The Jeep Grand Cherokee was one of the original midsize SUVs. Introduced in 1992, the Grand Cherokee has become synonymous with family-friendly, go-anywhere capability.
For 2020, the Grand Cherokee largely stays the course with only minor updates. The fourth generation was originally released in 2011, but has received modest updates throughout its life cycle to keep it fresh.
Powertrain and specs
The 2020 Grand Cherokee is available with four different engines. The standard offering is a naturally aspirated, 3.6-liter V6 with 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both two- and four-wheel drive options are available. With two-wheel drive, the 3.6-liter Grand Cherokee is EPA-estimated to achieve 19 miles per gallon city, 26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. Four-wheel-drive models return 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. Properly equipped, a V6-powered Grand Cherokee can tow up to 6,200 pounds.
Stepping up from there, the Grand Cherokee is available with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8. This engine produces a healthy 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, and once again, an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Hemi V8 can only be paired with four-wheel drive, and is estimated to return 14 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined. All V8-powered Grand Cherokees — including the ones mentioned hereafter — are rated to tow 7,200 pounds.
The 2020 Grand Cherokee SRT has a more performance-focused approach, and uses a 6.4-liter V8, with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The 4WD/8AT combination carries over here, though fuel economy takes a small hit, with ratings of 13 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined.
Finally, there’s the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which uses Fiat-Chrysler’s supercharged, 6.2-liter Hellcat V8. This Jeep makes an impressive 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque, allowing the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to accelerate quicker than most sports cars. Of course, this much power means a serious reduction in fuel efficiency; the Trackhawk is rated at 11 mpg city, 17 mpg highway and 13 mpg combined.
The Grand Cherokee can be equipped with or without a self-leveling air suspension. What’s more, four different four-wheel-drive systems are available, the best of which is the Quadra-Drive II option, which is standard on the V8-powered Summit trim and every Trailhawk model. Wheel sizes range from 17 inches on the base Grand Cherokee to 20 inches on the SRT and Trackhawk models.
While other midsize SUVs offer seating for six or seven passengers, the Grand Cherokee uses a two-row, five-seat layout. Cloth and leather upholsteries are available, with two different multimedia systems (more on that in a moment). Grand Cherokees can be outfitted with relatively basic appointments, or can be had with high-quality leather, heated and cooled seats, a premium audio system and a panoramic moonroof.
When it comes time to haul, the Grand Cherokee offers 36.3 cubic feet of space behind its rear seats. Fold those seats flat, and the rear area expands to accommodate 68.3 cubic feet of cargo.
Fiat-Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment software is one of Roadshow’s favorites. It’s quick to respond to inputs and easy to work through, and offers a lot of functionality. Plus, every Grand Cherokee comes with standard Apple CarPlay and .
The base Grand Cherokee comes with a 7-inch Uconnect display, but every other grade comes with an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk, Overland and Summit trims come with dedicated off-road pages, and the SRT and Trackhawk have additional performance readouts.
Every Grand Cherokee comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, hill-start assist, rear parking sensors, trailer-sway control and other features. Adaptive cruise control is optional on some higher trims, and standard on the upper-crust models — as are forward collision warning and parallel and perpendicular park assist.
The most basic 2020 Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×2 starts at $32,045, not including destination. Laredo models can only be had with the 3.6-liter V6, and come standard with things like automatic headlights, cloth seats, two USB ports and a 7-inch infotainment display.
From there, the Limited, Trailhawk and Overland models offer more luxury equipment, with the Trailhawk having an off-road edge. Those models are priced at $39,855, $44,955 and $46,295 respectively. The 3.6-liter V6 is standard here, but the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is optional.
The Grand Cherokee Summit has the Quadra-Lift air suspension (as do the Trailhawk and Overland), as well as xenon headlamps and LED foglamps, a panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels, Natura Plus leather and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The Summit costs $51,995 to start.
Finally, the performance-focused SRT and Trackhawk models are priced at $68,395 and $86,900, respectively. They feature all the same equipment as the Summit trim, as well as the aforementioned performance infotainment pages and multiple drive modes. The Trackhawk can crest $100,000 when fully optioned, but still represents a serious bargain over high-performance SUVs costing twice as much.
The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available now.