2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee | CarGurus Test Drive Review

Hi, I’m chris wardlaw for CarGurus, and
this is the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee. For nearly 25 years the Grand Cherokee has
been one of the best-selling SUVs in America. The funny thing about this Jeep success
is that most people say reliability is important when they buy a new vehicle,
and I’m being kind when I tell you that according to Consumer Reports, the Grand
Cherokee’s track record in this respect is average at best. So what gives? This is what I think: The
Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers the dream, the ability to go almost anywhere at
almost any time. It is a rolling representation of
freedom, an escape pod from the daily grind, an emblem of what has made America great for 240 years, and it’s built in Detroit (with 20% of the parts coming
from Mexico – shhhh, don’t tell you know who). Granted, most Grand Cherokee owners just chug along in traffic or whip around the suburbs
in them, but you never know when you’re going to need this Jeep’s Trail Rated
capability, whether for tackling a blizzard or the great outdoors. So how does the Grand Cherokee work as a
daily driver? Let’s find out. Now if you don’t know Jeeps and you’re
interested in the Grand Cherokee because it looks rugged and cool, rest assured that if you get 4-wheel
drive and set it up right, it’s going to take you places that you
never thought you could go. Just do yourself a big favor and take a
professional off-roading lesson before you head to deep into the wild. Now my
test vehicle has 4-wheel drive, and it’s decked out in Overland trim, which
provides my favorite aluminum wheel design. It’s not the top-of-the-line model, but
it’s close. The price starts at $45,190, and in addition to 4-wheel drive, my test
vehicle has a 19-speaker sound system and an Advanced Technology package that
installs a whole bunch of safety and driver-assistance technologies. That
brings the total of my test vehicle to $51,180. Now you can save three grand and get a
Grand Cherokee Overland with rear-wheel drive, but I cannot for the life of me
understand why anyone would do that. Multiple engines are available for the Grand
Cherokee, and they all get a warranty demotion for 2016, going from a 100,000-mile powertrain
warranty to 60,000 miles. My test vehicle has the standard engine. It’s a 3.6-liter V6, and it’s making 295
horsepower. Now that’s more than last year, and Jeep
says it has taken steps to improve the Grand Cherokee’s fuel economy for 2016. Those steps include an automatic engine
stop-start system, some aluminum suspension components, an electric
steering system, and low-rolling-resistance tires. What’s the end result? Well, I averaged
18.7 miles per gallon on my test loop, and the EPA says I should have gotten 21
miles per gallon, so it seems like maybe Jeep has got a
little ways to go. If you really care about fuel economy, consider getting the
optional EcoDiesel 3-liter diesel engine. I tested that last year, and I got almost
23 miles per gallon. Now another change this year is that the 8-speed
automatic transmission gets a new shifter, one that works like every
console shifter has for decades. So now when you buy a Grand Cherokee, you don’t need to think about what you’re doing when you’re trying to choose Park
or Reverse or Drive. You just do it. When you drive a Grand Cherokee, it is obvious
that it’s more substantial than your typical crossover SUV. This is clearly a vehicle that’s
engineered to go places and to do things, and the sense of heft and capability is
palpable from the driver’s seat. Now most of the time this Jeep’s ultimate mission
of off-roading forces a bit of a compromise in terms of daily driving. A
Jeep does its best to smooth out the ride and to ensure secure handling, but
there’s no escaping the truck-like dynamics here. The switch to electric steering has
lightened effort levels, but hasn’t really sharpened response or eliminated
a sense of on-center disconnectedness, and these are necessary evils in a
vehicle that’s designed for serious off-roading. One thing you will like, though,
is the super-tight turning circle, which makes parking and making U-turns and
three-point turns really easy. Now with the V6 engine acceleration is
fairly impressive. You’re not going to need the optional V8
unless you really want maximum towing capacity, which is 7,400 pounds. Braking is capable, but the pedal does feel a little bit dissatisfying. The ride quality takes some getting used to. Despite my test vehicle’s Quadra-Lift
air suspension, it feels kind of wobbly and woozy on
anything but smooth pavement, and make sure you don’t take corners at more
than just a moderate speed. One thing that I will say, though, is that
on really lousy pavement this Jeep just pummels the road into submission. You barely feel it. Now one thing that’s
important in any family vehicle is safety, and as of March of 2016, the federal
government had not performed crash tests on the 2016 model year Grand Cherokee. They tested last year’s model, but they
didn’t carry the ratings over the way that the Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety did. Now as far as the IIHS crash-test rating,
it is Marginal for the small-overlap frontal-impact test, and that means that
this Jeep is not qualified for a Top Safety Pick. Now my test vehicle does
have an optional Advanced Technology package, and that installs a blind-spot
monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision warning, automatic
emergency braking – front and rear, by the way – and an adaptive cruise control
system, but this package is a little bit pricey. It costs about two grand. The Grand Cherokee’s back seat is a
little bit snug for adults, especially if you’ve got longer legs or you’re a
bigger person like me. The front seatbacks are hard plastic.
They’re not kind to knees and shins, there’s not a lot of leg room here, but i
will say that if you’ve got teenagers, they’re going to be really happy going
on a road trip in this car, because not only do they have air vents back here,
but they have dual USB ports, there is this 3-prong power outlet,
and heated rear seats. Now I left my daughter’s child safety seat in here for
a specific reason. Number one I wanted to show you how much space there is, but
number two I wanted to explain that this particular
make and model of child seat and the Jeep’s LATCH anchors are highly incompatible. I had a very difficult time latching this thing into the recessed
LATCH anchors. Also my wife and I have both noticed that it’s really difficult to use
the seatbelt anchor in this vehicle. Its recessed deep in the seat, and that’s so
that it’s not poking you in the back or in the butt when you’re sitting in the
seat, but the problem with that is that it’s impossible for my daughter to latch
herself, and it’s really difficult for her parents to do it. So if you’re buying a Grand Cherokee and
you’re planning to use it to haul kids around, make sure that these are not
going to be issues for you. Now even though the Grand Cherokee has
the word “grand” in its name, this is not a big vehicle, and that’s on
purpose. It needs to be outstanding when it’s off-roading, and that means it needs
to be dimensionally small and highly maneuverable. Of course that translates to a smaller interior than you might expect. You may have noticed that when i got in,
I almost hit my head on the roofline. That’s because the door is not very wide,
and I’m concerned about hitting my head every time I get in the vehicle. My wife, who likes to sit with the
passenger seat up high, has been complaining that it’s difficult to get
in and out. She suggested that maybe Jeep should put
a handle up here on this A pillar to assist her in. I suggested that maybe she
should lower the seat, and you can imagine where that got me. Now once you’re in the Jeep, it is fairly
comfortable. These are firm seats, and you sit on them rather than in them. Now one thing I might want to mention is
that I did have a passenger in here who was a little bit smaller than me, and he
was complaining that he was sliding all over between the bolsters, that they were
basically ineffective, so maybe Jeep is targeting a more well-fed buyer for this
particular vehicle. Generally speaking Jeep does a great job
of laying out the Grand Cherokee’s controls with one exception. If you want
to access seat heating or seat ventilation or steering-wheel heating,
you have to use the touchscreen. There aren’t any buttons here on the dashboard
or center console. Now this year Jeep offers a partial
solution for that – there’s a drag-and- drop feature associated here with the
infotainment system. You click Apps, and then you can move the icons around, and
you can put them in this lower bar. Of course, you’ve got to give something up, I
mean the real estate’s not free, so you have to move something out of there and
then put the seat heater, the seat ventilation, or the steering-wheel
heating right there on your main menu bar. I found that people are unlikely to do
that. They’re more likely to just take the one step – hit this button that says
Controls, and then choose heated seats, vented seats, or heated steering wheel. Really what’s needed here is some
buttons. Now if you want to activate the 4-wheel-drive system, that’s pretty
easy. You can just push this button right here to get 4-wheel drive Low, and the
rest of the time it is automatically going to engage 4-wheel drive for you depending on the situation. Now
this knob here in the center is for the Selec Terrain system, and that allows you
to set the traction-control system depending on what type of a surface
you are traversing. These buttons here are for the Quadra-Lift air
suspension. You can raise it so that you can get up to 10.4 inches of
ground clearance, or you can lower it to make it easier to get in and out or
drive in Aero mode on the freeway to improve your fuel economy. Now overall it
doesn’t take long to acclimate to the Jeep’s controls or its infotainment
system. I think they’ve done a very good job.
When it’s time to put cargo into the Jeep, you just push that button twice, the tailgate
powers open to reveal 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Now the reason that number is a little
small and on par with your typical compact crossover is because compact
crossovers don’t have a full-size spare underneath the cargo floor, and that’s
important, because when you’re off-roading, you’re out in the middle of
nowhere, and you cut your sidewall on a rock, you want to be able to get out of there
and get home, so loading is fairly easy. I’ve got a full-size suitcase here – put that
in and you could put two of those side by side and stack them if you get rid of
this, or you can take the cargo cover out flip those up on their side, and that
does leave enough space back here between the tailgate and the luggage to
put duffel bags or you can put a compact folding stroller in just like that. If you fold the rear seats down, you’ve got
68.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is also on the small side for what’s in a
midsize SUV. One nice thing I like about this power
tailgate is that Jeep puts the button here instead of up here, so that when you’re
on your way back to the driver’s seat, you just push that button and say see you
later. There are basically two reasons to buy a
Jeep Grand Cherokee. One is for towing capacity. The other is for its off-roading
capability. If you’re not planning to do either of these things and you just like
the way this Jeep looks or you’re drawn to the SUV by its rugged image, that’s cool – I get that. My only warning to those
people is this: The price to be paid for the styling and the image is significant.
As long as you’re willing to accept that, then you’re probably going to be
delighted with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Be sure to check out my full review of
this Jeep on CarGurus.com, and if you found this review helpful, please share
this video and subscribe to our YouTube channel. For all of us at CarGurus, thank
you for watching.

91 thoughts on “2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee | CarGurus Test Drive Review

  1. Great review Chris. I would like to know what other two row SUVs you would recommend at the end of the video, if one was not interested in towing or off-roading…. say if one was interested strictly in a quiet, car-like ride.

  2. I wish you were little honest to telling us pros and cons, thanks any ways, I have seen hundreds reviews of this jeep, but your review was somehow its a Lexus, Its least reliable jeep, please tell us some figures and facts about it.

  3. I have 15,000 miles on the my '15 Grand Cherokee and have zero problems. Maybe I got lucky, but I think the 15's and up are getting bad reps. FCA worked out most of the problems.

  4. 0:50 Dude, I don't care much for Trump but the reality is it sucks we allow US companies to do so much outsourcing of parts to Mexico. So rather than making a snarky comment about it let's just work together to push the US companies to built it here, make it here 100%. We need manufacturing jobs period.

  5. The guy should read the owners manual before doing a review. If his wife is having a hard time getting in and out of the vehicle because she's short, there is a setting you could put on that the air suspension lowers when you turn the vehicle off.
    Also, the climate controls on the touch screen is easy to use and find.

  6. Great video – just a slight correction. The diesel option still gets the 100k powertrain warranty. The rest were demoted to 60k

  7. Yeah right !?? I see grand Cherokee all the time on the road ! older ones especially and that's what convinced me to buy.one ! consumer reports needs to be funded by someone and look at the best brands they tout and you'll see who's funding!!

  8. You nailed it on the head, thank you.  You don't get any Jeep because of its mileage or other on road qualities; you get one for the legendary off road performance.  A Jeep's mileage is rated in smiles per gallon, mot miles per gallon.  🙂

  9. Had a XC90 and before that an used ML before I decided to get a GC Overland in December. Loads of flaws with the XC and the ML including a broken drive train and a new clutch on the XC after only 100K miles and major electric problems on ML. Talking to real people before buying the Jeep you find out that reliability issues are often a myth – both on the good and bad side. I didn´t want to buy Volvo and Mercedes anymore because of many reasons, one being the design. I don´t like the Audi. So at the end there was the choice between X5 and GC. X5 is a great car – no question. But here in Europe too many people drive around with it who cannot even afford the gas bill. And it is very expensive. For every little extra you pay a premium. Check on the DVD alone. Jeep about 1500,00 Euros, Beemer 2500,00 Euros for basically the same. When you compare the price of the X5 with the Jeep with the same features you end up paying about 20k Euros more. That´s the price of a whole car. No wonder BMW makes Billions of record profits. Another reason for the GC was its footprint as one of the last remaining real SUVs. You actually can go offroad out of the box. Try that with any other wannabes. Oh, you like the better high speed performance of the Beemer ? Then why do you buy a SUV in the first place and not a nice sports sedan like the Audi A6 or the BMW 5 series ?

  10. The first review I've seen that didn't view like a commercial – also honest about rear legroom being mediocre. Thanks!

  11. Thanks for the super detailed review. A lot of really useful insights. I've subscribed for future videos.

  12. Thank you thank you thank you! This is the best video I've seen. You are very detailed with all the features. We purchased our May 2016. We have the 2016 GC Overland. I love it! Ours is fully loaded without the front sensors. my husband stated if he went that route he would have gotten the Summit. We do have the panoramic sunroof. I have subscribed in hopes to see future videos about this Jeep. Thanks.

  13. I had the chance to rent this car for a weekend vacation and was very impress with the way it handled and the amount of power it produces. It performed great going uphill and through the countryside. The only thing I wish my rental came with is a backup camera and sensors because it's kind of difficult to check my surroundings.

  14. Thank you for this review. This is one of the SUV’s I’m considering and I wanted an unfiltered-unbiased opinion. I don’t tow or go off-road so although I love the look and have been drooling over it for a while I think I’ll move onto something more suited for my lifestyle and not waste the money and hassel with repairs. Thank you again.

  15. Well said and done Mr.CarGuru I ordered the 2016 75th Yr Limited Anniversary with the Diesel engine last year in Sept and it has been wonderful thus far, and when it stars wearing down and dies on me just like any other car, I'll just buy the Subaru Forrester.

  16. for that price, you can get a bigger, more reliable and more capable patrol/armada.

    buying a chrysler product is a mistake unless you are willing to replace your car every 3 years.

  17. Thanks for the thorough review. My only observation is that 12 minutes of the same piece of background music makes for a fatiguing view.

  18. I'm thinking of getting my mom one of these.. Her 96 Cherokee made it to 300k miles before a Texas flood wiped it out lol.

  19. How in the world has this truck been ranked #1 ever. Reliability has never been good. Looks good. Shitty quality.

  20. One of the finest reviews I've ever seen that goes in depth into the nagging issues that aren't normally brought up in a cursory review.

  21. This guy is really nit picky.. no problems with my Graco seat for my son..no problem with seats, controls are super intuitive… whatever.. lol ..

  22. about the seatbelts, it's not hard at all to latch, neither is the leg room in the back seat small for adults. I leased the overland and already have it for 2 years. So that's not an honest review.

  23. Love my 2015 Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4! Fantastic vehicle. I think the ride is very smooth on normal pavement BTW.

  24. Great video. I’ve always wanted one and I just got the 2018 high altitude trim one week ago. Just wanted to point out that the navigation is the best I’ve ever had in all the vehicles I have owned. I’m also amazed at the technology in this vehicle too.?

  25. Do all 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited come with the panoramic sunroof? Also do they come with a built in GPS?

  26. Thinking about buying a grand Cherokee but I never owned one and hearing about the reliability makes me question if I should get one

  27. Most people I know who have these vehicles absolutely love them. I know at least 3 people who are Grand Cherokee loyal. I love everything about them.

  28. @ 8:12 … ?? love this review. I was debating between cars… and after watching this I am definitely buying the grand Cherokee!

  29. I’m looking at downgrading my Maserati v6 to one of these, id love the 6.4 but the v6 and with my dogs, this looks like a winner!

  30. I've had a 2019 and 2018 model as a rental, one got 25 mpg and the other 26 mpg on a 750 mile round trip cruising at 80mph a lot of the way on the freeway. I could get over 20 on a through town drive. How anyone could get 18 mpg is beyond me, unless you are totally thrashing it. I've found them to be a fantastic vehicle in terms of refinement and comfort for what they are and given it's an off road capable SUV I don't understand the testers comments regarding handling and cornering. Personally I prefer the non air spring model for ride and handling and probably long term durability. I drive and have driven all sorts of vehicles and feel most of the gripes the tester came up with were just looking for things to complain about, my wife is 5' 2" and never found it high, if it were an issue and you have air suspension you could always drop the vehicle down if that really was an issue.

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