Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2018 Used Jeep Grand Cherokee is driving past a guardrail and trees.

Enjoy the Best of Luxury and Capability with as Used Jeep Grand Cherokee

Normally when you hear the word “Jeep,” you think of rugged, off-road vehicles that look best when covered in mud. At least, this is what I think of when I think of a Jeep. This is the reason the Jeep Wrangler is one of the most popular Jeep SUVs on the market today. However, just because you want the adventure capabilities of a Jeep doesn’t mean you have to end up with a vehicle with removable doors that rarely has a roof. Doorless, roofless SUVs are fine for some people, but not everybody dreams of driving around in a glorified roll-cage. This is why so many people gravitate towards a used Jeep Grand Cherokee when they are shopping for an affordable and comfortable off-roading=capable vehicle.

Why Buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee

If you were to call the Jeep Grand Cherokee a luxury Jeep, you would not be wrong. The Grand Cherokee was designed for the discerning car shopper who enjoys an SUV that has off-road capabilities for the occasional backwoods adventure but who prefers a comfortable and luxurious driving experience on a daily basis. The Grand Cherokee is the Jeep you think of when you imagine top-of-the-line seat upholstery or beautiful interior trims combined with worry-free on the road experiences. While other Jeeps, including but not limited to the Wrangler, look best with a bit of mud splashed all over the sides, the Grand Cherokee looks especially good when sporting a freshly washed gleam.

Not to be confused with Jeep’s Cherokee, which is considered a small crossover, the Grand Cherokee is the largest SUV in the current Jeep lineup (although the upcoming Grand Wagoneer will soon take that position). This midsize SUV has earned countless awards and offers best in class towing, best in class four-wheel drive capability, and extreme comfort. It’s no wonder that the Jeep Grand Cherokee is the vehicle most often chosen by drivers who want adventures as well as luxury and style.

A white 2020 Used Jeep Grand Cherokee is towing an Airstream on a wooded road.

A Brief History of the Jeep Grand Cherokee

Introduced in 1992, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first SUV to come equipped with a driver-side airbag as standard equipment, thus raising the bar when it comes to safety on the road. Further solidifying its standard of safety, the early Grand Cherokee also came equipped with antilock brakes. Originally the Grand Cherokee was intended to replace the smaller crossover Jeep Cherokee, but when Cherokee sales continued to hold strong, Jeep decided to keep the extra vehicle in its lineup and target a whole new market of drivers.

Since its introduction, the Grand Cherokee has striven to include luxury features such as smoother and quieter rides without sacrificing any of the rugged capabilities that Jeep fans have come to know and love, and in all honesty, expect. Jeep Grand Cherokee drivers can expect a smooth, almost effortless driving experience with minimal outside road noise to interrupt the ride. At the same time, the Grand Cherokee still comes with adventuring capabilities such as its unique traction management system, which allows the vehicle to distribute power between the four wheels based upon the vehicle’s current circumstances.

Are Used Jeep Grand Cherokees Reliable?

Everybody knows that not all cars are created equal, and this is especially true when it comes to used vehicles. Some used SUVs are known for their impressive longevity, while others are known to drop dead after a certain period of time, regardless of how well they are maintained. So, where does the Jeep Grand Cherokee stand in the question of reliability? How dependable is a used Jeep Grand Cherokee?

In all honesty, the answer to the question of a used Grand Cherokee’s reliability is dependent on that vehicle’s model year. Just like not all cars are created equal, neither are all model years created equal. For the most part, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has an impressive history of being safe and dependable, but there are a few model years used car shoppers should watch out for, both for positive as well as negative reasons.

2011 and 2014 were rough years for the Grand Cherokee. These model years are the first year of the third generation and the first year of the third generation facelift. First model years tend to produce vehicles with a myriad of problems, and the Grand Cherokee is no exception. The 2014 model year receives a lot of complaints regarding shifting problems, as well as problems staying in the gear it is supposed to be in. Transmission failure is also a common problem for the 2014 Grand Cherokee. Owners of the 2011 model year report frequent engine stalls and the engine occasionally refusing to start at all.

Barring those two unfortunate model years, however, most used Jeep Grand Cherokees tend to behave very well for their drivers. 2019 and 2018 model years are especially reliable, as are the 2009 and 2010 model years (the final years of the second generation). With the exception of the 2011 and 2014 Grand Cherokee, complaints about this SUV tend to be few and far between. Even model years as old as the earliest 1993 still receive praise for their reliability. Most of the complaints are about wobbly steering wheels or stuck-on hub cap bolts, both of which are inexpensive fixes, should you even decide to bother fixing them in the first place.

For the most part, you really can’t go wrong when shopping for a used Grand Cherokee, especially if you have a licensed mechanic do a quick check before committing to purchasing. If your Jeep Grand Cherokee is well-maintained, you can expect to get a minimum of 150,000 miles out of your vehicle, and it is not uncommon for a Grand Cherokee to reach more than 300,000 miles (although I would recommend you buy a used Grand Cherokee with fewer miles than 300,000).

A red 2013 Used Jeep Grand Cherokee is on a winding road with a rocky slope behind it.

Final Thoughts

When you are used car shopping, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. There are so many vehicles to choose from, and each vehicle has its pros and cons. Even when you have settled on a particular brand or a particular style of vehicle, there are still so many different options.

You might be a Jeep Grand Cherokee fan if you enjoy treating your passengers to comfortable seats and a quiet ride filled with music or conversation rather than the hum of the noisy road. You might be a Jeep Grand Cherokee fan if you want to travel along your daily commute in style while still having the functionality to tow a trailer or boat when required. If sparse weekend adventures sound fun to you, but you don’t want to invest in a dedicated off-roading vehicle, the Grand Cherokee might fill this need.

When it comes to a used Jeep Grand Cherokee, you will end up with a safe and dependable vehicle that provides incredible luxury and performance. As long as you stay on top of your SUV’s regular maintenance, there is no reason why your used Grand Cherokee won’t provide you with many years of safe and enjoyable travels. After all, when it comes to an affordable used vehicle, you shouldn’t have to choose between reliability and fun.

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