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Used Jeep Grand Cherokee review: 2011-2013

EXPERT RATING
6
Unlike most SUVs, there was nothing soft about Jeep's go-anywhere AWD. New Jeep, the best-known brand in off-road vehicles, has forged a go-anywhere reputation. It was on its own during WWII, when there were no other vehicles like it, but now the iconic brand is under siege from rivals for the SUV dollar. Most brands

Unlike most SUVs, there was nothing soft about Jeep's go-anywhere AWD.

New

Jeep, the best-known brand in off-road vehicles, has forged a go-anywhere reputation. It was on its own during WWII, when there were no other vehicles like it, but now the iconic brand is under siege from rivals for the SUV dollar.

Most brands focus their attention on the smaller, soft end of the SUV market. Jeep maintains its presence in the hard-core arena with the Grand Cherokee.

The WK model arrived in 2011 and was widely welcomed for its ability to go almost anywhere and for its value.

There was plenty to like about the Grand Cherokee. It was a big, attractively styled wagon with that unmistakeable grille.

There was plenty of choice in the range. Engine options were 3.6-litre V6, 5.7-litre V8, 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel and, to top them off, the thundering 6.4-litre V8 for anyone wanting to blaze a tyre-smoking trail across the landscape. The base transmission at launch was a five-speed auto, joined later by a six-speed and ultimately an eight-speed self-shifter.

The Grand Cherokee was warmly praised for its on-road manners, if not its thirst for fuel.

With independent suspension front and rear the Grand Cherokee was warmly praised for its on-road manners, if not its thirst for fuel.

It wouldn't be a Jeep if it didn't have four-wheel drive and the WK was well equipped in that domain with its Quadra-Trac II drivetrain that easily handled most road conditions.

For anyone wanting to delve deeper into the bush, the optional Quadra-Drive II came with an electronic limited-slip differential to allocate torque to individual wheels for even greater off-road capability.

Each came with switchable Selec-Train traction control, which could be dialled in to suit road conditions.

Inside, there was seating for five, it was comfortable and well kitted out with pretty much every feature you could want.

Now

Jeep has been blighted by quality issues since it was relaunched here in the 1990s. The Grand Cherokee has lots to like but ownership can be a nightmare.

There is a long list of recalls, so anyone contemplating buying one should check it carefully to ensure all related work has been carried out.

Buying one second-hand demands caution. There is a long list of recalls, so anyone contemplating buying one should check it carefully to ensure all related work has been carried out.

Recall notices covered airbags, brakes, stability control, cruise control, fuel pump ... the list goes on but to get a full rundown, view www.recalls.gov.au.

Armed with that information take the ID number of the car you want to buy to a Jeep dealer and have them check it against factory records to see what has been done, and more importantly what might have been missed.

Even if that all checks out you need to be careful. With the Grand Cherokee's ability to go bush you need to check for off-road use, or more to the point, off-road abuse. The big wagon will absorb most of what comes its way off-road but still requires a skilled hand at the wheel to get through unscathed.

Look for bashed underbody fittings, suspension, driveline, exhaust etc and think twice about buying any car that looks as if it's had a hard life. There are plenty out there that have never left the back top.

You need to be prepared for some hefty fuel bills, especially if you go the V8 route. The turbo diesel, the way to go for better fuel efficiency, is also a better all-round drive.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2013 $17,490 $45,430
2012 $14,740 $37,840
2011 $12,760 $29,590

View all Jeep Grand Cherokee pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$18,990
Based on 97 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$11,800
Highest Price
$25,344

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Laredo (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $11,800 – 22,999 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 Laredo (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Limited (4x4) 5.7L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $15,888 – 23,999 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 Limited (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Limited 70th Anniversary (4x4) 5.7L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $18,990 – 24,888 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 Limited 70th Anniversary (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Overland (4x4) 5.7L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $19,990 – 25,344 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 Overland (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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