2021 Grand Cherokee New Car Test Drive
The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is beyond versatile. It can be an SUV, a luxury car, an off-road warrior, or a speedy beast on the track. It's been nine years since it was last redesigned, but the styling holds up. The interior hasn't aged as well but comfort is still supreme, with big, cushy seats covered with fine leather in the top trims.
The 2020 Grand Cherokee hauls five adults, plenty of stuff, and offers luxury-like features in a comfortable interior. It's the complete package of mid-size SUVs.
The Grand Cherokee experience is about performance. Even its base V-6 engine makes 295 horsepower. There are three V-8s to choose from, ranging from workhorse 5.7-liter to an insane supercharged 6.2-liter making 707 horsepower. That engine is taken from the Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat models, and makes life awesome in a 4×4 SUV. With all that power, rear-wheel drive is standard on the V-6, with all-wheel drive available; on the V-8s, all-wheel drive is standard.
For 2020 the Grand Cherokee gets a few updates, from the availability of active safety features on the base Laredo, to new options on the supercharged Trackhawk.
The V-6 is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city, 26 highway, 21 combined with rear-wheel drive and 18/25/21 mpg with all-wheel drive. To get the same mileage with AWD as 2WD is is almost unheard of.
There's also a turbodiesel V-6, which gets the best mileage at 21/28/24 mpg.
The 5.7-liter V-8 comes standard with all-wheel drive and manages only 14/22/17 mpg. The 6-4-liter V-8 in the SRT model drops to 13/19/15 mpg, while the supercharged 6.4-liter V-8 in the Trackhawk gets just 11/17/13 mpg.
The NHTSA gives the all-wheel-drive models five stars overall for safety, with four stars in frontal crash tests; the rear-wheel-drive models get four stars overall because of their rollover rating of only three stars.
The IIHS gave the 2019 Grand Cherokee a 'Marginal'? score for the driver-side front-overlap test, and 'Acceptable'? and 'Poor'? ratings for the car's two headlight options.
For 2020, Jeep has made active safety features like automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights available on even the base Laredo model at low cost, but for the price of the Laredo these features should be standard. Blind-spot monitors are standard, as are rear parking sensors.
The Grand Cherokee Laredo comes with 17-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth seats, two USB charging ports, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, and power features. Active safety features like automatic emergency braking and active lane control are available.
The Limited adds an upgraded 8.4-inch infotainment system that includes navigation, remote start, a single-pane sunroof, 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, a 115-volt household outlet, and more.
Trailhawk models are off-road oriented and come with unique styling accents and badges inside and out, knobby off-road tires, a slightly higher suspension for better ground clearance, and an advanced all-wheel-drive system with an electronic locking rear differential.
Overland and Summit models include 20-inch wheels, real wood trim and perforated nappa leather, while the Summit includes all active safety features and plenty more luxury features.
The V-6 is standard across the range while the 5.7-liter V-8 and turbodiesel V-6 are optional on Limited and above.
SRT and Trackhawk models show their game with fender flares, more grille vents, faux suede interior elements, big Brembo brakes, and performance monitoring software among other unique, performance-oriented touches. A fully loaded Trackhawk can top six figures, which is a lot for an SUV no matter how much horsepower it has.