Though the Jeep Grand Cherokee is not a new model, it got a complete redesign in 2011, and the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee saw even more improvements. While other SUV manufacturers have sat on their laurels, Jeep has done a lot to make the Grand Cherokee a true sport utility vehicle. By focusing on improving its off-road capabilities, as well as its on-road comfort and dynamics, Jeep has created a vehicle that outperforms almost everything else on the market.

Key Features

Want to feel like you’re driving a Land Rover without spending the cash to get a Land Rover? With a 4WD 2012 Ford Explorer, you can adjust your ride height, just like in a much more expensive SUV. Not only does this give you a cool feeling, though, but it also can improve clearance when driving off road and then improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency when you lower it to get back on the road. It’s also a huge help when loading and unloading the vehicle, too.

Other standard features include remote entry, 17” alloy wheels, and dual-zone climate control.

Changes for 2012

The biggest changes to the Grand Cherokee occurred in 2011, so 2012 was a year for tweaking and minor upgrades. These included electro-hydraulic power steering for the V6 models and six-speed shifting in manual mode for the V8 models. Jeep also reintroduced the HEMI-equipped SRT8, as well.

What We Like

Most SUVs don't really put enough emphasis on off-road capabilities. While most of your driving might be on the road, you still want the ability to go off road and take on tough terrain, too. With the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, you can do just that, and you won’t feel like you’re driving on a box of tightly-wound springs when you get back on the road, either.

What Concerns Us

To ensure its on- and off-road capabilities, the Grand Cherokee does have a few compromises, including less seating than other mid-size SUVs. If you’re looking for a three-row SUV, this is not the model for you.

Available Models

The standard 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 290 HP at 6400 RPM, 260 lb-ft of torque at 4800 RPM, and a fuel economy rating of 17/23 MPG (city/highway) for the 2WD model. Engine upgrades include two V8 engines, one at 5.7 liters and one at 6.4 liters. As you go up in engine size, you’ll get more horsepower and more torque, but you do lose in fuel efficiency. The largest engine is rated at 12/18 MPG (city/highway).

Major Recalls

A few 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee models have been recalled due to one or more of the following issues:

  • Rod bearing failure
  • Lengthened stopping distance due to hard brake pedal
  • Loss of power brake assist
  • Potential fire due to vanity lamp short
  • Potential engine stall due to alternator failure
  • Potential engine stall due to fuel pump relay failure

Common Issues

The most common problems with the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee involve erratic issues in the electrical system. These may result in the vehicle failing to start, failure to recognize the key fob, and other issues.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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