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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 310 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

might want to consider something else

By on Friday, May 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,760

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "look, style, feel,"

Cons: "transmission, quality, reliability"

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

"I have had this car back to the shop 6 +times since buying it. i have had 1 new transmission, had steering fluid leaks, starting problems and on going shifting issues. I loved the look and capability of this american classic, but with these problems I cant say i would recommend the car to anyone."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best car I have ever ownwed. JEEP hit a homerun!

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable car to drive"

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

"My JEEP has been an excellent car. I have had no problems with it and have 140,000+ miles. Purchased it new. Will be buying another JEEP."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great Versatility

By on Monday, April 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "off road, highway, quiet, handling"

Cons: "tall outside mirrors obstruct turning view"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Unlike many users I off-road; the unit has an off road and trailer towing package, which it seems many do not. It also has Quadratrac 2. I tow this vehicle behind my motor home and must say that it tracks superbly compared to an'07, it replaced. I think the key to Jeep reliability is to keep to the basics. Most complaints involve electronic wizardry; I have not had those issues. Fuel mileage with the 3.6 liter has averaged 23-24, a great improvement being attributable to the eight speed transmission, which after some minor computer reprogramming works superbly. The original Goodyear tires proved problematic and the vehicle has been refitted with Michelin LTX MS2 tires. They are superb. I rate the quality of my vehicle at 8. There have been no major repairs, just several "flashes" to improve HVAC and as stated the transmission tractability"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Sturdy..Comfortable..Smooth..Quiet..Roomy

By on Sunday, April 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Interior..ride comfort..Uconnect interface"

Cons: "Reluctance to downshift means heavier braking"

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

"This is my 2nd Grand Cherokee. I traded in my 2012 Overland RWD (30K miles) so I could get a 4x4. I chose a Limited with Luxury II package as it included everything I liked in my Overland, but for a few grand less. I really like my GC. It looks great, rides extremely well, firm yet slightly compliant suspension, and very quiet. Downshifting from 2nd to 1st can be rough. Slowing down from speed takes extra time probably due to transmission being reluctant to downshift. I'll probably ask to have shift map changed at first oil change if I'm not used to it. I have been very, very happy with both my Grand Cherokees. My teens like that the rear seats recline a little. My spouse likes the dual climate control. A few driving items to consider: "A" pillars (either side of windshield)are wide and take getting used to when cornering/turning. As large as the windshield is, I sometimes have to lower my head to see underneath the rearview mirror during certain turning situations. Nothing feels unsafe when I have to move my head to get a better view. After 2 of these vehicles, I am used to it. I did a lot of research and knew this was the best vehicle in the class, with so many bells/whistles for a good price when compared to more expensive import/luxury models. Fuel economy with the V6 is about 18 city/25 highway. The updated Uconnect interface is great; very easy and intuitive to use. I gave a 9 overall only because the downshifting should have been corrected by this time of the model year."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent SUV

By on Sunday, April 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable, easy to drive, reliable"

Cons: "acceleration"

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

"My car is Overland 2014, I bought it as a brand new and so far I have not noticed any problem. It is very comfortable, easy to drive, has nice interior and exterior look and relatively fuel efficient compared to similar SUVs. The only problem I noticed is acceleration, which is not as good as I expected. Overall, I am happy with my car so far."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Awesome, could use better tires for all the snow

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Great vehicle, comfortable with all the amenities. Not one issue after 33000 miles. Cons: The stock tires were not very good in snow, but very comfortable on dry pavements. Ground clearance in the front is limited by the air dam also in the snow. Acceleration is sluggish, but helps with the gas mileage. Pros: Awesome 4wd, cruising comfort, sound, navigation all excellent. Quality of material inside with not a single rattle or loose piece. The panoramic roof gives you a sense of being outside, especially when open (but not as much as my wrangler). A truly sophisticated vehicle - civilized ride."

21 people out of 41 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?