Used Car Review

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions July 2015

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee blends on-road agility and refinement with amazing off-road, all-weather capability. Available with 2-wheel drive or a choice of three 4-wheel-drive systems, the 5-passenger SUV offers all-independent suspension, up to 68 cu ft. of cargo space and up to a 7,400-lb towing capacity with the available 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Even with all this power and space, the Grand Cherokee presents a luxurious interior with soft-touch materials and is available with the latest infotainment and safety technology.

New for 2012 is the 470-horsepower Grand Cherokee SRT8 performance SUV with the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 160 miles per hour.

What We Like

Off-road capability; good seats; choice of three 4-wheel-drive systems; premium interior materials; ride and handling; Uconnect infotainment system; SRT8 performance

What We Don't

Small side mirrors; high cargo floor; SRT8 requires premium fuel

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

Standard on all models but the SRT8 is a Pentastar 3.6-liter double-overhead-cam V6 that makes 290 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. With standard rear-wheel drive, it has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, while 4-wheel-drive models are rated at 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy. It runs regular unleaded or E85.

Optional except on the SRT8 is a 5.7-liter overhead-valve (OHV) HEMI V8, which produces 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. It runs on regular unleaded, but midgrade is recommended for the best performance. A fuel-saver mode shuts down four cylinders when cruising under a light load. Rear-wheel-drive models are EPA-rated at 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy, while 4-wheel-drive Grand Cherokees get a 13 mpg city/20 mpg hwy rating.

SRT8 models feature a 6.4-liter HEMI OHV V8 with 470 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. They come with 4-wheel drive only and are EPA-rated at 12 mpg city/18 mpg hwy. They require premium fuel.

A 5-speed automatic transmission with Autostick sequential shifting is standard with the V6 and SRT8, while a 6-speed automatic teams with the 5.4-liter HEMI V8.

Standard Features & Options

The Laredo comes with dual-zone air-conditioning, cruise control, cloth seat trim, flipper lift gate glass, a leather-wrapped tilt-telescopic steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls, a power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, remote keyless entry, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder, SiriusXM radio, auto headlamps, fog lamps, 245/70 on-/off-road tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, stability and traction control, hill-start assist, dual front and front-seat side airbags, overhead airbags, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, a single-speed transfer case (4-wheel-drive V6 only), power door locks, power-folding mirrors and power windows.

Upgrading to the Limited trims nets dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, heated front and rear leather seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, HD/DVD audio with Garmin navigation and SiriusXM Travel Link, Uconnect hands-free phone connectivity, a power front passenger seat with lumbar control, a garage-door opener, a cargo shade, rear park assist with backup camera, auto-dimming and auto-leveling bi-xenon headlamps, a leather-wrapped shifter, 265/60 on-/off-road tires on 18-in alloys, a 2-speed on-demand transfer case and Selec-Terrain traction control system with Auto, Sand/Mud, Sport, Snow and Rock settings on 4-wheel-drive models.

The range-topping Overland trim adds standard 265/50 all-season tires on 20-in alloy wheels, perforated leather seats, ventilated front seats, real wood trim, a power tilt-telescopic steering column, a leather- and wood-trimmed steering wheel, premium audio with voice recognition and SiriusXM real-time traffic, a cargo net, and the Quadra-Link air suspension and Quadra-Drive II 4-wheel-drive system on 4-wheel-drive V8 models.

SRT8 models roll with a 470-hp 6.4-liter HEMI V8, lowered suspension, adaptive damping, limited-slip differential, paddle shifters, heated steering wheel, Brembo brakes, 295/45 run-flat performance tires and 20-in alloy wheels.

Popular options include trailer towing and off-road packages, a rear DVD entertainment system, Sirius Backseat TV, a power lift gate, remote starting, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, a blind spot monitoring system, forward-collision warning and more.

Pricing

The Grand Cherokee was one of the first luxury SUVs that combined upscale comfort and style with go-anywhere capability. Four-wheel drive is almost a given for Jeeps, so expect 2-wheel-drive versions to command lower prices.

To get a good idea of the price of a 2012 Grand Cherokee, check out the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee:

A corroded vacuum brake booster may admit water. If it freezes, the booster may not provide sufficient braking force, increasing the risk of a crash.

A failed fuel-pump relay may cause vehicle stalling, increasing crash risk.

The visor vanity-mirror lamp may short-circuit, increasing fire risk.

A faulty alternator may lead to engine stalling, increasing crash risk.

The Ready Alert Brake system pedal effort may increase dramatically, possibly lengthening stopping distances.

Debris inside the 3.6-liter V6 may cause connecting-rod bearing failure and engine seizure, creating a crash risk.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA rated the 2012 Grand Cherokee at four stars overall, with four stars for frontal impacts and five for side impacts. Rear-wheel-drive models received three stars for rollover performance, while 4-wheel-drive Grand Cherokees got four stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2012 Grand Cherokee a Good rating for moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts, roof strength, head restraints and seats. The SUV was also a 2012 IIHS Top Safety Pick.

The Chrysler Group covered the 2012 Grand Cherokee with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty including roadside assistance, along with 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain and corrosion-perforation warranties.

Jeep certified pre-owned cars cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Those that pass a 125-point inspection receive a 3-month/3,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty plus a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the car's original date of sale. Also included is a Carfax report, 24-hour roadside assistance, car-rental allowance and a 3-month trial of SiriusXM radio.

Other Cars to Consider

2012 Ford Edge -- The Edge blends tough-guy urban-SUV looks with roomy comfort for five and technology such as Ford SYNC and MyFord Touch. A 240-hp EcoBoost 4-cylinder offers an EPA-rated 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.

2012 Toyota 4Runner -- Legendary for durability and off-road capability, the 4Runner is an old-school SUV, with a high step-in height and trucklike ride. A 270-hp 4.0-liter V6 teams with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Autotrader's Advice

The Grand Cherokee is one of the best offerings in the SUV field, blending crisp on-road manners with outstanding all-weather or off-road capability. We like the Limited trim, which has many features that buyers are looking for and is available with either the 290-hp 3.6-liter V6 or 360-hp HEMI V8. Given the choice, go for a 4-wheel-drive version because resale value will be better. Always get a Carfax vehicle history report and stay away from modified examples. Look for a Jeep that's seen obvious care. A certified pre-owned Jeep is a smart way to go. Check with the dealer to make sure the Grand Cherokee you're considering has had all applicable safety recall items addressed.

Find a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale

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Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD Overland
Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$10,555
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Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD Laredo
Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
Used 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Used Car Review - Autotrader