Superior off-road capability; first-rate build and interior quality; good driving dynamics; torquey and fuel-efficient turbodiesel; it's a Jeep
Poor fuel economy with all-wheel drive; no third-row seat; pricey upper-level models; narrow interior
The 2014 Grand Cherokee gets an exterior makeover, a turbodiesel V6 engine, an 8-speed automatic transmission and an updated interior as well.
If venturing off-road is one reason you're buying a Grand Cherokee, we'd take a turbodiesel model with the optional Quadra-Trac II and Selec-Terrain systems. We'd probably throw in the navigation and upgraded audio systems. If luxury is more important to you than rock climbing, go with the Overland model. We'd avoid the V8 engines (they're just too fuel-thirsty) unless you need to tow large items -- and unless your year-round weather precludes ever seeing snow, we'd also advise against the rear-wheel-drive models. After all, a Jeep is meant for tackling snow and mud, and going off-road. If you're only driving on dry paved roads, plenty of vehicles make better sense (and get better fuel economy) than the Grand Cherokee.
The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in five trim levels -- Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT8.
The Laredo ($29,790) might be the entry-level model, but its interior shows no sign of cost-cutting. The dash, door panels and seats are covered in premium materials, and the standard equipment roster looks like some competitors' high-end options lists.
Move to the Limited ($36,790) or Overland ($44,190) trims and the Grand Cherokee offers an interior to rival the best from BMW, Audi or Land Rover. Available features worth noting include a power rear lift gate, heated rear seats, a panoramic glass moon roof, Garmin navigation, adaptive cruise control, front park assist and ventilated front seats.
The Summit ($48,990) comes standard with practically every luxury available, including 20-inch wheels and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
The performance-oriented SRT8 ($64,190) boasts a ridiculous 6.4-liter V8 and an array of go-fast goodies, including a lowered suspension that ironically makes this Jeep practically useless off-road.
Options include a rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-ray capability and a towing package.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
Ford Edge -- The Edge offers a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine nearly as powerful as the Jeep's V6 and with much better fuel economy. Unlike the Grand Cherokee, the Edge is not a true off-road vehicle, and its tow rating is limited to 3,500 pounds.
Toyota Highlander -- The Highlander isn't off-road capable and doesn't offer the same level of sophistication or the Grand Cherokee's V8 engine. Conversely, the Highlander can seat seven, has superior resale history and offers a high-mileage hybrid model.
Land Rover LR4 -- The Land Rover offers the same advanced off-road technology as the Grand Cherokee, and it carries the added bragging rights of being a luxury SUV. But for less money as a base LR4, you can get a loaded Overland with more features, a better ride, better resale and better fuel economy.