Superior off-road capability; build and interior quality; driving dynamics; torque-y and fuel-efficient turbodiesel V6; the sheer nerve of making a 707-hp SUV.
Indifferent fuel economy for all engines except the diesel one; diesel engine gets a little noisy; pricey upper-level models.
The Trackhawk version. If the 475-horsepower SRT version sounds too tame, the Trackhawk has 707 hp to help boost the share prices of performance tire manufacturers. A 7-inch infotainment screen replaces last year's 5-in version, while Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration has become available.
Opt for an Overland if you're not going over land but sticking to the pavement. Or go with a Trailhawk if there's some off-roading to be done.
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and SRT forms.
The Laredo ($31,690) is the entry model, but it still has a decent interior. The dashboard and door panels are mostly covered in premium materials, and standard equipment is generous -- including 17-in alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, fog lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, a tilt-telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 7-in touchscreen interface and a 6-speaker audio system with two USB ports and an auxiliary audio input.
At the Limited ($39,290) level, cabin quality resembles a BMW or Land Rover. It's also eligible for the 5.7-liter V8. 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 in the front and rear, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a 115-volt outlet and a 9-speaker audio system with satellite radio.
The Overland ($46,090) 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 ($44,390) is described by Jeep as the most capable Grand Cherokee ever. As well as specialist tires, the AWD system comes with low-range gearing and an electronic limited-slip rear differential, the air suspension is adjustable, and this model also has skid plates, hill ascent/descent controls, dedicated off-road-applicable instruments, power-folding side mirrors and various styling touches inside and out.
The Summit ($52,090) comes standard with practically every upgrade available, including adaptive cruise control, collision warning with emergency braking, front parking sensors, self-parking functionality, 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 ($68,490) 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.
The Trackhawk ($88,090) sports 20-inch wheels shod with high-performance rubber and upgraded hardware to cope with the forces this thing can generate. It also has suede and Nappa leather upholstery.
Many standard features in pricier versions are optional on lower trim levels. Other extras include a Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system and a towing package.
Trailhawk, SRT and Trackhawk aside, the Grand Cherokee comes with RWD as standard. The AWD systems on offer require some explanation.
Laredo trims feature the Quadra-Trac I permanent AWD setup.
Quadra-Trac II, with a two-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 AWD Limited and Overland variants and standard on the AWD Trailhawk and Summit. It adds an electronic limited-slip rear differential.
Selec-Terrain is paired with the above systems. It's a feature that has pre-programmed settings of engine response, gearshift points, suspension and hill descent control for optimum traction on tricky surfaces like rocks, sand and snow.
Extra comfort for AWD versions comes from the Quadra-Lift optional air suspension that can also lower the vehicle for better aerodynamics or raise it for higher ground clearance. It operates automatically or manually.
Maximum cargo space with the rear seats folded is 68.3 cu ft. and 36.3 cu ft. behind the second seating row. Two removable storage bins under the trunk floor 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|
2018 Dodge Durango -- A 7-seater based on the same platform as the Grand Cherokee but far more suited to on-road driving than getting muddy with its Jeep cousin. It's pretty good at what it does, though.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse -- All new for 2018 and super-spacious.
2018 Ford Explorer -- This is the usual rival to a Grand Cherokee, but it has become more of a crossover than a bona-fide SUV. Comes with third-row seating, and instead of a big V8, the Explorer employs a turbocharged V6.
2018 Land Rover Discovery -- There's a new generation expected for 2018 that will use a unibody construction instead of the old-school ladder-frame setup. It should be impressive, given Land Rover's all-terrain pedigree.
2018 Toyota 4Runner -- Perhaps not up to Jeep standards, but the 4Runner is no slouch away from the tarmac.
Used Mercedes-Benz M-Class -- Spend somewhere in the low- to mid-30s region, and an M-Class (now the GLE-Class) is feasible. Great engines, superb build, high-class ambience -- and someone else has already taken the depreciation hit.