2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jul 20, 2013
  • New Trailhawk edition features stronger tires, other performance features
  • Standard features added to Overland Summit trim level
  • SRT8 version features 470-horsepower engine
  • Cabin provides 68.7 cubic feet maximum cargo space
  • Three 4-wheel drive (4WD) options are available


The Jeep Grand Cherokee originally made its debut in 1992 and has become one of the most recognizable SUVs on the market. Jeep stresses the model's power and off-road capabilities. The 2013 Grand Cherokee is a midsize SUV with unibody construction. It is available with rear-wheel drive (2WD) or a choice of three 4WD systems. The Grand Cherokee's main competitors include the Dodge Journey, Ford Explorer, and Chevrolet Equinox. The lineup of trim levels for the 2013 Grand Cherokee includes the Laredo, Trailhawk, Limited, Overland, and Overland Summit, as well as an ultra-powerful SRT8 version that comes in a base trim, or the Alpine or Vapor trims. The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is not much changed from the previous model year, but the Trailhawk trim level now offers durability and performance features such as Kevlar-reinforced tires, rock rail body protection, Quadra-Lift air suspension, and a Selec-Terrain traction control system. The Overland Summit trim level has added several standard features as well.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in nine exterior colors: black, Black Forest Green, silver, white, Cherry Red, dark grey, medium grey, dark blue, and light blue. Not all colors are available for all trim levels. Standard equipment on the base Grand Cherokee Laredo trim level includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, automatic headlights, fog lights, power heated exterior mirrors, dark-tinted rear privacy glass, and privacy glass. The Trailhawk edition of the Laredo adds most of the options that are available to the Laredo, including 18-inch wheels. The Limited trim level adds bi-xenon headlights, a sunroof, and automatic wipers. The Overland adds the upgraded suspension plus a mesh grille. Standard on the SRT8 version are 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, Brembo brakes, limited-slip rear differential, and upgraded steering and suspension.

Interior Features

The base Grand Cherokee Laredo is equipped with manual air conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, fold-flat passenger seat, and a 6-speaker stereo. The Trailhawk version incorporates most of the Laredo's optional interior features, while the Limited trim level adds a navigation system, heated second-row seats, and a driver memory system. The Overland features premium leather seating and a wood/leather steering wheel (heated), and the Limited's optional equipment becomes standard. The SRT8 adds leather/suede sports seats, paddle shifter, and exclusive interior styling cues. With the rear seats in use, the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee can accommodate up to 36.3 cubic feet of cargo, and as much as 68.7 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.

Optional Features

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo offers several option packages. The Security and Convenience package adds remote start, cargo cover, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB/iPod interface. The Laredo E package adds roof rails and keyless entry and ignition, plus a power driver's seat and satellite radio. The Laredo X package includes an upgraded sound system, leather upholstery, and dual-zone automatic climate control. It also adds power to the front passenger seat and a rearview camera. The Limited trim level includes all the Laredo's options as standard. The Limited-level options include 20-inch wheels, power liftgate, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, premium navigation system, a towing package, adaptive cruise control, and several safety features. The Overland trim level incorporates most of the Limited's options, although some of that equipment remains optional. The Overland Summit package adds premium polished aluminum 20-inch wheels, headlight washers, adaptive cruise control, and more safety features. The SRT8 includes most of the Overland's features; its limited Alpine and Vapor versions offer exclusive paint, badging, and styling details.

Under the Hood

Base engine on the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a 3.6-liter V-6 that generates 290 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels on 2WD models, or to all four wheels with the 4WD option. Maximum towing capacity for this engine is 5,000 pounds. Optional on the Trailhawk, Limited, and Overland is a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that generates 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. It can operate on four cylinders, to conserve fuel, under some conditions. This engine's towing capacity is 7,400 pounds. The SRT8's engine is a 470-horsepower V-8 that produces 465 lb.-ft. of torque; 4WD is standard on this model. The Grand Cherokee offers three different versions of 4WD. The Laredo trim level features Quadra-Trac I, which uses a single-speed transfer case and is in effect an all-wheel drive system. Quadra-Trac II, which is the Trailhawk, Limited, and Overland version of 4WD, features a 2-speed transfer case and can send as much as 100% of the engine's power to either the front or rear wheels. The third system, Quadra-Drive II, uses a rear electronic limited-slip differential. Jeep's proprietary Selec-Terrain system is offered on Grand Cherokee 4WD models.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee are:
  • Grand Cherokee with V-6 and 2WD: 17/23/19 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Grand Cherokee with V-6 and 4WD: 16/23/19 mpg
  • Grand Cherokee with V-8 and 2WD: 14/20/16 mpg
  • Grand Cherokee with V-8 and 4WD: 13/20/15 mpg
  • Grand Cherokee SRT8: 12/18/14 mpg


Standard safety equipment for the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee includes dual front air bags, side curtain air bags, traction control, stability control with electronic roll-mitigation technology, anti-lock brakes, and hill-start assist. Optional safety equipment includes a parking sensor, rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-path detection system, and front collision warning.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4WD received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5) stars: 4 for frontal crash protection; 5 for side crash protection; and 4 for rollover protection. The 2WD models received 3 stars for rollover protection. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee received a rating of "Good"--the Institute's highest--in all tests, and was designated a "Top Safety Pick."
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