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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Overview
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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

For the 2011 model year, Jeep ushers in its fourth-generation Grand Cherokee; one of the last products conceived during Chrysler's now defunct partnership with Daimler. The latest Grand Cherokee rides on an all-new platform that shares certain key components with the next-generation Mercedes-Benz ML, lengthening its wheelbase by more than five inches, but only slightly expanding overall exterior dimensions. As a result, the vehicle remains a dedicated five-seater unlike many of its competitors, which have added third row seating in recent years. Regardless of its modest commonality with the ML-Class, the Grand Cherokee feels like a distinctly Jeep product, offering improved levels of refinement and sophistication while retaining the key Grand Cherokee attributes of formidable off-road capabilities, rugged style and on-road competence.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a traditional SUV that offers good outward visibility, a roomy and functional interior, and solid off-road chops, you'll like the Jeep Grand Cherokee. That said, buyers who never make use of its robust character will still find the Grand Cherokee impressively comfortable on road.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You may not like the Jeep Grand Cherokee if you need to carry more than five occupants – unlike many of its competitors, the Jeep doesn't offer a third-row option. Also, if you have no intentions of taking your vehicle off the road well traveled, you might prefer the enhanced comfort and fuel economy offered by the latest breed of on-road focused crossover utility vehicles.

What's New for 2011

Big changes for 2011 on the Jeep Grand Cherokee include improved interior space, an all-new V6 engine, an updated V8 engine and enhanced four-wheel drive systems. Jeep has also added a host of optional features not previously seen on the Grand Cherokee, including adaptive cruise control, a power rear lift gate and a blind-spot warning system.

Driving the Grand Cherokee

Driving Impressions When driven off of paved roads, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee impresses with its sure-footedness and abundance of traction. In addition to a trio of...

four-wheel drive systems, each offering an increasing level of capability and sophistication, the Jeep's relatively compact dimensions allows it to squeeze through narrow passages that would stop other larger off-roaders. It is worth noting that the fourth-generation Grand Cherokee features an independent rear suspension instead of a live axle, resulting in more moments with a rear wheel in the air while off-roading; a less than ideal situation when rock crawling. With all that said, most drivers will never venture off road, and during normal driving on paved roads, the Grand Cherokee impresses with a comfortable ride, surprising levels of grip when cornering, decent steering feel and a quiet interior, even at freeway speeds. Our only real complaints are an excess of body lean during abrupt maneuvers and substantial dive under hard braking.

Quadra-Lift
The optional Quadra-Lift air suspension is an excellent supplement to the Grand Cherokee's four-wheel drive systems. When raised to maximum height, the system creates 10.7 inches of ground clearance and improves approach and departure angles along with break-over height. The system can also lower the vehicle, easing entry and egress as well as improving aerodynamics at higher speeds, enhancing fuel economy.

Selec-Terrain
Similar to a system already offered by Land Rover, Selec-Terrain lets the driver quickly adjust vehicle behavior for a variety of driving environments. With a twist of a single knob, the system tweaks torque distribution, as well as transmission and throttle behavior along with the stability control and the air suspension – if equipped – to maximize performance on snow, rocks, mud, sand or tarmac.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Details
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo Interior

The cabin of the Grand Cherokee has always offered a premium experience, especially compared to other more stripped-down Jeep products, but the latest version takes that notion to a new level. Expanded use of soft materials, real wood trim and tasteful but attractive interior themes add an upscale persona to the otherwise simple and functional cabin. Passenger space is good in all seating positions, with rear seat passengers enjoying an extra four inches of leg room compared to the previous model. Cargo volume has also expanded, with 35.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats and nearly twice that amount available with the 60/40 split rear seats folded.

Exterior
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee photo

There's no mistaking the 2011 model as anything other than a Grand Cherokee, yet the newest iteration represents a far more sophisticated and modern interpretation of the vehicle's now familiar shape. Standard Jeep cues including a seven-slot grille, hexagonal wheel arches and minimal front and rear overhangs are enhanced with taut new body panels, creating a masculine chiseled look. In back, for the first time on a Grand Cherokee, buyers can select a power rear lift gate. Another new exterior add-on is a panoramic sunroof that bathes the interior with natural light but creates quite a bit of wind noise when open.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In its most basic form, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee features cloth seats, rear-wheel drive, an eight-way power driver's seat, automatic headlights, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and a six-speaker audio system with auxiliary input. Standard safety features include stability control, traction control, electronic roll mitigation, trailer sway control, six-airbags and active head restraints.

Optional Equipment

The base Jeep Grand Cherokee can be up-fitted with a wide variety of features in including leather seats, a power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heat front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and HID headlights. In terms of in-vehicle entertainment and communications, buyers can add a premium nine-speaker audio system, USB audio port, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, navigation and the UConnect hands-free communications system. Among the more high-tech options now available are rear parking sensors with a backup camera, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot alert and rear cross-traffic detection.

Under the Hood

Engine choices include a 3.6-liter V6 and a 5.7-liter V8 engine, each equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. V6 buyers enjoy decent acceleration along with a 5,000-pound tow rating, while those who opt for the V8 benefit from an increased tow rating of 7,400 pounds along with more spirited performance. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but the Grand Cherokee can be equipped with three different four-wheel drive systems, ranging from the simple full-time Quadra-Trac I system to the highly capable Quadra-Drive II system featuring a two-speed transfer case and an electronic limited slip rear differential.

3.6-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 (2WD), 16/22 (4WD)

5.7-liter V8
360 horsepower @ 5150 rpm
390 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 13/19 (4WD)

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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 247 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Really like to drive this jeep.

By on Monday, July 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car to drive"

Cons: "The v-8 not good on gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love the car and nothing I don't like except I got the 5.7 Liter and only get 14.8 miles to gallon around town. That is if I don't get on it sometimes. My son in law has a 2014 Jeep Cherokee like mine with the 6 cylinder and gets 19 around town. My mistake so I will trade in and get the 6."

Overall ok truck but it has its issues

By on Saturday, July 19, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: horrible transmission

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Overall a good vehicle"

Cons: "Horrible tranny and gear selector"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I bought this 2014 Limited in May of 2013 when they first came out. After 25000 miles and owning it for over a year I had to get rid of it. Since the first day I have owned it I did not like the new 8 speed tranny. I took it to the dealer and they did computer upgrades on it but I was still not happy with it. This tranny shifts through the gears very fast and is not smooth in the lower gears. When shifting from 1st to 2nd and 3rd when it is cold the truck jerks forward and is not smooth at all. It also downshifts hard when stopping. The upper gears you don't even feel it shifting, very smooth. When starting the Jeep shifts too quickly and it feels like it is always in the wrong gear if you need to speed up to get moving. The electronic gear shifter is horrible. After owning this Jeep for over a year I still had to concentrate on which gear I was shifting into. I was still putting it in neutral when trying to shift to reverse or drive. Other than those issues the Jeep is a good vehicle and I didn't have any other problems with it. I had the smaller engine and was averaging 20 mpg. I am normally the type of person who keeps their vehicles for 8 to 10 years but I just couldn't take this transmission. I bought a 2014 Charger which I love. This has the 5 speed tranny and not the electronic gear selector as the jeep has. I could have ordered a 2015 but did not want to as the new model has an new 8 speed tranny and also the electronic gear selector. I absolutely love the Charger and I plan on keeping this for a long time. I just couldn't take driving the Grand Cherokee anymore."

Lots of electrical problems

By on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Beautiful exterior. Really sharp looking."

Cons: "Lags in take off unless in sport mode."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

Sharp

"Have had 4 recalls on various items. Still am having electrical issues, like the radio will just go off by itself, there is back static in the radio and I have also had the gauge panel go back several times while driving. The gas mileage is considerably lower than advertised. Also the digital clock does not keep time. I have to go into the settings mode about once a week and add a couple of minutes to get the readout corrected. Maybe it's just haunted. IDK. I have had the Jeep 15 months and am ready to trade for a non Chrysler product."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Sharp

Headache

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: bad

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Styling"

Cons: "Everything Else"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Overall I have to say I had better things to do with my life than nurse this poorly engineered car through the next 5 or more years. Check engine, suspect transmission, groans and creaks, recalls...don't waste your time and then get burned with horrible resale. Got a 4 Runner no rattles, issues or drama... put it in garage and can worry about more important things."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Can't Wait For My Lease To End

By on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Bluetooth and XM (Didn't have them on my last car)"

Cons: "Engine, Transmission, Build Quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This is the worst car I have ever had. Coming from my 2006 VW Touareg V8 I feel like I have taken a major step backwards. The car handles like an old Buick and has absolutely no steering response. You feel nothing. The 3.6L Pentastar is noisy and slow. The transmission rushes to eighth gear and G-D forbid you have to merge onto a highway, you need to floor the rattle trap in order to get it to jump down to a passing gear. I can not wait for this car to go back on lease. To add to it the car does not feel safe and is poorly put together. The headliner is sagging with only 600 miles on it and I can already hear creaks. Wish I kept my VW. The Touareg was a real go anywhere SUV, the Jeep is a go-kart in comparison"

19 people out of 39 found this review helpful

Drives and rides good for a small SUV.

By on Thursday, June 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Looks, ride, performance."

Cons: "Too many recalls, lower quality paint."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"After five recalls in one year it will probably be the last Chrysler product. It's a shame that a vehicle that drives, rides, and looks as good as this one does has so many flaws. Dealer has been very good, shame on the product."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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