Considered one of the first successful luxury SUVs, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a wonderful balance of luxury, handling and power and has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best SUVs to date since its initial launch in 1992.
The new 2023 Grand Cherokee is a polished and tech-savvy beauty with even better off-road capabilities and a trendier design than the 2022 Grand Cherokee. However, for those on a budget, used models may be the more viable option.
Fourth generation Grand Cherokees had their fair share of problems and headaches, however, the third generation was one of the most reliable generations. Still, it’s important to know which models are the best in terms of performance, cost-effectiveness and best value. Without further ado, let’s go over some of the most notable trims and options you should look for in the used market.
Best Performance: The 2010 Grand Cherokee SRT-8 comes with a monstrous V8
Power has always been a must for the Grand Cherokee and the 2010 SRT-8 trim certainly delivers on that front. Jeep’s powerful 6.1L eight-cylinder engine, dubbed the “Hemi,” produces a robust 420 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Sending all the HP to the tarmac is a 5-speed automatic transmission that also comes with OD. The OD (Over-Drive) function, which is the highest gear in an automatic transmission, reduces the rpm to a certain speed in order to accelerate and make the vehicle more fuel efficient.
The 2010 Grand Cherokee doesn’t disappoint when it comes to speed either as it does 0-60 in a very impressive five seconds, a feat usually accomplished by performance cars like the 2017 Dodge Charger or 2005 Jaguar S-Type.
Despite all that power, the 2010 Grand Cherokee has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, which is acceptable, but with all that HP, you’d expect more. Nevertheless, easily towing a small RV, boat, or even a horse trailer is enough to handle all your light towing needs.
The only downside to the 2010 Grand Cherokee SRT-8 trim is its terrible fuel economy. Based on the official EPA estimates, it only puts out 12 miles to the gallon in the city and 16 on the highway (14 MPG combined), which given the size of the engine and the HP output isn’t too concerning.
According to Kelley Blue Book prices, you can find a used 2010 Grand Cherokee SRT-8 for around $16,000 to $19,000.
Most Cost Effective: The 2009 Grand Cherokee Limited is reliable and reasonably priced
Although the 2005-2008 models of the Grand Cherokee are cheaper than the 2009 model, we think every penny of the $1,500 or so difference is worth it, and here’s why: According to the car complaint website, the 2005-2008 models are each has 1,000 to 2,000 complaints while the 2009 model only has 200 complaints. Therefore, in the long run, the 2009 model will be a significantly more cost-effective model to buy used.
Several 2008 Grand Cherokee owners have reported that the swirl engine shuts off and no check engine light comes on in the event of an engine failure, which has resulted in owners spending $5,000 or potentially more. The 2007 model reportedly suffers from a fault that causes the engine to stall or shut down while driving, costing owners $5,000 to fix. Owners of the 2006 model have also complained of engine problems in the form of engine failures, which in many cases lead to an engine replacement, which costs $3,500.
Finally, and the most costly, is the 2005 model, for which owners report sudden unintended accelerations that have led to thousands of property damages and worse, potentially life-threatening situations.
The most reliable option, the 2009 Grand Cherokee Limited comes with a 3.7L six-cylinder engine that delivers 210 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with OD. Jeep offers both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive for the 2009 Grand Cherokee.
As for fuel economy, the 2009 Grand Cherokee 4WD 3.7L V6 puts out 15 miles to the gallon in the city and 20 on the highway (17 MPG combined), which is acceptable considering its price and other benefits.
According to Kelley Blue Book prices, you can find a used 2009 Grand Cherokee Limited for around $5,000-$7,000.
Best Price: The 2010 Grand Cherokee Limited is well built and can last over 200,000 miles
The 2010 model year is one of the most reliable and durable models of the Grand Cherokee. The Limited trim comes with a 3.7L six-cylinder engine that produces 210 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. Transmitting that power to the wheels is a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are offered with only a minor difference of 1 MPG in fuel economy. The 2010 Grand Cherokee 2WD V6 puts out 16 miles to the gallon in the city and 21 on the highway (21 MPG combined), and the 4WD V6 puts out 15 and 20 miles in the city and on the highway, respectively.
As you know with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, luxury has always been a priority, and it’s no different with the 2010 model. You can expect high-quality materials, large rear doors and optional genuine leather upholstery.
The 2010 Grand Cherokee should easily last over 200,000 miles, which means at least 14 years of service for the average American driver. The 2010 model won’t give you many headaches in those years because, according to the car complaints website, it has the lowest number of complaints among third-generation models.
According to Kelley Blue Book prices, you can find a used 2010 Grand Cherokee Limited for around $6,000-$9,000.