The Good and Bad Of The Grand Cherokee

The Jeep brand has recently celebrated a massive 80 years of production, though not all that time has been spent producing Grand Cherokees. Beginning in 1972 Jeep stuck with a simple two seat design based on the Willies Jeep of WWII.

Grand Cherokees

Grand Cherokees were classed as mid-sized SUVs up until 2004 and mid-sized crossovers (also known as midsize crossover SUVs) from 2005.

It’s not exactly clear why they changed as there was a sizable group (of sizable families) who preferred three rows of seats to two rows? At least it doesn’t appear that having too many rows of seats was the cause for any slowing down of sales.

The modern Grand Cherokee works on the unibody chassis, which is short for “unitized body.” This means the chassis was constructed as a single unit as opposed to those vehicles which have a separate body and frame. This tends to make a vehicle more rigid, but it’s less expensive to manufacture.

Although it was created by the American Motors Corporation the actual design was created by three freelance designers. It’s interesting to note that the model of the original vehicle was created in clay, because this has become increasingly less common in the age of computer aided design.

That’s the good news, but what about the bad?

A noticeable part of the design is the metal gear shift. The 2014 and 2015 model of the Grand Cherokee had so much difficulty with the gear shift that they had to be recalled. The shift didn’t automatically link itself to the transmission. But there may also be problems with vehicles which have too many miles on the clock, the gears seem to go. Colder weather also increases the risk of brake failure.

These electronic issues seem to be best fixed by replacing the TIPM (which stands for Totally Integrated Power Module) according to The most likely time for the engine to go wrong is after 50,000 miles, which takes on average something like seven years to complete. (Or if you’re an editor for the Kicker Blog, 1 year.)

It seems that the introduction of brake booster shields didn’t fix the problem. Drivers of older models, between 2010 and 2013, should beware of water entering the engine. It also affects the Dodge Durango.

When having a Grand Cherokee you could possibly see after a couple of weeks such as the engine stalling, which is exacerbated if you are on a slope. There are also difficulties with the ignition.

A weird problem associated with them is the bubbling or wrinkling of the dashboard. You may have seen leather do this before but may not expect to see it in a vehicle’s interior as it doesn’t look all that pretty.

Better SUVs to go for include the Toyota Highlander of which there was a new 2021 model, which followed on from a fully redesigned 2020 model. It handles fuel better. In addition, it also has a sizable amount of trunk space as well as a touchscreen. Highlander also has a third row, but it’s a bit of a squeeze.

At the Kicker we don’t like to trash on any particular auto maker, and even avoid trashing on a particular model. It’s totally likely that the best of car makers will produce a problem model. But it’s also possible to buy a car against all online warnings and find it’s your favorite vehicle. Beware of vehicles models with a suspicious number of complaints about, but just because we talk about the good and bad of a vehicle doesn’t mean you are safe just avoiding that whole line of cars, or every car by that maker. The only way to tell if a particular used car is a good buy or not is to have it independently inspected by a company like TireKickers.

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