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The Jeep Grand Cherokee is two things. It’s both a luxurious SUV and a capable off-roader. For many, it represents the best of both worlds. That’s why, when shopping for a used SUV, many shoppers gravitate toward the Grand Cherokee. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?

A Jeep Grand Cherokee in the mountains
2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep

Which model year should you buy?

While buying a first or second-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee might sound tempting, Autotrader says, don’t do it. And you know what? We have to agree. Even if you’re on the hunt for a second vehicle for off-roading or are shopping on a limited budget, buying a first or second-generation model could lead to some costly repairs. 

If you are going to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee, consider buying model years 2005 and newer. The fourth-generation is particularly alluring. It arrived in 2011 and has since undergone numerous updates. Nowadays, the Grand Cherokee is, as Autotrader put it, “the most luxurious and technically advanced of all the Grand Cherokees.”

Is a used Jeep Grand Cherokee good for off-roading?

This is an easy question to answer because the answer is obviously yes. A used Jeep Grand Cherokee will make for the ideal off-roading SUV. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is trail-rated and also offers plenty of ground clearance so that you can take on uneven terrain with absolute confidence. 

How much can this rugged SUV?

And if you’re after a used SUV that’s able to tow a considerable amount? A used Jeep Grand Cherokee makes for a pretty worthwhile pick. According to Autotrader, in nearly all cases, the Grand Cherokee’s towing abilities surpass competitors like the Toyota Highlander and the Nissan Xterra.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee does have some issues

There are some issues you should be aware of when buying a used Jeep Grand Cherokee. All four generations have experienced several recalls, so be sure to check specific model years against recall information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

When it comes to specific model years, however, recommends avoiding the 2011 model. reports that the 2011 model has the most overall complaints from owners. The most common complaints about the 2011 model include problems with its engine, electrical systems, and its interior accessories.

Will a used Jeep Grand Cherokee be reliable?

For the most part, yes, it is a reliable vehicle. J.D. Power reports that over the last ten years, it has earned a ‘Great’ overall quality and reliability rating.

Per Consumer Reports’ data, models ranging from 2016 to present day will be the most reliable. Though most model years only earned a three out of five reliability rating, model years prior to 2016 earned much lower ratings from Consumer Reports.


The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Redesign Is Long Overdue

Are there better options out there?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re after a tough off-roader that boasts better reliability ratings than the Jeep Grand Cherokee, then the Toyota 4Runner makes for a great pick. However, you will find it’s not quite as luxurious as recent iterations of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. 

The Land Rover Discovery also makes for a great alternative. It offers plenty of off-road prowess and comes stocked with luxury features. Much like the Grand Cherokee, however, the Land Rover Discovery has been faced with some reliability issues. 

Should I buy a used Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Shopping for a used SUV can be stressful. But if you’re after a used SUV that’s able to hit the trails, tow a heavy load, and don’t mind dealing with mechanical issues every once in a while, then a used Jeep Grand Cherokee makes for a pretty worthwhile pick.