2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

Whether you’re looking for a high-performance monster or a beastly (yet comfortable) off-roader, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee has something for you.




Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.4
Safety: 8.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding off-road chops
  • Potent engine options
  • Handsome, comfortable cabin
  • User-friendly infotainment system


  • Mixed crash test scores
  • Less cargo space than most midsize SUVs

New for 2018

  • New Grand Cherokee Trackhawk trim
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard
  • 7-inch touch-screen infotainment display now standard
  • Diesel engine currently unavailable 

Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee a Good SUV?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a good 2-row SUV, blending together brilliant off-road performance with smooth highway handling. Other standout features include an excellent infotainment system, upscale cabin styling, and cushy seats. However, families may want to look elsewhere, as this midsize SUV has relatively low safety ratings and a small cargo area compared to rivals.

Should I Buy the Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers excellent off-roading abilities and a handsome cabin, and it costs tens of thousands of dollars less than a Land Rover Range Rover Sport or Mercedes-Benz G-Class. A legion of trim levels flaunt the many sides of this SUV – including the amiable base Laredo, the trail-ready Trailhawk, and the sporty SRT and Trackhawk – so it's easy to find a Grand Cherokee that fits your lifestyle.

Compare the Grand Cherokee, Range Rover Sport, and G-Class »

Should I Buy a New or Used Jeep Grand Cherokee?

For 2018, Jeep made a handful of improvements to its flagship SUV. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard. A 7-inch touch screen replaces the formerly standard 5-inch infotainment screen, and the 707-horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk makes its debut.

If none of these changes are appealing to you, you may want to consider an older used model in this generation to save some money. Just note the other changes that were made over the past few years. For example, the off-road-oriented Trailhawk model debuted for 2017, and a rearview camera and rear parking sensors became standard for 2018. If you're looking for a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee, you'll have to look at a used model; the diesel engine isn't available for 2018.

To research some other models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 71 Reviews Analyzed

Our in-depth Jeep Grand Cherokee review has everything you need to know in one place. We researched 71 professional evaluations alongside details like ground clearance height and each model’s standard features to help you decide if it’s the right new car for you. This 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2011 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

Since 1933, U.S. News & World Report has delighted in helping readers make life's most important decisions. Our Best Cars team guides you through your next vehicle purchase with our car reviews, car rankings, and awards – like the Best Cars for the Money.

How Much Does the Jeep Grand Cherokee Cost?

Retail prices for a new Jeep Grand Cherokee begin at $30,695 for the base Laredo and stretch as high as $86,000 for the Trackhawk. For 2018, this SUV is available in 11 trims, including the Altitude ($36,790), the Trailhawk ($43,395), the High Altitude ($47,590), and the SRT ($67,495).

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

Which Is Better: Jeep Grand Cherokee or Toyota 4Runner?

If you're looking for a commendable off-road SUV, the Toyota 4Runner is also an excellent pick. From a practicality standpoint, however, the Grand Cherokee is the better midsize SUV. The Toyota has a higher starting price, only one engine offering, and few optional safety features. The interior of Grand Cherokee is also classier and comfier.

Which Is Better: Jeep Grand Cherokee or Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer's cargo space is its strong suit. Namely, it has one of the largest cargo capacities in the class, and there's seating for seven people. However, the Grand Cherokee is the better vehicle. The Explorer isn't as capable on or off road, and it gets lower fuel economy estimates.

Which Is Better: Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Durango?

Choosing between the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee depends on what you need out of a midsize SUV. The Durango has a generous cargo space and seating for up to seven, but it lacks the same level of off-road prowess as the Grand Cherokee. Both are good choices in the class.

Compare the Grand Cherokee, Explorer, and Durango »

Grand Cherokee Interior

How Many People Does the Grand Cherokee Seat?

The Grand Cherokee is a five-seat, 2-row SUV. Uplevel trims come with indulgences like heated and cooled front seats and supple Nappa leather, but even the base model with its cloth seats is comfortable. The back seat is roomy enough for a pair of adults.

Grand Cherokee and Car Seats

Two of the Grand Cherokee's three tether anchors can be mixed up with other hardware, so extra care needs to be taken when clipping in a car seat. The two sets of lower anchors also require extra effort, as they are mounted deep in the seat cushions.

Grand Cherokee Interior Quality

The cabin in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is handsome and well-built. As you move up through the many trim levels, niceties like supple leather, an audio system with active noise cancellation, open-pore wood trim, and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof add opulence.

Grand Cherokee Cargo Space

The Grand Cherokee has 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a maximum of 68.3 cubic feet with the second row folded. That's less space than almost every other midsize SUV, including the Toyota 4Runner, Ford Explorer, and Dodge Durango. Keep in mind, though, that most midsize competitors are 3-row SUVs. This means that they tend to be a bit longer overall, which affords them more cargo space.

Grand Cherokee Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Grand Cherokee comes with the Uconnect infotainment interface, which is regarded as one of the best systems on the market. New standard features for 2018 include a 7-inch touch-screen display (replacing last year's 5-inch screen) and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in every trim. An 8.4-inch screen is available.

Read more about interior »

Grand Cherokee Performance

Grand Cherokee Engine: Five Engine Options

Jeep offers an appealing array of engine choices for the 2018 Grand Cherokee, all of which are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Its standard V6 engine is brisk, and three V8 options with blistering acceleration are waiting in the wings. This includes a 475-horsepower 6.4-liter V8 in the SRT model and a monstrous 707-horsepower supercharged V8 in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. When equipped with a V8 engine, the Grand Cherokee's towing capacity is as high as 7,200 pounds. And if these options don't seem quite right for you, this Jeep also offers a 240-horsepower turbodiesel that gets the best fuel economy in the lineup.

Grand Cherokee Gas Mileage: V6 Is Average

Fuel economy for the Grand Cherokee ranges from great to incredibly thirsty, depending on the engine. The EPA estimates that the base V6 engine gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is typical fuel economy for a midsize SUV. Gas mileage for the V8 engines is 11-14 mpg in the city and 17-22 mpg on the highway. The EcoDiesel engine gets the best ratings of the bunch, earning 22/30 mpg city/highway.

Grand Cherokee Ride and Handling: Proficient On-Road and Off

On the highway, the Grand Cherokee feels reasonably smooth and easy to drive. This is still a hefty SUV, though, so expect the body to lean through corners. Like most of its Jeep siblings, the Grand Cherokee excels off the pavement and can traverse rough terrain with little effort. A bevy of off-road options are available, including multiple four-wheel-drive systems, heavy-duty suspension upgrades, and an air suspension system. 

Read more about performance »

Grand Cherokee Reliability

Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Reliable?

The Grand Cherokee is about average when it comes to dependability. It earns a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Warranty

The 2018 Grand Cherokee comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Grand Cherokee Safety

Grand Cherokee Crash Test Results

The 2018 Grand Cherokee receives the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and a Marginal rating in small overlap front test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it three stars in rollover crash tests and five stars in side crash tests.

Grand Cherokee Safety Features

The Grand Cherokee comes standard with a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning with active braking, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic high beams, and rear cross traffic alert.

Read more about safety »

Which Jeep Grand Cherokee Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Grand Cherokee comes in a multitude of trim levels, including the Laredo, Laredo E, Altitude, Limited, Sterling Edition, Trailhawk, Overland, High Altitude, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk. Rear-wheel drive is standard in most trims, with the option to add four-wheel drive for a few thousand dollars (pricing depends on the trim level). A few models come standard with four-wheel drive, such as the Trailhawk and SRT. Jeep also gives you a nice selection of engines, from the standard 3.6-liter V6 to the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powering the Trackhawk. Below, we detail the features of a few of the most popular trims.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

The base Grand Cherokee Laredo ($30,695) comes with the Uconnect 4 infotainment interface, a 7-inch touch-screen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, voice command, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, push-button start, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors. Selecting the four-wheel drive option adds $2,300 to the price.  

Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Swanky upgrades in the Grand Cherokee Limited include heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, two USB ports, satellite radio, a 115-volt power outlet, and a power liftgate. Pricing starts at $38,295 with rear-wheel drive and $40,295 with four-wheel drive. Jeep is also offering a special Sterling Edition ($42,295) of this trim to celebrate the model's 25th anniversary.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

Standout features of the adventure-ready Grand Cherokee Trailhawk ($43,395) include the Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system, five traction-control settings, the Quadra-Lift air suspension system, and a limited-slip differential. Leather and suede seat upholstery, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, an 8.4-inch touch screen, heated and ventilated front seats, and a tow hitch with rear-leveling suspension are also standard.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT  

The athletic Grand Cherokee SRT comes with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine, launch control, performance-tuned brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, and the Quadra-Trac Active On Demand four-wheel-drive system. Retail prices start at $67,495.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The $86,000 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the newest member of the club. It boasts a 707-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter engine and can reach 60 mph from a dead stop in 3.5 seconds. Performance upgrades like a Bilstein adaptive suspension system and a high-performance Brembo brake system add to its street cred. It also comes standard with the Quadra-Trac Active On Demand four-wheel-drive system, navigation, an 8.4-inch touch screen, and seats trimmed in Nappa leather and suede.

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 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee specs and trims »

The Final Call

Among midsize SUVs, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a unique package that blends a comfortable, upscale cabin with outstanding off-road capabilities. To find this same mix of attributes in another vehicle, you'd have to raise your spending limit significantly. Shoppers seeking an SUV with outstanding safety scores or gobs of cargo room may want to consider one of the Grand Cherokee’s many rivals.

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

  • "Whatever you're looking for in an SUV, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee likely offers it. Depending on how you equip it, it can be well-rounded and luxurious, an off-road specialist or a hot-rod SUV. It's one of our favorites in the midsize SUV class." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2018 Grand Cherokee is Jeep's flagship SUV, a 2-row/5-passenger hauler with a model lineup spanning from rather basic to absolutely bonkers. For 2018, the latter end of that spectrum just pushed beyond all rationality with the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which packs the 707-horsepower supercharged V8 from its Dodge Hellcat cousins. As the Grand Cherokee nameplate celebrates its 25th anniversary, it continues to improve on its formula for a rugged, powerful yet civilized midsize SUV. Yes, it still offers off-road capability that few rivals outside a Toyota 4Runner can match, all while improving on features more important to today's buyers like Apple CarPlay integration. This Jeep faces a range of rivals, but none can match its breadth of trim choices or power." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Jeep's Grand Cherokee has come to represent the brand's crown jewel, a nameplate that shows the world what Jeep is capable of when it's allowed to swing for the fences. These refreshed models … prove that Jeep has the ability to build not only the most capable factory SUVs like the Wrangler but SUVs that can compete with the best German produced products as well." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
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