- An array of powerful engines to choose from.
- Excellent off-road capability.
- The user-friendly infotainment system features modern technology.
- More efficient turbodiesel option.
- Gasoline-powered models not very fuel-efficient.
- Mixed crash test results.
- Limited cargo space.
- No third-row seat option.
Vehicle Type: A midsize, five-passenger SUV.
Price Range: From $30,895 to $67,695.
Powertrain: A 3.6-liter V6 with 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, and 8-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel-drive or optional four-wheel-drive.
A 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine with 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, an 8-speed automatic, and four-wheel-drive.
A 5.7-liter V8 engine with 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, an 8-speed automatic, and four-wheel-drive.
A 6.4-liter V8 engine with 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, 8-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive.
The all-wheel-drive Trackhawk has a 6.2-liter V8 supercharged engine that outputs 707 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the flagship model for the brand and slots in neatly just above its smaller and less expensive siblings, including the Cherokee, Compass, and Wrangler.
The 2018 Grand Cherokee has seven trim levels for the model year and introduced the ultra-performance Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to its lineup of models for the first time. The Trackhawk entered the range with the same engine as the Hellcat. The high-performance model quickly entered the market with rivals that included the BMW X5 M and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
The Sterling Edition was also a new entry for 2018. The new model fits between the Limited and the Trailhawk's pricing and was intended to be a celebratory model for the 25th anniversary of the Grand Cherokee itself.
The High Altitude trim level was revived from previous years and entered 2018 with more than just an appearance package. It boasts a panoramic sunroof as well as a host of new active safety technology. This trim bridges the gap between the Overland and the Summit models.
The 2018 model year introduced a couple of technology changes compared to previous versions. One of the changes included an updated Uconnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This feature became standard across all Grand Cherokee trim levels for 2018. A higher-resolution 7.0-inch screen replaces the previously standard 5.0-inch version.
Further enhancements for the 2018 model year saw new cloth seats for the base Laredo model and 17-inch wheels, while the Summit model could be optioned with the Premium Metal Package for the interior. The Overland model also saw some changes for 2018 with the introduction of the brown interior.
A popular rival of the 2018 Grand Cherokee is the 2018 Toyota 4Runner. The Toyota competes well when it comes to comparing the off-road capability of both midsize SUVs and can also seat up to seven people; however, the Jeep overtakes it when it comes down to powertrain options, fuel economy, and advanced safety and technology features. If you were comparing these rivals, the Jeep would be a winner for you.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is part of the Fiat Chrysler group, and so is another one of its rivals; the 2018 Dodge Durango. While both SUVs offer many of the same powertrains, the Dodge does not pose any threat to Jeep's turbodiesel model or its Trackhawk with a 707-horsepower V8 engine. The comparison does get a little tight between the Dodge and Jeep, with the Dodge offering a third-row of seats, but the Jeep steps up with better off-road capability.
Overall Score: 7.7/10
Safety Features: 8/10
The IIHS awarded the 2018 Grand Cherokee the highest rating of Good in four crash tests. It received a Marginal rating in the small overlap front test, and optionally equipped models earned a Superior rating for front crash prevention. Other SUVs do better in that most severe test, and also have more driver assistance technology standard.
The NHTSA gave the Grand Cherokee an overall rating of four out of five stars. It earned four stars in the frontal crash test, three stars in the rollover test, and five stars in the side crash test.
Standard safety features include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Advanced safety features are available and have blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear-cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning with active braking.
The Grand Cherokee may look like just another soft-roading crossover, but it's upscale exterior hides a capable SUV. There is a lot of value for money with its powerful off-road capability and towing capacity. And with a wide range of models and options, buyers should find a version that fits many budgets.
Grand Cherokees keep their value well, but because there are so many of them, they often represent better value than a Jeep Wrangler four-door or Toyota 4Runner.
The Altitude represents some of the best value for 2018, with desirable features such as leather upholstery, a power liftgate, and many have four-wheel-drive. Overland and Summit models are generously equipped with navigation, heated front and rear seats, and better materials, but they're harder to come by.
Tech Features: 8/10
The Uconnect infotainment system is the hub of the Grand Cherokee's interior technology and is one of the most user-friendly on the market.
The infotainment system is responsive, and the home screen can be customized according to the buttons you frequently use. But it can have its hiccups, and it isn't as reliable as a system found in a Toyota 4Runner.
The optional systems like the forward collision warning and blind-spot monitoring are oversensitive, and reviews note that the alerts go off at even the slightest encroachment on other vehicles.
Some technological enhancements for 2018 include an upgraded display system on an 8.4-inch center touchscreen and two upgraded audio systems, including a 19-speaker Harman Kardon system and a nine-speaker Alpine system.
Unfortunately, one notable downside to the 2018 Grand Cherokee is that it does not provide as much cargo space as many of its rivals, including the Dodge Durango. The Grand Cherokee gives you 36.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are up and 68.3 cubic feet when they are folded down.
Versions with the standard suspension have a high liftover height, which increases the difficulty when trying to load heavy or large items, and the Trailhawk's is even higher. But higher-end versions with only air suspension can be lowered to an access level.
The 2018 Grand Cherokee can seat up to five people comfortably in two rows of seats. The front seats are spacious, and the rear seats provide ample head and legroom for adults. Two car seats can fit into the back, but the LATCH system is not easy to use and is difficult to maneuver around.
Styling & Design: 9/10
The Sterling Edition model for 2018 introduced a couple of exterior design changes, including platinum-chrome exterior accents on the badging, roof rails, grille, and fog-lamp bezels. New 20-inch alloy wheels were introduced for 2018, as well as a special color called Sangria.
The High Altitude trim also saw some minor changes for 2018 and came with a darkened exterior trim and wheels. Black wood details the instrument panel, and the Nappa-leather seats are heated. If you have a keen eye for style and design, then the 2018 Upland trim introduced bold gloss accents, 20-inch gloss black wheels, and blue accent stitching throughout the interior.
Standard interior styling for the 2018 Grand Cherokee is cloth upholstery for the seats. However, a leather and faux suede mixture is available, as well as full leather or upgraded Nappa leather.
Driving Experience: 8/10
The V6 engine offers the driver a macho feel and is not overly loud, and it does not deliver coarseness at any speed. However, the V8 is a lot quicker and provides smoother acceleration, but it lacks the telltale growl of a powerful 8-cylinder engine.
The ride is not the smoothest when traveling over rough roads, but the optional air suspension will help remedy this bumpy ride for you. The steering and handling are firm and precise, and you will enjoy a laid-back drive when traveling on highways.
The braking of the Grand Cherokee is on par with the rest of its class; only the Kia Sorento managed a sub-180-foot emergency stop from a speed of 70 mph.
Fuel Efficiency: 6/10
The Grand Cherokee is fuel efficient by SUV standards with the gasoline V6 under its hood. Unfortunately, as you move further up the trim levels, the V8 engine becomes thirstier, and the fuel consumption is not favorable. But even the lighter and smaller Kia Sorento and the Ford Edge, these crossovers have a lower EPA rating when compared to the Jeep's V6 engine.
The V6 RWD gets 19/26 mpg city/highway, and the 4WD gets 18/25 mpg. The turbodiesel gets better gas mileage than most midsize SUVs at 22/30 mpg for RWD and 21/28 mpg for 4WD.
The 5.7-liter V8 gets 14/22 mpg, and the 6.4-liter V8 gets 13/19 mpg. The hugely powerful Trackhawk's supercharged V8 is rated at a mere 11/17 mpg.
What’s it Going to Cost Me?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo starts at an MSRP of $30,895 and comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine and outputs 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard; however, a four-wheel-drive system is also an option at $33,195. The model features the Uconnect 4 infotainment interface with a 7-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth. Other standard features include two USB ports, voice command, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker sound system, remote start, keyless entry, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, and rear parking sensors.
There is also the option of the Grand Cherokee Laredo E, which shares roughly the same pricing as the base Laredo model. The Laredo E is a slightly more superior version that adds roof rails, satellite radio integration, and power seating for the front seats. The Chrome Edition and the Appearance Group Packages can also be added to this trim.
The Grand Cherokee Limited starts at an MSRP of $38,495 for rear-wheel drive and $40,495 for four-wheel-drive. A 3.6-liter V6 engine is standard for this trim. It shares the same standard features as the Laredo trim and includes heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, satellite radio, a 115-volt power outlet, two additional USB ports, and a power liftgate.
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk starts at an MSRP of $43,595 and features the same engine as the Laredo but is only available in four-wheel drive. The Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system is, however, it adds five traction-control settings, a Quadra-lift air suspension system, and a limited-slip differential. In addition to the same standard features as the Limited trim, it boasts leather and suede seat upholstery, an 8.4-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, and a tow hitch with rear-leveling suspension.
The Grand Cherokee Overland trim shares similar features to that of the Trailhawk trim and the same 3.6-liter V6 engine. The rear-wheel-drive model starts at an MSRP of $45,295, and the four-wheel-drive model starts at $48,295. The Overland trim includes a standard built-in navigation system.
The Grand Cherokee Summit starts at an MSRP of $50,995 for rear-wheel-drive and $53,995 for four-wheel drive. Sharing the same engine as the base Laredo, it is the most luxurious trim across all 2018 models and includes a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and exclusive iridium silver interior accents.
The Grand Cherokee SRT is a high-performance model that starts at an MSRP of $67,695. The SRT runs on a 6.4-liter HEMI SRT V8 engine with 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. This trim comes standard with launch control, a sport-tuned suspension, performance-tuned brakes, and the Quadra-Trac Active On-Demand four-wheel-drive system. Premium leather seating is also included.
The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk features a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine that delivers 707 horsepower, with many of the same performance and handling upgrades of the SRT an all-wheel-drive system, larger brakes, and some special exterior and interior details.
The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine is an upgrade option for 4x4 models (except the SRT and Trackhawk trims). This engine increases the Grand Cherokee's power to 360 horsepower and increases its towing capacity to a maximum of 7,400 pounds.
The Limited and Overland models represent some of the best value on the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee, with a great equipment level and the ability to get several engines and four-wheel-drive systems.