Trucks & SUVs

The Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee You Should Never Buy

No buyer thinks their new vehicle will come with issues. Unfortunately, this is just what happens to some people. A number of Jeep Grand Cherokee owners have had big problems, especially owners of model years 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015. These years are all part of the current fourth-generation, which rolled out in 2011. Here’s a look at the transmission and electrical issues common for these model years.

Why the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the worst

CarComplaints.com collects owner problems through its website and compiles the info into graphs. The site found that the biggest overall issue for the Jeep Grand Cherokee across all model years is electrical problems. It marked the 2015 model year as the worst because of higher repair costs and problems at lower mileage.

Owners of the 2015 Grand Cherokee have dealt with early transmission problems. Of the nearly 200 complaints submitted, about 36% have been about the transmission. Many of the complaints are about rough shifting, including jerking or hesitating when the gears shift. CarComplaints.com points out that the 2014 Grand Cherokee has also faced similar transmission problems.

The top three transmission complaints are “electronic shifting unreliable,” “transmission shift performance poor,” and “not shifting properly.” People reported that the unreliable electronic shifting appeared at 12,000 miles on average and cost around $7,500 to fix.

The poor performance of the transmission appeared at an average of 6,100 miles, but owners didn’t submit their repair costs. And the similar not shifting properly was reported to appear around 7,150 miles on average, and repair costs were not submitted.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee has even more complaints

The 2011 Grand Cherokee was the first year of the new generation, and it arrived with plenty of troubles. It has the most complaints on CarComplaints.com of any of the Jeep Grand Cherokee model years, but the problems, while serious, are less expensive to fix than the 2015’s issues and on average show up at higher mileage.

Problems with the TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) were so widespread for the 2011 model year that a class-action lawsuit was filed against Chrysler. This big problem appeared on average around 51,700 miles and cost $1,180 to repair. The 2012 model year also had a degree of the same problem.

Poor reliability ratings from Consumer Reports

All of these owner issues were reflected in the reliability verdict ratings given by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports surveys its members to find out about any vehicle problems they’ve experienced in the past 12 months across 17 different categories. Between 2011 and 2015, the Grand Cherokee’s reliability verdict stayed at either one or two out of five. Since 2016, the score has risen to a three, with the exception of 2018, when it earned a four.

More recent model years of the Jeep Grand Cherokee

Complaints since 2015 have plunged down on CarComplaints.com, hovering around 50 or 60 for 2016 and 2017 and dropping below 10 for 2018 and 2019. No complaints have been submitted so far about the 2020 Grand Cherokee, which Consumer Reports gives a predicted reliability rating of three out of five.

Car and Driver say the Grand Cherokee is easy to customize and is “thoroughly competent — and thoroughly enjoyable.” There are 13 trims to choose from, and starting prices range from $32,240 to $87,095.

These issues pop up across several of the early years of the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s current generation. And they are certainly ones to keep in mind if you’re shopping for a used Grand Cherokee. If you see a model year 2011 or 2015 when you’re shopping, it’s best to just keep on looking.