This is the most reliable Jeep Grand Cherokee year to buy used

The Jeep The Grand Cherokee has an enduring reputation as a comfortable American SUV, with some respectable off-road capabilities. While newer models have gotten better and better, the Grand Cherokee lineup is also known to be somewhat unreliable. Its 27-year run is full of ups and downs, from extreme comfort to incredible unreliability. However, these findings may vary from case to case.


But the fifth-generation Grand Cherokee does things better, and Jeep has put its best foot forward with this beloved SUV. If you’re looking to buy a used Jeep Grand Cherokee, there’s a model year that excels in reliability and serves as a happy medium for anyone looking to buy a used Jeep.

Updated November 2022: We’ve updated this article with new bits and pieces on why the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee is still the best option when it comes to reliability. We’ve also added in the next best years to scout if a used 2010 Grand Cherokee is hard to come by.

Let’s take a look at why the 2010 model year Grand Cherokee is the most reliable.


Why you should buy a used Grand Cherokee

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee front third quarter off-road view
Via: Jeep

The Jeep Grand Cherokee took the stage in 1993 and had already gone through three generations in 2010. The 2010 model year marked the last of the third-generation WK Grand Cherokee, which ran from 2005 to 2010. The base model came with a 3.7-liter V6, replacing the 4.0-liter straight-six from the second generation.

At first this engine swap seemed like a terrible idea. The 4.0-liter straight-six is ​​one of the best engines Jeep has ever made, while the new Powertech V6 came with a few minor issues, it was much improved in 2010. The change was necessary to meet increasingly stringent emissions requirements.

Despite the cut in cubic inches, the Jeep had 20 extra horses under the hood compared to the second-generation WJ Grand Cherokee. Lowering the displacement also improved the car’s fuel efficiency. While the 4WD system was improved in this generation, the third generation was marketed as more of an off-road vehicle and therefore focused more on luxury.

The 2010 Grand Cherokee is a comfortable SUV. The suspension was updated to an independent double wishbone layout for increased smoothness over bumps. It’s not trying to be an all-terrain beast or a banker, it’s just comfortable enough for the average consumer and therefore pushes all the right buttons.

Related: These photos prove that Jeeps are the best off-road vehicles

The 2010 Grand Cherokee has fewer features and fewer problems

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee front view
Via: Jeep

Since the 2010 model year marked the end of the WK generation of the Grand Cherokee, all the problems from 2005 to 2009 had been mostly fixed. It was the pinnacle of that generation, maybe even the entire Grand Cherokee lineup.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2010 Grand Cherokee faced only 5 recalls and 106 complaints, while the Adjutant model year has up to 16 recalls and thousands of complaints. But the 2010 model is not perfect and there were some recalls on the vehicle.

The big problem was a faulty transmission, the problem caused the car to shift into neutral by itself and roll away, much to the owner’s surprise. The problem was associated with cars that had the Quadra-Trac II or Quadra-Drive II all-wheel drive systems.

The 2010 Grand Cherokee, and the entire second generation for that matter, was equipped with the Quadra-Drive II system. And while these recalls should have been fixed by now, it’s something you should watch out for anyway. But when Jeep decided to make the fourth generation in 2011, it came with a host of electrical issues.

The integrated power module (TIPM) controlled your typical electrical equipment – lights, power windows, ETC, fuel pumps. If the TIPM stopped working (which it certainly did) you’d be left with a non-starting engine and a $1,300 bill. A recall was available as late as 2019.

Related: 10 Reasons We’re Excited About the New Jeep Grand Wagoneer

A used 2010 Grand Cherokee is affordable and has good fuel economy

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee rear third quarter view
Via: Jeep

When shopping for a used car, many people look for cars that have not logged many miles. And while that’s perfectly valid, you don’t have to worry about a high-mileage 2010 Grand Cherokee as much as other cars. Most Jeeps can be tinkered with to keep them running, but some earlier models require a lot of love and care.

But lucky for us, the 2010 model was built to last. With basic maintenance and maybe a little mechanical know-how, the last of the third-generation Grand Cherokees can easily pass 200,000 miles. It’s not packed with the same luxury or off-road technology as the latest models, but it’s not underequipped either.

As mentioned earlier, it has an updated and perfected suspension, a 4WD system with a known and fixed fault and a rear seat DVD player for a bit of luxury. However, the general lack of equipment on board may be one of the reasons why it is more reliable. An added side effect is that it makes the 2010 Grand Cherokee incredibly affordable. High mileage 2010 Grand Cherokees can easily be found under $10,000.

Can’t find a 2010 Grand Cherokee? Here are the next best options

2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee hd wallpaper view
Via: Jeep

If you’re in the market for a used Jeep Grand Cherokee and can’t get your hands on a reliable 2010 MY, there are other model years that come close to its overall reliability quotient. Since 2010 was the last year of the third-generation Grand Cherokee, you can look into the 2009, as it is almost identical in every aspect.

The added technology and comfort features are what make the 2010 Grand Cherokee stand out. If you are open to making that sacrifice, then go for the 2009 MY. And if you’re on a much tighter budget and want to go older, the 2005, 1999, and 1998 Grand Cherokee models are the best options to consider for their increased reliability quotient, and of course, nostalgia.

Sources: Jeep, NHTSA,

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