Whether you’re seeking a used Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale or considering something from the brand new model year, it’s highly likely that you know exactly what you’re looking for. First, the ever-expanding popularity of SUVs (as well as crossovers) have inspired most automakers to refine and reprioritize their entire lineup, aiming to make them SUV-centric and meet evolving customer sensibilities.
But while Chevy and Ford continue to announce the discontinuation of various sedans, Jeep thrives, untethered by past choices. Having built their entire existence around the expectations of off-roading loyalists, they’ve addressed the versatility of driving conditions. Having long-since succeeded at carving out their piece of the passenger vehicle-pie, Jeep has proven their ability to create an accommodating offering. And in aspiring to provide a luxurious passenger experience at a median price, they set a bar many automakers still aspire to meet.
So while the appeal of the unibody Grand Cherokee (as well as its stablemates) speaks for itself, let’s take look at the Jeep brand (and the loyalty it commands) before we dive into model specifics.
Why a Jeep is More than “Just a Jeep”
It’s estimated that only 19.4% of car-buyers maintain an unwavering loyalty to a particular automaker. We don’t know about you, but this becomes progressively easier to believe in a world where each model year becomes the next round in an aggressive game of one-upmanship. If one automaker manages to serve up a particularly compelling offering within an otherwise over-saturated marketplace, it’s bound to sway more than just a buyer or two. But how does Jeep rank in this regard?
In a recent study of 29 leading automakers, it was determined that Jeep fell in around number 13, with 19.7% loyalty ranking. And while that may seem relatively ‘average’, it’s worth noting that such luxury brands as Mercedes-Benn, Cadillac, BMW, Porsche and Infiniti eat up almost half of the top rankings. Factor in the understandable presence of global leaders like Ford, Chevrolet & Dodge alongside the relative accessibility of brands such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda and it’s easy to view the Jeep ranking in a more positive light.
Now, view this through the filter of a #JeepLife mindset. There are few automakers, regardless of class, who outmatch (or even equal) Jeep when it comes to the curation of an exclusive owner’s culture. Setting aside the eternal warring of ‘Big 3’ truck selections and certain performance elitists, Jeep all but owns the enthusiast crown. And while that enthusiasm might be most commonly associated with the iconic Wrangler, it’s no secret that Jeep’s other models enjoy a similar appreciation (if not the overflow). And if a survey of which vehicle styles garner the most loyalty places 4D SUVs comfortably atop the list, it’s safe to say that the luxury-inspired Grand Cherokee fares quite well.
Over more than twenty-five years and four generations, the Grand Cherokee has continued to evolve with the times, embracing a forward-thinking restyling every five years across the first three generations. And while the fourth-gen Grand Cherokee might have enjoyed a slightly longer stay to-date, it speaks to the accessibility of the current design and the need for only minor tweaks and upgrades across model years.
Whether you’re looking to purchase a gently-used 2017 or tread a little further back, a used Jeep Grand Cherokee represents a wise investment. In fact, more than most every competitor, the JGC prove more successful at retaining value over its lifetime. But even if we weren’t here to sing its praises, the decision to buy pre-owned displays a financial savvy that many car-buyers seem exempt from.
Consider a base level 2013 JGC which originally sold at a starting MSRP of around $28,000 (front-wheel drive). Now, that might easily be (or might have been) well-within your price range, but the simple truth is that – with the passage of each new model year – a vehicle becomes more affordable due to depreciation.
For example, a new vehicle driven off the lot loses up to 11% of its value. The means a fully priced JGC might have only been valued at $24,920 if a buyer were to bang an immediate u-turn in the aims of getting a refund. Of course, there are laws protecting consumers against this kind of devaluation, but the speed at which a vehicle can decrease in value shouldn’t be ignored. After a year, that Grand Cherokee might only fetch $21,000. After three years, it would have decreased as much as 46% from the original price. And after five years, it might have only been valued around $10,000.
And while that doesn’t mean an owner is subject to that kind of payout during a resale, it does depict the kind of savings a second owner might enjoy when buying shopping for a used Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale. In other words, there is a built-in value to purchasing used. That said, let’s dig deeper into that latest generation and see what the Grand Cherokee has to offer.
Starting in 2011, the fourth-gen JGC was served up a staggering ten trim levels: the Laredo, Laredo E, Laredo X, Altitude, Limited, Sterling Edition, Trailhawk, Overland, High Altitude and Summit. This would go on to be further refined, but it established the reserved manner in which Jeep chose to power their offerings.
That first year, for example, split the trims across two powertrains. And while many automakers might opt to upset higher trim levels with dramatic jumps in output, Jeep’s offering of the confident 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or the iconic 5.7-liter Hemi V8 displays a sense of refinement. And the fact that the latter powertrain was either optional or standard in nine-out-of-ten trim levels shows a willingness to sell the Grand Cherokee’s on more interesting merits than performance ratings.
Part of that is because the V6 already delivered 290 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to stand unwavering next to any competitive offerings. Jumping up to the Hemi, one could then expect up to 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. And while more conservative 3.0-liter engines would find their way to the lineup, enticing the emissions-focused eco-warriors in many of us, it’s the jacked up Hemi configurations that have garnered instant celebrity for the SRT and Trackhawk. Beginning in 2012, the SRT’s gained 6.4-liter Hemi capable of up to 475 hp and 470 lb-ft. Then in 2018, the Trackhawk came along and blew everything out of the water with 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. And though the latter may not be atop the common person’s list of second-hand vehicles, who’s to say what the next few years might bring? Either way, it’s hard to deny the strength of what the Grand Cherokee brings when you climb under the hood.
Behind the Success
We could elaborate on Jeep’s distinctive design philosophy or their success at creating a unique cabin experience, but we’d prefer that both enthusiasts and critics assess such subjective areas on their own terms. But the numbers speak for themselves. The fourth-gen Grand Cherokee delivered the most popular version Jeep had seen in half-a-decade, near doubling those of the 2007 model year. And from that point, sales have only increased with each model year. In fact, 2018 numbers nearly doubled those of 2011. With that in mind, we have nothing but love for the JGCs – especially of the past decade. Is one of them right for you? Only you can decide but if you see any used Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale it may be worth taking a look.