CarsDirect Review

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

, Automotive Editor -

A Grand Cherokee For Everyone. While the Jeep Wrangler is the quintessential Jeep, the Grand Cherokee has been equally as important to the automaker’s success. The 2023 Grand Cherokee blends off-road capability with on-road comfort to be the do-it-all SUV for the masses. With 17 different Grand Cherokee models to explore, Jeep offers an SUV for everyone.

Jeep’s lineup for the Grand Cherokee ranges from the simple Laredo to the upscale Summit Reserve. Of course, there’s the off-road-oriented Trailhawk 4xe, which is now only available with the plug-in hybrid engine. For consumers that need a three-row SUV for the entire family, there’s the Grand Cherokee L. Regardless of your needs, there’s a great chance that Jeep offers a Grand Cherokee that fits your needs.

Multiple Engine Choices. While most automakers only offer their midsize SUV with one engine, the 2023 Grand Cherokee is available with three powertrains. While two will be familiar from the previous generation, the available plug-in hybrid (two-row Grand Cherokee only) really sets the Grand Cherokee apart from rivals.

The standard 3.6-liter V6 engine is the vanilla ice cream of the lineup – there’s nothing wrong or extraordinary about it. Power is rated at 293 horsepower, which is a respectable amount for a midsize SUV. For something more memorable and enjoyable, Jeep continues to offer the Grand Cherokee with a 5.7-liter V8 engine. This is the only V8-powered midsize SUV in the mainstream segment. It has 357 hp and brings far better performance.

The most interesting powertrain available is the plug-in hybrid 4xe. It combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors for 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. The PHEV offers 25 miles of all-electric range and can even tow 6,000 pounds – 1,200 pounds less than the V8. For 2023, the 4xe powertrain is available on five trims and the rugged, off-road-ready Trailhawk is only available as a PHEV.

Entering Wagoneer Territory.The Grand Cherokee always had a compelling mix of ruggedness and luxury, but last year’s full redesign doubled down on luxury. Move up to one of the SUV’s higher trims levels, and you’ll find that the rugged SUV is packed with high-tech equipment and has upscale materials that feel like they belong in a luxury vehicle.

Opt for a fully loaded Grand Cherokee, and the SUV’s list of features includes a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system, a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the passenger, open-pore wood trim, heated and ventilated second-row seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a rear-seat entertainment system, a digital rearview mirror, and massaging front seats.

The Grand Cherokee doesn’t just come with high-end features, it also feels luxurious. The front seats are comfortable and two-row models offer plenty of space in the rear seats for adults. The elongated Grand Cherokee L brings a third row that’s actually usable. Adults can fit into the third row on short drives and not hate the ride.

With the Grand Cherokee’s features and upscale feel, it comes off as a budget-friendly Wagoneer. That’s not a bad thing for an SUV that starts at $40,795 (with destination) and goes up to $69,960 for a range-topping Grand Cherokee L.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Interior

Comfortable On-Road, Capable Off-Road. The Grand Cherokee may have a luxurious design, but the SUV can still go off-roading with the best on the market. We are disappointed to see that Jeep doesn’t offer all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive as standard equipment, but most consumers will probably get a system.

The base Quadra-Trac 1 system acts mostly as an AWD system that can shuffle power around without any driver inputs. The available Quadra-Trac 2 adds low-range gearing for slow-speed off-roading or inclement weather situations. Then, there’s the Quadra-Drive 2 system that adds in an electronic limited-slip differential to give the driver maximum grip over all types of terrain. The Trailhawk ups the ante with a sway-bar disconnect, air suspension, and a Selec-Terrain system.

Everyone knows that a Jeep can off-road, but the way the Grand Cherokee handles everyday tasks is more impressive. Ride quality is great for an SUV that’s this capable, as the Grand Cherokee tackles dog-sized potholes without causing the driver to wince. With a longer body and softer suspension, the Grand Cherokee L feels even plusher.

Final Thoughts. The Jeep Grand Cherokee showcases the brand’s ability to do more than just make off-roading SUVs. The Grand Cherokee is comfortable, high-tech, luxurious, and surprisingly efficient with the plug-in hybrid powertrain. It also allows the entire family to go on an adventure thanks to the seven-passenger Grand Cherokee L. The Wrangler may get all of the attention, but for drivers that want something that’s comfortable on-road and still incredibly capable off-road, the Grand Cherokee is the SUV to get in the lineup.

The Kia Telluride doesn’t have the same off-roading capability as the Grand Cherokee, but it looks great, comes with a long list of standard features, has a roomy interior, and offers near-luxury features and quality.

The Toyota 4Runner is ancient compared to the Grand Cherokee, but it can hang with the Jeep when off-roading. It also comes with an extensive list of standard safety features, has a roomy cabin, and has a punchy V6 engine.

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