Deciding which is the best year for Jeep Grand Cherokee (JGC) is based on a number of factors. You need to look at drivability, comfort, interior design, utility features, and technological support.
Even so, relying on these variables can be misleading, given that Jeep aims to optimize performance and suppress weaknesses associated with each of these core areas. If you’re stuck wondering which Grand Cherokee to pick, worry not as we have you covered.
Read on to understand which Jeep Grand Cherokee model year is the best for you.
Best Year for Jeep Grand Cherokee
These model years are highly recommended if you are looking for a used Jeep Grand Cherokee:
2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee – For Traditional Authenticity
The 2009 Grand Cherokee integrates all of Jeep’s traditional attributes. So, you get superior off-road performance, plus, exhaustive SUV competencies in one package.
It comes with three four-wheel-drive systems, including Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II. These systems provide escalating off-road capabilities for you to choose from, depending on your driving and towing needs.
The Quadra-Trac I offers basic trail-busting driving and towing capabilities for modest traveling and hauling endeavors. The Quadra-Drive II 4WD system, on the other hand, brings advanced towing mechanics for sophisticated traveling and hauling adventures – 7,400 pounds maximum towing capacity.
You can also match your transportation and hauling needs with various SUV trim options. The trim levels include Laredo, Limited, Overland, and SRT8.
Besides maintaining Jeep’s traditional authenticity, the 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee incorporates the most relevant updates in the automobile development subsector. So, you get useful upgrades with this model, including boosted power V8s, increased operational equipment, and overall quality improvement.
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee – Serious Off-Road Chops
The fully redesigned 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is ideal if what you’re looking for is a mid-size crossover.
Importantly, the model has an air suspension option and a drive-mode selector powertrain suited for specific types of terrain.
Unlike its predecessors, this model is stretched out to create more space in the passenger room. Also, the driver and front passenger areas are redesigned with user-friendly controls, thus improving the driver’s command of both the main and the ancillary components.
It is fitted with an all-new 290hp 3.6-liter V6 engine, which is more powerful and fuel-efficient. It comes with a V8 360hp option if you prefer a grander, sophisticated off-road machine.
The 2011 JGC is available in three trim levels: Laredo, Limited, and Overland, each with 4X2 and 4X4 guises.
All these trim levels integrate top-of-the-range equipment, making the 2011 JGCs among the most dependable 4WD machines out there. They include 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, automatic headlights, and cruise control.
Other winning features in the 2011 JGC are:
- Dual-zone air-conditioning
- A tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
- A six-speaker audio system with satellite radio
- Keyless ignition
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee – Versatile for a Day at the Trails
The 2015 JGC is an ideal mid-size SUV if you are looking for an all-rounded 4WD machine. The model carries most of Jeep’s aesthetic and comfort improvements. Hence, you get that luxurious vehicle for your family getaway on top of the all-time towing capability.
Plus, the inception of an eight-speed automatic transmission and a fuel-saving diesel engine option gives the 2015 JGC a sizable fuel economy advantage that surpasses nearly all its rivals.
The mid-size stature doesn’t claim much of performance; the tidal wave low-end torque still affords you ample towing muscle of up to 7,000 pounds.
Its availability in six trim levels provides the much-needed variety for a wide range of driver preferences. They include Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Overland, Summit, and SRT.
The Summit trim level integrates the top-f-the-line JGC’s features, including 20-inch wheels, an acoustic windshield, real wood cabin trim, active noise-canceling technology, and illuminated door sills.
Summit also incorporates the Advanced Technology Group and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. The optional platinum series package gives you lots of exterior trim enhancements.
With its irrefutable off-road ability, upscale interior, luxury and technology-oriented features, and fuel-efficient engine lineup, you can’t go wrong with the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee – Hushed Road Noises and Lavish Interior
The 2019 JGC is part of Jeep’s current generation, which incorporates the latest performance and support features in the market.
The model year’s successes largely hinge on the diversity offered in seven trim levels, including Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk.
So, if you prefer a modest, relatively cheaper machine, you should go for Laredo, a relatively well-equipped version of Grand Cherokee. It comes with 3.6-liter, 295hp, 260 lb.-ft torque engine specs. This trim level also affords you an eight-speed automatic transmission, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
If you want a sophisticated Grand Cherokee, the 2019 Limited and Trailhawk trim levels can be the ideal options for you. These top-of-the-range trims incorporate optional 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 240hp, 420 lb.-ft of torque or a 5.7-liter V8 360hp, 390 lb.-ft.
Limited and Trailhawk trims come with high-end automobile equipment, including 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirrors, a power liftgate, and remote start. You also get a 115-volt power outlet, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable front seats, and leather upholstery, among other unique features.
You won’t go wrong with the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Higher trim levels come with standard convenience and luxury-oriented features, while the lower ones come with extendable feature options.
What to Look For in Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Generational Upgrades
When buying a used Jeep Grand Cherokee, it is important to evaluate generational upgrades to understand the winning features and interpret any problem areas.
Let’s briefly evaluate JGC’s different generations to enlighten you in acquiring a used Jeep.
Jeep Grand Cherokee First-Generation (1993-1998)
The first-generation JGC was modeled to counter the influence of other SUVs in the market. It came with a standard 4.0-liter V6 engine capable of 190 horsepower.
This crop of Jeeps also came with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission for backroad exploring and off-road adventuring.
Beneath all this stellar performance, the first generation JGC was clouded by several complaints. This generation registered a relatively high rate of fuel tank leaks.
Nonetheless, towards the end of this release period, Jeep introduced a 5.9-liter V8 engine. The new engine series addressed the mechanical and functional issues witnessed in the earlier versions.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Second-Generation (1999-2004)
Second-generation JGCs are characterized by more aerodynamic exterior and increased engine power—up to 195hp. A new 4.7-liter V8 engine capable of 235hp was also introduced in the period.
A five-speed automatic transmission and side-curtains airbags were among the notable upgrades of the time. Jeep’s navigation system was also introduced in this generation. So, if you are into the vehicles’ navigation tools, your search for a used JGC should start from this generation.
Nonetheless, the second generation JGC came with seating issues. For instance, the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee had a problematic rear seat belt and the seat belt top mounting bolts. These seating problems will likely affect your luxury and long-distance traveling endeavors.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Third-Generation (2005-2010)
The third generation JGC’s came with an all-new suspension system and an updated four-wheel-drive system. This is convenient if you are looking for easier and more exciting driving experiences.
The updated interior cabin and redesign saw the introduction of cozier and more spacious Jeeps. Also, if you want a choice of three engines and three four-wheel-drive systems, this generation of Jeeps got you covered.
This is the period in which Powerful 4WD Jeeps were introduced. For instance, the manufacturer debuted the SRT8 version with a 6.1-liter V8 engine capable of 420hp in 2006. The inception of a 3.0-liter diesel V8 engine adds variety for you to match your driving and towing needs.
Electrical issues, including exterior lighting and ignition switch issues, were reported in this generation of Jeeps. So, look out for these electrical concerns when shopping for a used Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Fourth-Generation (2011-2021)
The fourth-generation JGC adds more technology and safety features. These upgrades come in handy for youthful, enlightened demographics looking for the latest technological advancements in the market.
The inception of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in 2018 signifies the manufacturer’s intent to improve the JGC beyond the current series.
Even so, issues have been registered in the electrical systems, interior wiring, and brake service. So, you should make proper consultations about each of the noted problem areas to avoid falling into the trap of problematic used JGC.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Years to Avoid
You should avoid these model years when acquiring a used Jeep Grand Cherokee: 2005 and 2014 model years. These model years registered the highest number of complaints.
Plus, the community reviews on the stated models – 2005 and 2014 – indicate the presence of consistent problems around the years’ releases.
Firstly, the 2005 model, being the pioneer in the third generation JGCs, carried extensive performance and functionality issues from the previous generations. The model failed to address reported challenges even after spending a fortune to introduce a new crop of JGCs.
Secondly, the 2014 model registered a good number of unstable parking issues. Many users claim the vehicle would still roll away even when the gear lever is switched to “park.”
Community reviews attributed this problem to the introduction of an erroneous electronic gear shifter meant to replace the conventional gear shifter mechanism used in the previous models. The conventional gear shifter was reintroduced in 2016. So, it would be safe if you avoid both the 2014 and 2015 JGC model years.
With numerous model years to choose from, looking for the best year for Jeep Grand Cherokee can be a tedious task. However, it shouldn’t be that hard to decide on which model year to pick, considering the presence of thorough JGC reviews out there.
Besides deciding on a particular generation of Jeeps to acquire a used JGC, you should assess suitability based on the following important aspects: driving experience, comfort and safety, interior fittings, utility components, and technological extensions. You should also look for common problems, in particular, model years to avoid falling into the trap of problematic Jeep machines.