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2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee has an upscale interior, muscular powertrains, and excellent off-road capabilities. However, it has lower than average reliability and safety scores, which pull it down toward the bottom of our rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Upscale interior
  • Powerful range of engines
  • Exceptional off-road abilities
  • Subpar reliability score

New for 2016

  • Base V6 received updated design, slight horsepower increase, improved fuel economy, and engine stop-start system
  • Weight of non-SRT trims reduced
  • Non-SRT trims received updated steering, tires, and suspension
  • New shifter
  • New High Altitude package




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 9.1
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overview

Is the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee a Good Used SUV?

Whether you're looking for a classy midsize SUV for daily driving or an SUV with plenty of power and off-roading skills to match, there’s a Grand Cherokee model to fit your lifestyle. There's a range of potent engines to choose from, its ride is comfortable, and its four-wheel-drive capabilities are unmatched in the class. Inside, every surface is covered in high-quality materials, and the seats are roomy and comfortable.

Why You Can Trust Us

We compiled and analyzed 58 data points to write this Grand Cherokee overview, including published professional reviews, reliability ratings, and crash test scores. We want to help you buy the right pre-owned vehicle, so we've gathered all the information you need to know about the Grand Cherokee here in one place.

The U.S. News Best Cars team knows the auto industry. We have more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, and we’ve been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs for more than a decade. To ensure that our reviews remain unbiased, we don’t accept pricey gifts or expensive trips from automakers, and the ads on our site are handled by an outside partner.

How Much Is the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

You'll pay more for a Grand Cherokee than for most other 2016 midsize SUVs. Based on more than 1,300 listings for this vehicle on our site, the average listing price for a 2016 Grand Cherokee is $28,400. Prices range from as low as $21,800 to as high as $41,300. Exact prices depend on factors like trim level, vehicle condition, and mileage.

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How Much Does the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Cost to Own?

The 2016 Grand Cherokee may have an above-average price tag, but many of its ownership costs are in line with most other vehicles in our used midsize SUV rankings. Over five years, you'll pay around $25,100 for maintenance, repairs, insurance, and fuel. That's almost $600 less than what it costs to keep a 2016 Dodge Durango running. 

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Grand Cherokee?

The 2018 Grand Cherokee has a few snazzy improvements over the 2016 model year. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 7-inch touch-screen display became standard features in the new model. The 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk was also added as the new top dog among the performance-oriented trim levels.

Beyond these relatively minor tweaks, the 2018 Grand Cherokee is very similar to the 2016 model year. Lower safety and reliability scores – two weak points of the 2016 Grand Cherokee – are not any better in the new model, though you do get a longer warranty when you buy a brand-new SUV. If these updates are appealing, you should buy a new Grand Cherokee. The price difference between the average 2016 Grand Cherokee listing and a base 2018 model is only $2,300. You might be able to lower the price of your new SUV even further with the help of Jeep's monthly car deals. Just be aware that the entry price of the new Jeep reflects a more sparsely equipped model than a similarly priced used Grand Cherokee.

Read about the new Jeep Grand Cherokee »

Families may want to consider the 2018 Kia Sorento (available as either a 2-row or 3-row SUV). It ranks as one of the best midsize SUVs and won our 2018 Best SUV for the Money award. The Sorento particularly stands out among the competition for its excellent crash test and reliability scores. Plus, its starting price of $25,900 is less than the average price of a 2016 Grand Cherokee.

For straying off the pavement, Jeep has an appealing selection of Grand Cherokee alternatives. The 2018 Renegade, Cherokee, and especially the Wrangler all offer admirable off-road abilities. Their interiors aren't quite as high-class as the Grand Cherokee's, but you can pick up a new (though somewhat spartan) base model of any of them for less than the average price of a 2016 Grand Cherokee.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Most midsize SUVs earn higher reliability scores than the Grand Cherokee, which only gets a rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Grand Cherokee reliability »

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Recalls

As of this writing, four recalls have been issued for the 2016 Grand Cherokee. The largest of the four recalls covers an issue where the transmission may become locked in the "park" or "neutral" position. Other recalls relate to fuel lines that may leak and cause a fire, a faulty brake caliper, and a bracket that may induce a brake fluid leak.  

See more information on Jeep Grand Cherokee safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Is Best? 

The 2016 Grand Cherokee is part of a generation that began with the 2011 model year and includes the 2018 Grand Cherokee. The 2014, 2015, and 2016 Grand Cherokees all score about the same in our rankings, but there are some minor differences between the models. Trims and features were shuffled a bit between these years, and the 2015 Grand Cherokee SRT trim has more power than the 2014 SRT trim. For 2016, Jeep upped the power in the base engine and shaved weight off the SRT trim. Also, new steering and suspension systems were added. We recommend the 2016 model over earlier models for its updated base engine and improved driving dynamics.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Grand Cherokee »

Which Used Jeep Grand Cherokee Model Is Right for Me?

The Grand Cherokee is available in a wide range of trims: from a basic family hauler, to an off-road trail conqueror, to a luxurious performance SUV. The base Laredo trim has enough features to keep you happy and comfortable. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a 5-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth, and a USB port.

For off-roading, go for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited; it’s available with several off-road packages. The Summit model has all the trappings of a luxury-badged SUV, including plush leather, a Harman Kardon audio system, and a wide range of tech features. Power-hungry drivers will want the high-performance SRT model, which is tuned for maximum speed and sharp handling. A special 75th Anniversary Edition – with select interior upgrades and distinct body styling – is also available in limited numbers.

See 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee trims and specs »

What Does Jeep's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Jeep offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Jeep extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. Additional benefits are available, including a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, and a car rental allowance. There are mileage and model restrictions, so read the Jeep warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Jeep has one of the worst CPO programs in the industry. Only Volkswagen offers a worse program.

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How Safe Is the Grand Cherokee?

The Grand Cherokee has lower crash test scores than most midsize crossovers. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, it earned the highest score of Good in four categories and the second-lowest score of Marginal in the fifth (the driver’s side small front overlap test). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the two-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee four out of five stars overall, with five stars in the front and side tests and three stars in the rollover test. 

No advanced safety features come standard in the 2016 Grand Cherokee. Available features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and front and rear parking sensors. Many rivals come standard with at least a rearview camera.

See Grand Cherokee safety scores »

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee or 2016 Kia Sorento?

The Kia Sorento may not have the Grand Cherokee's muscular engines or off-roading chops, but it's a better option if you need a comfortable crossover for daily driving. The Sorento's safety and reliability ratings are both higher than the Grand Cherokee's, and its lower price tag gets you more features for your money. The Sorento's higher gas mileage means you'll spend less at the pump, too. The Sorento's cabin is roomy and upscale in all trim levels. An available third row gives you seats for two extra kids. The Sorento also has more overall cargo room than the Grand Cherokee.

Which Is Better: 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee or 2016 Volkswagen Touareg?

The Volkswagen Touareg has a comfortable ride and an upscale interior, but it's not as good of an SUV as the Grand Cherokee overall. The Touareg's engine is underpowered and less fuel-efficient. Its handling is stable, but it's not very nimble. However, it does come standard with all-wheel drive for added traction. Cargo room in the Touareg is smaller than in the Grand Cherokee, whether its rear seats are up or down. The Touareg, however, earns a higher reliability score than the Grand Cherokee.

Which Is Better: 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee or 2016 Volvo XC90?

The Volvo XC90 has all the upscale comfort that the Grand Cherokee offers. The XC90’s seats are some of the most comfortable available in any vehicle. There's ample passenger space, even in the available third row, and the XC90 has class-leading cargo space. Volvo fitted the XC90 with lots of high-end comfort and advanced safety features, and the XC90 earns top-tier safety scores. Around curves, the XC90 is composed, and available supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engines provide extra grunt.

Compare the Grand Cherokee, Sorento, and Touareg »

2016 Grand Cherokee Performance

How Does the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Drive?

There's a range of punchy engines to choose from in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, from the base 3.6-liter V6 up to a 6.4-liter V8 in the high-performance SRT trim. There's also a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 that offers the best fuel economy of the bunch. The Grand Cherokee's ride is mostly smooth and stable, though rough patches of road can make it a bit bumpy.

Does the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Get Good Gas Mileage?

A Grand Cherokee with the base engine gets up to 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. That's a normal fuel economy rating for a vehicle this size.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, a 2016 Grand Cherokee can tow up to 7,400 pounds.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Capabilities

When the pavement ends, the Grand Cherokee can keep on going thanks to its exceptional off-road abilities. Available off-road features include numerous four-wheel-drive systems, a limited-slip differential, and an adjustable air suspension. Ground clearance ranges from 8.3 inches (for SRT models) to 10.4 inches (when equipped with the air suspension system).

Read more about Grand Cherokee performance »

2016 Grand Cherokee Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Grand Cherokee Seat?

The Grand Cherokee has an upscale cabin, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces in every trim level and top-notch build quality. Cloth upholstery is standard, and more expensive models feature genuine wood inlays and leather seats for an especially luxurious appearance. Both rows are supportive for long-haul comfort, and the seats are roomy enough to accommodate even tall adults.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Each of the rear outboard seats has a full set of LATCH car-seat connectors, while the rear middle seat has just an upper tether. The upper tethers are easy to locate, but the lower anchors are buried deep within the seat cushions, making them difficult to access.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Features

There are two infotainment systems available in the Grand Cherokee: a 5-inch system that's standard in base models and an 8.4-inch touch screen in higher trims. Both systems are easy to use. There are physical buttons and knobs to adjust climate and audio settings without having to sort through the infotainment system’s menus. A dual-screen Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system that has exceptional sound quality are available.

See 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee specs »

Read more about Grand Cherokee interior »

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Dimensions

Jeep Grand Cherokee Cargo Space

You can't carry as much stuff in the back of a Grand Cherokee as you can in most other midsize SUVs. It offers 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, and up 68.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

2016 Grand Cherokee Length and Weight

A 2016 Grand Cherokee spans 15.8 feet from end to end. Curb weight ranges from 4,545 to 5,393 pounds, depending on the trim level and drivetrain.

Where Was the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Built?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a large carmaker that owns Fiat, Chrysler, Ram, Jeep, and Dodge, assembles the Grand Cherokee at its plant in Detroit, Michigan.

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