Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s flagship SUV, a rugged yet civilized 5-passenger hauler with a model lineup spanning from rather basic to absolutely bonkers. For 2018, the latter end of that spectrum just pushed beyond all rationality with the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which packs the 707-horsepower supercharged V8 from its Dodge Hellcat cousins.
You'll Like The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee If...
If you want a rugged yet refined 5-passenger midsize SUV that packs plenty of power and room, there’s probably a Jeep Grand Cherokee for you. Its off-road credentials are legit, while higher trims could pass for a luxury SUV. The new Trackhawk, meanwhile, is the world’s most powerful and quickest production SUV.
You May Not Like The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee If...
If you could care less about off-road capability and tough appeal, a crossover SUV like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander or Chevy Traverse are more car-like and have higher fuel efficiency. They also offer 3-row seating, something not found in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
While admittedly niche, the 707-horsepower, roughly $87,000 Trackhawk is the big newsmaker for the 2018 Grand Cherokee. The rest of the lineup benefits from improved infotainment offerings that include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The Sterling Edition marks the Grand Cherokee’s 25th anniversary.
Depending on trim, the Grand Cherokee spans from a reasonably comfortable SUV to one capable of giving some luxury brands a run for their money. All models are 2-row/5-passenger configurations — there is no 3rd-row option. This layout means good room for passengers and a healthy 36.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats. Folded, that space expands to 68.3 cubic feet. Base Laredo models look the part with cloth and manually adjusted front seats, but stepping up just one trim brings power operation to the driver. Higher-end models are awash in leather and feature heated and ventilated front seats.
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV has a muscular, handsome design. True to its off-road roots, the GC has 8.6 inches of ground clearance, with the performance-oriented SRT model sitting slightly lower (8.3 inches), and the high-performance Trackhawk lower still (8.1 inches). The new Trackhawk also stands out with quad tailpipes and "supercharged" emblazoned on the lower front doors. It also gets distinctive red tow hooks, an anti-glare hood decal, and 18-inch off-road wheels. Despite its tall profile, the Grand Cherokee is easy to get into, making it convenient for the vertically challenged. Conversely, the liftgate can be a bit difficult to reach when fully extended, but you can opt for the power-operated liftgate.
For all its off-road capability, the 2018 Grand Cherokee is remarkably refined in the city and on highways. That’s a good thing, because that’s where most will spend their time. While the Grand Cherokee’s character varies depending on which engine you choose, all are civilized and easy to maneuver. Steering feel can be too soft at times, and the Grand Cherokee’s tough design can result in wind noise. For the adventurous who plan off-highway excursions, know the GC is up to the task thanks to ample ground clearance and a choice of 4-wheel-drive systems. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and the new Trackhawk bring a different kind of performance to the table. With a 4.8-second 0-60 mph time, the 425-horsepower SRT is sports-car fast. Churning the 707 supercharged horses under the Trackhawk’s hood, we did 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds — even quicker than its stated time of 3.5 seconds. These high-performance Grand Cherokees excel in a straight line, but in corners perform about as well as can be expected of a 5,000-plus pound SUV.
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $31,700 for a RWD Laredo model. Higher trims run from the mid-to-high-$40,000 mark, and options can add thousands more. The Trailhawk starts around $44,000 while a Summit begins over $50,000. From there, prices climb drastically for the niche, high-performance Jeep Grand Cherokee variants. The SRT model starts around $68,000, while the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk begins just under $87,000 and can run to the $100,000 mark with options. While a 6-figure Jeep might sound crazy, it’s also the most powerful and quickest production SUV money can buy, and significantly cheaper than something like a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. Against more ordinary rivals like the Ford Edge and Subaru Outback, the Jeep starts higher, but it also comes standard with a V6 engine as opposed to a 4-cylinder. The Toyota 4Runner, meanwhile, begins higher than the Grand Cherokee. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s resale value is expected to hold up fairly well, above that of the Ford Edge, but below that of the 4Runner.Bonus Content: Find out what it’s like to drive the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk!
The Grand Cherokee lineup now spans seven trims, including the new, roughly $87,000 Trackhawk high-performance SUV. Of course, most buyers will stay far south of that. Starting with the base Laredo, you get a V6 engine, new higher-resolution 7-inch touch-screen Uconnect system, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors and a backup camera. We recommend stepping up to at least a Limited model. This adds a power liftgate, power front seats, heated front and rear seats, and the ability to opt for the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 or 3.0-liter diesel V6.
From advanced 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems to an 8.4-inch touch-screen Uconnect system with navigation and CarPlay/Android Auto capability, there’s a bevy of options available for the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Some can be had by climbing trims. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, for example, comes with the Quadra-Drive II 4WD, plus creature comforts like ventilated front seats — a welcome feature on a hot day. Our ears are pleased with the premium harman/kardon audio system. Active safety and driving features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist, which can move the vehicle back into a lane if it drifts, and automatic emergency braking if a collision appears imminent and the driver doesn’t take action.
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE TRACKHAWKA 707-horsepower Jeep may seem the epitome of automotive absurdity — and in some respects it is — but this ultra-performance SUV is still a Grand Cherokee. Unlike a Dodge Charger Hellcat, the Trackhawk has the all-weather traction and utility expected of a sport-utility vehicle. QUADRA-LIFT AIR SUSPENSIONJeep’s new Grand Cherokee SUV offers an optional air suspension with five separate height settings. At its highest, the Grand Cherokee delivers 10.6 inches of ground clearance. At its lowest setting, entry and exit are made easier and aerodynamics is improved. Trailhawks get a modified version for improved wheel articulation.
Under the Hood
A total of five engines are available for the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee, but in reality most will be choosing among three. Standard across the lineup is a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 that is capable and relatively fuel-efficient. Optional is a 5.7-liter V8 that is stout but thirstier. We have a particular fondness for the 3.0-liter diesel V6 that is both strong and efficient. Jeep’s FCA parent has filed for an emissions certification, and reps tell us this engine is part of the product plan for 2018 models. The high-performance Grand Cherokee SRT uses a 6.4-liter V8 that spits out 425 horsepower and can blast to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The new Trackhawk boasts the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine also used in Hellcat models of the Dodge Challenger and Charger. With 707 horsepower, it screams to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds or less. The V6 engines come with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or optional 4-wheel drive (4WD), while the V8 models are 4WD. All Grand Cherokees use an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Cherokee is rated to tow an impressive 7,400 pounds. 3.6-liter V6295 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (2WD), 18/25 mpg (4WD) 5.7-liter V8360 horsepower @ 5,150 rpm390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 mpg (4WD) 3.0-liter diesel V6240 horsepower @ 3,600 rpm420 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A 6.4-liter V8 (Grand Cherokee SRT)475 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm470 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 mpg 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (Grand Cherokee Trackhawk)707 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm645 lb-ft @4,800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17 mpg
The 2018 Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s flagship SUV, a 2-row/5-passenger hauler with a model lineup spanning from rather basic to absolutely bonkers. For 2018, the latter end of that spectrum just pushed beyond all rationality with the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which packs the 707-horsepower supercharged V8 from its Dodge Hellcat cousins. As the Grand Cherokee nameplate celebrates its 25th anniversary, it continues to improve on its formula for a rugged, powerful yet civilized midsize SUV. Yes, it still offers off-road capability that few rivals outside a Toyota 4Runner can match, all while improving on features more important to today’s buyers like Apple CarPlay integration. This Jeep faces a range of rivals, but none can match its breadth of trim choices or power.