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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks in the middle of the competitive midsize SUV class. The Grand Cherokee boasts a posh interior, a user-friendly infotainment system, and excellent off-road ability, but it also has a firm ride and unremarkable cargo space.

Pros & Cons

  • Rugged off-road capability
  • Powerful engine lineup
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Below-average fuel economy
  • Small cargo area for a midsize SUV
  • Firm ride quality

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee's #14 ranking is based on its score within the Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Jeep Grand Cherokee has a score of 7.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 73 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 7.4
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 8.6 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee a Good SUV?

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a fine midsize SUV. It sports an upscale interior with comfy seats, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and decent space for adults in both rows. The Grand Cherokee’s standard V6 engine has more than enough power for everyday driving, and if you want more muscle a trio of brawny V8 engines are available. The Grand Cherokee’s greatest strength is its versatility. There’s a trim for just about any taste, from the off-road-conquering Trailhawk to the near-luxury High Altitude and the tire-smoking Trackhawk.

On the downside, this jack-of-all-trades approach leaves the Grand Cherokee deficient in a few areas. It has a firm ride quality, imprecise handling, and lackluster fuel economy. It also has a relatively small cargo area and few standard safety features for this segment.

Why You Can Trust Us: 73 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 73 Jeep Grand Cherokee reviews, as well as data points like reliability ratings and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

This 2021 Grand Cherokee review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2011.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Jeep Grand Cherokee?

You should consider the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee if you want a two-row SUV for family duty on the weekdays and playing in the dirt on the weekends. The Grand Cherokee remains one of most capable off-road vehicles on the market. If you don’t plan to venture off the beaten path, however, there are better two-row midsize SUVs to choose for daily driving, like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Passport, and Ford Edge.

Find a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee: What's the Difference?

There aren’t many differences between the 2020 and 2021 Grand Cherokee models. For 2021, Jeep adds a Laredo X trim, as well as an 80th Anniversary trim that bundles a number of active safety features. These trims don’t add any features that weren’t previously available.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Grand Cherokee »

Here are the key changes for the Jeep Grand Cherokee over the last few years:

  • 2018: high-performance 707-horsepower Trackhawk trim debuted; gained standard 7-inch touch screen; support added for standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 2019: previously optional blind spot monitoring added to standard features list
  • 2020: turbodiesel engine discontinued
  • 2021: lineup grows to include Laredo X and 80th Anniversary trims

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Grand Cherokee, 2019 Grand Cherokee, and 2020 Grand Cherokee reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Jeep Grand Cherokee Cost?

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a $34,200 starting price, which is higher than most other midsize SUVs. The price rises to $45,600 for the off-road-oriented Trailhawk trim, and it rockets to $87,895 for the 707-horsepower Trackhawk trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Jeep dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Jeep deals page.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Versus the Competition

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Dodge Durango

The Dodge Durango has a lot in common with the Grand Cherokee, from its infotainment system and tech features to its engine and transmission options. In fact, both of these midsize SUVs roll out of the same factory. There are some significant differences though. The Durango can provide seating for up to seven occupants, while the Grand Cherokee only seats five. The Dodge also has a much larger cargo area, a smoother ride quality, a higher towing capacity, and a slightly lower starting price than the Jeep. This makes the Durango a better pick for most shoppers. On the other hand, stick with the Grand Cherokee if you plan to hit the trails as it’s the better off-roader.

Compare the Grand Cherokee and Durango »

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner offers a similar mystique as the Grand Cherokee. The 4Runner has been around for decades, and it can handle rough terrain that would sideline most other midsize SUVs. Choosing between these rugged vehicles may be an issue of personal preference. The 4Runner has a larger cargo area, seating for up to seven, and more standard safety features. It also rates higher for predicted reliability. However, the Grand Cherokee boasts a richer interior, as well as better handling, a higher towing capacity, and brawnier engine performance.

Compare the Grand Cherokee and 4Runner »

Compare the Grand Cherokee, Durango, and 4Runner »

Grand Cherokee Interior: Age Is Just a Number

Grand Cherokee Cargo Space

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 68.3 cubic feet with these seats folded. That’s a bit small when compared with other midsize SUVs. Alternatives like the Ford Explorer, Kia Telluride, and Toyota Highlander offer considerably more cargo room.

How Many People Does the Grand Cherokee Seat?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a two-row SUV with five seats. The front seats are supportive and nicely cushioned, and there’s ample headroom and legroom up front, even for taller occupants. It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, and outward visibility is good to the front and rear of the vehicle. The rear seats are comfy as well, and there’s adequate space for two adults or three kids to sit comfortably. A bit of road and wind noise makes its way into the cabin at higher speeds, but it’s not excessive.

Cloth upholstery comes standard. Available upgrades include synthetic leather upholstery, genuine leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Grand Cherokee and Child Car Seats

The Grand Cherokee has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

Grand Cherokee Interior Quality

The current-generation Grand Cherokee may be nearing the end of its life cycle, but it’s hard to tell from inside. The interior looks modern and cleanly styled. Many surfaces are upholstered or covered with soft-touch plastic, and the switchgear has a quality look and feel.

Grand Cherokee Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is offered with a standard 7-inch touch screen or an available 8.4-inch touch screen. Both displays feature simple menus, large icons, and additional buttons and knobs for the main audio and climate controls. This makes it easy to operate the system while driving. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as well, allowing users to seamlessly integrate their smartphone features. All in all, Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment software isn’t the newest, but it remains very user-friendly.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, satellite radio, and six speakers
  • Available infotainment features: an 8.4-inch touch screen, a navigation system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, HD Radio, a nine-speaker stereo, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a rear-seat entertainment system with DVD and Blu-ray compatibility
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, and push-button start
  • Other available features: a power liftgate, remote start, a sunroof, and a panoramic sunroof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Grand Cherokee Performance: Go Anywhere … Fast

Grand Cherokee Engine

The Jeep Grand Cherokee comes standard with a 295-horsepower V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available. This V6 is well-suited for daily driving. It operates quietly, and it scoots the Grand Cherokee around town and up to speed briskly. The V6 also supplies decent passing power on the highway. The eight-speed automatic transmission deserves praise as well. It provides smooth yet prompt gear changes.

A trio of V8 engines are available, and each gives the Grand Cherokee a bit more attitude. A 360-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 is optional in the Trailhawk, Overland, High Altitude, and Summit trims. It makes easy work of on-ramp acceleration and passing other vehicles. It’s also better suited to pulling a trailer than the standard V6.

The Grand Cherokee SRT features a 475-horsepower 6.4-liter V8, and it bestows the SUV with rocketlike acceleration. The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes just 4.5 seconds. At the top of the line, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk packs the same supercharged 707-horsepower V8 as the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger Hellcat models, and it’s wonderful overkill. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in a violent 3.5 seconds. It sounds racy too. The exhaust provides a thunderous roar, and the supercharger whines with every crack of the throttle.

Grand Cherokee Gas Mileage

The Jeep Grand Cherokee does many things well, but fuel economy isn’t one of them. The V6-powered Grand Cherokee gets a decent 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway or 18/25 mpg with four-wheel drive. The optional 5.7-liter V8 sinks mileage to 14/22 mpg city/highway. The SRT and Trackhawk models yield a lowly 13/19 mpg and 11/17 mpg, respectively.

Grand Cherokee Ride and Handling

The Jeep Grand Cherokee aims to excel on road and off road, but it mainly impresses in the latter category. It feels fairly stable around turns, and its brakes provide fine stopping power. The steering is nicely weighted and responsive at lower speeds, but it’s also rather vague at higher speeds, which makes this Jeep feel bigger and more cumbersome than it actually is.

Critics are split on the Grand Cherokee’s ride quality. Some say it is firm but livable on normal road surfaces, especially when optioned with the available air suspension. Still, others say the Grand Cherokee jitters uncomfortably over rough patches. Most would agree that there are smoother-riding vehicles in this class.

Grand Cherokee Off-Road Performance

The Jeep Grand Cherokee performs well off road, especially in its Trailhawk configuration, which comes standard with all-terrain tires, multiple skid plates, a two-speed transfer case, a limited-slip rear differential, and Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension. These features are optional in other trims. The suspension flexes gracefully over rocks and holes, and it provides a tall 10.8 inches of ground clearance in its highest setting, allowing the Grand Cherokee to safely ride up and over obstacles. The traction control system grips tenaciously, even on loose surfaces.

Grand Cherokee Towing Capacity

The Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow up to 6,200 pounds when equipped with its V6 engine and Class IV tow package. Grand Cherokee V8 models are rated to tow up to 7,200 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about performance »

Grand Cherokee Reliability

Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Reliable?

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Warranty

Jeep covers the Grand Cherokee with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Grand Cherokee Safety

Grand Cherokee Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee an overall safety rating of five out of five stars for four-wheel-drive models and four out of five stars for two-wheel-drive models. Both models earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash test. The four-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee earned four stars in the rollover test, while the two-wheel-drive model received only three stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 Grand Cherokee as of this writing.

Grand Cherokee Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert

Available advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Hands-free park assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

Read more about safety »

Grand Cherokee Dimensions and Weight

The Grand Cherokee is 15.8 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 4,513 to 5,356 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Built?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) builds the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee in Michigan.

Which Jeep Grand Cherokee Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in 10 trim levels: Laredo E, Laredo X, Limited, 80th Anniversary, Trailhawk, Overland, High Altitude, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk. We think the Laredo X is the best option for most shoppers. It offers a nice array of standard tech and safety features, as well as amenities like heated front seats and synthetic leather upholstery, yet it still starts at under $40,000.

Notably, the first eight trims – Laredo E through Summit – come standard with a V6 engine. A V8 is optional in the Trailhawk, Overland, High Altitude, and Summit trims. More powerful V8 engines come standard in the SRT and Trackhawk trims.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo E and Laredo X

The base Grand Cherokee Laredo E has a $34,200 starting price and comes equipped with a 295-horsepower V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Upgrading to four-wheel drive costs $2,000.

Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, satellite radio, six speakers, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, and 18-inch wheels with all-season tires.

The Grand Cherokee Laredo X starts at $37,745 for rear-wheel-drive models and $39,745 for four-wheel-drive models. This trim adds an 8.4-inch touch screen, navigation, HD Radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, remote start, and a power liftgate.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and 80th Anniversary

The uplevel Grand Cherokee Limited starts at $40,400 for rear-wheel-drive models and $42,400 for four-wheel-drive models. This trim includes the Laredo X’s features plus genuine leather upholstery, a sunroof, two more USB ports, and a four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case.

The Grand Cherokee 80th Anniversary edition starts at $42,580 for rear-wheel-drive models and $44,580 for four-wheel-drive models. This trim adds 20-inch wheels, special badging, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and hands-free park assist.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

The rugged Grand Cherokee Trailhawk starts at $45,600, and it’s offered solely with four-wheel drive. This trim includes the Limited’s features plus an adjustable air suspension, all-terrain tires, three skid plates, a limited-slip rear differential, nine speakers, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. If you want more power, you can upgrade from the standard V6 to a 360-horsepower V8 engine for an extra $3,395.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

The Grand Cherokee Overland starts at $46,950 for rear-wheel-drive models and $49,940 for four-wheel-drive models. This trim includes the Limited’s features plus ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, nine speakers, a panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, HID headlights with automatic high beams, an air suspension, and 20-inch wheels. As before, the V8 engine is a $3,395 option.

Jeep Grand Cherokee High Altitude and Summit

The well-equipped Grand Cherokee High Altitude starts at $49,885 for rear-wheel-drive models and $52,885 for four-wheel-drive models. This trim includes the Overland’s features plus lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and hands-free park assist.

The Grand Cherokee Summit starts at $53,290 and $56,290 for rear- and four-wheel-drive models, respectively. It adds aluminum interior accents and a Harman Kardon 19-speaker sound system.

Both of these trims are optional with the V8 engine, but the price to upgrade jumps to $3,895 for the Summit trim.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

The Grand Cherokee SRT starts at $69,145 and comes equipped with a 475-horsepower V8 engine and four-wheel drive. The SRT shares its standard features with the High Altitude trim, apart from the addition of a flat-bottom steering wheel, a Bilstein adaptive suspension, Brembo high-performance brakes, and a limited-slip rear differential.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk starts at $87,895 and sports a 707-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. Otherwise, this trim shares its standard features with the SRT model.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Jeep dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Jeep deals page.

See 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a good SUV in a class of all-stars. The Grand Cherokee has a quality interior, it’s very capable off road, and it can tow heavy loads with ease. Its infotainment system is user-friendly as well. That said, the Grand Cherokee lacks the total package that other midsize SUVs offer, and often at a lower price. It’s not very fuel-efficient, its ride and handling could use more polish, and its cargo space is merely adequate. All in all, the Grand Cherokee is a good option, just not a top pick.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Jeep has done an admirable job of keeping its stalwart SUV modern and fairly competitive, but there are some obvious flaws, including a cramped interior, subpar comfort and lethargic handling." -- Edmunds
  • "Fortunately, for all the Grand Cherokee's Trail Rated capabilities off road, it still manages to offer luxurious accommodations inside, particularly in its higher-end trim levels, and a firm but generally comfortable ride. But buyers should indeed be aware that those increased off-road abilities come with some interior space deficiencies and fuel economy penalties on the road, which is where they'll be driving the Grand Cherokee almost all the time." -- Autoblog (2020)
  • "Although it comes with some significant inherent drawbacks, the capable and characterful Grand Cherokee is still easy to recommend." -- Autotrader (2019)
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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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