Overview

Overview

The midsize SUV segment is crowded and getting even more so, but the five-passenger 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee acquits itself nicely in the crop of SUVs aiming to satisfy wide-ranging consumer wants and needs. Sharing its components with the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the current-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee (redesigned in 2011) comes naturally by its premium look and feel. Upgrades in performance, cabin quality and overall refinement are dramatic, but none of this detracts from the Grand Cherokee's off-road prowess.

What Experts Think

There's a lot to like in the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to most automotive reviewers.  "For comfortable manners around town, available V8 power and total confidence on winding trails, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is as solid a pick as you'll find in the class." (Edmunds)

"Whether you require the tenacious traction afforded by the Grand Cherokee's three available 4WD systems, or just the controlled balance and handling of the 2WD version, both come wrapped in a solid package with the highest quality materials yet placed in a Jeep." (Kelley Blue Book)

Need more convincing? "The Jeep Grand Cherokee balances pleasant and confident on-road handling with capable off-road tenacity. Good looking, comfortable interiors, a relatively modest exterior size, and a plethora of available options further increase its appeal." (Consumer Guide)

What's not to like? There are other midsize SUVs with better fuel economy, as well as some offering seven-passenger capability. "Thirsty V-8 engines, heavy weight saps performance and fuel economy." (Car and Driver)

Price can also come as a bit of a shock when you add in all those desirable options, so keeping the bottom line under $30,000 may be out of the question (except for the base Laredo). What about that transmission? Several reviewers find the five-speed automatic outdated and course during gear shifts.

What Owners Say

According to owner reviews from sites like Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com), and MSN Autos, in general, consumers who've purchased the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee give it high marks for the exterior and interior design, quality for the price paid, on-road driving experience, off-road performance, loads of electronic features, and resale value.

Nitpicks include seat comfort, which, as some owners noted, can be adjusted by fiddling with the seat controls, door closing sound, poor draining system during heavy downpours or after a wash, and electronic power steering that emits a whine when the vehicle is stopped. Other owners (echoing expert reviewers) wish for an eight-speed automatic transmission, saying the current gearbox is old-fashioned and steering a bit on the vague side.

Model/Trim Lineup

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in three major trim levels: Laredo, Limited and Overland, each available in rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.

Standard equipment in the base model Laredo includes 17-inch wheels, cruise control, automatic headlights, fog lamps, full power accessories (power windows, locks, and mirrors), dual-zone air conditioning, tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a six-speaker sound system with AM/FM/CD player, auxiliary audio jack and Sirius XM satellite radio.

Buyers can dress up the Laredo with an optional Laredo E package that adds keyless ignition and entry, eight-way power driver's seat, satellite radio and roof rails. There's also the Security and Convenience package that includes remote start, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, USB/iPod interface and a cargo cover. Additional options include a backup camera, parking assist, nine-speaker premium sound system (with touchscreen interface, digital music storage and satellite radio), leather seating, power passenger seat, and heated front seats.

Next up is the Limited, which has all of the Laredo's optional equipment and adds 18-inch wheels, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, Garmin navigation, bi-xenon headlights, and rear parking sensors, driver memory functions, heated second-row seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Options on the Limited include 20-inch wheels, ventilated front seats, upgraded navigation system with real-time traffic, power and heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a power liftgate. Other optional equipment includes forward collision warning and blind-spot rear cross-path detection, adaptive cruise control, and towing package.

The Overland starts with most of the Limited's options, then adds heated wood and leather steering wheel, mesh grille, upgraded leather seats, and adjustable Quadra-Lift air suspension.

Overland Summit is the top-end of the Overland series and comes with unique 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, exterior chrome accents, headlight washers, power-folding outside mirrors, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, blind-spot rear cross-path detection and front parking assist systems, and either black or saddle-colored leather upholstery.

The Limited, Overland and Overland Summit models are also available with an optional rear-seat entertainment system.

Starting with most of the Overland's luxury features, the high-performance Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 shines with its exclusive HEMI V8 engine, forged aluminum 20-inchers, adaptive suspension, performance-tuned steering, Brembo brakes, limited-slip rear differential, paddle shifters, leather and suede sport seats, and carbon fiber cabin accents.

Finally, the new for 2013 Trailhawk model comes with either V6 or V8 engine, four-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels and Kevlar-reinforced tires, air suspension, rock rail body protection. special exterior trim detail, and black suede and leather seats.

MSRPs for the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee range from the starting price of $27,695 on Laredo 4X2 all the way up to $60,295 for the high-performance SRT8.

Performance

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee manages to blend a  comfortable on-road ride with the legendary Jeep off-road prowess that make it, in the opinion of reviewers, one of the best-driving SUVs in the midsize segment. No matter which trim, all Grand Cherokees have ample power and acquit themselves nicely whether on- or off-road.

All Jeep Grand Cherokee models except SRT8 and Trailhawk are equipped with the 290-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine mated with standard five-speed automatic transmission. This setup delivers 260 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy in 4WD models is an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway/19 mpg combined. According to most auto press reviewers, the 3.6-liter V6 should satisfy most drivers, delivering good power in most situations.

The optional 5.7-liter V8 engine makes 360 horsepower and delivers 390 pound-feet of torque, mated with a six-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive fuel economy with this engine is estimated at 13/20/15 mpg.

The Grand Cherokee SRT8, reviewers say, offers blistering acceleration and strong braking, although it has a fairly stiff ride. The SRT8 packs a 470-horsepower, 6.4-liter HEMI V8 that produce 465 pound-feet of torque paired with a beefed-up five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is predictably lower, estimated at 12/15/14 mpg.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, and there are three distinctly different optional four-wheel drive set-ups: Quadra-Trac (only on Laredo models and essentially a full-time all-wheel drive); Quadra-Trac II, standard on Limited, Overland and Trailhawk V8 models and optional on Laredo, with a two-speed transfer case, Selec-Terrain system and hill-descent control; and Quadra-Drive II, optional on Limited, Overland and Trailhawk, which adds electronic limited-slip differentials to both axles.

There's also the nifty Quadra-Lift air suspension (optional on Limited and standard on Trailhawk and Overland models) that varies ride height: automatically through Selec-Terrain or based on driver input.

Properly equipped, the Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow up to 7,400 pounds.

Interior

In the view of most reviewers, the cleanly styled dash, tight seams and panel fitment and high quality materials from door to dash mean the interior of the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee easily keeps pace with the best in class. The three-spoke steering wheel is chunky and comfortable. The center stack controls feature metal and plastic controls, while some models get real wood trim on the steering wheel, dash and doors. Seats are comfortable and supple, with SRT8 and Trailhawk models receiving aggressive bolstering for firmer support during high-performance and off-road riding, respectively.

Rear seats are similarly comfortable, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee offering up a lot more legroom than a Toyota 4Runner. Three adults can sit in the back comfortably, which is a vast improvement over the previous generation model where rear-seat passengers experienced cramped knee, leg and shoulder room. The downside is that the Jeep Grand Cherokee only seats five, unlike some midsize SUVs with seven- and eight-passenger capability.

The automotive press also notes that the Grand Cherokee's cargo capacity is below class average, though there's still ample storage space in the cabin to accommodate most owners' needs. Behind the rear seats there's 35 cubic feet of cargo space. Flip the seats down flat (with a single lever) and you get nearly 65 feet. is isn't as much as a Ford Expedition or Honda Pilot, but about the same as the Ford Edge.

Where the Jeep Grand Cherokee could use a little updating, according to several reviewers, is in its navigation system, which some find dated and somewhat clumsy, especially when compared to the newer systems from Ford, General Motors and other automakers. But, on the technology front, the Uconnect Web adds wireless connectivity and in-car hotspots. This makes it easier to stream video to portable devices.

Safety & Reliability

As most reviewers note, any family SUV should provide top-notch safety features. The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers with an overall four-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a "Good" rating in frontal-offset, side, and roof strength crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Standard safety features include four-wheel antilock disk brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, hill-descent control, hill-start assistance, front side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags, active front head restraints. Optional safety equipment includes blind spot warning with rear cross-path detection, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control systems.

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is too new to have reliability data, but in J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study of last year's model, based on owner-reported issues, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee earned a five-circle rating for overall initial quality. Body and interior quality design also received five circles, while the design and quality of features and accessories each earned four circles. Three areas had three circles: powertrain quality - mechanical and design, and body and interior quality - mechanical.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
SUV - 4WD
Laredo 4WD 4dr Laredo V6 4WD 29695
Laredo Altitude 4WD 4dr Laredo Altitude *Ltd Avail* V6 4WD 29695
Laredo Trailhawk 4WD 4dr Laredo Trailhawk *Ltd Avail* V6 4WD 29695
Limited 4WD 4dr Limited V6 4WD 39595
Overland 4WD 4dr Overland V6 4WD 43995
Overland Summit 4WD 4dr Overland Summit V6 4WD 43995
SRT8 4WD 4dr SRT8 *Ltd Avail* 8 Cylinder 4WD 60295
SRT8 Alpine 4WD 4dr SRT8 Alpine 8 Cylinder 4WD 60295
SRT8 Vapor 4WD 4dr SRT8 Vapor 8 Cylinder 4WD 60295
SUV - RWD
Laredo RWD 4dr Laredo V6 RWD 27695
Laredo Altitude RWD 4dr Laredo Altitude *Ltd Avail* V6 RWD 27695
Limited RWD 4dr Limited V6 RWD 37095
Overland RWD 4dr Overland V6 RWD 40495
Overland Summit RWD 4dr Overland Summit V6 RWD 40495

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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