2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Test Drive Overview

Grand Cherokee

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Average user score
4.3 5 stars
Based on 57 reviews

2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Test Drive Review

Picture of 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee The cushier Jeep gets a little more so in its third generation.

6.7 /10
Overall Score

The Grand Cherokee, like the Grand Wagoneer before it, has appealed to the Jeep set who want to get all roughneck in the woods but also go home in comfort with their doors assembled. New for 2005, the Grand Cherokee retains the same form as the previous two generations but adds more technology, comfort features, and better engines.

Look and Feel

7/ 10

The edgier look of the 2005 Grand Cherokee is a steady evolution. The seven-slot chrome grille, semi-round headlights poking into the hood, and flat, upright body panels announce this is not just a newer SUV—it's a newer Jeep. The wheelbase and length are several inches longer than before, and the track is wider. But this is a familiar shape worn since the 1990s, and it looks just as good now. New "Trail Rated" badges emphasize what we already know.

The interior is also more modern and carlike than the Ford Explorer. Materials are better than before, but that's not saying much. Like many truck-based SUVs, this is a basic appliance that can do some pretty advanced things when asked.

Performance

8/ 10

A V6 and two V8 engines are available in rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD)—and there are three different 4WD systems. The 3.7-liter V6 on the Laredo makes 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. It can pair to Quadra-Trac I, a full-time system that splits torque 48/52 front to rear. The 4.7-liter V8 on the Limited has 235 hp and 294 lb-ft. It works with Quadra-Trac II, which uses a low-range transfer case and an electronic clutch to vary torque along with brake-based traction control. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 outputs 325 hp and 373 lb-ft. When equipped with the Dynamic Handling System (a special set of anti-roll bars), this engine in the Limited works with Quadra-Drive II, which adds electronically locking front and rear axles (the rear axle remains solid, while the front is now independent). It's very capable. A 5-speed automatic is the only transmission on both trims, though the V8 trims use a heavier-duty transmission than the one with the V6.

Compared to the previous version, there is less body roll, less play to the steering, and better ride quality. Towing capacities range up to 3,500 pounds for the V6, 6,500 pounds for the 4.7-liter V8, and 7,200 pounds for the Hemi.

Form and Function

6/ 10

The Grand Cherokee remains a bit cramped inside. There's not enough headroom for driver or passengers, the steering wheel doesn't telescope, and the footwells are tight. Legroom is sparse in the rear, too. There is no third-row seat. However, it's easy to get in and out of the Grand Cherokee with grab handles and large door openings.

Cargo capacity is 34 cubic feet and increases to 67 with the seats folded, which is down significantly from the Explorer, its main rival. The rear window opens separately from the tailgate.

Tech Level

7/ 10

The Laredo has power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, AM/FM/CD stereo, tilt steering wheel, eight-way power driver's seat, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Limited has power-adjustable pedals, an eight-way power passenger seat, leather, and a Boston Acoustics stereo with MP3 capability. Bluetooth, navigation, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and rear parking sensors are optional. The Rocky Mountain Edition builds on the Limited and adds all-terrain tires and unique trim.

Safety

6/ 10

The 2005 Grand Cherokee comes with dual front airbags, ABS, and traction control. Stability control and side airbags are not offered. Head curtain airbags are optional on all models. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested a later 2007 Grand Cherokee that scored the top Good rating in the front moderate overlap and a low Marginal rating for the side. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated the vehicle five out of five stars for the driver and front passenger in a frontal crash, and five stars for the driver and rear passenger in a side crash.

Cost-Effectiveness

6/ 10

The 2005 Grand Cherokee starts at $27,050 for the Laredo RWD and is priced up to $32,680 for the Rocky Mountain Edition 4WD. Fuel economy is 13-15 mpg city, 18-21 mpg highway, and 14-17 mpg combined. That's terrible. And that's Jeep.

Still, this is a great choice for occasional and serious off-roaders who also want a road-worthy commuter and family vehicle. Just be prepared to pay for fuel.

Updated

Clifford Atiyeh is a reporter and photographer who has spent a good portion of his life driving cars he doesn't own. He is vice president of the New England Motor Press Association and committed to saving both manuals and old Volvos.

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Jeep Grand Cherokee Questions

2005 5.7 Jeep Hemi Not Charging Enough

Fuse Pull To Reset Service 4 Wheel Drive

I can’t figure out how to open the fuse box

Interchangeable Parts

I need to change the CV axle and was wondering what parts were interchangeable

Rough Idle, Actually A Low Idle. Around 300 Rpms

Discussion Starter • #1 • 3 h ago Hello, I’m working on a 05 Cherokee with a 5.7. I will at times run rough at idle. It only does this when it idles down to less than 500rpms. The cooling fan also ...

50

Radiator Fan Not Working

We have replaced the radiator fan and both relays, along with thermostat, water pump & radiator. Am still overheating. Fan not coming on. Am so frustrated, I love my jeep, bought it used but serious...