The current Jeep Grand Cherokee has been met with critical acclaim since its introduction as a 2011 model. In addition to excellent off-road performance, the Grand Cherokee delivers a civilized ride on pavement and a stylish, well-equipped interior. Reviewers note that while several other midsize SUVs cannot come close to matching the Jeep's off-road capabilities, they may have the advantage in terms of overall passenger and cargo space.
The standard Grand Cherokee is offered in two- or four-wheel-drive configurations, with a standard 290-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. A 5.7-liter V8 engine is optional, and allows for a max tow capacity of 7,400 pounds. The 6-cylinder engine is paired with a five-speed automatic, while the V8 gets a six-speed.
A special high-performance model is also offered: The Grand Cherokee SRT8 gets full-time all-wheel drive (it's designed for on-road use) and a 6.4-liter, 470-horsepower V8 paired with a five-speed automatic.
Alternatives to the Jeep that offer similar off-road capability and general utility include the 2012 Toyota 4Runner (Base MSRP: $31,090 to $40,630) and the more upmarket 2012 Land Rover LR4 (Base MSRP: $48,900).
EPA Fuel Economy Estimates
V6 2WD: 17 mpg city / 23 highway /19 combined
V6 4WD: 16 city / 23 hwy / 19 combined
V8 2WD: 14 city / 20 hwy / 16 combined
V8 4WD: 13 city / 20 hwy / 15 combined
V8 SRT: 12 city / 18 hwy / 14 combined
V6 estimates assume use of regular-grade gasoline. V8 estimates (excluding SRT8) assume use of midgrade gasoline. Grand Cherokee SRT8 estimates assume use of premium gasoline. Note also that the V6 engine is flex-fuel capable and can be fueled with E85 Ethanol. EPA estimates 14 mpg combined for the V6 on E85.
NHTSA Safety Ratings:
Front Impact: 4 stars
Side Impact: 5 stars
Rollover Resistance: 3 stars
Overall: 4 stars
IIHS Safety Ratings:
Front Offset Impact: Good
Side Impact: Good
Roof Strength: Good
Named IIHS 2012 Top Safety Pick
For additional details, see our 2011 review
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee carries forward largely unchanged from the 2011 model year, aside from the addition of the speedy SRT8 version and some minor trim-level changes. For a comprehensive analysis of what reviewers say about this midsize Jeep, see our full report on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Edmunds.com editors provide detailed overviews of every new car. This feature notes the changes made for the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and goes through Edmunds.com's impressions on features, drive quality and overall comfort.
Review: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Editors of Edmunds.com
Aside from the reintroduction of the SRT8 model with a 470-horsepower V8, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is unchanged from the previous year. Our full report on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is completely applicable to the latest model year.
Review: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Editors of ConsumerSearch.com, July 2011
Drivers can expect to get overall combined fuel economy ranging from 15 mpg to 19 mpg depending on powertrain choice (V6 or V8, 2WD or 4WD) in the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to official EPA estimates.
Review: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee has been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and gets an overall safety rating of 4 stars (out of a possible 5).
Review: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the Jeep Grand Cherokee as a Top Safety Pick for 2012.
Review: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety