True Jeep DNA: Off-Road Confidence + Refined Highway Ride
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is both iconic and venerable, having earned these accolades since going on sale in 1992. The 2019 Grand Cherokee Limited X 4X4 that Clean Fleet Report tested recently continues the tradition of a well-rounded, family-friendly, premium midsize SUV.
With four engine and two transmission choices, the 2019 Grand Cherokee has something for everyone. If you want raw power, then go for the Trackhawk (707 horsepower 6.4-liter V8) or SRT (475 hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8). For pure grunt the 5.7-liter V8 will do the trick, or the base engine that offers smooth V6 power.
Clean Fleet Report drove the 2019 Grand Cherokee Limited X 4X4, with a 3.6-liter V6 that produced 295 hp and 260 pounds-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission, with paddle shifters and Sport mode. The transmission was seamless in its shifts, responding well by being in the right gear at the right time. The EPA fuel economy estimates of 18 city/25 highway/21 combined was pretty much what Clean Fleet Report got over the 145 miles we drove, with the majority of the time on the highway (short of our goal for a 30 MPG AWD Club, but respectable).
Driving Experience: On the Road
Clean Fleet Report’s 2019 Grand Cherokee Limited X 4X4 was smooth cruising at highway speeds, partially due to the unibody construction, versus body-on-frame that rides more like a truck. The 3.6-liter V6 performed strong in all instances and is a good match for the 4,476-pound curb weight. Acceleration was more than adequate and the V6 was quiet at all times, even when accelerating hard while climbing a grade. We did find the accelerator pedal to be touchy; it took a bit of time to learn how to press on it for maximum fuel efficiency.
The steering was a bit too light for our liking, but the grip from the Pirelli Scorpion Verde 265/50 all-season tires, on 20-inch aluminum wheels, was up to the task at hand. Cornering was predictable with little body roll or drifting through turns. While the Grand Cherokee Limited is called a sport utility vehicle, there really isn’t anything sporty about it. Move up to the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and it delivers excellent performance.
The Grand Cherokee Limited utilizes Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II 4WD and the Selec-Terrain systems. The Selec-Terrain traction control system has driver-selectable settings of Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. Add-in all-speed traction control, hill descent control, hill start assist and off-road suspension to aid in the Limited’s driving stability.
Stopping was very good, solid and straight. The power-assisted brakes had front and rear vented discs. Standard anti-lock brakes, vacuum brake assist and electronic stability control all were part of confident stops.
Driving Experience: Interior
The base Grand Cherokee is nicely appointed, and with 12 models there will be something for everyone. The Limited X we drove had a premium feel (even though it is middle of the pack of the 12 models in both features and price) and reminded us that, for a SUV that has been around for so long, Jeep has stayed on top of what consumers want and demand.
The Limited X is a premium midsize SUV, and the interior shows it. Leather is everywhere including all the seats, with the wide, comfortable fronts heated and power adjustable, including lumbar. The dash is clean and straight-forward in design with tasteful matte-finish aluminum trim. The dark wood trim on the dash is subtle and attractive. The leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel has audio, telephone and cruise control buttons or toggles. A nice feature on the rear of the steering wheel is where the volume (right side) and channel selection (left) buttons are located. It is such a natural place for them that it is a wonder all other manufacturers don’t go to this placement.
Rear seat head and legroom is generous even for three adults, but two on a long trip might be best. The leather rear seats recline about as much as on an airplane. Storage with the 60/40 rear seat laid flat is large enough for a bicycle, without removing the wheels. Otherwise, with the rear seat in the up position, the cargo area is in-line for midsize SUVs. With a 20.5-inch sill height, access was through wide doors leading to a high driver and front passenger seat positions. We did notice that it required a head dip to get into the front seats, especially if the seats were in their upper position.
Everything for the driver is laid-out in logical, easy-to-read locations. The 8.4-inch color touch screen is the command center for the easy-to-use Uconnect operating system that includes navigation. The nine amplified speakers, a subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier push out quality sounds for the audio system that includes AM/FM/CD/MP3 HD radio. SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto are included. Voice command, with Bluetooth, for handsfree phone and streaming audio are operated by the steering wheel controls. A very nice feature for those long family road trips is the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The more cars we see this in, the more we like it.
The Grand Cherokee Limited X had convenience features such as remote start, memory for the driver seat and exterior rearview mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering column, rear window/wiper, power windows with one-touch express up and down, power door locks, heated power exterior mirrors with turn signals, automatic dual zone climate control, remote keyless entry, push button start, 12V power outlets (front and rear), rear seat fold down armrest, AUX ports and multiple cup holders.
Driving Experience: Exterior
Clean Fleet Report’s 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee was painted in a head-turning Velvet Red Pearl, complimented by the 20-inch low gloss Granite Crystal aluminum wheels. Our very attractive Limited X had the Customer Preferred Package option with Bi-Xenon headlights, LED fog lights, an unique front fascia color and the and Granite Crystal body accents, including on the familiar seven-bar grill. The way this Grand Cherokee was outfitted makes it one of the most striking SUVs on the road.
The roof comes with black gloss rack rails and shark fin antenna and a body color spoiler over the power liftgate. The rear is finished with black lens LED tail lights, window wiper and dual horizontal dark chrome exhaust tips. It all very contemporary and will remain so for years to come.
Safety and Convenience
The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee was equipped with the Jeep Advanced Active Safety package. Additional safety features include a ParkView rear backup camera, blind spot and cross path detection, ParkSense rear park assist, tire pressure monitoring system, headlight washers, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a full-size spare.
Pricing and Warranties
Clean Fleet Report’s 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited X 4X4 had a base price of $40,945. With optional packages adding $7,190, the total MSRP came to $48,135. All prices exclude the $1,495 destination charge.
All 2019 Grand Cherokee comes with these warranties:
- Basic Three years/36,000 miles
- Powertrain Five years/60,000 miles
- Roadside Assistance Five years/60,000 miles
- Rust Through Five years/60,000 miles
Observations: 2019 Grand Cherokee Limited X 4X4
There are ten different Grand Cherokee models (and two variations of those models), ranging from the base Laredo to the outrageous performance Trackhawk. The 2019 Grand Cherokee Limited X 4X4, Clean Fleet Report drove for a week, falls towards the middle of the model spectrum. As a value proposition, as in getting more that what you pay for, this is a good choice for performance and price.
A bit of heaviness can be felt at low speeds around town, but this goes away and is easy to drive on the open road. The low fuel economy and touchy accelerator pedal were the only concerns about what is otherwise a very nice and capable midsize SUV. Need to venture off road? The Limited X will do, but if getting serious then opt for the Trailhawk.
When visiting your local Jeep dealer take the time to drive a few of the Cherokee models, just to be sure which model to go home in.
Whatever you end up buying, Happy Driving!
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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.
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