$24,454 - $53,130

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee boasts excellent overall performance and is one of the most competent off-road vehicles available. A standard V6 engine provides decent power and acceleration, and an optional V8 engine is more potent. The high-performance SRT model also has a V8, which is tuned for even larger amounts of power. Ride quality is soft and smooth over bumps, and the Grand Cherokee pilots through turns with poise.

  • "As one would expect of a proper Jeep, the Grand Cherokee's off-roading abilities are exceptional, while an inviting interior and a platform co-developed with Mercedes-Benz give it the daily-driving refinement of a more expensive luxury vehicle." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "The 2016 Grand Cherokee is in its element on practically any surface, whether you're zipping around the city or crawling up a tough trail." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "No matter how you slice it, the Grand Cherokee is a thoroughly capable vehicle that's also a pleasure to pilot." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The standard powertrain in the Grand Cherokee is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 295 horsepower and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine and a 360-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 are optional. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional. Four-wheel drive is standard in Trailhawk and SRT trims, the latter of which comes with a 6.4-liter V8 engine that puts out 475 horsepower.

According to the EPA, the base Grand Cherokee gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which are average numbers for the class. The 5.7-liter V8 delivers 14 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway, while the diesel V6 gets 22/30 mpg city/highway. The SRT’s 6.4-liter V8 only manages 13/19 mpg city/highway.

The base engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee provides adequate power delivery, and the standard automatic transmission shifts smoothly for good acceleration. The two optional V8 engines produce even more thrilling power. Some critics note that in city driving, the diesel V6 engine is loud and staggers in slow-moving traffic.

  • "When equipped with the base gasoline V6 engine, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers satisfactory acceleration. The eight-speed automatic transmission is a great ally - it makes good use of the V6's power and shifts very smoothly. All in all, most shoppers should be happy with the base-engine Grand Cherokee. Of course, the optional 5.7-liter V8 serves up comparatively effortless thrust and an all-American soundtrack, but you'll feel the pinch at the pump, so that's something to keep in mind. If you're looking for better fuel economy, the diesel-powered V6 is an interesting option to consider. It's not just about sipping fuel, either: Its high torque output makes it ideal for big-league towing jobs. Around town, the diesel V6 can sometimes lurch in stop-and-go traffic, and it emits the clatter unique to diesel engines. But once it's up to speed, it's exceptionally quiet." -- Edmunds
  • "There's the standard 3.6-liter V6, which offers good power and fuel economy. The 5.7-liter V8 amps up the power noticeably, but fuel economy suffers. On the flip side, there's the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, which offers the most torque of any engine save the SRT's V8 and gets great fuel economy. The Grand Cherokee SRT is a completely different animal. With a 475-horsepower 6.4-liter V8, its standard 4WD system is meant for the street, not the trail, proven by its 4.8-second 0-60-mph time. All Grand Cherokees come with an excellent 8-speed automatic transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With the base V6, acceleration is perfectly adequate. The diesel V6 packs a big turbocharged punch at low revs and the V8 engines are plain awesome." -- AutoTrader (2016)

Handling and Braking

The Grand Cherokee delivers a smooth and composed ride over both rough surfaces and smoother pavement. The cabin also stays quiet at operating speeds. Around turns, the Grand Cherokee’s steering is stable and confident.

  • "While Jeep loves to portray its 2017 Grand Cherokee SUV tackling all manner of off-road adventures, the truth is many will rarely see more than a few gravel-strewn or snow-covered roads. For this reason, Jeep wisely equips the Grand Cherokee with a civilized suspension that is remarkably comfortable both on and off-road." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "On pavement, the Grand Cherokee delivers a reassuring drive, feeling nimble and responsive. The suspension is firm but not harsh, absorbing bumps quickly and confidently." -- AutoTrader (2016)
  • "It also provides a quiet, comfortable ride and a commendable sense of stability around turns." -- Edmunds (2016)

Off-Roading

The 2017 Grand Cherokee offers four 4X4 drivetrain systems, including full-time and part-time systems, designed to meet the needs of almost any driver. Included with these systems are off-road features like an adjustable air suspension and terrain selection. High ground clearance also helps make the Grand Cherokee one of the most capable off-roading vehicles, especially in its Trailhawk configuration.

  • "Aside from the throttle issue, the 3.6-liter V6 negotiated inclines with ease - there's no shame in ordering the base engine. We only drove a Trailhawk with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 on a road loop, but its 420 pound-feet of torque and 700-plus-mile range should suit the off-roader very well, especially for anyone interested in overland-style excursions. The Hemi V8 is also available." -- Autoblog
  • "The Grand Cherokee's excellent ground clearance and choice of various 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems give consumers plenty of off-road possibilities, as do the powerful standard V6 and optional V8 engines." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Off-road, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is near the top of the mountain for its class, rivaled only by the Toyota 4Runner. Trail obstacles and steep hills are easily dealt with whichever model you choose, thanks to the advanced four-wheel-drive systems and generous ground clearance. The Trailhawk takes these capabilities to the extreme, ranking as one of the top factory off-roaders that can still schlep you around town in comfort and style." -- Edmunds

Towing

When properly equipped, the Grand Cherokee with the base 3.6-liter V6 engine can tow 6,200 pounds. All other engines can tow up to 7,200 pounds, except the diesel V6 when equipped with rear-wheel drive, which has a capacity of 7,400 pounds. The Grand Cherokee is available with a towing package that includes heavy-duty engine cooling, a rear load-leveling suspension, a full-size spare tire and a Class IV receiver hitch with a four- and seven-pin wiring harness.

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