Superior off-road capability; first-rate build and interior quality; good driving dynamics; torquey and fuel-efficient turbodiesel V6
Indifferent fuel economy, except the diesel; diesel engine gets a little noisy; pricey upper-level models
A new Trailhawk version joins the range, bristling with off-roading goodies like Kevlar-reinforced all-terrain tires and its own suspension setup. Summit and SRT models receive tweaked front-end styling plus upgrades to their cabins. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard in every Grand Cherokee.
A Limited with the 3.6-liter gasoline V6 is a popular choice among Grand Cherokee buyers, and it's hard to argue against. Diesel isn't enjoying the best of reputations right now, but the GC's turbo V6 option makes a lot of torque while keeping fuel bills in check. Depending on your requirements, that could be a better way to go.
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and SRT trims.
The Laredo ($31,290) is the entry model but still comes with a decent interior. The dashboard and door panels are mostly covered in premium materials, and the list of standard equipment is generous -- including 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/start, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, fog lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, a tilt-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 5-in touchscreen interface and a 6-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary inputs.
At the Limited ($38,890) and Overland ($45,690) levels, cabin quality resembles that of a BMW or Land Rover. These trims are also eligible for the 5.7-liter V8 or the diesel engine. Notable standard features include a power lift gate, 18-in alloy wheels, 8-way power-adjustable front seats with driver's-side memory functions, heated seats front and rear, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a 115-volt outlet, and a 9-speaker audio system with satellite radio and two USB ports.
The Overland has 20-in wheels, rain-sensing wipers, xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a power-adjustable steering wheel with wood trim, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, an 8.4-in touchscreen with navigation, premium leather upholstery and cooled front seats.
The Trailhawk ($43,990) version is described by Jeep as the most capable Grand Cherokee ever. It has the special tires mentioned earlier, the all-wheel-drive system comes with low-range gearing and an electronic limited-slip rear differential, the air suspension is adjustable, and the model also includes skid plates, hill ascent/descent control, dedicated off-road instruments, power-folding side mirrors and various styling touches inside and out.
The Summit ($51,390) comes standard with practically every upgrade available, including adaptive cruise control, collision warning with emergency braking, front parking sensors, a self-parking function, lane-departure monitoring, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, active noise cancellation, extended wood trim and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
The performance-oriented SRT ($67,890) enjoys a 6.4-liter V8 and a lowered suspension that naturally compromises Jeep's traditional go-anywhere approach. But when it does go somewhere, it's quick.
Many features that are standard in pricier versions are optional on lower trim levels. Other extras include a rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-ray capability and a towing package.
The SRT aside, the Grand Cherokee comes with rear-wheel drive as standard. The all-wheel-drive systems on offer require some explanation.
Laredo trims feature the Quadra-Trac I permanent all-wheel-drive setup.
Quadra-Trac II, with a 2-speed transfer case for greater off-road ability, can be installed in the Laredo but is the default system in the Limited and Overland.
Quadra-Drive II is optional on all-wheel-drive Limited and Overland variants and standard on the all-wheel-drive Trailhawk and Summit. It adds an electronic limited-slip rear differential.
Selec-Terrain is paired with the above systems. It's a feature with preprogrammed settings for engine response, gearshift points, suspension and hill descent control for optimum traction on tricky surfaces like rocks, sand and snow.
Extra comfort for all-wheel-drive versions comes from the Quadra-Lift optional air suspension, which can lower the vehicle for better aerodynamics or raise it for higher ground clearance. It can operate either automatically or manually.
Maximum cargo space with the rear seats folded is 68.3 cu ft, and there are two removable storage bins under the trunk floor that are ideal for muddy items.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
2017 Ford Explorer -- The usual rival to the Grand Cherokee, the Explorer has become more of a crossover than a bona-fide SUV. Comes with third-row seating and a turbocharged V6 instead of a big V8.
2017 Lexus RX 350 -- Not renowned for any off-road ability, the RX is nevertheless one of the best-selling premium midsize crossovers.
2017 Volkswagen Touareg -- Although the Touareg can't match the Grand Cherokee's sophisticated all-wheel-drive skill set, it's still adept at medium-duty off-roading. And its on-road manners are impeccable.
Used Mercedes-Benz M-Class -- Plan to spend somewhere in the low-to-mid $30,000s and a used M-Class becomes feasible. Great engines, superb build, high-class ambience -- and someone else has already taken the depreciation hit.