2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee: What's Changed

JP013_018GC

  • Most significant changes: A new, more rugged model joins the lineup
  • Price change: TBA 
  • On sale: October 
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? Without 2013 pricing, we can’t make a recommendation 

Jeep adds a new off-road-oriented model to the Grand Cherokee roster for 2013. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk adds capability-enhancing gear and specific exterior styling cues for a more rugged look. Also for 2013, Overland Summit models get more standard features and a new interior color choice.

Jeep's largest SUV returns for model-year 2013 in Laredo, Limited, Overland and Overland Summit trims. The Trailhawk model uses the 290-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 or the 360-hp, 5.7-liter V-8. Five- and six-speed automatic transmissions also return. No word yet on the eight-speed automatic transmission or diesel engine expected to debut this year. 

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Standard features on the Trailhawk version include the Quadra-Lift air suspension, Selec-Terrain system with hill descent control, 18-inch Goodyear Silent Armor tires with Kevlar reinforcement and rock rail and underbody protection. V-8 models can add a rear electronic limited-slip differential. The air suspension system, also available on other models, features five driver-selectable height settings and offers up to 4.1 inches of lift. The Selec-Terrain system has five settings that tailor the SUV’s response to five different driving conditions: sand/mud, sport, auto, snow and rock.

Trailhawk-specific styling updates distinguish the model from the lineup, such as red Trailhawk and Trail Rated badges and tow hooks; a hood decal and accent stripe; five-spoke 18-inch aluminum wheels; black-surround headlamps; and gray-painted grille surround with matching side mirrors. Inside, the new model gets black suede and leather performance seats with red contrast stitching, the Trailhawk logo and Mopar floormats.

For 2013, Jeep is also adding more standard features to the Overland Summit trim, including the Front Park Assist system, power-folding outside mirrors and headlight washers. The model is also now available with black or saddle-colored Nappa leather seats. There’s no word yet on pricing, but the Trailhawk model will go on sale in October.

Related
Research the Jeep Grand Cherokee
Diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee Coming Next Year
More Jeep News on Cars.com

Comments 

Maggie

It seems that the engineers do not want to listen to the loyal Jeep consumers and drivers. Get rid of that "Selec-Terrain System" otherwise known to me as the "ORD button" - translation "off-road for dummies" because you cannot figure out what you are driving on and what 4WD gear to use so you have to use a button that tells you what the terrain is like - if that button even works. It could be a psychological accessory and the Jeep is in full-time 4WD to begin with.

Anthony

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Does it feel like a Mercedes Benz or a mainstream SUV? Even though Chrysler has partnered with Fiat, some of their vehicles still contain Mercedes-Benz DNA; and this is one of them. Redesigned for the 2011 model year, the Grand Cherokee boasts impressive styling on both the exterior and interior. It has been named "The most awarded SUV ever." This is true, but I have a few gripes about it. I believe the msrp should be a little lower than its current price, and the Limited edition should have a leather stitched dashboard and door like the Overland models. Overall, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a fantastic performer with modern styling, awesome quality, impeccable reliability and adequate fuel economy.

Anthony

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is in the mid-size SUV segment, and the Ford Escape is in the compact crossover segment. Point is they are two entirely different vehicles. Do they compare? No, the better competition would be the Ford Explorer. Even though the Explorer has sleeker styling and some other unique features, it cannot compare to the Grand Cherokee. The biggest gripe I have about the Explorer is the command center with the touch sensitive buttons. I don't like the full touchscreen feel it gets really annoying. The Grand Cherokee is the all around best choice for the mid-size SUV market and even the luxury utility market; which the Explorer would be foolish to try to compete in.

P.S. Ford Dealer,
Buying American made helps our economy, but it is very rude to stereotype other foreign manufacturers. Just because foreign cars may sell better in America, doesn't mean they sell as good in their home countries. So don't panic!

Anthony

These are facts, I fully support America so don't go yelling traitor.

Julien

"Overall, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a fantastic performer with modern styling, awesome quality, impeccable reliability and adequate fuel economy."

You are clueless. I have a 2012 Limited and it does not have 'awesome quality' and 'impeccable reliability' unless your benchmark is a 1970's GM car. To date I've had over 14 pages of warranty work and if you speak with other JGC owners you'll find my experience isn't that unusual. At least I can say at this point I don't regret buying my JGC and the dealer service has been commendable. I'm also not holding my breath that I'll get 150k trouble-free miles like I did with my two previous 4Runners. Only time will tell.

Anthony

Haha. You sir have misunderstood my sentence. My meaning is interior quality is awesome for its class not in the whole world. And impeccable reliability I meant the typical length of ownership which usually extends from 2-8 years depending upon ones financial term. I didn't mean if one keeps it for 150k miles.

Also, I was not rude to you and I respect your opinion. So do me the favor and respect my opinion whether it's wrong or right!

Thank You!

Highdesertcat

I bought a 2012 JGC Overland Summit 4X4 V6 for the wife last November.

It has been a great CUV--as good as her 2008 Highlander Limited 4X4 has been, and still is.

Aside from a few tweaks I don't think that much has changed since the introduction of the WK in 2011.

The Overland Summit trim has so many gadgets and features that it boggles the mind and ours has the SelecTrac 4X4 system instead of the QuadraTracII Maggie is referring to.

If you leave it in Automatic, the 4X4 system will run in RWD mode until slippage is detected at which time power is redirected to ALL FOUR wheels and automatically managed by the brakes-computer to provide the greatest traction, no matter what the terrain. It's seamless. You can't feel it.

This, coupled with the load-leveling/automatic height adjustment system is a very effective way to handle any terrain, even if you're a dummy.

We put it to the test in the Sacramento Mountains last winter when we delivered Meals on Wheels to shut ins. We were up to our axles in snow and never had any problems getting to where we needed to go. All four wheels a-spinnin'.

This thing will do rock-crawling but I would not advise it without skid plates and the TrailReady package (which we have).

It's pricey regardless of trim, but it is a very capable vehicle. The 2013 is fundamentally no different than the 2011 and 2012 models.

I recommend it. Ours has been problem-free.

Julio

Anthony sounds like a spokesperson being paid by Chrysler. Here's a link 2.5 out of 5 for reliability. Not exactly hot. And did you forget certain pentastar V6 cylinder heads have malfunctioned? Oh the link: http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/Jeep_Grand-Cherokee/Reliability/

Fuel economy at 17/23 is still behind in the times. With the new Nissan Pathfinder hitting 20/26, that's a big jump. Short term I could see the Cherokee as a good choice. Long term? Not by a long shot.

George

Still no 8 speed automatic, just the legacy 5 speeds?!?
The "Selec-Terrain System" is very useful, in that it modifies the throttle by wire curve, the programming of the software traction control, and hardware traction control, and also the electronic-gerodisc function.
Only the V6 has a center differential [Quadra Trac I], the V8 uses a rear drive clutched power take off system [Quadra-Trac II & Quadra-Drive II ], optional with the V6.

Anthony

Well Julio I'm not. I'm just a guy trying to do his passion. (Reviewing cars and giving my honest opinion) I accept and appreciate your opinions and you bring up good points! Bottom line there is not one perfect vehicle on the road or in production, but there are some great ones!

Highdesertcat

Julio, most Americans don't care about fuel economy or the price of gas.

If a person has to worry about the price of gas, they ought not buy a car or truck. They should stick to riding the bus or a bicycle.

Terry

I just bought a 2013 Grand Cherokee Limited (V-8) and wondering what's best to put in the tank. Premium, or just regular unleaded? My last car was a Land Rover V-6 and I had to use Premium in it or it would ping.
Thanks!

Highdesertcat

Terry,

I use 90/91/92 octane pure-gas (no ethanol) in all my vehicles including my wife's GC Overland Summit V6.

It runs great. No pinging. No knocking. No rattling. Plenty of power.

If you can't find pure-gas in your area use Shell Premium with ethanol.

Your gas pedal will be downright giddy with acceleration.

David

Recently purchased a 2013 GC Laredo with the V-6. All is well except a rythmic droaning/vibration at 60mph and 2000rpm. At my second visit, the Service Manager used their computer to disengage the front drive and resolved the problem. Of course the issue came back strong once the front drive was re-engaged. I was informed this may not be an isolated issue and the investigation continues for a permanent fix for my vehicle and concern it may be a design flaw. Stay tuned.

Andy

Not very reliable

that Cherokee is mind blowing ... its awesome...

Highdesertcat

Kind of outdated since the all-new 2014 Grand Cherokee has been selling briskly since March 2013.

The 2013 went out of production in December 2012.

Solvix

Just picked up a 2011 Overland from Carmax for $36K with 28K miles. I skipped the major depreciation, and upgraded (big time) from my 2005 Limited, which I've owned since it was new.

Wow! What a great car! Essentially, it's my old car on steroids: new features, 3+ inches added for my passengers (nice!), and full of class! I had to add ~$1600 for an extended 100K/6 year full coverage (Rover would be $4K+ for the same service at Carmax). So far we love this car. Hope it gives us all the '05 gave us.

For those of you torn between Jeep and others, I strongly urge you to check out the Overland. I wish the Limited were similarly equipped to gain a better audience, but whoa mama this car is the best! This car rivals a Rover easy! Nothing else (except the Rover) compares. And you're buying American (mostly).

stash

My wife and I have had three Grand Cherokees: 02 Limited, 04 Overland and 13 Summit. Total out-of-warranty repairs for all three cars is less than $500 over 11 years. We will take that any time. Repairs were a worn wiring driver door harness and warped brake disks. The one warranty repair was to replace the body computer on the 04. Reading a British auto site: The author felt the Summit was every bit as good or better than the top-of-the-line Rover, but $10,000 cheaper--no trifling matter. Our secret, reasonable driver habits, synthetic oil only, good tires and brakes, and do the recommended maintenance. We own two jaguars and they don't come close to the GCs capability and reliability--and the Summit is just as nice on the interior. Our choice for any long trip: always the Jeep. Any questions?

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