Used buyer's guide: Jeep Grand Cherokee

23 Oct, 2012 3:15pm Richard Dredge

The Grand Cherokee SUV is a fine family car, but running costs are high


With its sophisticated four-wheel drive, powerful engines and generous dimensions, the Grand Cherokee makes a superb towing vehicle, although you’ll need deep pockets, as servicing, parts and fuel costs will all be high. The Grand Cherokee is an accomplished cruiser, too, and makes a great family car, while prices are tempting. It’s a car that’s sometimes better off the road than on it, but if you want a car able to do both, the Grand Cherokee could be it.

Few automotive brands are as iconic as Jeep, with a heritage that stretches back to World War II. The Grand Cherokee is instantly recognisable and hugely capable in the rough – if you’re looking for a large 4x4 that’s tough and can tackle any terrain, it’s the company’s most capable model.

It’s a big beast, though, and despite relatively low purchase prices, running costs are high. To compensate, equipment levels are generous, but build quality could be better.

Cabins can age badly, and poor reliability can be an issue. So the Grand Cherokee is worth a closer look, but buy with both eyes open.


This model of Grand Cherokee, known as the WK, reached the UK in summer 2005, with a choice of 4.7 or 5.7-litre petrol V8s and a 3.0-litre turbodiesel. Within a year the interior had been upgraded and the Overland range-topper introduced, as well as the SRT-8, with its 420bhp 6.1 V8. 

A facelift in spring 2008 brought along fresh alloys and headlights, a reach and height-adjustable steering wheel for all cars, new instruments and a new multimedia system called MyGIG.


The closest rival is the Range Rover Sport, with its five seats, excellent off-road credentials and strong image. Values are higher, but so is the cabin quality.

The Land Rover Discovery offers seven seats and is a superb tow car, but reliability can be poor.

If you’re not going off-roading, the well built BMW X5 is a great driving machine, and has five seats in first-generation form, while the MkII has seven seats.

Another great all-rounder is the five-seat VW Touareg, which is well built, well equipped and brilliant in 3.0 TDI form.