Which 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Is Right for You?
Jeep is a brand with a rich history and a longstanding reputation for rugged vehicles that are ready for just about anything you can throw at them. The tricky part is that a lot of its vehicles try to be everything to everyone.
There are a staggering 10 different Jeep Grand Cherokees out there for 2017. And that’s before you even get into its smaller sibling, the Cherokee, and before you get into front-wheel vs. all-wheel drive. So even if you’ve said to yourself, “I want a Jeep Cherokee of some sort,” you’re still looking at actual, literal dozens of options. But what are all these different for?
The Laredo is the base-model Grand Cherokee. A starting MSRP of $30,395 gets you a 3.6L V6 that gets 295hp, and uses 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. The whole thing rolls on 17×8-inch aluminum wheels. The Laredo doesn’t have an awful lot in the way of added features, and you can’t even really add much to it. Still, it has dual-zone temperature control, audio controls on the steering wheel, and a Uconnect 5.0 media system. Keyless entry and a back-up camera come standard. If you want all-wheel drive, the price bumps up to $32,695 and the mileage goes down to 18mpg city/25mpg highway.
As the name suggests, the Laredo E is a slight step up, with a base MSRP of $32,695. That extra cash doesn’t get you much except a few extra colors and the ability to buy more optional features. Chrome add-ons, larger wheels, a trailer tow, heated seats and more become available. The problem is that you’re going to be paying for those things individually after you’ve already paid two grand to bump up to the Laredo E. Similar to the Laredo, bumping the price up to $34,695 gets you 4WD.
75th Anniversary Edition
The 75th Anniversary Edition has a price tag of $35,375. This trim has a more limited than the Laredo E, but it has more standard features. The wheels have grown to 18 inches x 8 inches. Heated front seats and steering wheel come with it, as does Uconnect 8.4. The driver’s seat is also power-adjustable 8 ways. The Uconnect upgrade gives you an 8.4-inch touchscreen, GPS Antenna Input, and an instrument cluster with off-road display pages. But the coolest feature is the Bluetooth connectivity. Not only does it let you make phone calls over the Bluetooth, you can give voice commands to the car itself to play music and take calls. Since it’s an anniversary edition, some of the badges and accents are unique to this trim. As with the other trims, you can go for 4WD for an extra $2,000.
The Altitude is one of Jeep’s “Limited Editions” for the year, and it’s slick. Luckily, it doesn’t represent a huge price increase at $36,195. The wheels get a bump up to 20-inch x 8-inch gloss black aluminum, and more color options are in the mix. The interior is done up in an anodized gun metal finish and the seats are an all-black, Capri leather-trimmed affair with perforated sude inserts. The “Security and Convenience Group” of features comes standard with the Altitude. This includes a power liftgate, remote start, a universal garage door opener, a comprehensive security alarm, and more. For $38,495, you can snag a 4×4 version.
Next up is the Limited, starting at $37,995. The limited bumps back down to 18-inch wheels and loses the “security and convenience” features, but re-opens some of the comfort and cosmetic option packages. A memory system for the driver’s seat, mirrors, and radio add convenience, as does a remote start.
The Limited also lets you bump up to a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 or a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine, for a surcharge. All of the seats are heated on the limited, as is the steering wheel. The upgrade from Uconnect 5.0 to Uconnect 8.4 is optional here instead of standard. But you also have the option to include a rear seat dual screen Blu-Ray/DVD player, if you want. The limited is all about safety and comfort.
One of the biggest differences here is one the 4×4 version. In keeping with some of the other trims, the upgrade is $2,000. But the Limited introduces a more advanced all-wheel system than the others. The previous trims employ the Quadra-Trac I 4WD System. This is a single-speed 4×4 system that keeps the Jeep ready for all weather. From here on out, though, the Grand Cherokee is equipped with Quadra-Trac II. This uses a variety of sensors to track possible tire slippage and re-route available torque to the axle with the most traction. The result is a powerful traction control system that can be set for nearly any terrain.
The Trailhawk is a little pricier at $43,095, and many of the creature comforts are stripped down. But where you’re going, you don’t need them. The Trailhawk is optimized for off-roading. As such, you can only get the Trailhawk as a 4×4. You have the option of springing for a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, like with the Limited. The Trailhawk also comes with the Quadra-Drive II 4WD system to bolster the Quadra-Trac II System. This system has an electronic rear limited-slip differential that transfers all available torque away from a slipping wheel for the greatest traction possible. You get heated front and rear seats and steering wheel, but you also get ventilated seats in the front, and Uconnect 8.4 is standard.
Limited 75th Anniversary Edition
Starting at $43,605, the Limited 75th Anniversary Edition adds a ton of features. Like the original-recipe 75th Anniversary Edition, you get special badges and accents. A mesh grill and low-gloss bronze accents help it stand out in a crowd. You also get a power sunroof and an eight-way, power-adjustable driver seat with four-way lumbar adjustment. The seats are leather-trimmed, with tangerine accents and an embossed logo celebrating the anniversary. Blind spot monitoring and rear-cross detection come standard. You do lose a few things from previous trims. Like the Trailhawk, this Grand Cherokee is only available as a 4×4 with Quadra-Trac II. Unlike the Trailhawk, the Quadra-Drive II system isn’t available.
The Overland may sound like it’s ready to charge into battle, but this Jeep’s strength lies more in its tech and its towing. You get an 8.4-inch touchscreen, a 9-speaker Alpine sound system, and even rain-sensing windshield wipers. The Overland is $44,795 for the 4×2, or $47,795 for 4WD. The 4×4 edition also comes standard with Jeep’s “Trailer Tow Group IV.” This includes a 7- and 4-pin wiring harness, a class IV receiver hitch, a compact, lightweight spare tire, a 20″x6″ aluminum spare wheel, and a heavy-duty engine cooling system designed to vent excess heat generated from pushing the Overland hard.
At $50,495, the Summit is the top trim you can get in a 4×2 Grand Cherokee, and it’s all about luxury. With features like advanced brake assist, lane departure warnings, and parallel and perpendicular park assist, you might feel like the thing just about does half the driving for you. The Summit has an exclusive exterior look, as well as a leather-wrapped interior that’s also exclusive but optional. A standard 19-Speaker Harman Kardon audio system might see you sneaking out to the driveway to listen to music. The 4×4 version of the Summit checks in at $53,495, and comes with the same trailer tow feature package and engine cooling that the Overland does.
SRT stands for “Street and Racing Technology,” and Jeep is claiming that this SUV is ready for the track. This Grand Cherokee comes with a 6.4L HEMI V8 that pushes 475hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Of course, that comes at a cost. The SRT only gets 13mpg in the city and 19 on the highway. It also comes with a more literal cost – namely, $66,895. The SRT is only available as a 4×4, and it’s the most advanced 4×4 you can get in this model. Quadra-Trac Active On Demand 4WD operates all the time, distributing torque to all wheels evenly, until it detects slippage, at which point it redirects torque to the wheels that actually have traction.
You also get a high-speed engine controller and the heavy-duty engine cooling system. It’s got a bigger alternator, a bigger rear axle…it’s just got bigger stuff, all around. Jeep is calling the interior “race-inspired,” and we’re not sure what the leather interior has to do with speed, but the Uconnect performance pages might come in handy, and there is a G-Force meter. It also has a high-performance braking system from Brembo. If you really want to take a Grand Cherokee to the track instead of, say, a Camaro or a Mustang, this is the one for you.