I like my Jeep Grand Cherokee, but why isn’t it on the recommended car lists?

Shanonia, the article about the fit/finish/hardware on a 2013 Camry being rated POOR on the 6 cylinder and EXCELLENT on the 4 cylinder came from an issue of Consumer Reports itself.

I was sitting in the doctor’s office a few years ago and perusing the magazine at the time. Naturally, when I read that my thought was “What planet are those people on…” to state that wind noise, water leaks, body panel fitment, and quality of the hardware was excellent on the 4 banger and poor on the 6.

Go drag up a 2013 issue of CR and read it for yourself.

So are you saying that CR NOW states the previous body fitment, hardware, leaks, noises, etc have suddenly disappeared between 2013 and 2018?
If so, that just proves my point if their opinion changes with the wind direction.

Agree1 Our son has a Toyota Tacoma truck with the extended cab. This vehicle is a veritable mountain goat and also has a very good reliability record. It’s also as complex as a Grand Cherokee.

Yes - I live in a rural area of the north woods/icebox of the nation; I’m a widow so I have only myself to count on, I have a dog, the roads are bad in winter - and I have a son that lives over 2 hours away who has had 2 heart attacks - This jeep gets me through blizzard conditions without slipping, sliding or getting stuck, with or without dogs and luggage inside, and gets nearly 30 mpg while doing it - I was just very surprised at the general poor opinion of this vehicle. Its been very very comfortable and reliable for the 2 years I’ve been driving it - and locally, there are a LOT of them on the roads. It just feels solid.

The April 2018 Consumer Reports has a very laudatory review of the Grand Cherokee: “solid, upscale interior; comfortable seats; and a mostly compliant ride, all of which endow it with a premium, substantial feel. Handling is competent, fit and finish is excellent, and the eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly…”

Their reliability data show it below average. Their owner satisfaction data show it above average.

There’s much more to judge a car by than its reliability. Most reliability problems these days are minor and do not mean the car is dead on the roadside. Even in those rare instances there is help available by cell phone, and even small towns can get overnight delivery of parts.

Only one aspect has some issues. For your use it is just about ideal. Keep up on the maintenance, keep lots of tread on your tires, you’ll do fine.

You must have the diesel engine.

@Colleen41 Since you have had your Jeep two years and the wheels haven’t fallen off and.since there are lot of Jeeps in your area so service is available, and it gets you through blizzard conditions, you made the right choice for you.
I have never owned a Jeep product, so I don’t compare them with other makes. I only comment on the vehicles I have owned or had experience driving at least a couple of hundred miles.
I have noticed on this board that there are all kinds of opinions on different makes of automobiles and brands of motor oils. Unless I have owned a particular make of automobile, I really don’t have a basis to make a judgement about that make. In a similar vein, there was.a lot of criticism about Pennzoil motor oil and the damage it would do to an engine. I immediately went out and bought Pennzoil for my lawnmower hoping the engine would blow up and I wouldn’t have to mow the yard. No such luck–the mower purred along with Pennzoil in its crankcase just as well as it did with the previous brand.
My dad would never buy or even look at a Ford product. He based this on experience–he said that you had to.crank them a long time to get them to start in cold weather. I couldn’t see that that was a big deal–so you run the starter a little longer. In my dad’s case, he was the starter. His parents owned a.Model T Ford and it didn’t have electric starting–it started with a.hand crank. My dad had.taken a date to a college dance. While the dance was going on,. the outdoor temperature dropped drastically. My dad cranked and cranked to try to start the.Model.T. When it finally did start, his date had gone home with someone else. When I suggested to dad that he.look on the.bright side and if the Model T had.started right away, he might have been serious about this date, wouldn’t have met mom and I wouldn’t be.here. Dad.replied, “Now you see what I have against Fords”. I am sure most of the posters on this board wished that that Model T had fired right up. Isn’t that right @cdaquila?


As I said above, the latest CR Auto issue has ratings of the Camry that do not distinguish between the ones with a 4 and the ones with a 6. I don’t know why they no longer make that distinction in their annual car issue. They probably have survey data on the 4s and the 6s deeper in their data base. Maybe now, 4+ years later, the differences noted by owners are no longer significant. We are both speculating.

CR ratings are not their opinions, but are the result of their analysis of survey data from many car owners. The ratings do not depend on wind or whim.

I used to have the 2013 CRs but will have to search on line for the article you read then. Can’t keep everything!

My point regarding the 2013 Camrys and the differences between the 4 and the 6 in regard to body and hardware issues is to point out that if CR’s opinion changes by the month, year, or what have you then it’s not to be relied upon to begin with.

Trust me. I’m literate and can read. CR did in fact state there was a mountain of difference between the two.

If CR says one thing in 2013 and another thing in 2018 then it’s off-base and misguided.

According to the CR 2013 car buyers guide, the only significant difference in reliability between th 4 and 6 Camry was engine cooling in 2008 or so.

The difference in body hardware between the 4 and 6 cylinder Camry is the Smart Key system, proximity keys. The Smart Key system is more often equipped on the upper trim level 6 cylinder models.

With the Smart Key system there are oscillators, sensors and switches in the exterior door handles. Some new owners complain that the door don’t unlock fast enough after touching the door handle, eventually they get used to operation of the system.

It only takes a small percentage of misguided people filling out a survey to result in a below average rating.

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You cured my confusion. My 1991 Jeep Cherokee purchased new had no serious problems with the exception of ABS which was repaired once under warranty and again under recall then went 100,000 miles with no problems.

@Colleen41 aside from all the reasons given and debated in answer to your question, you obviously have well thought out criteria for your vehicle choice and sound quite contented with it. As a fellow short woman strictly on my own, I applaud your determination for independence. :slight_smile:

When looking at published opinions rating vehicles keep in mind that different sources such as Consumer Reports, Edmunds, Car and Driver, insurance comanies’ premiums, etc. have varied methods of collecting, evaluating, and ranking data. Some look more at basic mechanical issues, others more at safety ratings, some at available options, some at average repair costs, some at average maintenance costs, etc. and base their respective ratings according to the particular bias of their data ranking.

And then what vehicles are best for various uses, climates, and terrain varies. A car such as the mid-size sedans I’ve had may have good ratings but in your climate their better rated reliability would have me stuck in snowdrifts and therefore unreliable. A well, proactively maintained all wheel or four wheel drive vehicle with higher clearance such as your Jeep is definitely more prevailing winter weather reliable than a sedan. And the high prevalence of high clearance all wheel or four wheel drive vehicles in your climate means good availability of service for your chosen transportation.

So overall, as long as you keep your Jeep well maintained with proactive service you have good odds of your Jeep lasting many miles.

Happy and safe motoring to you.

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@Colleen41You have gotten some valuable advice from @Marnet. There will always be some one who will tell you that you should have done something else or made a different purchase. Our son had just graduated from college and decided to do mission work in Appalachian country for which he received room, board and $45 a month. In one of the churches he served, the parents of a second grade girl approached him and were upset that their daughter couldn’t read. My son, with no experience or training undertook the challenge. He had the little girl reading in 6 weeks. When I asked him what he did, he replied, “I taught her the sounds of the letters”. I was telling a colleague in English education about what my son had accomplished. She replied, “He did it wrong. You aren’t supposed to teach phonics. Research proves that”. “But the girl is reading” , I argued. “Well she would have eventually learned to read by the ‘correct’ method”, was her reply. She then brought me a big volume on research studies. Not one of these methods in the research had been field tested.
Your Jeep does the job for you. If you had purchased what the experts recommended, you might have eventually gotten out of the snowdrift after the spring thaw.


Personally, I LOVE the Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, all of the Jeep products have had some quality issues and other issues along their way to greatness. This Poor score on a recent crash test is the subject of the news on that model this week. The Jeep failed to deploy its side airbags, the front ones malfunctioned and the door popped open. It’s stuff like this that keeps a brand or a model from being recommended by groups. I will be posting a story on this in the coming day or two at our partner site that covers auto news, BestRide.iihs%20midsize%20passenger%20side%20sfot

I never said the Grand Cherokee is the ultimate rock crawler, they have the Wrangler for that competition, but a lot of people will disagree with you about it not being really off road capable. As far a complexity, The Grand Cherokee is available with a huge list of options, including 3 different 4 and all wheel drive systems to tailor it for what you want to do with it. I imagine the OPs car is biased more toward on road, bad weather capability because that is what she needs but if you want part time 4 wheel drive with high and low range and skid plates, tow hooks and winches, you can order them too.

Maybe it’s not on any recommended car list for one simple reason. It’s not a car.

If they call it an SUV the owners won’t be embarrassed driving a station wagon which is actually all that SUVs are.

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Hmmm…Grand Cherokee is the same as a regular station wagon? Nope. Lots of FWD CUVs are, though, except for some added ground clearance.

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They can do light off-roading. I’ve done a little with my Highlander…But I don’t consider either off-road vehicles. I’ve done some with my 4runner (true body-on-frame)…there are places I’ve gone with it that would twist the Grand Cherokee too much. I saw it happen. We had a small group ( about 10) doing a little excursion. And one guy had a 1 year old Grand Cherokee. When we finished the 5 hour trip he had trouble closing 3 of his 4 doors. He had to take it to a high-end body shop that could realign it. Cost him over $1000. A couple Wranglers were part of the mix…they had no problem. The 4 4-runners and a couple Pathfinders (the older body-on-frame) didn’t have any problems either.

The Grand Cherokee is the type of vehicle I would buy today. Don’t need off-road capability any more. I’m not satisfied with their quality control. There are many other vehicles as good off-road capable that are far more reliable.