2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

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2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Buying Advice

The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the best midsize SUV for you if you want a reasonably accommodating five-passenger family vehicle that can tackle the toughest off-road trails.

The original four-door Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced for the 1993 model year just as SUVs were gaining traction as family haulers.. With engineering that combines a car-type unibody structure with elements of a tough truck frame, the Grand Cherokee has always combined decent comfort and capable road manners with outstanding off-road capability. Its popularity has waned in recent years as more families choose car-based crossover SUVs that trade off-road ability for smooth ride, easy handling, lower ride height, and improved fuel economy. The 2010 Grand Cherokee belongs to a design generation introduced for model-year 2005. It added a high-performance on-road-focused SRT8 version in 2006. Other than dropping the Overland trim level, the Grand Cherokee sees only minor changes for 2010.

Should you buy a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee or wait for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee? Wait for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Due in autumn 2010, the 2011 Grand Cherokee is fully redesigned and promises better on-road manners while retaining trail-ready ruggedness to please the Jeep faithful. It’s larger on the outside, roomier inside, and more gracefully styled than the 2005-2010 generation. Chrysler’s efficient new Pentastar V-6 will be standard, with and a Hemi V-8 with remain available. Among new features on the 2011 Grand Cherokee is an available “Selec-Terrain” feature to coordinate powertrain, suspension, and braking systems to maximize traction based on five driver-selected modes. A “Quadra-Lift” air suspension will include different ride-height settings to accommodate varying off-road topography, and a dual-panel panoramic sunroof will be newly available.

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Test Drive back to top

Interior: Coming in Laredo and Limited trim levels, the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee sports a roomy and comfortable five-passenger interior – no third-row seating is available. Outward visibility is good in all directions -- aided by a somewhat higher seating position than in most crossover SUVs. Instrument-panel gauges are legible and well positioned. And while the dashboard is blandly styled, its various switches and knobs are easy to reach and operate. As befits a contemporary family vehicle, there is no shortage of cup holders, storage pockets, compartments, and power points for operating or charging mobile electronics.

The 2010 Grand Cherokee features ample headroom and legroom in both the front and rear seats to accommodate the tallest passengers. The rear seat folds flat for added cargo capabilities, but it neither reclines nor offers fore and aft adjustment. Those seeking a seven-passenger Jeep can look to the mechanically identical but boxier looking Jeep Commander.

The cabin of the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 dresses up with carbon fiber and aluminum trim, with sport seats that feature deep side bolsters and suede inserts.

Front-side and side-curtain airbags are standard. While coming fairly well equipped, the Grand Cherokee can be configured to luxury status with heated leather seats, a Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone interface, GPS navigation system with hard-drive storage for digital media, and a rear backup camera for easier and safer parking.

The optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system can be equipped with either Sirius Backseat TV, which streams three kid-friendly TV channels on a subscription basis, or Flo TV, which delivers 20 broad-based satellite channels. What’s more, the Grand Cherokee can be fitted with a dealer-installed Wi-Fi accessory that turns it into a rolling Internet hot spot for laptop computers and other wireless devices.

Exterior: Though updated in subsequent revisions, the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee looks much the way it has for the past 17 years. While the styling is rather staid in the face of curvier competitors, it features Jeep’s traditional seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches, with a horizontal roofline that tapers off just slightly at the rear.

Grand Cherokee doesn’t require copious ground clearance to achieve its fabled off-road prowess. That’s a slight drawback for hard-core bolder bashers, but good news for the rest of us because ingress and egress is reasonably easy, even for shorter riders.

The exterior appearance of the 2010 SRT8 model is distinguished by a revised front fascia designed to reduce lift and drag while routing airflow to cool the brakes and engine, a recast rear fascia, and lower body extensions that boost aerodynamic downforce to help high-speed stability.

Driving: The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a choice of V-6 and V-8 engines. The standard 3.7-liter V-6 delivers just 210 horsepower, which is barely sufficient to get this rather heavy vehicle up to speed, particularly with a full load of passengers and cargo. The optional 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is a better choice, generating a considerably stronger 357 horsepower. The Hemi can deactivate half its cylinders during cruising and light acceleration to help boost fuel economy slightly.

Maximum towing capacity for the 2010 Grand Cherokee is 3,500 pounds with the V-6 and 7,400 pounds with the 5.7-liter V-8.

The SRT8 model is equipped with a 420-horsepower 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 and features a lowered ride height. Its suspension is tweaked to handle the added power and provide more-responsive road manners. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 isn’t equipped for towing or off-roading. Instead, it does 0-60 mph in just under five seconds, which puts it in the heady company of some sports cars for acceleration if not handling.

A reasonably smooth shifting five-speed automatic gearbox with manual-shift capability is standard across the line.

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard for sure stopping power, as is stability control to keep the vehicle on track in emergency handling maneuvers.

While the Grand Cherokee sports better on-road abilities than most rough-and-tumble truck-based SUVs, it neither rides as smoothly nor handles as predictably as a typical car-based crossover.

The SRT8 model comes only with a sport-tuned, on-road all-wheel drive system. Other 2010 Grand Cherokee models are available with rear-wheel drive (2WD) or in one of three four-wheel-drive (4WD) configurations. The Quadra-Trac I system is a basic 4WD setup that should not remain engaged on dry pavement and lacks low-range gearing for heavy-duty off-roading. Quadra-Trac II is a full-time 4WD system that can remain engaged on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing for serious off-roading. Quadra-Drive II is the top system and is essentially an all-wheel-drive setup that utilizes electronic limited-slip differentials to provide quicker response and greater torque capacity for maximum on- and off-road abilities.

The Grand Cherokee features Hill Descent Control to maintain a controlled downhill descent without the driver having to apply the brakes. It also includes hill start assist technology to keep the vehicle from rolling backward by sustaining braking pressure for after the driver releases the brake pedal.

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Prices back to top

The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee base price range is $31,490-$44,105 (prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Jeep’s fee for the 2010 Grand Cherokee is $780).

The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in Laredo, Limited, and SRT8 models. The Laredo is the most affordable entry and starts at $31,490 with 2WD and $33,460 with 4WD. The Limited is priced from $38,230 with 2WD and from $40,200 with 4WD. The SRT8 model starts at $44,105.

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Fuel Economy back to top

With 2WD, the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee is rated at 16/21 mpg (city/highway) with the V-6 and at 14/20 with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. With 4WD, the 2010 Grand Cherokee is rated at 15/20 with the V-6 and 13/19 with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The SRT8 is rated at 12/16 mpg.

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Safety and Reliability back to top

In government crash testing, the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee rates the maximum five of five stars for driver and passenger protection in frontal impacts. It receives five stars for side-impact protection for both the driver and passengers. It receives three out of five stars for rollover resistance with rear-wheel-drive and four stars when configured with four-wheel-drive. Most SUVs earn four stars for rollover resistance.

The 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee received an “about average” rating for initial quality and expected reliability by J.D. Power and Associates, the leading automotive consumer survey firm.

2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Competition back to top

Ford Explorer: This is the last model year for the Explorer as we’ve known it for the past two decades. For model-year 2010, Explorer will shift from a truck-based platform to become a car-based crossover. In the meantime, this warhorse performs well in most respects and offers adequate comfort for up to seven passengers. A weak 210-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 is standard and comes mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. A 292-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 is offered and comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Explorer comes in rear-drive, four-wheel-drive, and all-wheel-drive versions. Base prices start at $30,095, but big discounts are on tap.

Nissan Pathfinder: This seven-passenger SUV has masculine, square-cut styling and offers a choice of strong V-6 or V-8 engines and three 4WD systems. Pathfinder is mechanically related to the Nissan Titan pickup truck and the more-basic Xterra SUV. It performs well in most regards and provides a reasonably good balance between comfortable family transport and off-road ruggedness. It can tow up to 6,000 pounds with the V-6 and 7,000 pounds with the V-8. Base price range is roughly $28,500-$43,000.

Toyota 4Runner: Redesigned for 2010, Toyota’s long-running truck-based SUV is longer, taller, and wider than the version it replaces. While a weak four-cylinder engine is standard -- albeit only in the base rear-drive SR5 model. A new-for-2010 4.0-liter V-6 is included elsewhere in the line and generates a reasonable 270 horses, though it makes possible a relatively modest 5,000-pound maximum tow rating. The top-line 4Runner Limited model features a suspension that automatically adjusts for on-road comfort and the 4Runner Trail model one that automatically adjusts – along with the 4WD system – for off-road duty. Base price is roughly $28,500-$40,500.