Grand Cherokee
Zac Estrada
Automotive Editor - January 7, 2013

Expert Rating

4.9 (Excellent)
16 City / 22 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

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4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee OVERVIEW

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most capable vehicles in its class, providing one of the best combinations of on-road refinement and off-road ability. Even though it's a unibody platform, similar to modern crossovers, the Grand Cherokee is available with sophisticated four-wheel drive systems, air suspension and a computer system that can be adapted for various terrains. But inside, the Jeep has one of the nicest interiors and is downright plush in uplevel Overland trims. There's even a high-performance SRT8 model.

Even the base Laredo trim comes well-equipped. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 found in many Chrysler Group products, making here 290 horsepower and mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Power windows, mirrors and locks with remote keyless entry are standard, along with cruise control, automatic headlamps, air conditioning, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels and six-speaker audio system with AUX input. Stepping up to Limited adds heated leather seats, a navigation system, chrome grille, dual-zone automatic climate control, Xenon headlamps, 18-inch alloy wheels and a panoramic moonroof.

The even more posh Overland trim adds Nappa leather seats with a leather dashboard, chrome mesh grille and air suspension. Finally, the hot-rod SRT8 model adds a 6.4-liter V8 engine with 470 horsepower and four-wheel drive. A 5.7-liter V8 is optional on all trims except the SRT8, along with either the Quadra-Trac I or Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive systems. The V8 also comes with a six-speed automatic transmission. The SRT8 gets a unique exterior treatment with lowered suspension and more aggressive springs and settings. An adaptive suspension and Brembo brakes are also added, along with sport seats.

The Ford Explorer has a third-row seat and fuel-efficient four-cylinder option, but it's not as good off-road. The Toyota 4Runner also offers a third row and has a rugged platform for off-roading, but its interior is poorly finished and is less refined on-road. The Volkswagen Touareg comes with comprehensive off-road gear and offers efficient diesel and Hybrid options, but is much more expensive. And the Nissan Pathfinder also offers a V8 engine and boasts a standard third-row, but it's cumbersome on the road and has a cheap interior.

When compared to crossovers, the Grand Cherokee is much more adept off-road and boasts much better towing capacity, as well as offering a V8 engine. Against truck-based SUVs, the Jeep is more civilized and efficient. While the base Laredo is well-equipped, the leather-lined Overland trim and performance SRT8 rival SUVs with prestigious badges costing tens of thousands more. If you're in the market for a midsize SUV, there's likely a Grand Cherokee that suits your needs.

Best Jeep Deals & Lease Offers In November

Jeep has introduced an Employee Pricing sale ahead of Black Friday on every model except the Wrangler and Gladiator. In the case of a new Grand Cherokee Limited, that can... View All Jeep Lease Deals

Find Your New Jeep Grand Cherokee On CarsDirect

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