The 2018 Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s flagship SUV, a 2-row/5-passenger hauler with a model lineup spanning from rather basic to absolutely bonkers. For 2018, the latter end of that spectrum just pushed beyond all rationality with the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which packs the 707-horsepower supercharged V8 from its Dodge Hellcat cousins. As the Grand Cherokee nameplate celebrates its 25th anniversary, it continues to improve on its formula for a rugged, powerful yet civilized midsize SUV. Yes, it still offers off-road capability that few rivals can match, all while improving on features more important to today’s buyers like Apple Car Play integration. This Jeep faces a range of rivals, but none can match its breadth of trim choices or power. If you want a rugged yet refined 5-passenger midsize SUV that packs plenty of power and room, there’s probably a Jeep Grand Cherokee for you. Its off-road credentials are legit, while higher trims could pass for a luxury SUV.
For all its off-road capability, the 2018 Grand Cherokee is remarkably refined in the city and on highways. That’s a good thing, because that’s where most will spend their time. While the Grand Cherokee’s character varies depending on which engine you choose, all are civilized and easy to maneuver. With five powertrains, multiple four-wheel-drive systems, and refined ride and handling, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a model for every need, and no model disappoints for performance, on road or off. Depending on the model you pick, the Grand Cherokee can be an off-road wizard, a racetrack beast, or a pleasant street performer.
All of models send their power through a smooth-shifting and very responsive 8-speed automatic transmission that can also be shifted through tiny paddles, or should we say nubs, behind the steering wheel. Any Grand Cherokee delivers an exemplary driving experience. Its steering, handling, and road manners are among the best and most refined in its class. It has the ride of a crossover, not the trucky, bounding ride of a body-on-from SUV. The steering is reasonably quick and precise, rather than slow as it has been in the past. The Limited, Overland, and Summit models offer the Quadra-Lift air suspension that offers ride heights ranging from 6.4 to 11.3 inches. It can drop the Grand Cherokee for loading or for improved fuel economy during highway driving and raise it for off-roading.