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2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

The 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee pleased reviewers with its off-road ability, luxurious interior and strong engine choices. However, other 2009 midsize SUVs offer better safety ratings and more spacious interiors. 

Pros & Cons

  • Upscale, refined interior
  • Comfortable ride on-road
  • Nearly unbeatable off-road
  • Subpar fuel economy
  • Crossover SUVs are more composed on road
  • Back seat isn’t especially roomy




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overview

Reviewers were impressed by the five-seat 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s masterful combination of off-road tenacity and on-road manners. Its safety scores run middle-of-the-pack, but that’s more than most used off-road SUVs can say. In general, test drivers said it’s a pretty good SUV for shoppers who need its burly off-road ability to make it through blizzards, mud or boulder-strewn trails.

The Grand Cherokee isn’t perfect, however. At best, its fuel economy is just average, and at worst, it’s terrible. This SUV offers two- or four-wheel drive and three different engines: a 3.7-liter V6, a 4.7-liter V8 and a 5.7-liter V8. Two-wheel drive V6 models get 16/21 mpg city/highway, which isn’t great for a five-seat SUV, and four-wheel drive models with the biggest V8 get just 13/19 mpg city/highway.

Reviewers noticed that the Grand Cherokee’s back seat felt a bit tight, and that its rear pillars can decrease rearward visibility. The Grand Cherokee also lags behind competing crossovers in cargo space. Testers said that most controls are easy to use, though the navigation system can be tough to figure out. Standard features include a six-speaker stereo, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, while higher trim levels offer features like navigation, leather-appointed seats and a rear-seat DVD player.

The 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee may not be the best SUV out there for family duty, but for a refined combination of off-road prowess, on-road comfort and interior luxury, it’s hard to beat.

See the full 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Shoppers who need more seats and don’t mind sacrificing some of the Jeep’s brawniness should take a look at the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse. It gets better safety ratings than the Jeep, and the Traverse offers excellent cargo and passenger space within the class. The Traverse offers a more comfortable ride on paved roads than the Grand Cherokee, and its third row is even fit for adults, which is a rarity among used midsize SUVs.

If you don’t want to give up the Grand Cherokee’s off-road ability but need more passenger space, consider the 2009 Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner doesn’t earn good safety scores, and reviewers said it’s not as refined on paved roads, but if you’re looking for a rugged off-road SUV with powerful engine options, the 2009 4Runner is worth a look.

Compare the Grand Cherokee to the Traverse and 4Runner »

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