2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review
  • Car Review

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

By Autolist Editorial | September 29, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Excellent towing capacity.
  • Stylish cabin.
  • User-friendly infotainment system.

Cons:

  • Loud tires.
  • So-so safety scores.
  • Expensive upkeep.

Vehicle Type: Midsize five-passenger luxury SUV.

Price Range: $31,290 to $67,890, before options.

Powertrain: A 295-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine paired with rear-wheel drive is standard.

Optional engines include:

An EcoDiesel 240-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6.

A Hemi 360-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8.

A 475-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8.

All powertrains have an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel and all-wheel drive are available for all engines except the 6.4 liter V8, which only comes with all-wheel drive.

More Photos

See more 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee photos here.


Overview:

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Part of the fourth generation of Chrysler's line of midsize luxury SUVs, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee seats five people and comes in both rear-wheel and four-wheel-drive systems. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission is any of four powerful engines, with a 3.6-liter V6 engine as standard.

This luxury vehicle has an impressive spate of technological perks, including the UConnect infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

With six trim levels ranging in price from $31,290 to $67,890, the Cherokee offers several upgrades to the previous model. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera now come standard, and the new Trailhawk trim joins the pack. Compared with rivals such as the Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer, the 2017 Cherokee is an impressive vehicle if you're looking for a solid family hauler, upscale offroader, or something in between.

Overall Score: 7/10


Safety Features: 5/10

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After undergoing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's crash tests, Chrysler's new luxury SUV received overall ratings of five out of five and four out of five for the all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive models, respectively. The NHTSA gave both models perfect marks for the front and side crash tests, but the all-wheel-drive version received a four on the rollover crash test, while the rear-wheel-drive version received a three. Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the new car a Good rating for all crash tests except the small-overlap front test.

In terms of safety features, the 2017 Grand Cherokee only comes standard with a rearview camera, fog lights, and rear parking sensors. However, higher trims have many more safety features, such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, hill-ascent and hill-descent control, and automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers. Forward collision warning with emergency braking, front parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning are also on offer for higher trims, along with a parallel and perpendicular self-parking system and xenon headlights with automatic leveling and high-beam control.

Compared to rivals, the Grand Cherokee has a mediocre safety profile. Its safety ratings are low for its class, and its base trim comes with fewer safety features than competitors. SUVs from GM have center-front airbags, for example, while Ford SUVs have rear seat belt airbags. However, the Cherokee's higher trim levels have some features that set it apart, such as hill-ascent control.


Value: 8/10

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According to most 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee reviews, this vehicle is a strong contender in a crowded market. Its competition includes the Toyota 4Runner, Honda Pilot, Honda Accord, Kia Sorento, Dodge Durango, and GMC Acadia All-Terrain. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Ford Explorer, Land Rover LR4, and Volkswagen Touareg are also rivals.

Most rivals have better safety ratings than the Cherokee, but few have comparable all-around quality. Unlike the 4Runner, the new Cherokee doesn't have a third row, but it has a much roomier second-row. The Cherokee also engages all-wheel-drive remotely, whereas the 4Runner requires you to pull a lever.

Unfortunately, the 2017 Grand Cherokee has costly upkeep. Whereas the Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Murano only cost $24,000 to $25,000 for five years' worth of fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs, the new Cherokee costs $27,000 for those things.


Tech Features: 7/10

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The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with an impressive spate of tech features, including the 5-inch UConnect infotainment system touchscreen, which reviewers praise for being user-friendly while regretting its lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Other standard tech amenities include a six-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary inputs, keyless entry and ignition, an AM/FM/CD player, and SiriusXM satellite radio. In addition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, and Bluetooth come standard. The base trim also features power windows, locks, and mirrors.

Higher trim levels have even more perks. These include remote start, a household-style 115-volt power outlet, and an extra USB port. As well, higher trims include a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, HD radio, LED daytime running lights, illuminated door sills, a navigation system, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, and power-folding side mirrors. Both a nine-speaker Alpine audio system and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system are available. The touchscreen is also 8.4 on higher trims, and some higher trim levels have an upgraded instrument cluster with special offroad features.

Higher trims enjoy Selec-Speed Control and Selec-Terrain traction control with Mud, Rock, Sand, Snow, and Auto settings. Also available on higher models are memory settings for the side view mirrors, front seats, and driver's seat, and you can also get a power-adjustable steering wheel, Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system, center-console CD changer, and Performance Pages app, which provides updates on the vehicle's performance.


Practicality: 8/10

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When it comes to towing, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is no slouch. With the 3.6-liter V6 installed, the vehicle can pull 6,200 pounds, whereas the 3.0-liter V6 can pull 5,000 pounds. Both the 5.7-liter V8 and 6.4-liter V8 can pull about 7,400 pounds.

With rear seats folded, this vehicle has 68.3 cubic inches of cargo space. Without the back seats folded, the vehicle has 36.3 cubic inches of space. A pair of removable bins below the trunk floor provide extra storage room. Overall, this vehicle has much more storage space than most rivals, such as the Toyota Camry, which has just 15.4 cubic inches of trunk space.

This vehicle has several utility advantages, including a power liftgate, tow hooks, traction control, stability control, offroad articulation, and Quadra-Lift air suspension.


Styling & Design: 8/10

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This SUV is 189.8 inches long and 69.3 inches tall and features a wheelbase of 114.8 inches. It weighs 6,500 to 6,800 pounds, depending on the trim. Reviewers praise the vehicle's sharp, strong look, with a broad grille, 17-inch alloy wheels, narrow headlamps, and classic seven-slat grille. A liftgate spoiler at the back lends a stylish touch, while the vehicle's sculpted profile gives it a rugged vibe. Wheels ranging from 18 to 20 inches are available.

Inside, the base Cherokee has cloth seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a tilt-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel. Reviewers praise the cabin for its comfort. The rear has an impressive 38.6 cubic inches of legroom, much more than the Toyota 4Runner's 32.9 cubic inches, for example. The rear seat is 60/40-folding split, and full sets of upper and lower LATCH connectors in the back give peace of mind.

Some optional perks for the cabin include a heated steering wheel and eight-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment. You can also get a power-adjustable passenger's seat, heated front and rear seats, cooled and ventilated front seats, premium Nappa leather upholstery, and a leather-trimmed dashboard.

Additionally, black suede and leather performance seats, a matte black anti-glare hood decal, a suede headliner, and extended wood trim are on offer. You can even get leather upholstery with diamond-quilted accents.


Driving Experience: 6/10

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Sitting in the base Cherokee is a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine capable of 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, but other engines are available: a 360-horsepower Hemi 5.7-liter V8 engine with 390 lb-ft of torque, a 240-horsepower EcoDiesel 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine with 420 lb-ft of torque, and a 475-horsepower 6.4-liter V8 engine with 470 lb-ft of torque. The Cherokee comes with a rear-wheel drivetrain, but all-wheel drive is available.

Despite the many choices, the base engine is plenty powerful, reaching 60 mph in under eight seconds. Steering is pleasant, thanks to a chunky steering wheel. Due to its size, the vehicle leans around corners heavily, triggering frequent stability control. The vehicle's braking system is about average. The eight-speed automatic transmission doesn't hesitate when transitioning, ensuring a seamless drive. Although tire noise can be loud, active noise cancellation and noise-damping acoustic side glass help make the cabin more comfortable.


Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee with rear-wheel drive and a 3.6-liter V6 engine gets 19 mpg on city roads and 26 mpg on highways for a combined 21 mpg. That same engine with all-wheel drive gets 18 city, 25 highway, and 21 combined. EPA ratings for the 3.0-liter V6 engine and rear-wheel drive are 22 city, 30 highway, and 25 combined, while ratings for that engine with all-wheel drive are 21 city, 28 highway, and 24 combined.

With the 5.7-liter V8 engine, the Cherokee with rear-wheel drive gets 19 city, 26 highway, and 21 combined, whereas with all-wheel-drive, it gets 14 city, 22 highway, and 17 combined. Finally, the 6.4-liter V8 engine, which only comes with all-wheel drive, gets 13 city, 19 highway, and 15 combined.

This new car gets decent fuel economy compared to most rivals. Although the regular Jeep Cherokee's curb weight is lower, it only gets slightly better gas mileage than the Grand Cherokee. This SUV's impressive fuel efficiency on the road owes in large part to its Engine Stop-Start technology, which cuts the engine when the vehicle isn't moving.


What’s it Going to Cost Me?

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Ranging in price from $31,290 to $67,890, not counting the $995 delivery fee, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in six trim levels: the Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and SRT.

With an MSRP of $31,290, the base-trim Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo comes standard with rear-wheel drive, an automatic transmission, a 5-inch UConnect infotainment touchscreen, and a 3.6-liter V6 engine capable of 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It also features keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, fog lights, the Quandra-Trac I 4x4 system, a six-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary inputs, an AM/FM/CD player, SiriusXM satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels and rear parking sensors. Bluetooth, automatic headlights, cloth seats, a tilt-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel, and power windows, locks, and mirrors are also available on every Laredo.

The Off-Road Adventure Group package is optional for the Laredo and comes with skid plates and the Selec-Terrain traction control system with Mud, Rock, Sand, Snow, and Auto settings.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, which starts at $38,890, comes with all of the Laredo's amenities plus a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine that can pull 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Limited also has a more impressive 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen. In addition, this trim has a chrome exterior trim, remote start, household-style power outlet, power liftgate, and heated steering wheel. Eight-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment come standard, as do a power-adjustable passenger's seat, extra USB port, heated front and rear seats, and 18-inch wheels. In addition, this trim has automatic emergency braking, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and memory settings for the side view mirrors, front seats, and driver's seat. Auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, a 115-volt power outlet, leather upholstery, and the Quandra-Trac II 4x4 system also come standard.

Two optional engines are available for this trim, the Hemi 5.7-liter V8 engine, which yields 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, and the EcoDiesel 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine, which gets 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system is also on offer.

Featuring a price tag of $45,690, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland comes with all the features available for lower trims along with several stylistic flourishes, such as premium Nappa leather upholstery, 20-inch wheels, a leather-trimmed dashboard, and Overland-embroidered seats. In addition, the Overland boasts automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers, a navigation system, LED daytime running lights and fog lights, and cooled and ventilated front seats. It also sports xenon headlights with automatic leveling and high-beam control, a power-adjustable steering wheel with wood trim, HD radio, and the Quandra-Trac II 4x4 system. Four-wheel-drive models enjoy air suspension as well.

The Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system is optional for the Overland.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk starts at $43,990. On top of an upgraded instrument cluster with special offroad features, this trim level comes with power-folding side mirrors, a Quadra-Lift adjustable air suspension with trim-specific tuning and increased suspension travel, and an all-wheel-drive system with an electronic limited-slip rear differential and low-range gearing. Also, underbody skid plates, all-terrain tires, hill-ascent and hill-descent control, and bright red tow hooks come standard with the Trailhawk, as does a forward sensor that powers the autonomous braking and adaptive cruise control systems. This trim has Kevlar-reinforced and M/S-rated Goodyear Adventurer 18-inch wheels with offroad tires. It also features special tuning, special interior styling, LCD wheel articulation, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, UConnect voice recognition, a matte black anti-glare hood decal, and black suede and leather performance seats. Along with 2.2 extra inches of ground clearance, the Trailhawk boasts both Selec-Speed Control and Selec-Terrain traction control. No optional perks are on offer for this trim level.

Starting at $51,390, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit comes standard with all the Overland's features. It also sports a suede headliner, extended wood trim, and a parallel and perpendicular self-parking system. Forward collision warning with emergency braking, active noise cancellation, active noise-reducing acoustic window glass, and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system are other standard perks for this trim. As well, the Summit boasts front parking sensors, headlamp washers, illuminated doorsills, improved leather upholstery with diamond-quilted accents, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Finally, polished 20-inch wheels, upscale steering headlights, a matte open-pore finish, special wood and wheel options, and lane departure warning are standard for the Summit.

Optional perks for this trim include a full-leather interior, center-console CD changer, and Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT starts at $67,890. In addition to the features available at lower trims, the SRT has a 6.4-liter V8 engine that pulls 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque as well as a lowered suspension and the Performance Pages app.

Along with an optional dual-pane panoramic sunroof, several packages are available for this trim. The SRT High-Performance Brake package, which costs an extra $1,295, features upgraded brakes, while the $1,995 SRT High-Performance Audio package gives you a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The $4,995 Signature Leather Wrapped Interior package offers an upscale leather interior. A DVD entertainment system is also optional.

The Laredo and Limited models are ideal family haulers, whereas the Summit is perfect if luxury is your priority. If you're looking for a reliable offroader, though, the Trailhawk is likely your best bet.


More Photos

See more 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee photos here.