Fresh off its 75th birthday celebration of the Jeep brand, the Grand Cherokee, which is manufactured by Chrysler, goes further into its fourth production cycle with its 2017 edition. For this model year, there are a few additions. Already known as one of the products of the ultimate off-road brand, the Grand Cherokee adds a model that further solidifies such a reputation with the Trailhawk. Also making its debut for the 2017 model year is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, and the 75th Anniversary Edition and Limited 75th Anniversary Edition make a return from the previous model year.
The total trim line-up of the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee are: Laredo, Laredo E, 75th Anniversary Edition, Altitude, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Limited 75th Anniversary Edition, Summit, and SRT.
Inside the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee, there are two rows of seats to accommodate up to five occupants. The passenger volume is measured at 105.4 cubic feet. The trunk space can be expanded up to 68.3 cubic feet by folding down the rear seats.
For advanced seating accommodations like heating capability, leather upholstery, and front-seat power adjustability, you’d need to upgrade in trim. One of the upper trims, the Summit, stands out with its Laguna leather seat trim to emphasize its luxury orientation. Also unique is the 75th Anniversary Edition trim level, which has black-and-beige leather-covered seats with tangerine accents and apt birthday-edition logos.
The base-level 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee has standard comfort and convenience features like steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth for hands-free phone operation and audio streaming, remote vehicle start for engine ignition outside the vehicle, and remote keyless entry for access with just pressing the key fob. Upgrading in trim increases your chances of getting features like a navigation system, a dual-pane power panoramic moonroof, a transmitter for remote-controlling garage doors, and auto dimming on the rearview mirror to tame headlights behind you.
For entertainment, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee starts off with a six-speaker audio system, with a 5-inch touchscreen for displaying music information, a USB port and an audio jack for connecting your smartphone to play music, and a slot for inserting a flash memory card. Upper-level trims are more likely to have additions or enhancements like a single-disc CD player, a DVD entertainment system installed in the back row, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen that replaces the regular 5-inch.
Rounder and sleeker than previous generations, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee possesses smoother edges and a sportier profile than previous iterations. At the front are halogen quad headlights, which turn on automatically depending on the amount of sunlight. Also present at the front fascia are a pair of fog lights for more penetrating illumination when needed. On the front doors are side mirrors that have power adjustability and heating capability to defog them. LED tail lights and an integrated rear spoiler are featured at the back.
Some of the trims stand out in accordance with their designations. On the ultra-luxurious Summit, the halogen bulbs that comprise the fog lights are replaced by longer-lasting LED ones, and it rides on 20-inch alloy wheels (instead of the base-level 17-inch ones). The Trailhawk, which is the trim designed as the optimal off-road warrior, has a black hood decal, skid plates to protect the suspension, and red tow hooks. And the 75th Anniversary Edition trim level have alloy wheels with a bronze finish and anniversary-edition badging on their center caps.
Other upper-level additions and enhancements include roof rails, high-intensity discharge headlights, automatic headlight high-beam control and leveling, and turn-signal indicators and power folding capability on the side mirrors.
The 2017 Grand Cherokee relies on a four-wheel independent suspension to absorb bumps from rough road surfaces. True to its name, the Trailhawk has the Quadra-lift adjustable air suspension, which gives it a higher ground clearance to keep the undercarriage further away from potential damage.
In terms of drivetrain, you can choose between rear-wheel drive for an evened-out distribution of vehicle weight (the engine is placed at the front) and a four-wheel drive system (4×4) for better handling on slippery surfaces and rougher terrain. On all trims but the Laredo, you can go with either a Quadra-Trac 4×4 for a two-speed transfer case or a Quadra-Drive 4×4 for an electronic limited slip differential.
Typically, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which generates 295 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Accompanying the Pentastar is a stop-start dual battery system, which boosts fuel economy by turning off the engine when coming to a stop and turning it back on when easing the foot from the brake pedal.
The performance-oriented SRT is the only one with the Grand Cherokee’s biggest engine: a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine, which generates 475 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Depending on the trim you get, you can opt for a 3.0-liter diesel V6, which is the most fuel efficient power choice and provides an output of 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. And there’s the new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 with 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, which goes on the upper-level version of the SRT referred to as the SRT Hellcat. Linked to each engine is an 8-speed automatic transmission; on some of the trims, Chrysler adds paddle shifters to simulate greater control over gear shifting.
For auto crash protection, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee has an airbag placed by the driver’s knees, a pair of front impact airbags for the driver and front passenger, a pair of front seat-mounted side impact airbags, and two front and two rear side curtain airbags mounted on the roof. Also standard on the Grand Cherokee are electronic vehicle stability to maintain your intended driving path, all-wheel traction control for enhanced performance on surfaces made slippery by snow, rain, or ice, hill start assist for preventing the vehicle from rolling backwards when shifting from park to drive on a hill, hill descent control for safe driving down a hill, and anti-lock disc brakes for optimal stopping ability.
On the 75th Anniversary Edition vehicles, Chrysler adds blind spot monitoring. Advanced safety options include brake assist, adaptive cruise control, and a parking assist system.
The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes at a time when the midsize SUV segment is fiercely competitive. Among the Grand Cherokee’s chief competition is the 2017 Nissan Murano, which earns high marks for outstanding fuel economy, an upscale cabin, excellent safety ratings, and a generous offering of hi-tech features. Equally worthy of mention is the 2017 Toyota Highlander, which is particularly singled out for its strong optional V6 power and remarkable predicted reliability. Other direct competitors include the Honda Pilot, the Range Rover Sport, the Kia Sorento, and the Buick Enclave.
If there is a vehicle that deserves to be crowned the off-road king in the aforementioned segment, it most likely would be the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Thanks to its drivetrain choices, as well as the choice to increase ground clearance, the SUV is optimized to handle the roughest of terrains with little to no damage. There’s also its impressive line-up of engines, of which there is the fuel efficiency-oriented diesel option. Unfortunately, the Grand Cherokee does not have a very high predicted reliability rating. J.D. Power awards 3 out of 5 Power Circles to the Jeep, based on an Initial Quality Study that evaluates each new ride based on reported issues during the first 90 days of ownership.
Amazing and affordable at the same time, the lowest starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) on the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is $30,295. Because of the various trim combinations, the vehicle has a very wide starting MSRP range; it goes all the way up to $66,795.