An imperfect, but remarkably capable SUV
The "Check Engine" light came on twice since I've owned the vehicle. The first time was for a cylinder misfire, and the second was for an emissions system leak. I had both problem codes cleared and I have yet to see the light come back on again.
I can confirm what most everyone else says about Grand Cherokee rotors having a penchant for warping. My Grand Cherokee has an occasional shudder when applying the brakes at moderate to high speeds. Since brake parts are normal replacement items, and considering that Daimler-Chrysler installs very aggressive calipers and brake pads on these vehicles, I guess this is to be expected. In my opinion, the shudder is more of an annoyance than an impending sign of catastrophic failure.
The 4.0 liter straight six has plenty of low end punch, but rather leisurely acceleration at higher speeds. The vehicle's weight (which is almost 4,000 pounds) may be partially responsible for this.
The automatic transmission's downshifts can be a little slow at times when traversing steep hills, but nowhere near as bad as Ford's transmissions.
I must say that this vehicle has proved to be far more practical in winter driving than my Lincoln Town Car. The Grand Cherokee's Selec-Trac four wheel drive and off-road capabilities have gotten me safely to and from my job time and time again. Because of this, my Jeep has already paid for itself more than once.
Sans normal maintenance and replacement items such as fuel filters, batteries, wiper blades and the like, I have experienced no mechanical or electrical reliability issues.
I perform my own vehicle maintenance, so I cannot comment on any dealership experiences.
The ride is not what I would consider "luxurious," but it is nevertheless very comfortable and refined for a rugged sport utility vehicle. The suspension soaks up bumps and potholes reasonably well with a minimal amount of noise leaking into the cabin.
The steering and handling capabilities are excellent in day to day driving. I do not pretend that my Jeep is a Porsche, but I am confident that it will stay on-course should the need arise to press it a little harder than usual. I also have no qualms about its maneuverability in tight spaces.
For me, the seats are more than supportive for long trips and highway driving is a dream.
The Power Tech straight six has all the power one reasonably needs for almost any occasion, and it has a proven track record of dependability dating back to the days of Hudson. It could very well outlive my Jeep.
Would I buy another Jeep, despite its flaws? Absolutely.
For those of you who try to find perfection in a Grand Cherokee, might I recommend the Toyota 4-Runner?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th May, 2004