2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Performance


#6 out of 20 in Midsize SUVs

$31,945 MSRP
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2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with a wide variety of powertrains, allowing you to tailor your drive to your preferences. Comfortable commuting, off-road prowess, fuel-savvy, beastly performance and acceleration – all of that’s on the table. Regardless of your choice, you’ll get a powerful engine and a compliant ride.

  • "The gas pedal is a little slow to respond, but overall the Grand Cherokee is easy to drive. The automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly. Because of the Grand Cherokee's significant heft, though, you'll need to stay in a lower gear on long uphill grades." -- Edmunds
  • "Then again, if you really want invigorating performance, the SRT and truly absurd Trackhawk will over-deliver. Using the 707-hp Trackhawk's launch control is literally shocking, thwacking you in the chest with g-forces that even the rear-drive Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger Hellcat can't provide." -- Autotrader
  • "With a revised and more rugged air-suspension, the 2017 Trailhawk lets owners go anywhere they wish in a plush and comfortable cabin. Jeep graciously provided a few Grand Cherokee Trailhawks for testing on an off-road trail that ranged from an easy yet rocky climb to a heavily rutted section that helped illustrate why it included all-new underbody shielding for the trim. … Nothing along our route was able to flummox the Trailhawk, and we couldn't ask for a more comfortable ride over bouncy terrain." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Acceleration and Power

Jeep offers five engines for the 2019 Grand Cherokee, starting with the base 3.6-liter V6 rated at 295 horsepower. Three V8s are available: a 5.7-liter V8 producing 360 horsepower, a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 making 475 horsepower, and a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 with a blistering 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. A 240-horsepower turbodiesel engine is also available. All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The base V6 is perfectly capable for daily jaunts around town and on the freeway. Acceleration and power only improve as you move through the lineup. The Trackhawk, with the 6.2-liter Hemi V8, goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

With so many powertrains, fuel economy varies significantly in this SUV. The base V6 with rear-wheel drive gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is about average. Fuel estimates for the V8 engines range from 11-14 mpg in the city and 17-22 mpg on the highway. The diesel engine performs much better, earning an EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg.

Properly equipped Grand Cherokee models can tow up to 7,400 pounds.

  • "In terms of engine choice, the base V6 is perfectly adequate. Although towing capacity is actually equal with all non-performance choices, things will certainly be easier with the diesel V6 or 5.7-liter V8. You'll just have to decide if you want thriftier fuel economy or invigorating acceleration when not towing." -- Autotrader
  • "The standard V6 in the Grand Cherokee isn't exciting, but it's acceptable. The biggest problem is the Grand Cherokee's significant weight, which negatively affects acceleration, handling and overall drivability." -- Edmunds
  • "Standard across the lineup is a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 that is capable and relatively fuel-efficient. Optional is a 5.7-liter V8 that is stout but thirstier." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is comfortable to drive and ride in, though a few critics say its heft makes it feel a bit unwieldy around turns. The brakes are firm, and the steering is well-weighted, though there isn't much road feedback through the steering wheel. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while several systems powering all four-wheels are available.

Off road, the Grand Cherokee lives up to the Jeep name. A Quadra Lift air suspension system, skid plates, an electronic-locking rear differential, and a bevy of other off-roading equipment are available. This vehicle will have little trouble crawling over rough and rocky terrain.

  • "The steering wheel feels hefty in your hands, and the high amount of power assist facilitates maneuvering the Grand Cherokee around in parking lots. But there's little road feel coming through the steering wheel, which makes it hard to judge how much grip the tires have." -- Edmunds
  • "On pavement, the Grand Cherokee delivers a solid, reassuring drive that's more indicative of a luxury SUV than Jeep's other models. The suspension is firm but not harsh, absorbing bumps quickly and confidently. The available air suspension makes things even better." -- Autotrader
  • "For all its off-road capability, the 2018 Grand Cherokee is remarkably refined in the city and on highways. That's a good thing, because that's where most will spend their time." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
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