The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers something for almost everyone. Providing a choice of rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, this five-passenger midsize SUV ranges in temperament from mild to wild.
Four engine choices are available with the 2017 Grand Cherokee. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6. A turbodiesel V6 and a pair of Hemi V8s are optional. All engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Six trim levels are available: Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and the high-performance SRT. The Trailhawk trim is new for 2017, and it offers enhanced off-road capabilities as well as unique interior accents. For 2017, the Summit trim benefits from revised styling, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee also welcomes two newly available safety features: lane departure intervention and a self-parking system.
The 2017 Grand Cherokee exudes a confident look, and all models are easily recognized by the trademark seven-slat vertical grille. Narrow headlamps provide a sporty touch. The lower grille opening is large and is flanked by standard fog lamps. Daytime running lights are standard.
The Grand Cherokee has strong shoulders, a long roofline and an even beltline, and is distinguished by its sculpted profile. The Laredo trim is outfitted with standard 17-inch aluminum wheels, and other models offer 18- and 20-inch wheel choices. A liftgate spoiler is found at the rear.
All models come with automatic headlamps and heated side mirrors. Roof rails, bi-xenon headlights and power-folding side mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators are optional.
The SRT is outfitted with a blacked-out grille, premium LED fog lamps and 20-inch wheels. Trailhawk models bring in front and rear tow hooks painted in red and rugged 18-inch Goodyear Adventure off-road tires.
Available features include Mopar side steps, polished dual exhaust tips, black body cladding and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
The Grand Cherokee’s long wheelbase ensures that five people are seated in comfort. This SUV offers supportive and comfortable front seats and a roomy 60/40-split folding rear seat. Various trims feature cloth, leather or premium Nappa leather upholstery.
Slip behind the steering wheel and you’ll find the Grand Cherokee offers very good sight lines and minimally obstructed views along the sides and to the rear. Driver and cabin controls are found where you expect them. The transmission shifter is positioned between the seats and in front of a covered storage compartment.
Standard features include a front-passenger fold-flat seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Options include ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof and heated front and rear seats.
SRT models come with a heated flat-bottomed steering wheel. This model also gains perforated leather-trimmed seats with suede inserts.
Storage space measures a generous 36.3 cubic feet, which expands to 68.3 cubic feet with the second-row seat folded.
The 2017 Grand Cherokee offers more diverse engine choices than any other SUV in its segment. A 3.6-liter V6 engine is standard on all models, except for the SRT. The V6 produces 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and delivers up to 19/26 mpg city/highway.
Buyers who choose Limited, Trailhawk, Overland and Summit models have two other engine choices. The first is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 making 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque with fuel economy of 14/22 mpg city/highway. This V8 is available only with four-wheel drive. The second is a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 making 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel-drive models powered by this engine make a range-topping 22/30 mpg city/highway.
All Grand Cherokee SRT models are powered by an exclusive 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine making 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. This model comes standard with four-wheel drive and earns an EPA-estimated 13/19 mpg city/highway.
Our test model was a Grand Cherokee SRT. This edition comes with numerous upgrades not available on other models, including available P Zero performance tires, enhanced front and rear anti-roll bars, stiffer springs and a lowered ride height.
The SRT offers a 0-to-60 mph time of just under 5 seconds, something drivers can confirm through the SUV’s center display panel. That panel offers real-time performance data concerning acceleration, handling and braking. Drivers can also adjust such key features as suspension tuning, engine mapping and shift control.
Engage launch control and you’ll experience some of the fastest acceleration times for an SUV outside of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. This model handles twisty roads with ease. Due to its lowered center of gravity, the SRT minimizes body roll and stays planted.
While the SRT offers all the track-handling attributes a niche buyer base enjoys, other Grand Cherokee models provide a more balanced blend of around-town practicality. Either V6 engine — gasoline or diesel — supplies sufficient power along with solid fuel efficiency. The gasoline engine offers better off-the-mark acceleration, while the turbodiesel excels in passing power. The 5.7-liter V8 offers enhanced performance, but without the track-inspired raucous behavior or the attendant high cost of an SRT.
Jeep offers four distinct four-wheel-drive systems with the 2017 Grand Cherokee. Two are especially geared toward maximizing this SUV’s off-road capabilities, while the SRT features a specialized system with a high-performance focus. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is equipped with a Quadra-Lift air suspension and offers ground clearance of up to 10.8 inches.
All 2017 Grand Cherokee models come equipped with at least a basic infotainment system. For Laredo and Limited trims, a 5.0-inch color display with a six-speaker audio system is included, while an 8.4-inch display is available. The upgraded display makes available a nine-speaker Alpine audio system with a subwoofer. An 825-watt 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system is standard with the Summit and optional on other top trims.
All models come with at least one USB port, an auxiliary input jack and a 12-volt outlet. Beginning at the Limited level, a 115-volt outlet and a one-year satellite radio subscription are standard. Neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto smartphone compatibility is offered with the Grand Cherokee.
A navigation system is optional on the Limited and Trailhawk and is standard with the upper trim models. The system offers a familiar app-like layout. Directions may be inputted by voice or touch. We found the Jeep’s system one of the easiest to use on the market, offering clear and accurate turn-by-turn directions.
The rear-wheel-drive Jeep Grand Cherokee earned four out of five stars for its overall performance in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The four-wheel-drive version earned a perfect five stars (NHTSA attributes the differing scores to improved rollover protection.)
The Grand Cherokee earned top scores of Good in most crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The only exception was the small overlap front crash test, where it earned a second-lowest Marginal rating.
Every Grand Cherokee comes with a full complement of airbags, including an inflatable knee bolster for the driver. The Jeep Active Safety Group package, optional on the Limited, Trailhawk, Overland and Summit models, brings in forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert. Moreover, all models come with a rearview camera and rear park assist.
Choose the base Grand Cherokee Laredo and you’ll pay $31,290, including a $995 destination fee. For buyers wanting an upgraded interior with leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats, a Limited edition ($38,890) may be the place to start. Add about $2,000 for four-wheel drive.
The diesel engine provides an upgrade possibility only luxury competitors such as the BMW X5 offer, but diesel models start at $42,500. Opt for the Luxury Group II package ($4,200) with navigation, an upgraded audio system with a subwoofer, LED lights and a panoramic sunroof plus the Jeep Active Safety Group package ($1,495) and your final cost approaches $50,000.
The Trailhawk trim ($43,990) may offer the best value for off-road enthusiasts as it offers a standard Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system, all-terrain tires and leather and suede performance seats.
Choose the SRT and your price starts at $67,790. Our SRT test model topped $77,000 as it included the SRT High Performance Audio package ($1,995), the Signature Leather Wrapped Interior package ($4,995), the dual-pane panoramic sunroof option ($2,095) and the SRT High Performance Brake package ($1,295). Add in a DVD entertainment system and upgraded wheels and this model comes in at an eye-watering $81,000.
Buyers might also consider the slightly smaller Jeep Cherokee, which also offers room for five and its own off-road capabilities.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the benchmark by which all other mainstream, two-row midsize SUVs should be measured. Year-over-year improvements keep this model at the top of its game. The upper-level trim choices simply are not matched by anything Jeep’s competitors have to offer.
Although not technically a luxury model, the high-end Grand Cherokee Summit offers a premium interior loaded with high-end amenities. With the optional turbodiesel engine, the Grand Cherokee has something the 2017 Audi Q5 doesn’t offer. It also supplies off-road characteristics you won’t find in the Lexus RX or Lincoln MKX, essentially placing the Jeep Grand Cherokee in a league of its own.