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Before buying a new or used sport utility vehicle, you should know how long you can expect it to last. The lifespan of the SUV classes varies from model to model and from year to year. If the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of your considerations, you'll want to know which years have better track records than others, as well as which ones to potentially avoid. We've researched this topic thoroughly to help you make the best decision.
A Jeep Grand Cherokee will typically last more than 200,000 miles. This number is based on the vehicle being well-maintained and will vary depending on which generation Jeep Grand Cherokee you are considering.
Knowing how many miles you can expect from a Jeep Grand Cherokee is only one piece to consider. Which Grand Cherokee engine is the best? What is the most reliable year for the Grand Cherokee? What are the most common problems with this model SUV, and are there any years that should maybe be avoided? For the answers to these and other questions, continue reading!
How Long A Jeep Grand Cherokee Lasts
The year of Grand Cherokee you select may impact how many miles you can expect it to last. Assuming that the vehicle has been well maintained, the average drive train mileage varies from year to year. If you assume, by the general yearly average, that you drive about 10,000 miles each year, your Grand Cherokee should last at least 20 years.
The 1994 and 1995 editions reported an average life of 240,000 road miles while the 2001 edition fell short with 130,000. By far, the year that had the best average was 2010. That year's Jeep Grand Cherokee has an average of well over 250,000 miles.
The best way to get the most miles out of your Jeep is to stick to a regular maintenance schedule and treat it with care.
What is high mileage for a Jeep Grand Cherokee?
Anything over 300,000 miles is considered high mileage for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. They will typically last around 200,000 miles, although some owners have reported that they are still driving this model SUV after the odometer has turned over 300,000.
What Jeep Grand Cherokee engine is best?
By reputation alone, the best engine for the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been the Chrysler HEMI engine. By design, the HEMI engine allows for the fuel mixture to be burned deep inside its hemispheric combustion chamber. This creates much more air intake, which builds more power.
Aside from being a highly rated powerful engine, the HEMI has had very few defects and has shown to be one of the most reliable engines on the market. While their weight and power do diminish the gas mileage a bit, Jeep Grand Cherokees that have the HEMI engine enjoy much better acceleration and a longer engine life. You can read more about the specs of the latest model Jeep Grand Cherokee here.
What year is the most reliable Jeep Grand Cherokee?
For this question, we'll provide two different years for the most reliable Jeep Grand Cherokee. Since you may be on the market for one that is used, we felt it would be more helpful if we determined what year was the best out of the most recent generations of Jeep Grand Cherokee. We'll also report what year is considered the most reliable from the older generations.
Best Older Models
Beginning with the older model first, we believe that the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most reliable out of the first three generations of this vehicle. One reason is that it didn't have all of the electronic components that the 2011-2014 models had. Those became a huge problem for the fourth generation. The newly added electrical components created issues for the alternator and starter in these models, which the 2010 model did not have.
The 2010 model faced far fewer recalls than the generation that followed it, only having a total of five. Being mechanically sound, the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee has been known to last well over the average road miles of its counterparts, with many owners reporting more than 250,000 miles.
The 2010 SUV is also very affordable on the used vehicle market, almost always selling for under $10,000.
Best Newer Models
For the most reliable newer model Jeep Grand Cherokee, we've found that the 2017 edition has had the fewest issues. It has held its value in the resale market, too.
While several years of this latest generation Jeep Grand Cherokee have had more than their fair share of manufacturer recalls, the 2017 model has been subject to only three. They were for pretty minor issues like cruise control sticking on, loose tow hook brackets, and faulty supercharger brackets. These recalls only impacted about 100 vehicles each, meaning the problems weren't widespread among 2017 owners.
The 2017 model earned a 4.5/5.0 safety rating from the NHSTA and has shown to be a comfortable ride on the highway and on more rugged terrain.
What are the most common Jeep Grand Cherokee problems?
There are four common problems associated with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, affecting models from different years. We'll discuss these four issues, along with what years they are most commonly associated with.
1. Erratic electronic shifting
A loose electrical connection caused the transmission to not shift out of park or neutral, even though the driver had shifted gears. This malfunction also led to the Jeep being in "park," but still rolling away after the driver had left the vehicle.
This faulty transmission issue led to over 30,000 recalls for the 2016 model. Similar issues were also reported for the Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014 and 2015 models, though they were fewer in number.
2. Engine stalling
The Jeep's "totally integrated power module" (TIPM) is a system that powers numerous features of the Jeep Grand Cherokee including the electronic windows, door locks, radio, and headlights. Unfortunately for some Jeep owners, it also controls the fuel pump.
The fuel pump relays were substandard in certain model years, causing the engine to crank but not start. The information sent electronically through the TIPM wasn't getting received by the fuel pump. It would then not allow the fuel to flow to the engine, allowing the Jeep to start.
To make this problem worse, the fuel relay wasn't just failing upon starting the Jeep. Many Jeep owners reported that their vehicle would shut itself off while they were driving it, leading to them being stranded along the side of the road.
The years this defect was prevalent were the 2011, 2012, and 2013 models.
3. Faulty alternator
Having a faulty alternator can also be the culprit when your Jeep refuses to start. Some Jeep Grand Cherokee owners reported that their alternators would work intermittently, only to have them later catch fire.
These "blown alternators" would often catch fire and shut down while the Jeep was being driven. The alternator shutting down will disable the Jeep's anti-lock brakes and electronic stability systems, compounding the safety issues for the driver and passengers.
This recall for alternator replacements was for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 model Jeep Grand Cherokees.
4. Ignition switch malfunction
The faulty ignition switches would cause the key to shift to the "off" or "accessory" positions while the Jeep was being driven, merely by brushing against it with your knee. While these positions are engaged, the Jeep's airbags are shut off, causing tremendous safety concerns. Some Jeep drivers reported that their Jeep's engine would totally shut down mid-turn, causing the power steering to shut off.
The model years for this issue were older than the other common defects. Ignition switch malfunctions occurred in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 models, and were fixed by a recall.
For more information on Jeep Grand Cherokee issues, check out our article Jeep Grand Cherokee: What Are The Common Problems?
Should you buy a used Jeep Grand Cherokee?
You can get a reasonably priced Jeep Grand Cherokee on the market with no trouble. They're a popular model amongst consumers. There are plenty on the market, too.
Several issues with certain year models aside, the Cherokee has been a little above average in terms of reliability. While it's recommended to be cautious with the fourth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee models (2011 through 2014), earlier used models have shown to be good for those in the market for a reliable used vehicle.
Before you buy, it's important to make sure that if there were any recalls on that particular year's Jeep Grand Cherokee that it was fulfilled. It's also a good idea to make certain that the used Jeep you're looking at has had a maintenance schedule that has been routinely followed, and that it hasn't been involved in any previous collisions.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a popular sport utility vehicle since it was first introduced by Chrysler in 1993. While it has had some issues over the years with certain year's models, it has remained one of the top-selling SUVs in its class. As we've learned, buying one on the resale market will require a bit of research. But if you are able to secure the right one, you'll have a Jeep that has plenty of life left in it.
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