Are Jeep Grand Cherokees Reliable?

Jeep Grand Cherokee is a modern icon. It has 20 years of history. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the more venerable midsize SUV model names that is still available today. Despite its age, it is still a contender in its segment because of its stronger off-road capabilities and enhanced dependability. But is the Jeep Grand Cherokee  really a reliable full-size SUV?

The reliability of the Grand Cherokee is above average, with newer models getting better each year. Surveys of consumers show that the 2021 model is the most reliable to date, and this may be because it has addressed all of the problems with earlier models.

RepairPal, a well-known source of automotive information, gave the Grand Cherokee a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5, which is remarkable given the hazardous conditions to which these vehicles are subjected when driven off-road.

Jeep has an extremely loyal following, but models can still have their fair share of problems. Here are the Jeep Grand Cherokee years to avoid.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Years to Avoid

Jeep Grand Cherokees are reliable cars, but you should avoid buying one from a certain year.


The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the first of the fourth generation, hence it may have the most complaints. A pioneer model always has a new feature to distinguish it from previous generations. The new car part had standard testing, but no time for consumer testing, development, or improvement.

The 2011 model had electrical, engine, and interior accessory difficulties, but the new TIPM was the main concern. Due of the widespread TIPM problem, owners launched a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer, which cost them roughly $2,000.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee wouldn’t start when the TIPM malfunctioned. Fuel system, suspension, brakes, and transmission were also problematic.

Due to several issues, Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 models were recalled six times in 2011. Reasons for each extreme are as follows:

  • Wiring (July 2014 and December 2015):  There was a fire hazard due to a short circuit in the wiring for the vanity lights in the sun visor.
  • TIPM (September 2014 and November 2019): The Grand Cherokee may have stalled suddenly due to a potential failure of the fuel pump relay in the TIPM, increasing the likelihood of a collision.
  • Brake Booster Shield (April 2014 and September 2017): Corrosion frequently formed on the brake booster shield in the middle. Corrosion let water in, and that water would eventually freeze, reducing the effectiveness of the brakes.


As a later version of the fourth generation, the 2014 Grand Cherokee got upgrades like a more powerful engine, a better electrical system, and a more luxurious and comfortable interior. Still, there were a number of problems with the engine, the accessories inside, and the brakes.

The biggest problem with the 2014 Grand Cherokee is its transmission, which makes shifting gears rough or jerky. Even people got hurt because the shift from drive to park didn’t work right, causing the car to roll even when the engine was off.

Some experts, though, said that this might be more of a user error because the car has an alarm that will go off if it isn’t in park or if the shift didn’t work.

The gear shifter on the 2014 Grand Cherokee was changed from a traditional lever to an electronic one as one of the improvements. Because of this, some users might not be used to the gear shifter yet, making it hard for them to change gears and know if they did it right.

The NHTSA has issued 12 recalls for this specific Grand Cherokee model. The primary issues were as follows:

  • Airbags (October 2014): As a result of a malfunctioning Occupant Restraint Control (OCR) module, the vehicle’s front and side airbags have been disabled. The inability of the MIL, or malfunction warning light, to light up was also a common complaint.
  • Speed Control (June 2014): A threat to the safety of the driver, passengers, and bystanders exists due to the possibility of the vehicle’s acceleration continuing even after the driver releases the accelerator pedal.
  • Brake Booster Shield (March 2014 and September 2017): There was a tendency for corrosion to form on the shield protecting the central brake booster. As soon as corrosion set in, water was able to seep in, and once frozen, it severely reduced the effectiveness of the brakes.
  • Electronic Stability Control / ESC (October 2014): ESC software issues could have disabled it. That hindered the driver from operating the vehicle, increasing crash risk.
  • Automatic Transmission (April 2016): There was difficulty moving and locking the gear to park mode.
  • Engine (October 2017): A leak in the brake system caused the fluid to evaporate at a much higher rate than normal. Therefore, the driver had to apply the brakes earlier than usual.
  • An alternator (October 2014 and July and November 2017): The car suddenly stalled out due to a broken alternator. The possibility of crashing was also raised by this circumstance.
  • Electronics (July 2015): Software vulnerabilities affected radios. Thus, illegal third-party access, modification, and control of some vehicle control systems were possible.


The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee might not have been the best year for the company, since it is listed as one of the worst years for the Jeep Cherokee. Even though the 2015 Grand Cherokee had fewer problems with its brakes and engine, it had the same problems with its transmission as the 2014 model. That’s very disappointing, since the problems should have been fixed by making changes.

First on the list is shifting that doesn’t work as it should. This usually happens when the mileage gets to around 12,000, on average, and it costs users about $7,500 USD. After that, there were problems with the transmission around 6,100 miles and with shifting at 7,150 miles.

According to recalls, the 2015 Grand Cherokee had a total of six. Because of problems with the unit’s:

  • Electronics (July 2015): There were software problems with units that had radios. So, it could have let a third party get into and change or control some of the vehicle’s control systems without permission.
  • Rear Suspension (July 2015): Some of the vehicles may have had lower control arms in their rear suspensions, which could have “fractured,” affecting the vehicles’ rear-end stability, ride height, and braking efficiency.
  • Hydraulics or Service Brake (March 2016): Some units had problems with brake fluid leaks and brake calliper breakage. The motorist had to brake earlier than usual to stop in time, increasing the crash risk.
  • Automatic Transmission (April 2016): There was a difficulty in moving and locking the gear to park mode.
  • Engine (October 2017): Leaking brake fluid forced the driver to brake earlier.
  • Wiring System (May 2018): Short circuit prevented driver from turning off cruise control, thus car kept speed or accelerated.

Best Grand Cherokee year?

Many Jeep drivers believe that the original Grand Cherokees were the most practical and dependable. Choosing older models, even if they are on the finest list, requires careful consideration of a number of variables.

Experts agree that if you must have a ’90s model, the best choices are the 1998 and 1999 versions due to the many upgrades that made them quicker and better suited to off-road driving. The 2005 model is the greatest option for the 2000s because to its high quality both on and off road. The engine architecture also strikes a good mix between speed and efficiency.

Lastly, Jeep Grand Cherokees from 2017 and 2018 are at the top of the list for highly recommended newer models. Naturally, they offer a plethora of cutting-edge technology and aesthetically beautiful leather seats to make your travel more relaxing and enjoyable.

However, a great audio system, navigation system, and rear-view camera are all examples of current technology that can be added to older vehicles to make them feel more up-to-date.

Jeep Grand Cherokees are reliable cars in the end. They have a good track record of being durable and working well in general. But there are a few things to think about before you buy one. First, make sure you have enough money to pay for any needed repairs. Second, make sure you have a good warranty or insurance policy. Lastly, think about how you will drive most of the time and choose a Jeep Grand Cherokee that fits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Jeep Grand Cherokees last long?

With an average of 200,000 miles, you can expect the Grand Cherokee to last you around 20 plus years which is more than enough time if you’re looking to get the most on your investment.

Are Jeep Grand Cherokees expensive to maintain?

A Jeep Grand Cherokee will cost about $10,484 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This is more than the industry average for popular SUV models by $1,351.

What years did Jeep Grand Cherokee have transmission problems?

It was only related to those vehicles made between July 16, 2012 and December 22, 2015. In these vehicles, all of which had an 8-speed automatic transmission and a monostable gear selector, there are concerns with the vehicle shifting out of the park position.

Are Grand Cherokees good on gas?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee gets decent gas mileage. The 2021 model gets 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway, which is an average fuel economy for a car of that size.

Which engine is best in Jeep Cherokee?

The Jeep Cherokee’s base V6 engine is sufficient for everyday driving, but the turbocharged four-cylinder delivers the best acceleration.

What year Jeep Cherokee should I avoid?

As per data collected, the worst Grand Cherokees to purchase are models 2011, 2014, and 2015.

Andrea Barbuti
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