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Buying a New Grand Cherokee vs. a Used Grand Cherokee: Pros and Cons

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You might be torn between finding a used Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale or just going to a dealership and buying a new 2016 model. Whatever the case, each choice leaves you with a few pros and cons. The 2016 Grand Cherokee is the best one yet, and engineering advancements have made it both more powerful and efficient than ever before. Not to mention, it has a host of fun and performance-enhancing technology to help improve your driving experience. A used Grand Cherokee, however, has the upper hand when it comes to financing. Financially, it’s much easier to invest in a used model. Not only is it cheaper, but you avoid depreciation as well.

As good as both scenarios sound, it’s also important to note that they have downsides as well. Let’s weight the pros and cons…

New Grand Cherokee Pros

The most noticeable difference of the 2016 Grand Cherokee when compared to a used one is the design. It looks much sleeker and more refined than the previous generations, but still rugged at the same time.

Better Performance

But, looks aren’t everything, especially when it comes to Jeeps. For these vehicles, performance has and always will be everything and the modern performance aspects of the 2016 Grand Cherokee can’t be ignored. Mainly, it’s the engine that makes a huge difference. The latest 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 Engine is one of the most fuel-conscious and powerful base engines to ever equip a Grand Cherokee. This engine can put out 290 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, while still getting up to 26 mpg highway.

Or, you can consider one of the other two optional engines. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 puts out less horsepower, but an amazing 420 lb-ft of torque. It has a 730 highway mile range, and a best-in-class highway fuel economy rating of 30 mpg. The massive gain in torque and fuel economy offsets the loss in horsepower, and still gives this smaller engine some serious kick.

The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine is the biggest in the lineup, and puts out 360 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. This engine provides a best-in-class maximum towing capacity of 7,400 pounds, and is sure to curb your appetite for power.

Along with also having stronger and more efficient powertrains than the used Grand Cherokee, the 2016 model is also more versatile. It has three different engines to choose from, which means you can drive one that’s tailored perfectly to your needs.

Modern Technology

Whether it’s the fuel saving technology in the engines, technology that entertains, technology that keeps you safe, or technology that improves performance, it’s all state-of-the-art in the 2016 Grand Cherokee. Features like Uconnect and SiriusXM Satellite Radio haven’t been around forever, and neither has Jeep’s Quadra-Trac 4×4 system. Features like these set the 2016 model apart from the older ones out there.

Probably the most notable technological safety advancement is the Enhanced Accident Response system. In the event the airbags are deployed, this system will shut off the fuel, turn on the inside lights, and unlock the doors. Technology like this wasn’t around 20 years ago, and you certainly won’t see it on a Grand Cherokee from the 90s.

This all adds up to what you would expect from a 2016 model: advanced, capable, and eco-friendly. But, it’s not without it’s downsides.

New Grand Cherokee Cons

 

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Front

First, it’s much more expensive to finance a new Grand Cherokee, compared to an older model. The starting MSRP of the 2016 Grand Cherokee is $29,995, and to get the best of the best, you’d need to grab the Overland trim for $44,195. Not only do you need to be financially stable enough to own this vehicle, but you also need to have a good enough credit score to get approved for a loan, which means it’s also harder to finance this vehicle.

Depreciation Costs

On top of being more expensive to finance, it’s also harder to get your money back later down the road if you decide to sell it. Even though Jeeps don’t depreciate as much as other vehicles, their value is still reduced as soon as you buy it and leave the lot, and steadily falls over the next few years of ownership. So, if you decide to try and sell it later on, you won’t get all of your money back.

But, you can always see if leasing is a possibility. This will take the sting out of the depreciation factor, and make your new car investment slightly more sound. Also, if the only “cons” of buying a new 2016 Grand Cherokee are the financial aspects, then it’s got to be a pretty solid car.

Used Grand Cherokee Pros

 

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It’s ironic that a used Grand Cherokee’s pros are essentially the 2016 model’s cons. But, it’s also important to note that this irony only applies to the older models. If you get one that’s still considered like-new condition (but it’s technically used), you will probably still experience the same pros and cons of a 2016 model.

It’s Cheaper

Say you are looking for a 2000 Grand Cherokee. You don’t need anything fancy, just something able to get you through a season or two of winter driving. You will be paying around $3,245 for one with under 164,000 miles, which is the average sales price taken from Edmunds. It might have high miles, and have more risks associated with it, but it’s a lot cheaper than $29,995 and potentially cheap enough to pay off in a lump sum. Plus, if you find one that was properly taken care of, it will still have plenty of life left in it.

No Depreciation

Also, if you drive it for a winter season and nothing breaks on it, chances are you will be able to get all of your money back as the warm weather rolls around. After Jeeps are done depreciating, they retain their value extremely well, especially Grand Cherokees and Wranglers. Since it’s already seen it’s depreciation days, it’s an investment that will return you very close to what you paid if you decide to sell it again.

Also, there’s always the possibility of buying a modified Jeep for off-roading. It might be a little more expensive than the price used here as an example, but it would be much cheaper than buying a new one and adding parts to it. But, that’s a whole different territory.

Used Grand Cherokee Cons

 

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Unfortunately, the high miles and overall use make it more unreliable than a new model. Anything from the calipers to a head gasket could break within just a week or two of owning a used model. Depending on what breaks, your cheap investment might have just turned into a costly one. Will it wind up cheaper than a new model? Of course – initially. But if the repairs cost more or equal the price of the used model, then your investment is no longer paying off.

Comparably Inefficient Engines

Compared to the 2016 Model, the older model’s engines are very inefficient. The base Laredo engine puts out 195 horsepower and only returns 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. Not only is this subpar when compared to the newer model, but it’s not going to do you any favors at the gas pump.

Lacks Technology

On top of having an inefficient engine, the older Grand Cherokees also lack the technology the newer ones have. The lack of safety, entertainment, and performance-enhancing technologies make for a very dull and long ride, and it definitely takes a special type of person to own this vehicle.

Speaking of which…

Okay, So Which One?

While they both have pros and cons, these vehicles also need to be measured on a basis of what they will be doing. Want a vehicle for family road trips and going to the grocery store? Then a 2016 Grand Cherokee would be the one for you. Want a vehicle to go off-roading without fear of breaking something or chipping the new paint job? Then you probably want a used and modded Grand Cherokee.

It’s important to assess what you are going to use your Jeep for, and then go from there. The cons might be pros to you, or visa versa. You might like the used Grand Cherokee’s lack of technology, because you don’t care about a fancy touchscreen. Or, maybe you like that the 2016 model has a payment plan, because you use car payments to keep your credit score in good shape. The pros and cons list could go on forever, but it’s the pros and cons relative to you that matter the most.

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