How Safe Is the Jeep Cherokee?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a great off-road alternative to the Toyota RAV4. It can tow up to 7,200 pounds when fully loaded, more than any other midsize SUV on the market. Like all Jeeps, the Grand Cherokee can also handle itself nicely in off-roading situations. 

However, Jeep vehicles usually don’t have the best safety or reliability ratings. The Wrangler, one of the most popular Jeeps, has yet to receive any testing from the IIHS. In Europe and Australia, the Wrangler received a one-star rating in terms of safety. Is the Grand Cherokee a better pick for cautious drivers?

IIHS safety ratings

2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited
2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited | Jeep

The results of the 2020 Grand Cherokee’s safety tests are already available online. It got a good score on the side impact test, the moderate overlap front test, and the roof strength test. The Grand Cherokee was also shown to have good rear protection and seat restraints.

However, it only received a marginal rating for the small overlap front driver test. This means that in the event of a crash, the driver only has a 50/50 chance of escaping serious injury. Ease of using LATCH anchors was also rated marginal.

 The Grand Cherokee’s headlights also aren’t the best, receiving only an acceptable rating from the IIHS. Some trims received a poor headlight rating.

The 2020 Grand Cherokee hasn’t been tested for front crash prevention. However, the previous model year was rated superior in this area. There’s no difference between the two cars for the other tests, so the latest model would probably get the same score. Both of these cars fared much better than the 2018 model, which received a poor rating for the side impact test.

NHTSA safety ratings

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk | Jeep

The latest Grand Cherokee got an overall rating of five stars from the NHTSA. It has one of the best side crash ratings in its class at five stars. It received four-star ratings on its rollover and frontal crash tests.

This was a noticeable improvement over the 2019 model. This version was only tested by the NHTSA for rollover safety, scoring three out of five stars. 

What are the Grand Cherokee’s weak points?

Besides the weak headlights and the poor frontal side impact ratings, the Grand Cherokee is known for a few other problems. If you’re buying a used Grand Cherokee, it’s best to avoid ones from 2011. These models were prone to electrical problems, poor interior quality, and a dangerous overheating vanity lamp.

The Grand Cherokee’s safety features

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk | Jeep

This SUV has a good variety of standard safety features. Blind-spot monitors, rear parking sensors, a backup camera, and rear cross-traffic alert are all included in the base model. It comes with standard rear-wheel drive with the option to upgrade to four-wheel drive.

Pricier trims have even more driver’s assistance offerings. The Summit has automatic emergency braking, automatic parallel parking, forward collision warning, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and enhanced headlights. The most expensive trim, the Trackhawk, even includes adaptive cruise control and an advanced traction management system.

Is it safer than other SUVs?

2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited
2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited | Jeep

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has pretty good safety ratings. It was even included on the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick list. However, some of its rivals perform better in certain areas.

The Kia Sorento got a good rating on all of its crash test scores. However, most of the Sorento’s trims got poor headlight ratings. Two Hyundai SUVs, the Santa Fe and Palisade, got superior front crash prevention ratings with all the available safety features.

In general, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a good bet for a safe SUV. It also has ample passenger space and a smooth suspension for a smooth, comfortable drive.