2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD
Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2005–2010. Click image to enlarge

Review by Justin Pritchard

Vehicle Type: 4×4 SUV

History/Description: Chrysler’s marketing folks would like you to think that the Grand Cherokee is a Jeep – and not an SUV or crossover. Reality is that this model competed in one way or another with machinery such as the Honda Pilot, Toyota 4Runner and Highlander, Ford Explorer and the now-retired Chevrolet Trail Blazer.

All Grand Cherokees were five-door, family-ready utility vehicles that offered numerous powertrain options and four-wheel drive to help navigate a slew of Canadian driving conditions. Most models focused on off-road prowess and proven capability when the going got nasty.

With a transfer-case and low-range gearing, this 4×4 was a ‘Trail-Rated’ ute that could climb rocks, sling slop and crawl up and down steep grades with a smile on its face. It was also available with a turbodiesel engine – making it well suited to high-efficiency towing and off-road duty. More on that later.

Look for the last-generation Grand Cherokee with features like a hard-drive based premium audio system, full multimedia connectivity, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, heated leather seating with memory, navigation, and more. All units were five-seaters.

Engines / Trim: Initially standard was Chrysler’s 3.7L V6 with 210 p. A 4.7L V8 was also available, with 235 ponies. The 5.7L HEMI V8 also hit the scene from 2007 with a mighty 357-horsepower punch. The 3.0L Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel engine came online this year too – serving up fantastic fuel mileage and locomotive levels of torque.

An SRT8 variant of the Grand Cherokee was available as well. This featured a firebreathing 6.1L, motorsports-validated HEMI V8 with 425 hp. In exchange for plenty of gasoline, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 turns in cuss-inducing acceleration, neck-snapping launches, track-ready handling, and a full suite of performance goodies like a body kit, performance wheels and tires, and Brembo brakes. Since the SRT8 is lowered and has a one-speed, permanent 4×4 system (READ: All Wheel Drive), you probably shouldn’t take it off-roading. If you do, I hope you’ve got a spare front air-dam.

2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2005–2010. Left – CRD engine, right – SRT engine. Click image to enlarge

Which engine is best? Arguably the turbodiesel. In addition to Mercedes experience in this type of powerplant, the 3.0L unit performs comparably to the HEMI V8 while turning in mileage similar to (or better than) the base V6. Trouble is, the diesel engine typically poses a higher maintenance bill, and will be more difficult to find in the used marketplace due to low sales volumes.

Laredo and North Edition models were lower-range, while Limited and Overland were more dressed up – especially after a mid-cycle refresh did away with much of the Tupperware-grade plastics used in the cabin. Note that “HEMI” refers to the 5.7L engine in Grand Cherokee nomenclature, while “CRD” or “3.0 Diesel” refers to the diesel engine. No engine designation probably means the unit you’re looking at has the yucky V6 on board.

2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2005–2010. Click image to enlarge

What Owners Like: Owners tend to rate the ride quality, confidence, safety and all-weather, all-terrain operation of their Grand Cherokee’s the most favourably. Many also like the upgraded stereo system and xenon lighting on the higher-end ‘Overland’ model. Owners of HEMI-powered models also rave about performance – and gripe terribly about gas mileage.
Owners of diesel-powered models tend to enjoy great mileage and torque, as well as surprisingly refined operation.
SRT8 owners say they love the performance, exclusivity, looks and sound-effects of their factory-tuned hot-rod toys.

What Owners Dislike: Common complaints deal with fuel consumption, less-than-expected interior space, some awkward placement to several controls and limited rear-seat legroom. Some owners of models with the standard V6 wish for more power, too.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Owner Reviews (TRADER.CA)

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