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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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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
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 350 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Worst car ever purchased constantly in the shop

By on Monday, July 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Looks nice"

Cons: "too many flaws not covered"

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

"I have had to replace the plastic skid plate, broke the first time I was off road, the seat belt,the power window, the gas cover and now the transmission. Only the transmission covered by the warranty. The tires are weak and constantly flat so I had to buy smaller wheels and 10 ply tires. the car has the worst navigation system ever. I will never buy another jeep."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Best car ever!

By on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive and reliable."

Cons: "No flaws. I'm in love."

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

"I love the performance and comfort of this SUV. This is my first Jeep ever and I am so satisfied that I will never buy another brand. There is power, elegance and comfort. Mine is fully equipped and I enjoy every gadget!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

looks great but drives awkward

By on Monday, June 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Bought this 2 years ago but it already had 14k miles on it. It has had many recalls and I don't care for the 8 gears. I don't like the way it changes gears in the lower ones. Its very jerky. I love all the Bells and Whistles but looking to trade it in."

I call it my boy because I really like it.

By on Monday, May 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "ouch price but so are all"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"It rides good and handles good for a jeep. It acts like a young kid most of the time. Wanting to get up and run fast and over the top of things. Now mind you, I'm 68 yrs old and no speed demon. It has off road 2 and I have used it several times out on the country where we live. All and all it is a great machine but it came with a great price tag too! Do I like it...YES.....would I get rid of it....NO.....would I buy it again...tough question, because of the price only!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Reliable, great performance, sporty and attractive

By on Thursday, April 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Performance, interior, fun to drive and attractive"

Cons: "No third row option"

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

"I leased the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude and just decided to buy it because 2016 Altitudes (now called High Altitudes) are 20k more expensive with some features I don't really need. I love this car. I like sport cars and I have mostly owned BMW's. I enjoy driving this one a lot which is very important for me. Its performance is very good, no issues at all. The Altitude package makes it really sporty and the interior is simple and beautiful. Leather and suede seats are comfortable and the 8-speed transmission makes it a smoother ride for a Jeep. Sport mode is very appreciated. Some people complained about the shifter being confusing and Jeep decided to change it for the 2016's... however, I had not issues at all with it since I'm already used to driving electronic shifters from previous BMW's and Audi's. Great in snow! Front passengers perspective is like that of the Range Rover Sport."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Great vehicle to drive, but...

By on Monday, April 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,600

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Towing, comfort, styling"

Cons: "Reliability, cost of ownership"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"The Jeep Grand Cherokee fits in a spot that no other SUV fits. It has a 7,000+ pound towing capability, the interior is very nice, it drives great on the highway, and is very capable in the snow. The problem is that there have been 4 recalls on this vehicle, and the Quadra Lift suspension failed at 59,000 miles. The repair is a $3,000 visit. The other hidden cost is that every 30,000 miles you have to have all 16 spark plugs replaced, or risk destroying the engine. I really like the vehicle, but I can't stomach losing the use of a $45,000 truck several times a year."

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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