It’s no secret that the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the best cars on the market. But it can also be a very good vehicle for off-roading!
At its most basic level, any car or truck can be a good off-roader if you want to take it into the wilderness.
But the Jeep Grand Cherokee has a lot of features that make it a really great vehicle for off-roading. What kinds can you name?
Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers! Let’s roll
Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Good Off-Road?
Yes, is the short answer. They are pretty good off-road vehicles, though. Fans might think it’s not as good as it is, but it’s good enough to get through most types of terrain.
It’s why they still sell hundreds of thousands every year.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a lot to offer off-roaders, from its legendary history as an off-roader to its impressive capabilities and features that make it great for all kinds of off-road driving.
The first step, though, is to learn what makes an off-road vehicle good and how each of the Grand Cherokee’s many features adds to its overall off-road capability.
Now, let’s talk about some of the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s features that make it better off-road:
First, this vehicle doesn’t use a lot of gas. It doesn’t get the best gas mileage on city streets, but it does beat other cars in its class on off-road trails.
What’s the point?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is better off-road because of how heavy it is. It has ball bearings and nylon bushings, which make it lighter and more manoeuvrable than similar vehicles.
The smoother and easier things go, the less weight you have to carry through rough terrain.
It also has a downhill brake control system, a brake lock differential, and a hill descent software programme that make it easier to get through tough situations.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-road Features
The following features make the Jeep Grand Cherokee easier to drive off-road because they make it easier to use.
1. Four wheel drive (4WD)
Four-wheel drive is the first thing to talk about when talking about what makes a car or truck a “off-roader” (4WD).
4WD is a system that gives a car four independent wheels instead of just two. This means that each wheel can provide power and traction on its own.
2WD is when all four wheels get power and ability from one source (the engine) at the same time. 4WD is when each of the four drive tubes/axles can be controlled separately.
All new Jeep Grand Cherokees come with 4WD as standard, which is a big deal.
There are two kinds of four-wheel drive systems. The first is full-time four-wheel drive. Full time means that the system works in all road conditions and at all speeds. Part time has a mechanism that lets it switch between 2WD and 4WD high or low (there is no low-speed full time setting).
Less expensive cars and SUVs are more likely to have part-time 4WD systems.
2. Ground Clearance
The vehicle’s ground clearance lets it have bigger tyres and a better ability to get over obstacles.
Ground clearance is limited by many things, like how low the car’s body sits on its suspension (height) and how far away the differential and axle tubes are from the ground.
Off-roaders need to be able to move quickly and get over obstacles, so manufacturers try to keep these distances as short as possible so that the vehicles can climb better.
When empty, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has 10.8 inches of ground clearance in the front and 9.4 inches in the back. This improves the vehicle’s ability to climb, making it easier to get over obstacles and trails in the mountains.
Keep in mind that even though this vehicle has more ground clearance than many others, it won’t be enough in every situation.
When I was off-roading in Death Valley, a big rock hit the undercarriage of my car. It didn’t hurt anything, but it scared the heck out of me!
The tyres are the next most important part of an off-road vehicle. How well a car or truck can get over an obstacle or drive on sand, dirt, rocks, mud, wet roads, etc. depends a lot on its tyres.
The tread is one of the most important parts of any tyre.
The tread is the rubber part of a tyre that makes contact with the ground. It needs to be made with off-roading in mind.
The Wrangler Rubicon has 33-inch tyres on 17-inch alloy wheels. This gives it good grip on both sand and dirt roads.
All-season tyres come standard on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. These tyres work best on dry roads. If you plan to do a lot of off-roading, you should definitely buy all-terrain tyres.
4. Seating Systems
The seat system is another important part of what makes a good off-road vehicle. For example, the front bucket seats of the Jeep Grand Cherokee are well-padded.
But if you sit in it for long periods of time, you can adjust it to give your back and neck a little support as well.
Best Jeep Grand Cherokee Trim Level for Off-road
Based on price and features, the Laredo E is probably the best Jeep Grand Cherokee trim level for off-roading.
It has leather seats in the first two rows and a lot of safety features, like a blind-spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, active cruise control with stop/start capabilities, an electric park brake with an auto-hold function, hill descent control, hill start assist, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, and all the other features you would expect.
It also has an 8-inch infotainment screen with Uconnect access, so you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket or purse to use its apps.
It can work with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth for hands-free calls and wireless music streaming.
It can go off-road better than the other trims, and not just because it has more features. Its weight and the way it works with the terrain also make it better.
It might not be as good as some of the other cars we’ll talk about below, but for the price and what you get for it, this has to be the best Jeep Grand Cherokee trim level for off-roading.
Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. Other Vehicles for Off-Roading
When it comes to off-road vehicles, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is definitely not the best. But you should keep in mind that this car is made for more than just going up dusty trails and through wooded areas.
This car is made to be reliable on the streets, but it works best when you’re going from Point A to Point B.
Still, there are a lot of vehicles that are better for off-roading than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Some of them can do things that the Jeep couldn’t even dream of doing, and others are just cheaper but still do what you need and want from an off-road vehicle.
If you want a real off-road vehicle, the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, and Nissan Pathfinder are all great options.
All of these cars are better than the Jeep Grand Cherokee when it comes to being able to go off-road, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee is still a pretty good deal for how much it costs.
What Makes For a Good Off Road Vehicle?
When you buy an off-road vehicle, there are a few things you should think about to make sure it can handle the dirt, rocks, and other obstacles that Mother Nature might throw in its way.
Some of these features are free, but you may have to pay extra for others, like:
If you want to go off-roading, you need a vehicle that is tough enough to handle rough terrain.
Even though not all cars are made the same, the Jeep Grand Cherokee can easily handle almost any uneven surface.
All of this will depend on what you want and how much money you have. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you might want to buy a used car that has been well taken care of.
But if you don’t mind paying for extra bells and whistles, you should definitely get something newer.
3. Four-wheel Drive Capability
Good vehicles for off-road use will have four-wheel drive. They will also have good ground clearance so that when you drive over rocks or steep hills, the body won’t scrape against them.
When it comes to off-road vehicles, the seats need to be well-padded and comfortable because you never know how long you’ll be out in the wilderness. In some cases, they may need to support you for hours at a time.
You’ll want to know how high or low the suspension can go when you’re on different types of terrain.
The higher the suspension, the better it will be able to climb hills and rocks without making too much noise.
If you’re going through places with lots of puddles or rivers, make sure they are deep enough to get through the water. If they aren’t, your car could break down in the middle of nowhere.
Also, make sure they are strong enough to handle steep hills when driving through dirt or sand.
6. Towing or No Towing
If you ever want to pull a trailer, you’ll need an SUV that can do that too. Many people think they don’t need an SUV because they already have a truck to haul things around the house.
But this is not true, and if you ever want to take your car off-roading, you might want to get one that can also tow.
Tip: If you want to learn more about towing with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, make sure to read my article on the subject.
7. Air Suspension System
The vehicle also has an air suspension system that lets you raise or lower the height of the ride depending on your needs.
For example, if you are driving through deep water, raising the ride height will keep the car from hydroplaning and possibly getting stuck because of strong winds or other difficult conditions.
When you lower it, you actually make it easier to drive off-road because it’s easier to position and turn.
8. Power Plant
When you’re off-roading, it’s very important that the engine and transmission work well together. When there’s a steep hill in front of you and you’re in an SUV that can’t get up to speed, it’s not fun.
But if your car doesn’t have power steering, things can be even more difficult (not usually a problem with SUVs).
Now, not all off-road vehicles have all these features, but if you want one that will make your life easier on rough terrain, make sure you get the one with all the bells and whistles.
Jeep Grand Cherokee isn’t always great at off-roading, but there are still some good things about owning it in this way. Like with most cars, off-roading can be made better by changing things like the height of the suspension and the type of tyres (tread depth).
This article looked at how good the Jeep Grand Cherokee is off-road, what you should look for in an off-roader, and what other cars are just as good.