If you want a good-sized SUV with some great off-roading chops, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a good pick. It has four muscular engines and is one of the safest cars on the road. The latest Grand Cherokee also has an available package containing many advanced safety features.
However, compared to many of its rivals, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is only an average midsize SUV. U.S. News gave it a middle-of-the-road ranking below others like the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Palisade. Still, there are a lot of SUVs in the Grand Cherokee’s class that are far worse.
Inside the Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee can seat five passengers on either fabric or leather upholstery. It doesn’t have the biggest backseat, but there’s still plenty of room for tall adults to stretch out. There are a few hard plastic materials in lower trims, but the pricier versions could even rival luxury SUVs.
The seats are also highly supportive, and there’s even an option to have adjustable passenger seats. In contrast, many critics agreed that the seats inside the Ford Edge felt firm and uncomfortable. The GMC Acadia’s cabin also isn’t as nice as the Grand Cherokee’s, made with mostly cheap materials.
Excellent infotainment system
Every Jeep Cherokee comes with smartphone integration, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, and a few USB ports for charging mobile devices. The 7-inch touchscreen showcases quality graphics and all of the menus are very easy to set up or customize. Upgrades include a larger touchscreen, satellite radio, and a rear-seat entertainment system.
The Nissan Pathfinder has more standard features, but drivers still have to pay extra for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Additionally, critics found that the touchscreen’s graphics look grainy compared to many modern systems. The Honda Passport also doesn’t come with standard smartphone integration and it has a smaller touchscreen.
Pretty much every engine on the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a winner. Most of its trims come with a V6 capable of 295 hp, plenty of power for the average driver. A 360-hp V8 is also available. For sportier drivers, the SRT comes with an exclusive V8 that makes up to 475 hp.
The most powerful engine is reserved for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It’s the same supercharged V8 you’d find in a Hellcat, capable of 707 hp. Car and Driver also found that it can rocket from 0-60 mph in only 3.5 seconds.
Many won’t want to handle the Trackhawk’s eye-watering price tag, but the entry-level engine isn’t a disappointment. It’s definitely better than the Dodge Journey’s 172-hp engine. The Toyota 4Runner’s engine is almost as powerful as the base Grand Cherokee’s, but its transmission is terrible.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is more dependable than most
Consumer Reports gave the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee a three out of five in reliability. This is better than the majority of other Jeeps like the Wrangler or Renegade. One of its competitors, the Chevrolet Blazer, only scored a two out of five. The Ford Explorer is also known for its poor reliability.
It’s hard for any other midsize SUV to beat the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s capabilities off the track. Every Grand Cherokee can have four-wheel drive and certain trims have highly desirable off-roading features. The Trailhawk has an air suspension system plus hill-ascent and hill-descent assistance. The Trackhawk comes with a traction management system plus a stronger suspension.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee will be completely redesigned for 2021, so we’ll probably see even more improvements and new features. Currently, the Grand Cherokee isn’t the best midsize SUV, but it’s still a good car overall.