The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a mid-size SUV that blends a luxurious ride with Jeep’s legendary reputation for off-roading. Added to the mix are a pair of performance variants that deliver muscle-car performance in a four-wheel-drive family hauler. At the top of the heap, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has a 707-horsepower, supercharged Hemi V-8 engine under its hood.
As much as we enjoy the Grand Cherokee, cracks are beginning to appear in the foundation of Jeep’s range-topping SUV. This generation has been on sale since 2011, and the last time the Grand Cherokee received a significant makeover was back in 2014. Sure, there are plenty of engines to choose from and the styling has aged nicely. But time marches on, and the Grand Cherokee is starting to trail the competition in some key areas.
To read our complete review of the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee by Cars.com’s Brian Normile, just follow the related link above. But if you’re short on time (or don’t mind a few spoilers), then keep scrolling down to see the areas where the Grand Cherokee excels, along with some things that are overdue an update.
Here are nine things we like, and four we don’t, about the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee:
Things We Like
1. Stylish Standard-Bearer
The exterior is more than familiar, but the Grand Cherokee is aging nicely. That’s saying something, because the same general shape has been around for close to a decade now. Over the years, many rivals have gone for softer edges and more carlike (or coupelike) exteriors. Not so for the Grand Cherokee — it remains a proud SUV in look and spirit.
2. A Grand Cherokee for Everyone
Based on the available engines, there is a Grand Cherokee to suit every need. From the base 3.6-liter V-6 up to a choice of three powerful V-8 engines that deliver a total of 360, 475 or, in the Trackhawk model, 707 hp.
3. Strong Standard V-6
We agree the 707-hp supercharged V-8 borrowed from the Hellcat muscle cars sounds tempting. But the base 3.6-liter V-6 delivers a stout 295 hp and 260 pounds-feet of torque. In Normile’s review, he acknowledges these numbers don’t sound overwhelming, though he praised the powertrain for providing “solid, linear power.” An eight-speed automatic transmission is fitted to all Grand Cherokees.
4. Wild Performance Models
Have we mentioned the out-of-this-world Trackhawk model with 707 hp? According to Jeep, the Trackhawk needs only 3.5 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph. For those who don’t need quite that level of craziness, the Grand Cherokee SRT offers an impressive 475 hp and 470 pounds-feet of torque. The SRT and Trackhawk have the power and moves to take on the best from BMW’s M division or Mercedes-AMG.
5. True Off-Road Capability
A Jeep isn’t a Jeep if it can’t confidently tread onto surfaces that aren’t paved over. True to tradition, the Grand Cherokee comes with several choices of a rugged four-wheel-drive system and provides plenty of rock-crawling capability. An optional air suspension allows for an extra 4.1 inches of lift.
6. Intuitive Infotainment
While it’s not the newest SUV on the block, the Grand Cherokee is graced with one of the most intuitive infotainment systems you’ll find. The Uconnect multimedia system comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen, though most trims are fitted with a larger 8.4-inch screen.
7. Towing Chops
When properly equipped, the 2019 Grand Cherokee can tow a maximum of 7,200 pounds. That’s significantly higher than many of this Jeep’s rivals.
8. Delightful Daily Driver
Yes, the Grand Cherokee loves to venture off-road, and the performance models won’t wilt on a racetrack. But for day-to-day driving, this Jeep remains a quiet and comfortable place to spend your time. It’s easy to drive, simple to maneuver, and it provides plenty of comfort features like heated seats, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, leather seating and a power liftgate.
9. Standard Smartphone Integration
Believe it or not, some luxury brands charge extra for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and many don’t even offer this feature at all. You get both as standard on every Jeep Grand Cherokee.
More From Cars.com:
- 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Video: Limited X a New Middle Ground for Buyers
- What’s the Best Mid-Size SUV of 2019?
- How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee?
- Research the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Find a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Near You
Things We Don’t
1. Spotty Safety Scores
The good news is that the Jeep Grand Cherokee registers a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet in the driver’s-side small front overlap crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Grand Cherokee only managed a rating of marginal, the second lowest possible score.
2. Meh MPG
While the standard V-6 engine isn’t terribly thirsty (18/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined), the V-8-equipped models have a serious appetite for fuel. The Trackhawk might as well come with its own oil tanker.
3. Gets Very Expensive
Once you start adding options or climbing to higher trims, the Jeep Grand Cherokee gets pretty pricey. This is especially true for Hemi-powered models, with the fire-breathing Trackhawk variant starting at more than $85,000.
4. Caught by Competitors
There is no getting around the fact that the Grand Cherokee is showing its age. Total cabin and cargo space are smaller than what you get in many rivals, while some of the powertrains lag when it comes to matching power output with decent mpg.
Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.