2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee — Flash Drive
This 2011 review is representative of model years 2011 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee is a great SUV by all measures. It is highly off-road-capable, comfortable and easy to drive. The updated body looks more modern and sleek — less boxy than previous models. Inside, the driver has access to an updated dash with a modern navigation system, easier-to-read controls and quality materials throughout. The ride was particularly smooth and would be comfortable for all city commuters. On the road, I was able to achieve a decent 25 mpg highway. At $40K, the SUV market is full of qualified competitors. But this Jeep holds its own, and will always outshine its rivals on the trail. –Joe Chulick
Chrysler has done a first-rate job with the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, retaining the Jeepness while adding a new level of refinement and luxury. The exterior design is distinctively Jeep yet modern and fresh. Inside, the Grand Cherokee Laredo is beautifully done, with a clean design, nice-quality materials and rich colors. While most manufacturers are moving toward more sedate, car-based crossovers, the Grand Cherokee continues to deliver off-road capability with the available 2-speed transfer case with low range and locking differentials. The new 3.7-liter V6 engine is strong and gets 17 to 18 mpg combined. The electronic throttle is less responsive than I would like, and the steering has an isolated feel, although it does respond well to steering inputs. Ride and handling are controlled and smooth. Plus, the new Grand Cherokee is definitely bigger than the original. The extra width creates a spacious feel and a nice size cabin for a 5-passenger SUV. –Mike Meredith
Jeep has completely redesigned the Grand Cherokee for 2011, and at first blush, it seems to have done an impressive job. It's still recognizable as a Jeep, but the lines have been smoothed, giving it a more refined look. The interior was also treated to an upgrade, with nice materials and comfortable front seats. Keeping the Grand Cherokee to just a 5-passenger vehicle allows for a roomy rear seat as well as plenty of cargo space. Rear seats easily fold flat with a single lever. The Grand Cherokee also makes use of Chrysler's new Pentastar V6. It delivers almost 300 horsepower, which felt more than adequate. More impressive was the fuel economy. I saw 22 mpg in mixed city/highway driving - not bad, especially with full-time 4-wheel drive. Handling in the new Jeep is good, and I was surprised how comfortable the ride was. Jeep badly needs a hit, and the Grand Cherokee should be it. –Perry Stern