2020 Grand Cherokee New Car Test Drive
As the largest member of its SUV family, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a hugely capable off-roader. Depending on powertrain choice, it can be an excellent family hauler, an off-road ace, or an extreme-performance SUV.
Jeep has pared down the trim-level selection for the 2019 model year. Blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts are now standard on all Grand Cherokees. Limited and higher trim levels get the latest version of Jeep's 8.4-inch touchscreen radio with navigation.
A new Limited X version features unique front/rear fascias, a performance hood, and 20-inch low-gloss wheels. The black interior features “Heritage” perforated leather seats. Overland models get new 20-inch “Heritage” wheels.
Seven trim levels are offered: Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk. Laredo E and Limited X are actually option packages.
Laredo, Limited, and Summit may be considered street versions. Trailhawk and Overland are ready for off-roading. SRT and Trackhawk promise track-ready performance.
Five engines and four 4×4 systems are available. The base engine, standard in all except SRT and Trackhawk, is a 3.6-liter V-6 that whips up 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
Limited, Overland, Summit, and Trailhawk trims can substitute a rumbly 360-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8. There's a more frugal edition too: Developing 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet, the optional turbodiesel promises better fuel economy and 7,400-pound towing capacity.
SRT trim gets a 425-horsepower, 6.4-liter V-8, dropping 0-60 mph acceleration time below 5 seconds. Topping the performance range, a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 in the Trackhawk generates a startling 707 horsepower.
All engines mate with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but most trims can substitute four-wheel drive. Grand Cherokees may be fitted with a Quadra-Lift air suspension.
Crash-testers for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 model a four-star overall score, plus four stars for frontal crash protection and for rollover prevention. (Rear-drive versions earned three stars for the calculated rollover rating.)
In its small-overlap crash-test for the driver, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2018 model 'Marginal.'? The passenger side rated 'Poor.'? Other IIHS tests declared the Grand Cherokee 'Good'? in crash protection. Active-safety features that include automatic emergency braking helped Grand Cherokee achieve a 'Superior'? rating for frontal-crash prevention..
Prices do not include $1,495 destination charge. All models except SRT and Trackhawk have a standard 3.6-liter V-6. A 5.7-liter V-8 or 3.0-liter turbodiesel are optional on all except Laredo.
Laredo ($31,945 with rear-wheel drive, $34,245 with four-wheel drive) includes 3.6-liter V-6, 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth, keyless entry, rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitors.
Laredo E ($33,795 with RWD, $35,795 with 4WD) gets a power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, plus bright roof rails.
Altitude ($37,890 with RWD, $40,190 with 4WD) includes black 20-inch wheels, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, heated front seats, and heated steering wheel.
Upland ($35,895 with RWD, $38,390 with 4WD) has black exterior finish, 20-inch black wheels, and black tow hooks.
Limited ($39,195 with RWD, $41,195 with 4WD) includes heated power leather-trimmed front seats, headed second-row seating, a power liftgate, memory system, and 18-inch wheels.
Limited X ($44,095 with RWD, $46,095 with 4WD) comes with a modified SRT hood, navigation, and 20-inch Granite Crystal wheels.
Trailhawk 4WD V-6 ($44,295) includes Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited-slip differential, an air suspension, skid plates, leather-trimmed seats with suede inserts, Alpine 506-watt audio, and 18-inch wheels.
High Altitude ($48,490 with RWD, $51,490 with 4WD) has black Nappa perforated leather-trimmed seats, a panoramic sunroof, and active-safety group.
Overland ($45,995 with RWD, $48,995 with 4WD) comes with an air suspension, panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels, bi-xenon HID headlights, LED fog lights, wood/leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, and perforated Nappa leather upholstery.
Summit ($52,290 with RWD, $55,290 with 4WD) comes with Harman Kardon 19-speaker 825-watt audio, perforated leather-trimmed front seats, and parking assistance. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warnings.
SRT 4WD V8 ($68,395) features the 6.4-liter V-8, Brembo brakes, launch control, Quadra-Trac 4WD, 20-inch wheels, Bilstein active-damping suspension, leather/perforated-suede seat upholstery, and Performance Pages readout.
Trackhawk 4WD V-8 ($86,900) gets the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, along with active damping suspension, 20-inch forged wheels, leather/suede upholstery, five drive modes, active-safety features, 8.4-inch touchscreen with Track Pages, and launch control..