2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the quintessential SUV, cloaked in tradition but modern and upscale inside and out.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee balances the modern and the traditional with an expert hand. The front end and grille may not be as bold as in the past, but they fit with the whole package in a cohesive manner. It's not as blue-collar as it has been in the past. Instead, it's more pedigreed and affluent. We find it on-point inside and out, and rate it a 9 out of 10 for styling.

The Grand Cherokee stands among luxury-brand rivals as a pretty sophisticated work of design. The side view is reminiscent of the BMW X5. The view from the front isn't quite as assertive as it has been in the past, but it still has the seven-slat grille that is the hallmark of all Jeeps. That grille is a bit thinner and smaller than it used to be, and it's understated in a segment that likes big and chromey.

At the rear, the LED taillights provide a little attitude, as does a standard rear spoiler. All of that is amplified on the SRT and Trackhawk models.

Inside, the Grand Cherokee's interior stands out as upscale, rivaling the GLE-Class or Cayenne. Even base versions provide a feeling of warmth and are far from plain. A chunky three-spoke steering wheel is standard. The center stack has logically arranged controls and inoffensive metallic-plastic trim. Base versions upgrade from a 5.0-inch to a 7.0-inch LCD touchscreen for audio this year, while higher-line models get the excellent 8.4-inch screen.

Materials improve as you move up the model ladder, and the Limited, Overland, and Summit models are especially upscale. Real wood adorns the steering wheel, doors, and dash, and asks to be touched. We prefer the warmer, organic trims over those with a lot of brightwork. It looks best in the Summit's organic colors, under the natural light of the panoramic roof.

With five powertrains, multiple four-wheel-drive systems, and refined ride and handling, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a model for every need, and no model disappoints for performance, on road or off. Depending on the model you pick, the Grand Cherokee can be an off-road pro, a track monster, or a pleasant street performer. We rate it a 9 out of 10 for performance.

Powertrains, ride, and handling

In its base form, the Grand Cherokee's 3.6-liter V-6 puts out 295 horsepower. It delivers enough low-rpm torque to handle delicate yet demanding off-road situations, along with strong responsiveness right in the middle of the rev band.

The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers on the utility promise of the sport utility vehicle while also offering interior quality a class above.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee carries five adults and cargo quite well. It has good seats front and rear, can fit three comfortably in the rear, offers a spacious cargo hold, and on top trims, it is appointed as well as any in the class. For those reasons, we rate it a 10 out of 10 for comfort, utility, and quality.

The Grand Cherokee seats five, while its Dodge Durango cousin handles up to seven passengers. Both ride the same 114.8-inch wheelbase, but the Jeep makes better use of that space where passengers are concerned in the form of better legroom for all occupants, plus easier ingress and egress, thanks to longer doors that open up to 78 degrees.

The front seats are well bolstered with wide cushions, though the Laredo's cloth seats are fairly flat with short bottom cushions. The SRT and Trackhawk seats are heavily bolstered and they offer good back support, but they are still wide enough that they will only be snug for larger occupants.

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