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2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee competitive comparisons

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee was the first product launch after Cerberus gave up its stake in Chrysler, and a considerable amount of effort went into improving the already-prepared SUV so it would make a splash and end speculation about Chrysler's ability to survive. The Grand Cherokee debuted with the Pentastar V6, née Phoenix Engine, pushing out 290 horsepower without benefit of direct injection — which is coming.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

We have numerous 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee details, photos, and specifications on the Grand Cherokee page. Note that all comparisons are to 2010 model year vehicles.

Based on Ward's Middle Sport-Utility Vehicle Segment comparisons, Jeep Grand Cherokee has the best ground clearance, when equipped with Quadra-Lift; best power; and best rear seat leg room (some competitors have three rows, though).

Grand Cherokee vs competitors: the specs

Jeep sees its primary competitors as being the Chevy Equinox for Laredo trim, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander for Limited trim, and Lexus RX350 for Overland trim.

  2011 Grand Cherokee Chevrolet Equinox Honda Pilot Toyota Highlander
Base engine 3.6 V6 (290 hp) 2.4 I4 (182 hp) 3.5 V6 (250 hp) 3.5 V6 (270 hp)
Optional engine 5.7 V8 (360 hp) 3.0 V6 (264 hp) none none
Ride height 8.1 inches (up to 10.7) 7.8 inches 8.0 inches 8.1 inches
Seating for... 5 5 8 7
Cargo capacity (seats up) 36.3 cubic feet 39.9 cubic feet 18 cubic feet 10.3 cubic feet
Towing capacity 7,400 lb (V8 4x2)
5,000 lb (V6)
3,500 3,500 5,000 lb
Satellite radio One year free Three months free Three months free Not standard
Heated side mirrors Standard Optional Driver's side Standard

Jeep noted that the Lexus RX350, with all wheel drive, has a less powerful engine, just 3,500 pounds of towing capacity, 18 inch wheels vs 20 inch on Overland, and fewer standard features than the Overland model. The Lexus is lacking (except as options) navigation with satellite travel information, an air suspension, a large sunroof, and a rear backup camera, among other accessories.

In the following table, Canadian mpg is not only using Imperial gallons; it also uses the Canadian testing process. The V8 produces 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, with a rated 14/22 mpg (as far as we can tell; Chrysler has not yet released this info as of May 17, 2010). Hemi high mileage in Canada is rated at 27 mpg (10.6 l/100 km).

  Jeep Grand
Honda Pilot
GMC Acadia
4Runner V6
Horsepower 290264270 250 288270
Torque 260222248 253 270278
2WD mpg (EPA) 16/2317/2518/24 17/23 17/2417/22
Canadian mpg 22/32 23/3523/32 22/31 22/32 22/31
Length 189.8187.7188.4190.9200.7189.9
Width 76.372.575.2 78.5 78.275.8
Towing 5,000 - 7,4003,5005,000 4,500 5,2005,000
MSRP (4x4 V6)
$37,995 $37,870 $39,820 $40,390 

As for off roading:

  Jeep Grand
Honda Pilot
Approach angle 35.914.8 29 28 31 / 25*
Departure angle 29.223.224 25 26*
Breakover ramp 25.116.5not available 16 24
Min ground clearance 8.1 - 8.0 9.0 / 9.6
Weight 4,470+ 3770+3,979+4,319+4,400+

* With SR5 V6 and appearance package or Limited, 24° 4x2, 25° 4x4 approach; 24° departure

And interior:

  Jeep Grand
Honda Pilot
GMC Acadia
Front legroom interior41.2 39.7 41.4 41.3
Rear legroom specs have39.9 40.1 (row 2) 38.5 (row 2) 36.9 (row 2)
Shoulder froom, front not yet55.8 59.7 n/a 61.9
Hip room, front been51.1 56.7 58.6 57.8
EPA interior volume released130.5 156 n/a not available
Rows of seats 2 2 3 3 3


2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs... 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee

This is American pricing:

  2010 (USD) 2011 (USD) 2010 (C$)2011 (C$) Added
Laredo 4x4 $33,460 $32,995 $43,995$42,995 Side airbags, foglamps, satellite radio, leather wrapped wheel with audio controls, bright trim, keyless start
Limited 4x4 $40,200 $39,995 $54,645$46,995
(V8, $48,995)
 Selec-Terrain, side airbags, 18" polished wheels, HID lamps, panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, power liftgate, more
Overland   $39,495-$42,995  $49,995 Not available in 2010

Jeep Cherokee and competitors: Scheduled maintenance

Jeep engineers tried to cut maintenance costs, partly through research and partly through design changes. The following table looks at scheduled maintenance costs over five years and 75,000 miles, using each manufacturer's published regular maintenance schedule and their most stringent schedules. Repair costs were obtained using Mitchell's Repair Manual.

The Chevrolet Equinox required nearly double the tire rotations, required a tire monitor recalibration after each rotation (Grand Cherokee does not), had more frequent recommended oil changes (though owners could use GM's oil change computer to extend the duration, so that's not a fair comparison), and requires a coolant changes in the period. Chrysler did note that GM is planning to change the Equinox from regular schedules to computer-calculated, condition-dependent maintenance.

The Honda Pilot required two transmission fluid changes in the same period the Jeep required one; required brake fluid replacement every 45,000 miles and a timing belt change every 60,000; needed five air filters while Jeep required two; and had a mandatory coolant change. (Honda is also planning to stop using schedules and to start using computer calculations.)

The Lexus RX35 AWD required nearly twice as many tire rotations, requires body frame tightening every 15,000 miles, requires brake fluid changes every 60,000 miles, requires cabin air filter cleaning between replacements, and requires a retorque of the drive shaft.

As a result, while the Grand Cherokee came in with $2,322 in estimated service costs, and the Chevrolet came close with $2,935, the 2010 Pilot required no less than $4,176 and the RX350, $4,064 in estimated service.

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Mercedes ML350

The key competitor for Jeep Grand Cherokee is one for which there is bound to be very little cross shopping: the Mercedes ML350, which shares the platform and, presumably, many components. Canadian literature compares the two, with the Jeep coming in at $46,995, and the Mercedes at $57,400, base price (the Jeep in this case is the Limited model). These prices presumably include VAT.

  Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Mercedes ML350
MSRP $46,995 $57,400
Highway MPG (Canadian) 32 28
Low-range 4x4, Selec-Terrain, Hill Descent Control Standard Not Available
Power liftgate, heated rear seats, power steering wheel, memory settings, nav system $925 (nav system) $4,500 (in a package)
Premium leather seats Standard $2,500
20 inch wheels $500 Part of $2,900 sport package
Adaptive headlights, power sunroof, HID headlamps Standard Standard
iPod / USB connection Standard $375
Rear view camera Standard $900

See more — 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Pentastar V6

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