2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a luxurious and comfortable SUV that's highly capable off-road.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

It's hard to find a truly off-road-ready SUV these days, especially at a reasonable price. But if you're shopping for one, Jeep has you covered with the 2017 Grand Cherokee.

Off-road prowess isn't the Grand Cherokee's only trick, though. Three compelling engines help set the Jeep Grand Cherokee apart. The base 3.6-liter gasoline V6 delivers decent power and fuel economy; the optional turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 increases fuel economy considerably and also pumps up the low-end torque. As for the available 5.7-liter V8, it sounds great and rivals the diesel with its robust towing capacity.

In addition to its well-sorted powertrains, the Grand Cherokee offers just about every upscale amenity and high-tech option you can think of. A premium interior and serious versatility make the Grand Cherokee a standout in the class. For Trail Rated luxury in a stylish package, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is certainly tough to top.



what's new

A Trailhawk model with extra off-road kit debuts for 2017, while the top-of-the-line Summit gets slightly revised styling and additional luxury-oriented interior garnishes. Newly available features include a self-parking system and lane departure warning. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are now standard on every Grand Cherokee.

we recommend

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a lot of standard and optional features to choose from, but in general, we're most fond of the off-road-ready Trailhawk. It can go nearly anywhere and yet still comes with swanky equipment such as ventilated seats and the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen. The Trailhawk's standard V6 is capable, but an upgrade to the diesel-powered V6 or the 5.7-liter V8 will significantly increase tow ratings. Beyond the extra pulling power, the diesel V6 offers impressive fuel economy, and the V8 gives this Jeep the character of a classic muscle car.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a five-passenger midsize SUV that comes in five trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland and Summit. Each is available with rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD), except the Trailhawk, which is 4WD-only. One of our favorite things about the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is that it feels relatively plush whatever trim level you choose. Certain desirable upgrades are offered only on higher trims, however, including the 8.4-inch touchscreen and the optional diesel V6 and gasoline V8 engines.

The base Laredo comes fairly well-equipped, including a 3.6-liter V6 engine (295 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque) with an eight-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with a 5-inch touchscreen, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

If you're looking for a few more creature comforts (or if you just need heated seats for cold winter commutes), then check out the Limited trim level. On Limited and above, you can go with the standard V6 or you can opt for one of two more capable motors. The first is a 5.7-liter V8 (360 hp, 390 lb-ft), and the second is a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 (240 hp, 420 lb-ft). An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard for both. Other standard equipment on the Limited includes 18-inch wheels, additional chrome exterior trim, remote start, an auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirror, a power liftgate, a 115-volt power outlet, satellite radio, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings and an additional USB charging port.

New to the Grand Cherokee lineup this year is the Trailhawk trim level. Without a doubt, it's one of the most capable off-road SUVs in its class. On top of the Limited trim, it adds unique exterior styling flourishes, different 18-inch wheels with off-road tires, four-wheel drive with low-range gearing (Quadra-Drive II), an adjustable air suspension (Quadra-Lift) with increased suspension travel and other Trailhawk-specific tuning, hill ascent and descent control, an electronic limited-slip rear differential, underbody skid plates, trim-specific interior styling, and an upgraded instrument cluster display with exclusive off-road features. The Trailhawk also adds power-folding mirrors, ventilated front seats, an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface with voice controls and a nine-speaker sound system.

Next in the Grand Cherokee lineup is the Overland. It has a few more luxury options and shares the Trailhawk's latter four standard features as well as a mainstream version of its air suspension. It also adds 20-inch wheels, automatic wipers, xenon headlights with auto leveling and auto high-beam control, LED daytime running lights and foglights, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, HD radio, a power-adjustable steering wheel and extended leather upholstery. Consider the Overland if you're looking for something classy and well-equipped right near the top of the range.

If you want everything you can get out of a Grand Cherokee, the top-of-the-line Summit trim is the one to have. It includes the Overland's standard equipment plus polished 20-inch wheels, headlamp washers, front parking sensors, a self-parking system (both parallel and perpendicular), illuminated doorsills, additional noise-reducing acoustic glass for the windows, active noise-canceling technology, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and upgraded leather upholstery with diamond-quilted accents. (A full leather interior with even more coverage is an extra-cost option.)

Many of the higher trims' standard features are offered on lesser models as options. A dual-screen rear entertainment system with Blu-ray capability is optional for the Limited, Trailhawk, Overland and Summit. Quite a few aesthetic upgrades are also available, including a 75th Anniversary package that adds gloss-black exterior trim.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit (3.0L V6 diesel; 4x4; 8-speed automatic). NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Grand Cherokee has received some revisions, including a new gearshift lever, the addition of electric-assist power steering and a weight reduction courtesy of some aluminum suspension components. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Grand Cherokee.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering2.0 / 5.0
Handling2.0 / 5.0
Drivability3.0 / 5.0

Comfort

3.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort2.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.5 / 5.0
Visibility4.0 / 5.0

Utility

4.0 / 5.0

Cargo space4.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The EcoDiesel V6 is the way to go if you're serious about fuel economy, towing and off-roading. Plus, it's quicker than the standard V6. Off-road grip is sensational, but on-road handling is mediocre at best. The top-level Summit model we tested is the only Grand Cherokee that's not Trail Rated.

acceleration

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The EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V6 is all about torque, a full 420 lb-ft worth. With 0-60 mph arriving in 7.7 seconds, it's quicker than the V6-gasoline GC. The eight-speed automatic is smooth, though its shifts are slow. For more thrilling acceleration, check out the V8.

braking

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Around town, the Grand Cherokee brakes provide decent power and pedal feel. At the test track though, the GC nosedives and squirms during full panic stops. It took 121 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is average for the class.

steering

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The GC's steering has a light effort and a chunky steering wheel that feels good in your hands, which should suit most people. Unfortunately it also doesn't have much in the way of feel, so you never really know what the front tires are up to on road or off.

handling

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Whether at the test track or on back roads, the Grand Cherokee feels lethargic and heavy. It has little roll control, meaning it leans considerably through corners. The stability control intervenes early and often.

drivability

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The eight-speed automatic shifts seamlessly on the highway, though there's some jerkiness in stop-and-go traffic, and the engine requires more revs than you expect to get going. The massive amount of turbodiesel torque means you can easily hold just one gear up long grades.

comfort

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The Grand Cherokee has excellent sound deadening, plus supportive seats and plenty of room to stretch out. Although we expected good things from the air suspension, it suffers in the city, struggling to soak up smaller bumps.

seat comfort

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The front seats are wide and overstuffed with padding, yet they are surprisingly firm. Adjustable lumbar and heating and cooling up front are complemented by well-padded armrests. Rear reclining seatbacks have easy-access levers. The rear middle seat is livable but not wide enough for adults.

ride comfort

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Oddly, the optional air suspension struggles to absorb smaller pavement ripples, allowing significant vibration into the cabin. It's definitely not the best urban vehicle. Big bumps, on the other hand, are absorbed with ease.

noise & vibration

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The optional diesel engine clatter makes it louder at idle than rival gas engines, but the EcoDiesel is considerably quieter at full throttle, partially because it doesn't rev as high. Dual-pane front glass means nearly zero wind noise on the highway.

climate control

Large primary buttons and knobs for the climate control system are easy to operate and the system cools/warms the cabin well. Some of the secondary controls located in the infotainment screen are a bit harder to find, though, and can be frustrating even for owners used to the system.

interior

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Jeep's most recent improvements certainly make the Grand Cherokee's cabin a nice place to be. The Uconnect infotainment system, materials and controls are at the top of the class, though the touchscreen forces too many steps for certain functions.

ease of use

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The centerpiece is an excellent chunky steering wheel paired with solid, substantial controls. Large, grippy knobs for stereo volume/tuning/fan speed are nice, but some climate control functions require three to four button pushes through the touchscreen. Ridiculous.

getting in/getting out

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Wide-opening front doors help entry. The step-in height is higher than average, but the air suspension can be lowered when parked. The rear doors also open wide, though the opening is compromised by the intrusive rear wheelwell and wide rocker panels.

roominess

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Despite the high seating position, there's still generous headroom up front. Good elbow room, too, and the center console leaves room for the driver's right knee. Excellent rear foot- and kneeroom, plus plenty of headroom.

visibility

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The windshield pillars are fairly long and thick, hampering views on curvy roads. Most other pillars are narrow, though, and the tall side windows facilitate lane changes. Standard rearview camera and parking sensors are especially handy in a tall SUV.

utility

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When you consider all that it offers in one package, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is very utilitarian. It has above-average tow ratings, an optional adjustable air suspension and decent cargo space, although the latter could be better in terms of maximum capacity.

small-item storage

The main front bin has little space and a cheap-feeling door. Up front, the door pockets are too narrow for most hands. There are, however, good anti-tip cupholders.

cargo space

edmunds rating
The Jeep Grand Cherokee's trunk isn't the largest in the department; it also doesn't have a very low load floor, but with the optional air suspension you can lower the ride height when you park. The trunk houses a full-size spare and still offers 36.3 cubic feet of space.

child safety seat accomodation

There are two sets of two latches, each on the outboard positions of the rear seat. Realistically, you'll be able to put two child seats in the rear.

technology

Though the Uconnect system in the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most user-friendly on the market, our test vehicle had several issues with reliability during operation. Knobs often failed to respond to inputs, and the satellite radio cut out so many times that we lost track.

audio & navigation

Audio and navigation controls are extremely user-friendly. Almost any novice can master the basic functions of the Uconnect system after just a few uses. The optional nine-speaker stereo has good sound quality and dynamic range.

smartphone integration

Connecting via Bluetooth or USB is easy and quick with the Grand Cherokee. Songs and podcasts are indexed with lightning speed. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however, are not available.

driver aids

Optional systems such as blind-spot monitoring and forward collision mitigation are nice to have, but unfortunately they're oversensitive in the Grand Cherokee. Warnings sound with the slightest encroachment on other cars or even when a car is two lanes away in your blind spot.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.