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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.
Favorite Features

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
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 221 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Good drive. Easy to handle. Love my Jeep

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,900

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: "$ for $ best car on the road!!!"

Cons: "I don't have a sun roof!!!"

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

"Owned all kinds from luxury to budget (when kids were in college) and the Jeep is my favorite around town and trip vehicle. Easy to drive, park and handle. Rarely needs anything done except to be diligent in routine servicing."

Best all around Jeep and SUV

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "well built, drives great, great gas classy design"

Cons: "no roof top parallel bars"

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

"The driver seat position feels great when looking forward. The increased height makes it an outstanding view for all around sight of traffic. This Larado trim has got to be one of the best Jeep has ever made. Is very comfortable to drive and handles great. The only con is that there are no roof top parallel rails to use as tie downs with a cargo carrier. This car seems to be made for looks rather than practicable. But it is well built with a classy chrome design."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Transmission shudders: ecodiesel automatic

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,300

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
2/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "nice interior"

Cons: "transmission shudders"

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

"Transmission shudders at speed over 40 mph under mild acceleration. After two fixes involving software, the problem has not been solved."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

9 months later - and still in love with my car.

By on Tuesday, April 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun, beautiful design, safe,"

Cons: "Low gas mileage 14-18 per gallon."

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

Robust

"I absolutely love this and driving it is such a pleasure. It feels very stable and also responsive. I often drive it in sport mode, it flies off the road. The car is equipped to handle a variety of environments from snow, sand, etc.... I have a Red Grand Cherokee Overland, it's beautiful to look at. I use the panoramic sunroof everyday. I have driven Cadillac SRX crossover, BMW, and a few other cars since I have purchased that car and every time I transition I can't believe how stiff all these cars feel compared to mine. I love love love love my car. And I am here writing this review because I am trying to establish how the value of my car might diminish from an accident I was involved in yesterday. The other driver rear ended me at full speed at a red light, the muffler of the car suffered sever damaged but if you look at the car physically it looks like only the very bottom bumper was damaged while the other car is pretty much destroyed. I am bummed this happened to me but the state of the car is testament to the robustness of the car."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Robust

This is the best Gran Cherokee ever built by Jeep

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

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

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

"I have owned several suv's including a few other Jeeps. The Overland is the best SUV ever built by Jeep or any other manufacturer in this class. The Hemi is strong and powerful. I tow a 25 foot boat with ease evn up steep inclines. The stitched leather interior is both beautiful and comfortable. The built in safety features like early brake warning system and adaptive cruise control provide a comfortable quiet and safe ride. This is an all around great vehicle."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Horrible quality

By on Saturday, March 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Worst quality car ever. 8000 miles and so far we had to deal with: Random error messages on the screen Nav that thinks it is 100 yards from the current location most of the time Flickering backup camera Doors that the don't close unless the last one is slammed shut or a window is down Cruise control that turns off by itself Sticking buttons Voice control that cannot recognize anything"

16 people out of 28 found this review helpful

My video 

Cruise control failure

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