Jeep Grand Cherokees have been a popular vehicle for years and continue to be sold in high volumes. Jeep tends to enjoy a high degree of brand loyalty among its customers, which explains why they still fly off the lots in many areas, despite numerous model years having significant problems. Learn more about our previous recommendations to avoid Jeep Cherokees and why the 2016 model is the latest one you should steer clear of.
The 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokees have received several complaints
Previously, we released recommendations of Jeep Grand Cherokee model years that consumers should avoid purchasing due to poor performance and low reliability. The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee has received the most complaints of any other model year on CarComplaints, hundreds of which have to do with electrical, engine, or interior accessory issues.
The 2014 Cherokee had countless transmission problems, resulting in rough acceleration, mysterious vibrations, and loud grinding noises. Some drivers even completely lost power while in the middle of traffic, which caused a hefty towing bill. 2015 wasn’t much better, as transmission problems also plagued this model year, and many of these issues occurred at just under 7,000 miles.
Finally, the 2019 Cherokee has numerous engine problems, like the severe issue of the engine shutting down while the car is being driven. Some drivers report that the battery light came on just before the power cuts off, and the issue seems to have been corrected with a battery replacement. Other problems for this model year include transmission problems—these problems commonly manifested in grinding sounds, poor shifting, and iffy acceleration.
Our latest recommendation: avoid the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee too
Consumer Reports is a trusted website that collects hundreds of data points from actual owners and drivers to create predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings. Unsurprisingly, 2014, 2015, and 2019 model years all have very low-reliability ratings, and 2011 does not have enough data to create a score.
The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee also received an abysmal score for reliability and owner satisfaction, getting just a one out of five for both metrics. According to the CR analysis, the most prominent trouble spots seem to occur in the braking system and transmission, though the in-car electronics and power equipment also received numerous complaints.
Compared to other models from the same year, the 2016 Cherokee finished fourth-to-last on CR’s reliability ratings, only beating out the VW Tiguan, Porsche Macan, and Hyundai Tucson. The most reliable cars from that year include the Lexus NX, Toyota RAV4, and Acura RDX. Perhaps you should consider purchasing one of those models instead of the 2016 Cherokee if you’re in the market for a used car.
Still, the 2016 has some perks
Despite the low owner satisfaction and reliability scores, people still love their Jeep Grand Cherokees. The exterior and interior have long been considered stylish, and Consumer Reports’ initial road test revealed that the 2016 Grand Cherokee could be a fun car to drive, with decent acceleration, sharp braking, and a comfortable interior. However, the road test did reveal that the 2016 Cherokee gets an average of 21 MPG, which has been largely attributed to its incredibly heavy body.
The reviewers noted that the infotainment system, a touch screen even in the base models, is somewhat easy to use. Still, they recommend getting the Uconnect 8.4 system, which is more intuitive to use and provides an overall better experience. These days, the 2016 Cherokee costs between $15,000 and $23,000, depending upon the specific trim and features.
Although there are better SUVs available, from this model year and others, we won’t stop you if you have your heart set on a 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, or 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee.