Jeep's flagship SUV, the Grand Cherokee behaves just as well in the wildness as it does on the road, a rare quality in this age of family-focused crossovers. Buyers can be assured of uncompromising capability to go along with all the comfort and technology they can handle.
What's New for 2016
The standard V6 gets automatic stop-start technology for enhanced efficiency. Most models receive an electric power steering system and weight-saving aluminum suspension components. The high-performance SRT gains selectable driving modes and a revised gauge cluster. The High Altitude and 75th Anniversary trims are new this year.
Choosing Your Jeep Grand Cherokee
Every Jeep Grand Cherokee (except the SRT) starts out with a 290-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and rear-wheel drive. The available 5.7-liter V8 is good for 360 horsepower, and there's also a 3-liter turbo-diesel V6 that develops 240 horsepower. Four-wheel drive is available with any of these engines. The SRT gets its own 6.4-liter V8 with 475 horsepower, and four-wheel drive comes standard. An eight-speed automatic transmission is used on all models. With the diesel or any V8 under the hood, you're good to tow up 7,200 pounds.
The Grand Cherokee comes in a multitude of trims that stretch clear across the mid-size SUV market:
Laredo: The entry-level Grand Cherokee comes with the V6 engine and features like 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition, Bluetooth phone and audio, and a six-speaker sound system with a touchscreen display and a CD player.
Laredo E: Adds a power driver seat, chrome roof rails, and satellite radio. Both the standard Laredo and the E can get the Security and Convenience Group with a power liftgate, remote engine start, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. Available on four-wheel drive versions is the Off-Road Adventure I Group, which includes skid plates, a two-speed transfer case, hill descent control, and a terrain selector. You can also order a sunroof, 18-inch wheels, and Jeep's Uconnect infotainment interface.
Laredo 75th Anniversary Edition: Builds on the Laredo E with blind spot monitoring, a sunroof, special leather upholstery, and 20-inch bronze wheels.
Limited: The 5.7-liter V8 and turbo-diesel V6 become available at this level. Standard fare includes remote start, leather seating with driver memory and passenger power, heated rear seats, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and a nine-speaker sound system. The available Luxury Group II adds a panoramic sunroof, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and xenon headlamps. You can also select the Off-Road Adventure Group II, which adds an air suspension and locking rear differential to the Off-Road Adventure Group I, which remains available. Rounding out the option list are a navigation system and the Advanced Technology Group with adaptive cruise control, safety warning systems, and collision mitigation.
Limited 75th Anniversary Edition: Gets the contents of Luxury Group II as standard, plus unique wheels and upholstery.
Overland: Builds on the regular Limited with navigation and the Luxury Group II contents as standard. Additional upgrades include 20-inch wheels, a towing package, power-folding mirrors, and wood steering wheel trim. All other option groups continue.
High Altitude: Like the Overland, but with unique black trim throughout and the Advanced Technology Group as standard.
Summit: Comes loaded with all of the comfort and convenience features available on the other trims, plus a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, wood interior trim, and active noise cancellation.
SRT: Carries the 6.4-liter V8 and a host of other performance upgrades such as an adaptive suspension, Brembo brakes, sport seats, specially tuned steering, and performance tires. Comfort and convenience features are similar to the Summit.
The Limited is the sweet spot in the lineup for most buyers. You get a lot of equipment for your money and access to high-end options if you want them. If you don't need heavy-duty towing capability, you can save thousands on the Limited, Overland, High Altitude, and Summit by sticking with the base V6 engine.