The Best & Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years [Models]

You can find out which Jeep Grand Cherokee models are best and which ones you should absolutely avoid by reading our research.

In this article, we will review the Jeep Grand Cherokee from top to bottom, explaining what made it so good and what it lacked.

The guide consists of extensive research and years of experience, enabling potential buyers, owners, and enthusiasts to make an informed decision.

Best & Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years [Models]

In this preview, we’ll look at the peaks and troughs of the iconic SUV’s journey, examining the unique features of each generation.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Generations

Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL, 5th generation)2021-Present
Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2, 4th generation)2011-2020
Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK, 3rd generation)2005-2010
Jeep Grand Cherokee (WJ, 2nd generation)1999-2004
Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ, 1st generation)1993-1998

To provide a glimpse into the evolution of the Grand Cherokee, we’ve compiled a generational table. It is easier to understand why the SUV has remained popular for so long when we understand the commonalities among each generation.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
5th generation202320222021
4th generation2017, 20202014, 2015, 2018, 20192011, 2012, 2013, 2016
3rd generation2009, 201020082005, 2006, 2007
2nd generation2002, 20042000, 20031999, 2001
1st generation1996, 199819971993, 1994, 1995

Several variables were taken into account when compiling these ratings. Many well-known review platforms (like Edmunds & Consumer Reports) also contributed reliability and owner satisfaction ratings based on owner reports, annual maintenance costs, and safety ratings.

As well as recalls, investigations, and complaints, NHTSA also played an important role in the accident. Low scores are attributed to more recalls, which indicate reliability issues.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 5th Generation [2021 to Present]

Its current generation offers cutting-edge technology, luxury features, and hybrid powertrains, making it one of the most technologically advanced SUVs available.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 5th Generation [2021 to Present]

2023 is the best year

Hybrid powertrains and high reliability ratings have made the 2023 model a promising early contender.

The model is Jeep’s response to the expectations of a more green future while preserving its storied heritage.

2022 is the Neutral Year

Although there were a few minor software glitches with the 2022 model, it still offers luxury, power, and off-road capability.

2021 was the worst year on record

Despite its advances in infotainment, the 5th generation’s drivetrain and infotainment system faced challenges in its debut year.

Even industry leaders can experience setbacks in their pursuit of innovation, as the Grand Cherokee proved to be a stepping stone in its evolution.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 4th Generation [2011 to 2020]

Introducing a new level of refinement, fuel efficiency, and advanced safety features in the fourth generation, the Grand Cherokee made its mark in the luxury SUV segment.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 4th Generation [2011 to 2020]

2017-2018, 2019-2021 are the best years

Featuring high-end aesthetics, cutting-edge driver assistance systems, and EcoDiesel engine options, the models from 2017 through 2020 represented the Grand Cherokee at its best.

Throughout these years, the Grand Cherokee was maturing as it sought to assert itself as one of the top luxury SUVs.

2013 and 2016 were neutral years

Although the new nine-speed automatic transmission was reliable, the 2013 and 2016 models couldn’t reach the highs of the previous generation.

2011-2012, 2014-2015, and 2018-2019 are the worst years

There were frequent transmission and infotainment problems with the 4th generation early and midway through the generation.

These models demonstrate the challenges of rapid technological development in the automotive industry despite the Grand Cherokee’s aspirations.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 3rd Generation [2005 to 2010]

While maintaining Grand Cherokee’s off-road credentials, the third generation introduced many advanced technologies and luxury features.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 3rd Generation [2005 to 2010]

In 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 were the best years

As the Grand Cherokee entered the decade of 2010, it continued to impress. The Grand Cherokee’s evolution reached a high point with these models, equipped with advanced interiors, refinements to the 4WD systems, and the recently introduced UConnect infotainment system.

This generation of HEMI engines was particularly praised for its power and overall reliability by owners.

2005 and 2006 were the worst years

It is unfortunate that transmission and electrical issues plagued the early years of the third generation.

Although these models were innovative, stumbling blocks can still exist on the journey to progress.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 2nd Generation 1999 to 2004]

A new standard was set for the SUV category with the introduction of the second generation of the Grand Cherokee, which offered enhanced power, comfort, and style.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 2nd Generation 1999 to 2004]

2002, 2003, and 2004 were the best years

As this decade progressed, the 4.7-liter V8 engine and the upgraded Quadra-Drive system became the Grand Cherokee’s strongest features. Despite its improved power, handling, and comfort, the Grand Cherokee received high customer satisfaction scores.

2001 was the Neutral Year

The 2001 model had its critics, particularly regarding its brake system, but it maintained Jeep’s trademark off-road ability and durability, proving itself a worthy competitor.

1999 and 2000 were the worst years

Grand Cherokee models from 1999 and 2000 had transmission problems and high recall rates at the beginning of the 20th century.

Consequently, it became apparent that introducing new technologies and systems can be challenging.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 1st Generation [1993 to 1998]

The Jeep Grand Cherokee, introduced in 1993, embodies a unique blend of off-road ruggedness and suburban comfort, setting the stage for the brand’s SUV design philosophy.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 1st Generation [1993 to 1998]

1993, 1994, and 1995 were the best years

As an SUV, the Grand Cherokee cemented its place in the market for the first three years of this generation.

It was highly praised for its durability and off-road capability thanks to its powerful straight-six engine and innovative Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive system from 1993 to 1995.

1996 was the Neutral Year

Despite its impressive build quality and off-road capabilities, the 1996 model didn’t reach the heights of its early days due to minor electrical issues.

1997 and 1998 were the worst years

Even though the first generation was successful early on, transmission reliability remained a challenge in 1997 and 1998.

During these years, automobile recalls were above average, causing concern among potential buyers.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Which model years of the Jeep Grand Cherokee are recommended to avoid?

It is recommended to stay away from Jeep Grand Cherokee models from 2011 and 2014. There have been a significant number of mechanical issues and complaints during these years, which could lead to expensive maintenance and repairs in the future.

What were the central issues reported with the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

In 2011, Jeep Grand Cherokees were plagued by significant issues, particularly with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM), which was responsible for engine starting problems or delays. An electrical wiring issue and interior styling were also problematic, and a class action lawsuit was filed over the TIPM issue.

What recalls were issued for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and why?

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee was recalled several times for TIPM failures affecting the fuel pump, rusting brake boosters that affected brake performance, and wires attached to the sun visors that could cause fires.

What are considered the most reliable Jeep Grand Cherokee model years?

Model years 1998, 1999, 2005, 2017, and 2018 are generally considered to be Jeep Grand Cherokee’s most reliable. In addition to their excellent on- and off-road capabilities, modern features, and strong engine performance, these years are frequently referred to as the best.


After reviewing Jeep Grand Cherokee models over the years and generations, here are a few questions we want to ask:

In which Grand Cherokee model year do you see Jeep’s commitment to luxury, power, and off-road capability at its finest? How would you rate the performance of this iconic SUV in which year?

Let me know what you think and what you’ve experienced in the comments.

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