended, just to be safe.

Some owners have had compressors and other system components replaced, often after time-consuming diagnostic procedures. If you’re not completely committed to an air suspension model, it might be smarter to stick with a Grand Cherokee with a standard suspension system in the long run.

Revoke work

You can find recalls for the Jeep Grand Cherokee here.

Security rating

Safety and crash test reports are available at the links below:

IIHS

NHTSA

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