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2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/3/2017 Motor Trend Staff

You'll Like

  • Impressive off-road capability
  • Smooth and efficient turbodiesel option
  • Variety of engine and drivetrains to choose from

You Won't Like

  • Poor V-8 fuel economy
  • Slow acceleration due to heavy weight
  • Can quickly get expensive

New for 2016

Jeep improves the fuel efficiency of the 3.6-liter V-6 and the 5.7-liter V-8 by adding electric power steering, decreased tire rolling resistance, and weight reductions. The 3.6-liter V-6 now comes equipped with a new engine stop-start feature and receives a boost in power to 295 hp. An Ivory Tri-coat exterior color found on the Overland, Summit, and SRT models is also new.

Vehicle Summary

The flagship Grand Cherokee is the largest and most expensive model in Jeep's large SUV lineup that consists of the Wrangler Unlimited, Wrangler, Cherokee, Compass, Renegade, and Patriot.

Overview

The standard engine in the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a 295-hp, 260-lb-ft of torque 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers an EPA-rated 19/26 mpg city/highway equipped with two-wheel drive and 18/25 mpg equipped with all-wheel drive. The available 360-hp, 390-lb-ft of torque 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is only available with a four-wheel-drive system and is rated at 14/22 mpg. The optional 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 produces 240 hp and a whopping 420 lb-ft of torque and manages to deliver a manufacturer claimed 22/30 mpg equipped with two-wheel drive and 21/28 mpg with four-wheel drive. The high-performance SRT model comes standard with a large 6.4-liter V-8 that produces an impressive 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, is only available with a full-time four-wheel-drive system, and delivers 13/19 mpg. All engines and drivetrains in this four-door SUV are paired to an eight-speed automatic.

For the ultimate off-road excursion in your 2016 Grand Cherokee, opt for Off-Road Adventure Groups I or II. Group I consists of the Skid Plate Group (front suspension skid plate, fuel tank skid plate, transfer case skid plate, underbody skid plate), a two-speed on-demand transfer case, Selec-Terrain system, Hill-descent Control, a Trail Rated badge, a steel spare wheel, a full-size spare tire, and on/off road tires. Group II takes off-road capability further and includes everything from Group I but adds the more capable Quadra-Drive four-wheel system and Quadra-Lift air suspension system.

Safety

The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with four-wheel drive received the highest rating of five stars from the NHTSA for its overall rating, the 2016 Grand Cherokee equipped with two-wheel drive received a four-star overall rating. The IIHS gave its second lowest rating of Marginal for the small overlap front crash test, and the highest rating of Good for the moderate front, side, roof strength, head restraints, and seats. The IIHS did not test the Grand Cherokee's automatic braking system and issued the SUV a rating of Basic for having a warning system. To get the most from your Grand Cherokee's safety features, make sure to order the Advanced Technology Group that consists of adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, advanced brake assist, and lane departure warning.

What We Think

In a 2014 diesel luxury SUV comparison, the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel placed first ahead of the Porsche Cayenne Diesel, Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTec, and the Volkswagen Touareg TDI because of the SUV's capability, class, smooth diesel powertrain, and the nicely appointed and comfortable interior. Butthe heavy curb weight brought down fuel economy and acceleration numbers. "For a segment-friendly $56,990, you get world-class equipment and world-class on- and off-road performance with loads of space for the family and all of your junk."

In a 2014 Track Drive of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, we praised its fast performance numbers and sporty driving dynamics and said, "Try as hard as you like, you aren't going to find a way to rationalize buying it. Sure the eight-speed transmission makes it more efficient, and it will tow 7,200 pounds and haul 1,350 pounds of payload, but if you really want to use it as an SUV, buy the diesel. Buy the SRT because you want it, not because you need it."

Cool Fact

The Grand Cherokee's Quadra-Lift air suspension system has five height settings: Normal ride height, Off-Road 1 lifts the SUV 1.1 inches, and Off-Road 2 lift the SUV 2.2 inches, Park mode lowers the SUV 1.6 inches from normal ride height, and Aero Mode lowers the SUV 0.6 inches (controlled by vehicle speed).

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