Dislikes: Ride comfort is unsettled on-road and overly firm on some surfaces. Cabin materials are cheap and iffy in terms of quality.
What's it like to drive? The Grand Cherokee has good off-road abilities thanks to it's excellent drive height and grippy four-wheel-drive. It's not bad on road either thanks to light steering which helps make the Grand Cherokee feel more easy to manuever around town.
Interior wise the Grand Cherokee falls short of its rivals. For such a large vehicle, the interior struggles to fit up to five passengers. Fit in finish of the cabin materials feel iffy. Switchgear in the cabin are known for giving problems to owners, we suggest making sure all works before buying. Headroom and legroom are okay but rather tight for taller passengers. One of the biggest complaints I have with the Cherokee is the uncomfortable rear seat. It often feels like there isn't enough cushion and you're sitting upright at all times. The boot space is a decent size, but there's a high lip which means you'll have to lift heavier objects when loading.
Which should I buy?
3.7L 210hp (2005 - 2010) Laredo, Limted
4.7L 265hp (2005 - 2007) Laredo, Limited: 305hp (2008 - 2009) Laredo, Limited
5.7L 330hp (2005 - 2008) Limited, Overland: 357hp (2009 - 2010) Laredo, Limited, Overland
6.1L 425hp (2006 - 2010) SRT-8
3-L 215hp turbo-diesel (2007 - 2008) Laredo, Limited, Overland
Depending upon which Grand Cherokee you are looking at and the model year you are choosing. If you are going to take your Grand Cherokee off-roading, we suggest picking one of the eight-cylinder engines which has more pull than the 3.7L which tends to fall short. The 6.2L trim is more aimed at on-road performance with the larger alloy wheels and firmer suspenison. There is a diesel engine option but will be harder to find due to the limited production run of that engine. The 3.7L engine only makes the most sense if you are going to drive on-road and never venture off-roading.
Running costs: The Grand Cherokee's strong points are its low prices and there are a few of them on the second hand market that are bargains. If fuel economy is a concern we suggest sticking with the 3.7L or hunting for the more frugal 3-liter turbo-diesel. The eight-cylinders have the most pull but aren't the must frugal. If you don't need the 4x4 then we suggest getting the 4x2 with the eight-cylinders to help increase fuel economy slightly.
What to look out four?
2005 - A recall was issued for models with the 3.7-liter V6 concerning possible contamination of the automatic transmission with water from the A/C condenser causing shuddering and possible failure of the torque converter.
2006 - A recall was issued for a possible defect in the driver's airbag inflator connector.
2006-07 - A recall was issued for possibly faulty programming of the anti-lock brakes that may cause a momentary delay in braking when coasting uphill.
2007 - A recall was issued for faulty anti-lock brake software that may cause the rear brakes to lock up under certain conditions.
2007-08 - A recall was issued for possible improperly manufactured front brake calipers that could fracture, thus interfering with the brakes ability to slow or stop the vehicle.
2008 - A recall was issued for a possible defective front control module that could result in stalling while driving.
2009 - A recall was issued for possible reversed wiring in the steering column control module driver airbag connector. In the event of a crash, the driver's airbag may not inflate.
2010 - Recalls were issued for a possible defective passenger side front airbag, possible defective brake booster input rod (could lead to brake failure), a possibly defective rear track bar, and defective ignition module that may allow the key to be removed before the vehicle is placed in park.