Something of a Swiss Army Knife among midsized SUVs, the Grand Cherokee is a versatile, well-rounded vehicle. When properly equipped, it is very capable on or off road, and it makes a good choice for trailer towing. All Grand Cherokees are easy to live with. Luxurious interior finish, hushed noise levels, and supportive seats make it a welcome road trip companion. The optional Uconnect 8.4 touch screen infotainment system is one of the most intuitive available.
What sets the Jeep flagship SUV apart from its competition is the wide range of powertrains and available trim levels. Most Grand Cherokees come with a 3.6-liter V6 that provides decent power; updates over the years, including the move to an eight-speed automatic in all Grand Cherokees, have improved acceleration and throttle response. Expect 18 mpg overall from the gasoline V6; a turbodiesel V6 returns 24 mpg overall and makes trailer towing a breeze, but it's a fairly expensive option. A Hemi V8 also remains available, as does a super-fast SRT sports version. Buyers can choose from rear or all-wheel-drive, and a variety of all-wheel-drive systems are available.
Beyond powertrain choices, different trim levels attempt to suit every need, from a basic Laredo's cloth seats to the top-trim Summit's sueded headliner. Advanced safety equipment, including forward-collision warning and automatic braking, is available starting on mid-trim Limited models, but you need to buy multiple expensive options packages to get it. The key is to weigh your options carefully before signing on the line, because the versatile Jeep can get expensive fast.