2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most versatile SUVs on the road today and has been for quite some time. The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is no exception. This mid-sized SUV can be turned into a thrilling off-roader, a sporty speedster, or a luxurious cruiser. Regardless of what you choose, you will be getting a powerful performance from your Grand Cherokee.
What's New for 2018?
The Trackhawk trim is new for 2018 and is one of the most exciting additions made by Jeep in recent history. Additionally, the lineup's old diesel engine has been axed from the line for now but could make a reappearance later in the model year. The third major change is that the 7-inch touchscreen display now comes standard on all vehicles while the 8.4-inch touchscreen is available as an option should you wish to upgrade.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee – The Pros
1. 707 hp Generated By the Trackhawk's Engine
If you crave power, the Trackhawk is the right trim for you. This vehicle is extremely performance-centered, as it is powered by a 6.2-L supercharged V8 engine which generates up to 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. This is truly the most powerful engine you can find on a mid-sized SUV, period. Also, it is brilliantly paired with a strong 8-speed transmission.
2. AWD on the Trackhawk and SRT
The SRT and Trackhawk trims come with specially-crafted all-wheel-drive systems that allow them to perform extremely well off of the road or on rough road surfaces. Other 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee trims come with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
3. Effortless Steering
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a steering system that involves minimal effort from the driver. While it can be hard to tell what the front wheels might be doing at times, the steering overall has a light and secure feel to it. The handling on the Trackhawk and SRT has been more finely-tuned than that on the other trims.
4. Excellent For Off-Roading
Although some of the trims are not trail rated, they all perform fairly well as off-roaders. The Trailhawk, Trackhawk, and Summit show strong capabilities for off-roading and have no problem navigating the steep and rugged terrain you find on mountain trails.
5. Comfortable Seats
Seats in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee are pleasantly soft and comfortable. The front seats are filled to the brim with cushioning and are wide enough for those with wider hips to enjoy sitting in. The rear seats recline via easy-to-use levers.
6. No Wind or Road Noise
The cabin is well-insulated, and wind and road noise won't come through the doors and windows, even at highway speeds. There is a little bit of engine throttle in some of the vehicles, but it's nothing obnoxious and doesn't detract from the ride quality.
7. Spacious Interior
The Grand Cherokee's cabin is spaciously designed, and adults can fit comfortably anywhere in the vehicle. There is plenty of head, shoulder, and legroom to be found throughout the vehicle, and the center console is designed so that it doesn't take away foot space from those sitting up front.
8. Excellent Visibility
While the windshield pillars are a bit thick, the other pillars are nice and slim, making it easy to see from the side and rear. Additionally, the parking sensors and rearview camera assist in keeping your vehicle free and clear from other objects on the road and in parking spots.
9. Plenty of Cargo Space
With the rear seats still upright, the cargo area offers a generous 36.3 cubic feet of space. With the seats down, you get a lot more, making it easy to lug your camping and hiking gear when you're going out into the wilderness.
10. High Towing Capacity
Need a vehicle with a good towing capacity but don't want to buy a truck? The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is actually a great hauler. The average towing capacity is 7,200 pounds on the vehicles with a V8 engine and 4WD, although you can maximize it on the 2WD vehicles.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee – The Cons
1. Air Suspension Struggles Over Small Bumps
The one thing that takes away from the vehicle having a great ride quality is the fact that the air suspension causes the vehicle to be really jittery when going over small bumps in the road, although it handles bigger bumps just fine. This might make driving along city roads a bit bothersome.
2. Climate Control Buttons Are Finicky
The climate control buttons are located on the touchscreen panel and are, to say the least, not very responsive. You might have to push them several times just to get a response, meaning that your hand is off of the wheel for longer than it ideally should be.
3. Uconnect Isn't Always Dependable
Similarly, Uconnect features aren't exactly the most reliable. Satellite radio tends to cut in and out quite frequently, and some of the controls for input are not responsive. When it is working correctly, however, the Uconnect system is actually pretty user-friendly.
4. Overly-Sensitive Driver Aids
On the flip side, the driver aids are way too touchy. If another car gets even just a little too close to your bumper, your Grand Cherokee is going to let you know all about it. The blind spot warning will actually go off when another car is driving in your blind spot but is two lanes away from you. Overall, it seems a bit excessive.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
The 2018 VW Atlas doesn't have the same speedy acceleration that the Jeep Grand Cherokee gets, but it is incredibly spacious and has a very user-friendly cabin design. Its handling is also a touch more precise and responsive.
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. 2018 Honda Pilot
The 2018 Honda Pilot has been redesigned to Honda's new global platform standards. It has a strong V6 engine which, while not as powerful as the engines on the Grand Cherokees, produces excellent fuel economy for a mid-sized SUV.
Overall, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee is an exciting vehicle that is built for performance. The vehicle's biggest downfall is that the touchscreen interface is unreliable. It caters best to those looking for something that can handle rugged terrain and haul a significant amount of camping gear.
• Why buy a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee? w/ pros vs cons