By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.7
It's not much of a stretch to declare the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee the finest version ever to wear the storied nameplate. Designed during the reign of Mercedes-Benz over Chrysler, the 2013 Grand Cherokee enjoys the benefits of this short-lived marriage by borrowing parts of the M-Class platform. The result is a vehicle so rigid and tight that it makes older Grand Cherokees feel like centuries-old rickshaws. A stunning interior bolstered by cutting-edge infotainment and electronics systems awaits the lucky occupants while, underneath, Jeep's legendary 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems prove the Grand Cherokee hasn't gone weak when it comes to its off-road capabilities. Along with the Laredo, Limited and Overland trims, there is a new Trailhawk model, as well as the performance-oriented, 4WD-only SRT8.
Whether you require the tenacious traction afforded by the Grand Cherokee's three available 4WD systems, or just the controlled balance and handling of the 2WD version, both come wrapped in a solid package with the highest quality materials yet placed in a Jeep.
If room for seven or fuel economy better than 23 mpg top your demands, the 2013 Grand Cherokee won't pass muster. Those looking to keep the price south of $30K may be in for sticker shock once more desirable options are added.
For 2013, the Overland Summit models gain Front Park Assist, power-folding mirrors, headlamp washers and a new black Nappa leather interior option. Also new is the Trailhawk model that includes the Select-Terrain system, Quadra-Lift air suspension, Goodyear Silent Armor off-road tires and rock-rail body protection.
Driving Impressions The Jeep Grand Cherokee's impressive on- and off-road driving dynamics come courtesy of its all-independent suspension. This setup allows a smooth on-road driving experience, yet possesses enough travel to make...quick work of difficult off-road obstacles. Add to the mix Jeep's Quadra-Lift air suspension (4WD models only) and the performance only gets better. Quadra-Lift gives a greater ability to overtake large objects (like rocks) or to ride lower at high speeds, creating more stable handling. As for power, all three of the Grand Cherokee's available engines don't disappoint, from the fuel-efficient yet powerful Pentastar V6, to the stump-pulling 5.7-liter HEMI V8, to the SRT8's audacious 470-horsepower HEMI V8. The Grand Cherokee's power-assisted steering feels better connected to the wheels and, with careful attention to springs and shock absorbers, the wheels feel better connected to the road.
QUADRA-LIFT AIR SUSPENSION
Available on 4WD models only, the Quadra-Lift option allows Jeep enthusiasts an adjustable ride height fully compatible with virtually any on- or off-road condition. If you're venturing off-road, you can adjust the clearance upward by either 1.3 or 2.6 inches while, if parked, you can lower the vehicle 1.5 inches.
OVERLAND SUMMIT SADDLE LEATHER INTERIOR
The leather for the Overland Summit seemingly covers everything in the interior of this grandest Grand Cherokee except the windshield. While wishing the designers hadn't spelled out the model designation on the seat itself, buyers choosing the top trim level will be rewarded on each and every drive.
In designing the Grand Cherokee for 2013, Jeep has executed what can only be called a seismic shift in both design and material selection from previous models. Gone are the cheap fabrics and hard plastics in Grand Cherokees of old, as is the smallish rear seat that provided little in the way of head- or legroom. With a longer wheelbase the rear seat is made much more accessible and passengers will enjoy expanded use of soft materials, real wood trim (in upscale versions) and a much more concentrated effort to make the driver and passenger experience everything they might want in a luxury SUV.Exterior
There's a unity to the 2013 Grand Cherokee's sheet metal that we haven't seen since its initial launch two decades ago. To be sure, the familiar 7-slot grille, hexagonal wheel arches and minimal front and rear overhangs remain, but the whole now comprises various elements much better integrated than before. And visual upgrades in all trim levels, from base Laredo to Overland Summit, result in a 2013 Grand Cherokee family looking decidedly more upscale than previous generations. We especially like the wheel-and-tire fitments, in combination with shortened overhangs; even the Laredo's standard 17-inch alloys fill the wheel wells in a capable, off-road-worthy fashion.
Despite a modest base price of around $28,000 with 2-wheel drive, the 2013 Grand Cherokee comes with dual-zone air conditioning, rear liftgate "flipper" glass, remote key fobs, Jeep's Media Center 130 AM/FM/CD radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels. Those placing a premium on safety will appreciate standard ESC (electronic stability control), electronic roll mitigation and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags.
For those wanting to keep the price low and the appearance of their new Grand Cherokee up(scale), the Laredo X provides a number of cosmetic and functional enhancements not available on the base Laredo. And for those wanting to improve the Jeep experience even further, a number of chassis improvements will do just that, beginning with Quadra-Drive II (includes 2-speed transfer case and Hill Descent Control), Quadra-Lift Air Suspension (adjustable ride height for both off-road adventure and on-road composure) and Selec-Terrain, which is Jeep's electronic system for delivering all-season capability by providing for five traction-control settings: Automatic, Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud and Rock.
For 2013, the Jeep Grand Cherokee's standard 3.6 liter approaches V8-like horsepower and torque levels, yet even when connected to the 2WD platform it has a great deal of mass to motivate. The 5.7-liter HEMI benefits from multi-displacement technology; based on need, the HEMI will operate on all eight cylinders or, with reduced demand, only four. And with the increased displacement, horsepower and torque of the HEMI, owners can enjoy an enhanced towing capability (7,400 pounds versus 5,000 pounds in the V6). The SRT8's 6.4 liters and 470 horsepower bring new life, and a nationwide network of dealers, to the hyper-performance SUV segment.
3.6-liter V6 (Laredo, Limited, Overland, Trialhawk)
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg (2WD), 16/23 mpg (4WD)
5.7-liter V8 (Limited, Overland, Trailhawk)
360 horsepower @ 5,150 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (2WD), 13/20 mpg (4WD)
6.4-liter V8 (SRT8)
470 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
465 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18 mpg
By CJ on Wednesday, January 21, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Love the interior, exterior and engine (3.6L gas)."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland and simply love the vehicle. Test drove many of the North American (Ford & Chev) and Euro (BMW & Mercedes) SUV's and the Overland is by far the nicest and best equipped. Jeep hit a home run with this model!!"
12 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Sher on Sunday, January 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Enjoy driving, good gas mileage for comfort/size!"
Cons: "Miss a Moon/sun roof, wish had garage door buttons"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This Jeep is amazing- luxury ride, great gas mileage (better than the estimated some times). Love the room in both front and rear seats, and all the cargo space. I took it to Ziebart as soon as I got it for complete protection- Rust Protection, Undercoating, Sound Deadener, Diamond Gloss® Paint Protection, Inner-Guard® PLUS, Germ Defender®- (I get this updated yearly)- along with tinting the front windows, adding the back up camera with microphone, adding vent visors, bug shield, mud flaps and running boards. It is great! It takes me safely everywhere I want to go without a moment's trouble even in the snow. I just recently had Wrangler Fuel Max tires put on with a new alignment. My oil is changed regularly by my son in law and I couldn't ask for more!"
11 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Ludmilla on Thursday, January 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks great inside and out"
Cons: "1 hour on window defrost on high to move wipers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I've had my Jeep grand Cherokee Laredo for about a year and a half. I bought it used with about 40,000 kms on it. I love the inside and the outside of this vehicle however after 4 recalls, and the fact that it takes one hour to run my vehicle so that the wipers will work when it's cold, considering I live in Canada, i'm trading it in. there is a huge blind spot created by the extra-wide front pillar, wide rearview mirror, and I guess the position and height but I have my seat into drive as well that's problematic."
17 people out of 34 found this review helpful
By Robert on Monday, January 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality, Appearance and Reliability"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned Jeep vehicles all my life and have never been disappointed. We love our new Grand Cherokee Summit and feel it is the perfect size for our active family. We drove every brand out there in the same class and higher and could not find an SUV that was more capable."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Kathy on Friday, January 02, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great styling"
Cons: "Transmission problem. Radiator leak.Many recalls"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"just received the sixth recall for this vehicle. Have owned it for one year. It is currently at the dealer for the second time due to transmission problems. Also, they are replacing the radiator because it developed a leak. I really love the appearance of this vehicle and the comfort. But I am beginning to think that i have a lemon on my hands. Perspective buyer need to research the problems associated with this vehicle before you purchase."
32 people out of 45 found this review helpful
By Mary M. on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, capable, looks great!"
Cons: "Capless fuel door"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"***2014 Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 v8 Hemi*** After my trouble-prone 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring finally died this past summer while it was loaded up with people and gear for a family vacation, I took a chance on the vehicle I'd been wanting for a while - a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Honestly, I was initially hesitant due to the poor reliability reviews surrounding the Jeep brand but after my awful 9 year experience with the Honda Odyssey I figured I had no where else to go but up.*** After ditching my dead van in a strange city and cramming our stuff in a compact rental, we set out to buy a new vehicle so we could complete our vacation in relative peace. After an exhaustive day of searching & test-drives, I found my ride - a new 2014 Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 v8 Hemi. I. am. in. love. *** After 12,000 miles in almost 7 months of ownership I've experienced exactly 1 minor issue that required a trip to the dealer. A headache for sure, but after pouring BIG $$$ into keeping my 'reliable' Honda in working order over the years, this was trivial. I did purchase the lifetime extended warranty from Chrysler (not a 3rd party company) for peace of mind - something most other manufacturers don't even offer. *** Before making our purchase I did test drive several other comparable (or larger) vehicles - BMW x5, Audi q7, Toyota Sequoia, Toyota Highlander and a Suburban LT - but I liked the size, handling and interior quality/layout of the Jeep the best. There is more 'hard plastic' interior panels than I would prefer but it seems to be on par with the other vehicles in the 'luxury' category and it is MUCH more upscale that the van I was used to driving, even though it was the top of the line as well. The cabin is fairly quiet and there is just enough 'road feel.' Some people prefer a more cushy, soft ride (Toyota, Lexus comes to mind) but I like to drive hard and fast and prefer having a bit of feedback in the wheel. *** The v8 takes a LOT of gas, but only a bit more than my v6 van, surprisingly. I don't really enjoy the capless gas filler door but it's not a dealbreaker. Can't really think of anything else I dislike or would change at all. I just really, really enjoy driving this Jeep!"