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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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$30,395

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

SUV

Body style

21

Combined MPG

5

Seating capacity

189.8” x 69.3”

Dimensions

Rear-wheel drive

Drivetrain

Overview

The good:

  • Excellent interior quality
  • Off-road capability
  • 7,400-pound maximum towing capacity
  • Attractive styling
  • 8.4-inch touch-screen's usability
  • Acceleration, regardless of engine

The bad:

  • V-8 fuel economy
  • Diesel engine price premium
  • Thick pillars impede forward visibility
  • Tight rear legroom
  • Steering wheel too thick for smaller hands
  • Cylinder deactivation creates odd engine noise (SRT)

7 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • New Trailhawk trim level
  • Summit model gets new available leather interior, revised exterior styling
  • Backup camera, rear parking sensors now standard
  • Diesel V-6 available
  • Three 4x4 systems available
  • 475-horsepower SRT version offered

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee review: Our expert's take

By Brian Wong

The Jeep Grand Cherokee gets only very mild updates for 2017, but it does add an exciting new trim level that raises the level of the mid-size SUV’s off-road capability: the Trailhawk.

A five-seater, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is sold in six trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and SRT. Compare the 2017 Grand Cherokee with the 2016 model here

Jeep’s goal with the Trailhawk was to make the most off-road-capable mid-size SUV on the market, a title that probably already belonged to one of the model’s other trim levels. The Grand Cherokee’s competition, such as the Nissan Murano, Ford Edge and Kia Sorento, are much more pavement-oriented. Compare the Grand Cherokee with those models here.

In fact, the 2016 version of the Grand Cherokee recently took on these three SUVs (as well as the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport) in our 2016 Midsize SUV Challenge at the end of last year. And it finished… dead last. One of the reasons was its more truck-like ride, but that isn’t something I mind in an SUV — especially if it comes with added capability. And the Trailhawk takes that concept even further, adding a slew of mechanical upgrades that make it an off-road savant — plus rugged styling touches to match.

Exterior and Styling

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The Grand Cherokee stands out from the rest of its class with its old-school, rugged styling, and the Trailhawk takes that motif further still with a few unique styling touches. Each Trailhawk features flat-black appliques on the hood, plus front and rear tow hooks that are painted bright red. There are also gray side mirrors and roof-rack accents.

To protect its underbody, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has standard skid plates front and rear. Mopar rock rails are optional if you require rocker panel protection. The front air dam is removable for added clearance when traversing obstacles.

How It Drives

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Under the hood, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk I tested came with the standard Jeep Grand Cherokee engine: a 293-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 260 pounds-feet of torque. A 360-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 390 pounds-feet of torque is available, as well. Jeep says that a 240-hp, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 that makes 420 pounds-feet of torque will be an option on Trailhawk and Summit models, but it wasn’t available as of publication; according to the EPA, it violates the Clean Air Act and has not been certified for use in 2017 models (though the latest word is that it will be). An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission option.

Jeep outfitted the Trailhawk with Quadra-Drive II full-time all-wheel drive with an electronic limited-slip rear differential and an adjustable air suspension that’s unique in this price range. It takes the Grand Cherokee to another level of off-road prowess, raising the Trailhawk as needed for added ground clearance and greater suspension travel. The all-wheel drive also includes an advanced traction control system called Quadra-Trac II, which can anticipate wheel slippage and send more torque to the wheels with traction. It also adds a Low range suitable for slower crawling. 

A control panel behind the shift lever gives the driver full control over off-road settings, including hill ascent and descent control, raising and lowering the air suspension, Low range and a knob for the Selec-Terrain traction control system, which has five settings for types of terrain (Snow, Sand, Auto, Mud and Rock).

These changes all pay huge dividends off-road, where the Trailhawk truly shines, especially with its smart traction control system. There was a point where the Trailhawk was up on three wheels, and the system immediately halted power to the wheel that was up in the air and directed it to the other wheels, helping pull the Trailhawk over the obstacle.

We took the Trailhawk out with a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon on the same trails and obstacles. Though it wasn’t as naturally suited to the exercises as the Wrangler was, the Trailhawk made it through everything with its combination of ground clearance, excellent traction control, all-wheel drive and plenty of power from the V-6, delivered in a linear fashion that was easy to control.

There are tradeoffs to the Trailhawk’s emphasis on capability, however. The unique suspension is great off-road but offers a worse ride on pavement. The suspension, with its extra travel and softer tuning, didn’t really feel settled on the highway — much less so than other Grand Cherokee trims I’ve driven. It was prone to rebounding on road imperfections, which gave the ride an undulating quality.

Fuel economy figures vary by engine choice. Our Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk with the V-6 engine gets an EPA-estimated 18/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined on regular gas, while the V-8 is rated 14/22/17 mpg on mid-grade fuel. The potential EcoDiesel engine had been the mileage champ, rating as high as 30 mpg in the city with rear-wheel drive; that would make it as attractive as its high torque rating should it be cleared for sale.

Interior

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Other than some Trailhawk badging on the seats and steering wheel, the interior is what you’ll find in most other Grand Cherokee trims — good materials and plenty of room, front and rear.  
And even though there’s a beefy all-wheel-drive system, there isn’t a floor hump, so three passengers can fit more comfortably across the rear seat and won’t be forced into playing footsie. 

Ergonomics and Electronics

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Though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t offered, their absence is mitigated by Uconnect, which is a solid multimedia system in its own right. The system hasn’t changed much throughout the years and remains one of my favorites to use, with intuitive operation. The optional, larger 8.4-inch screen in our test vehicle was easily visible and reachable from both front seats. The standard screen is 5 inches.

One part of the Grand Cherokee’s interior design that I really appreciated was the back of the center console, which houses not only vents for air circulation but also a pair of easily accessible USB charge ports and a 110-volt household outlet. This provides plenty of charging options for backseat passengers, and the outlet means a larger mobile device or laptop can be charged while on the go, as well.

Cargo and Storage

The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind its 60/40-split folding backseat, which expands to 68.3 cubic feet when the seats are dropped. That places the Grand Cherokee in the middle of the pack compared with other members of this class, ahead of the Murano (32.1/67.0 cubic feet) but trailing the Edge (39.2/73.4 cubic feet).

With standard towing capacity of 6,200 pounds (up to 7,200 or 7,400 pounds with the other engines, depending on driveline), the Trailhawk obliterates the Murano, Edge, Sorento and Explorer, which can tow only 1,500 or 2,000 pounds in their standard forms.

Safety

The Grand Cherokee received a score of good (out of a possible good, acceptable, marginal or poor) in each of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s tests except the small overlap front test, where it’s rated marginal. This makes it one of the lower performers in the Institute’s mid-size SUVs class.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee includes a standard backup camera. The Trailhawk I drove also came with the Active Safety Group option package ($1,495) that adds adaptive cruise control; forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking that operates at all speeds; lane departure warning; and parallel/perpendicular park assist that will steer the Grand Cherokee into a parking space while the driver controls the gas and brake. It also came with optional blind spot warning ($595).

Value in Its Class

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The Trailhawk has a base price of $44,990 including destination charge and comes standard with many convenience features in addition to the mechanical upgrades mentioned previously: heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, an 8.4-inch touchscreen display with Uconnect, 18-inch off-road wheels, a heated steering wheel and power front seats.

Our test vehicle came with several option packages not already mentioned, including the Trailhawk Luxury Group (automatic high beams, panoramic moonroof, LED daytime running lights and a power-adjustable steering column, among other options) for $2,695. Rock rails ($900) and navigation ($450) gave it a final price of $50,125 as tested.

Considering that the price cap for our 2016 Midsize SUV Challenge was $45,000, the Trailhawk would be in the higher echelon of that class. But then again, it’s much more capable, and for a consumer who puts a priority on off-road capability, the Trailhawk is a welcome addition to the field.

It may be more apt to compare the Trailhawk to two other SUVs with more of that focus — the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock (which starts at $43,240 but was $48,120 in the configuration we tested against the Trailhawk) and the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, which starts at $43,340. Neither offers the same towing capacity as the Grand Cherokee, with the Wrangler Unlimited towing just 3,500 pounds and the 4Runner 5,000 pounds.

It should be noted that the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is much better on pavement than these two, plus it offers extra creature comforts and safety features that justify its price premium.

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.

Photo of Brian Wong
Former L.A. Bureau Chief Brian Wong is a California native with a soft spot for convertibles and free parking. Email Brian Wong

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior 4.8
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value 4.6
  • Exterior 4.8
  • Reliability 4.8
Write a review

Most recent consumer reviews

3.0

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

2017 jeep grand Cherokee Laredo had 3 recalls since I’ve purchased it in October of 2016 now I’m having major problems with misfires that indicate possibly need new solenoids broken door henges and power window buttons also radiator problems. I love my Jeep but is it’s hard to continue loving a lemon.

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior 4.0
  • Performance 3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Exterior 4.0
  • Reliability 2.0
  • Purchased a New car
  • Used for Commuting
  • Does not recommend this car
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful. Did you?
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5.0

Still loving my Jeep

Bought my 2017 Overland 2WD preowned with 74k miles. It’s now Feb of 2024 my Jeep’s got 135k on the odometer and I’ve never once had an issue. I occasionally get car fever, start looking at cars online, but the second I jump behind the wheel of my Grand Cherokee I smile and decide to keep it for a little longer. I still love the look, it’s super comfortable, has plenty of power, all the bells and whistles I want (and beyond), and I love the fact not every single thing is touch screen as most modern vehicles. I love I can turn up the volume, operate the AC and many features with good ‘ole KNOBS without taking my eyes off the road.

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 5.0
  • Interior 5.0
  • Performance 5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Exterior 5.0
  • Reliability 5.0
  • Purchased a Used car
  • Used for Transporting family
  • Does recommend this car
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful. Did you?
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4.0

Not Impressed

I loved my 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee from the start, bought it brand new and have done all regular maintenance with synthetic oil changes regularly. Now it is just an expensive lawn ornament because the engine seized without warning. Check engine light flashed twice and the A light flashed twice. We went shopping no problem then parked it at home and 2 days later it wouldn't start. Had it towed in to dealership and they say engine is seized due to no coolant. Now I'm paying for a lawn ornament VERY FRUSTRATING!!!

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 5.0
  • Interior 5.0
  • Performance 5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Exterior 5.0
  • Reliability 3.0
  • Purchased a New car
  • Used for Commuting
  • Does not recommend this car
7 people out of 10 found this review helpful. Did you?
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See all 341 consumer reviews

Safety

Based on the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee base trim.
Combined side rating front seat
5
Combined side rating rear seat
5
Frontal barrier crash rating driver
5
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger
5
Overall frontal barrier crash rating
5
Overall rating
4
Overall side crash rating
5
Risk of rollover
20.4%
Rollover rating
3
Side barrier rating
5
Side barrier rating driver
5
Side barrier rating passenger rear seat
5
Side pole rating driver front seat
5

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Jeep
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/less than 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
3 months/3,000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
125-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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