Best & Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years

The Jeep Grand has been a staple in the SUV market for decades, blending rugged off-road capabilities with luxurious comfort.

With so many different model years to choose from, it can take time to discern which ones stand out as the best and worst options.

Whether you’re a seasoned Jeep enthusiast or a potential buyer looking for the perfect year, this article will guide you through the best & worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Generations

Owner-reported reliability and annual maintenance costs have been critical factors in shaping each generation, with newer models boasting enhanced reliability and lower maintenance expenses.

Safety ratings have also been a driving force behind the evolution of the Grand Cherokee. With each new generation, Jeep has raised the bar by incorporating advanced safety technologies and achieving higher safety ratings.

This dedication to safety has not only garnered praise from owners but has also solidified the Grand Cherokee’s position as a frontrunner in its class.

When looking at NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints across generations, it becomes evident that Jeep has continually addressed concerns and worked towards enhancing overall reliability, leading to improved owner satisfaction scores across the board.

Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ, 1st generation)1993-1998
Jeep Grand Cherokee (WJ, 2nd generation)1999-2004
Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK, 3rd generation)2005-2010
Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2, 4th generation)2011-2020
Jeep Grand Cherokee (WL, 5th generation)2021-Present

We have included this table showing the different generations of the Grand Cherokee to give an overall view of how the SUV has evolved.

Recognising the similarities within each generation helps to understand why the SUV has remained popular for so long.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation1996, 199819971993, 1994, 1995
2nd generation2002, 20042000, 20031999, 2001
3rd generation2009, 201020082005, 2006, 2007
4th generation2017, 20202014, 2015, 2018, 20192011, 2012, 2013, 2016
5th generation202320222021

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 1st Generation (1993-1998)

The first generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, spanning from 1993 to 1998, has seen a mix of high and low points. 

The Best Years: 1993, 1994, and 1995

During the years 1993, 1994, and 1995, the Jeep Grand Cherokee solidified its reputation as a trailblazer in the SUV market.

Boasting an impressive 4.0-litre straight-six engine that delivered ample power and excellent torque for off-road adventures, these models were a top choice for adventurous drivers.

The innovative Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive system further enhanced their capabilities, providing superior traction on various terrains.

One noteworthy aspect of these model years was their unmatched reliability. Owners praised the rugged build quality and enduring performance of the vehicles, making them trusted companions for countless outdoor expeditions. 

The Neutral Year: 1996

Despite the minor electrical issues that arose in the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee, this model still managed to stand out with its impressive off-road capabilities and sturdy build.

Best & Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years

The SUV’s renowned reputation as a rugged and reliable vehicle persisted, continuing to attract adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

The emergence of these electrical hiccups undoubtedly impacted the overall experience for many owners throughout the year.

The Worst Years: 1997 and 1998

The most notable issue was with the vehicle’s transmission. Many owners reported experiencing sudden and unexpected transmission failures, leading to costly repairs and a loss of confidence in the car’s reliability.

1997 saw a large number of recalls for various components, such as the airbag system and brakes, further damaging the reputation of the once highly-regarded vehicle.

1998 did not bring much relief for Jeep Grand Cherokee owners either. The model continued to be plagued by transmission problems, with numerous complaints about slipping gears and rough shifting.

This added fuel to the fire of consumer dissatisfaction, resulting in a decline in sales and brand loyalty. 

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 2nd Generation (1999-2004)

The second-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, produced from 1999 to 2004, has been both lauded and criticised by enthusiasts and experts alike.

The Best Years for Jeep Grand Cherokee: 2002, 2003, and 2004

The introduction of the 4.7-litre V8 engine in 2002 elevated the vehicle’s power and capability, appealing to off-road enthusiasts and daily commuters alike.

With improved handling and towing capacity, these model years offered an exhilarating driving experience, firmly establishing the Grand Cherokee as a leader in its segment.

As the line continued into 2003, Jeep impressed consumers with enhancements to safety features and technology.

Best & Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years

The addition of side curtain airbags provided an extra layer of protection for occupants, while new entertainment options kept drivers and passengers connected on long drives.

The year 2004 marked a significant milestone for the best Jeep Grand Cherokee year as it continued to solidify its reputation as a rugged and reliable SUV. 

The Neutral Year: 2001

With the criticisms surrounding the 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s brake systems, it’s essential to recognise the vehicle’s enduring durability and off-road prowess.

Jeep enthusiasts and drivers who prioritised rugged performance over minor setbacks found the 2001 model to be a formidable choice.

Its robust construction and powerful engine options appealed to those seeking a reliable SUV capable of handling diverse terrains without compromising on overall reliability.

The Worst Years: 1999 and 2000

During 1999 and 2000, Jeep Grand Cherokee owners faced an array of issues with their vehicles, making these two years a nightmare for many.

The transmission problems were particularly rampant, causing frustration and financial strain for owners.

Combine this with the increased recall rates, and it’s no wonder that these years are remembered as the low point for the Grand Cherokee.

These troubles shed light on Jeep’s responsiveness (or lack thereof) in addressing manufacturing or design flaws during this period.

It also emphasises the importance of thorough research and due diligence when considering any vehicle purchase, especially during model years known for consistent issues.

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 3rd Generation (2005-2010)

The third-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, spanning from 2005 to 2010, experienced both its best and worst years during this period.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Best Years: 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010

In 2007, the introduction of the CRD (Common Rail Diesel) engine option provided a tantalizing blend of power and fuel efficiency, appealing to both performance enthusiasts and environmentally conscious drivers.

This addition propelled the Grand Cherokee into a new era of versatility, a trend that continued throughout these four pivotal years.

Building on this momentum, 2008 brought forth an interior overhaul, showcasing premium materials and refined craftsmanship.

The driving experience was further elevated with advanced technology integration, including an available MyGIG infotainment system that set new standards for in-car entertainment and connectivity. 

2009 saw improvements in safety features such as side-curtain airbags as standard across all trims, underlining Jeep’s commitment to passenger protection without compromising on adventure-ready appeal.

As for the year 2010, a focus on streamlined design elements and performance optimizations underscored Jeep’s dedication to staying at the forefront of automotive innovation.

The Worst Years: 2005 and 2006

2005 and 2006 were Jeep Grand Cherokee years to avoid, and they were tumultuous years for Jeep Grand Cherokee owners, as many grappled with frustrating transmission and electrical issues.

Best & Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years

The transmission problems ranged from rough shifting to complete failure, leaving drivers stranded or facing costly repairs.

Electrical gremlins plagued these models, causing malfunctions in crucial systems such as the power windows, door locks, and even the vehicle’s starting mechanism.

Best & Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years 4th Generation (2011-2020)

During its 4th generation, the Jeep Grand Cherokee went through a series of ups and downs.

The Best Years: 2017, 2019, and 2020

The years 2017, 2019, and 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee have proved to be significant for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, showcasing high-end aesthetics, cutting-edge driver-assistance systems, and EcoDiesel engines that have set new standards in the industry.

With its sculpted design and premium finishes, the 2017 model exudes a timeless elegance that continues to impress enthusiasts.

The 2019 version introduced innovative driver-assistance features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, ensuring a safe and seamless driving experience.

The 2020 iteration of the Jeep Grand Cherokee stood out with its remarkable EcoDiesel engine option – delivering both power and efficiency.

This addition marked a significant milestone for environmentally conscious drivers who sought performance without compromising on sustainability.

The Neutral Years: 2013 and 2016

During the Neutral Years of 2013 and 2016, the Jeep Grand Cherokee faced some setbacks due to minor issues with its new nine-speed automatic transmission.

This hindered the vehicle from fully realizing its potential and reaching the heights achieved by previous generations.

While still an impressive vehicle in many respects, these issues affected overall performance and left some consumers feeling that it fell short of expectations.

Despite these challenges, this period also paved the way for essential learnings and advancements in future iterations of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The company’s dedication to addressing and resolving these minor issues demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement, setting the stage for more refined and reliable vehicles in subsequent years. 

The Worst Years: 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018

Many Jeep Grand Cherokee owners experienced frustration and disappointment during the years 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018 due to frequent issues with the vehicle’s transmission and infotainment systems.

The transmission problems often manifested as rough shifting, slipping gears, or complete failure, leading to potential safety hazards and costly repairs.

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee infotainment system malfunctioned regularly, causing inconveniences and disrupting the overall driving experience.

These recurring issues left many Grand Cherokee owners feeling let down by a brand known for its durability and reliability. The need for continued repairs not only drained their finances but also eroded their trust in the brand. 

Best & Worst Years For Jeep Grand Cherokee 5th Generation (2021-Present)

Since its debut in 2021, the 5th generation Jeep Grand Cherokee has experienced a mix of successes and setbacks.

The Best Year: 2023

2023 is the best year Jeep Grand Cherokee, shaping up to be a groundbreaking year for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, with a strong focus on both reliability and environmental sustainability.

The combination of traditional Jeep dependability and an innovative hybrid powertrain is setting a new standard for the industry of the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The seamless integration of electric and internal combustion power offers drivers unparalleled performance while reducing their carbon footprint—a win-win for both adventure enthusiasts and environmentally conscious consumers.

The Neutral Year: 2022

There is increasing concern about the potential for software bugs that have plagued previous Jeep models.

While these issues have caused frustration for some drivers, it’s worth highlighting that the brand maintains its commitment to luxury, power, and off-road mastery in the upcoming release.

It has long been synonymous with adventure and rugged performance, and it’s expected that these core qualities will continue to shine through in the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Worst Year: 2021

The year 2021 proved to be a tumultuous time for Jeep Grand Cherokee owners as they grappled with persistent issues related to the vehicle’s infotainment system and drivetrain.

The infotainment system once hailed as a cutting-edge technology, became increasingly problematic for many drivers, displaying glitches and malfunctions that hindered the overall driving experience.

This led to frustration and inconvenience, causing some owners to reconsider their loyalty to the brand.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Average Resale Values

The average resale value of the used Jeep Grand Cherokee is better than other models like Jeep Patriot and Jeep Wranglerhas. It has been a consistent point of interest among automotive enthusiasts and prospective buyers alike.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Average Resale Values

The Grand Cherokee’s robust reputation for off-road capability, combined with its luxurious interior and practicality, has contributed to its substantial resale value over the years.

It’s worth noting that specific factors such as trim level, mileage, and vehicle condition can significantly impact the resale value of individual Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale.


This model has seen both its Best & Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years throughout its production. The early 2000s models have been praised for their reliability and off-road capabilities, making them some of the best years for the Grand Cherokee.

The mid-2010s saw a decline in quality and an increase in reported issues, marking those years as some of the worst for this iconic SUV.

It is vital for potential buyers to carefully research and consider the specific model year they are interested in to ensure they make an informed decision.