The Jeep Cherokee has lived at the top of the brand's lineup since the early 1990s, when it replaced the Grand Wagoneer. Since then it has moved progressively more upscale so that it now challenges the performance of some of the more desirable luxury SUVs at a much lower price.
What's New / Key Changes from Last Year
This year's Grand Cherokee changes are in trim. The wild Trackhawk gets new badges, new optional 20-inch wheels and a leather-trimmed interior.
Jeep has a new premium lighting group option for certain trims, and the Protech II option group's availability is extended to Laredo trim.
Overland and Summit trims can be had with new interior leather colourways, and the High Altitude model gets a new wheel design.
According to a Jeep press release, this year's lineup is trimmed down to seven packages; 2019's Altitude, Upland, Limited X and High Altitude trims are gone.
Grand Cherokee trims include Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, SRT and Trackhawk. At the lower end of the range, power is from a 3.6L V6 or a 5.7L V8. SRT gets a 6.2L V8, and the Trackhawk uses a supercharged version of the 6.2L. An eight-speed transmission and four-wheel drive are standard in all trims.
Laredo trim comes with heated side mirrors, 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, automatic on/off headlights, LED taillights, interior LED lighting, cloth upholstery, a six-speaker stereo, 7.0-inch infotainment display, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift lever, dual-zone automatic climate control, 12-way power driver's seat with four-way lumbar, fold-flat front passenger seat, 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster display, tilt-and-telescopic steering column, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, passive keyless entry, rear park assist sensors, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.
Limited trim adds 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, Selec-Terrain drive modes, hill descent control, garage door opener, driver's side auto-dimming mirror, power tailgate, upgraded fog lights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 115-volt power outlet, a 12-way power front passenger seat, cargo cover and a heated steering wheel.
Trailhawk trim brings a limited-slip differential, air suspension, underbody skid plates, a full-size spare tire, tow hooks, power-folding side mirrors, Nappa leather seating, nine-speaker stereo, and an 8.4-inch infotainment display with navigation.
Overland trim builds on Limited, adding rain-sensing wipers, air suspension, 20-inch wheels, auto-dimming passenger side mirror, auto-levelling HID headlights with automatic high beams, LED daytime running lights, wood steering wheel trim and other wood accents, under-seat lighting and leather dash and console trim.
Summit models gain headlight washers, performance all-season tires, perforated leather seats, a 19-speaker stereo, suede headliner, adaptive cruise control, park assist, lane departure warning with lane keep assist and forward collision detection with automatic braking.
SRT's additions are mostly performance-related, including a sport suspension, Brembo brakes, upgraded engine cooling and a shift indicator. It also reverts to the Overland's nine-speaker stereo, and loses the Summit's wood trim and suede headliner.
Finally, the Trackhawk gets competition suspension and a black painted hood.
Jeep offers a Protech option group that adds the Summit's driver assists to lower-end trims. An off-road adventure package brings bits like skid plates and all-terrain tires to non-Trailhawk models. There's also a rear-seat entertainment system and the Summit's 19-speaker stereo to add to some lesser trims.
Jeep's fuel consumption estimates for the Grand Cherokee are 12.7/9.6 L/100 km (city/highway) with the V6 engine; 16.7/10.9 for the 5.7L V8; 18.3/12.6 L/100 in SRT guise; and 20.9/13.8 for the Trackhawk.
There are many mid-size SUVs that technically compete with the Grand Cherokee, but fewer that offer the same level of off-road ability. Still, you could cross-shop pricier versions of the Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer and Honda Passport against this upscale Jeep. The Dodge Durango is similar mechanically but comes with three rows of seating to the Jeep's two.
You can also compare the Grand Cherokee with the Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, Volvo XC90 and Jaguar F-Pace. What you'll find is that the Jeep's build quality lacks compared to those luxury models, but it offers similar performance at lower prices.