Looking to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee? Making the best and most informed decision means knowing which years to avoid.
Our article, “Worst Jeep Grand Cherokee Years To Avoid!” highlights the models that fall short in terms of reliability and satisfaction. Equip yourself with this crucial knowledge to steer clear of problematic years.
The Grand Cherokee is a midsize SUV that has been around for years. An icon of the Jeep brand, we’ve associated it with ruggedness and comfort.
At the same time, some years are extremely reliable, but others are not. The worst years for Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs are 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, and 2005.
After we’ve reviewed many reliable sources, we’ve concluded that these years have the most complaints and problems. Not only that, but they have the lowest customer satisfaction. Hence, these are the worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years.
Let’s dive deep into what makes them so bad. If you’re looking to buy a used Jeep Grand Cherokee, this information is vital for you!
What are the worst years for the Jeep Grand Cherokee?
The truth is that you can find a reliable Jeep with ease. There are plenty of model years that have excellent performance, and you can find them in our article: “The best Jeep Grand Cherokee years”.
However, there are some years in which the Cherokee experienced low reliability ratings. At the same time, the issues were concerning.
Let’s start with the number one in the list of worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years you can buy. It’s the 2011 model.
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee: avoid at all costs!
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years to avoid. Unfortunately, there are plenty of reasons why, beginning with the number of complaints.
Car Complaints has registered 792 complaints in this year alone. Moreover, most of the issues reported are severe.
The most common problem is with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM). You can think of it as a part of the brain that makes the vehicle operate.
This device connects and controls all the power outputs within the vehicle. Unfortunately, this aspect of the Jeep Grand Cherokee faced many problems in the early 2010s.
The TIPM is prone to failing, leaving owners with no power. Common repairs include replacing the TIPM, which can be expensive.
This model year has other issues. For example, due to electrical failure, the alternator can blow out, again leaving the vehicle powerless.
Such is the reputation that a fifth of all Jeep complaints come from the TIPM. This is the Grand Cherokee’s Achiles Heel, and it earned it the Car Complaints rating of “Avoid like the plague”.
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee: another clunker
The 2014 Grand Cherokee is another clunker that tops the list of worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years to avoid. The most common problem with this version of the Grand Cherokee is the transmission.
With almost 500 complaints, this transmission is prone to jamming, jerking and faulty acceleration. In some cases, there has been total transmission failure, leading to costly repairs.
At the same time, it’s not as if the problem happens with over 100,000 miles. Some owners reported a total engine failure at as low as 10,000 miles.
The 2014 Grand Cherokee is so bad that there have been 19 recalls in this model year alone. Such a reputation earned it the dubious “Avoid like the plague” badge.
2015 Grand Cherokee: it tried, but to no avail
While the number of complaints did drop for the 2015 model year, reliability still wasn’t up to par. Sources such as JD Power, Consumer Reports and Car Complaints have rated this model year with low scores, given its severe problems.
The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was also prone to transmission problems. More specifically, the major cause of headaches is the electronic shifter, as it fails to adequately shift between gears.
Not only that, but some owners have also highlighted that the recall work wasn’t up to par. This is unfortunate, as this year had ten recalls in total.
This year certainly ranks as one of the worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years to avoid.
It should come as no surprise that the 2015 Grand Cherokee has the “Beware of the clunker” badge. While it’s not as bad as other years, it’s still ideal to stay away from it.
2012 Grand Cherokee: failing to improve
While the 2012 model year did show some improvement over the 2011 Grand Cherokee, it’s by no means a reliable SUV. This Grand Cherokee also has terrible reputation ratings, with magazines such as JD Power and Consumer Reports rating amongst the lowest ever.
The 2012 Grand Cherokee also suffers from the typical problems with the TIPM. 11 recalls revolving around the electrical system have earned it the “Beware of the clunker” badge.
So, there’s no denying that this is one of the worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years to avoid.
As is with the previous year, there are aftermarket TIPM options. However, as it has already earned a reputation for bad reliability, replacing the TIPM can be expensive.
2005 Grand Cherokee: older and not better
The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee belongs to the third generation and it marks the first year of a major redesign. The WK platform not only came with a new look, but it also had several mechanical changes.
As is common with first-model years, the 2005 Grand Cherokee is one of the most trouble-prone in the model’s history. The company’s effort to include new technology play against its favor.
The most concerning problems revolve around the engine. Several owners have reported that the engine stalls and dies while driving, posing a major risk hazard.
Not only that, but this model year was prone to sudden, unintended acceleration. The core issue is a faulty wiring harness and, again, the typical TIPM problems.
Consumer Reports highlights that this year has the lowest owner satisfaction of all model years. Therefore, it’s best to stay away from it.
We’ve seen what are some of the worst Jeep Grand Cherokees and why you should avoid them. On the other hand, there are some model years that are reliable. In the following section, we’re briefly covering the 5 best that you can buy, and if you want to know more, you can check our in-depth article on the topic.
What are the best years for the Jeep Grand Cherokee?
We covered the worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years. Now, let’s talk about the positive.
There are the five best years for the Grand Cherokee. What makes them the best? It’s a combination of high reliability, low complaints and overall owner satisfaction.
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee: reliable and new
The 2020 model year is one of the most reliable Jeep Grand Cherokee options. It has high ratings across several platforms, while also offering excellent performance. This SUV combines the latest technology, a comfortable ride and rugged performance to give one complete package.
In the list of best and worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years, this SUV ranks high. Fortunately, it’s not the only one.
The latest Jeep Grand Cherokee model years are all quite reliable. In this list you can include the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee as other options.
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee: another reliable option
The reality is that the 2019 Grand Cherokee is as good as the 2020 model, albeit with some minor details. Still, JD Power has rated it positively, and Car Complaints registers few reports.
This is an ideal package for those who want a new vehicle that you can get on the cheaper side. Not only does it have plenty of driver aids, but it also is a bit cheaper than other models on the list.
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee: basic but reliable
The term “basic” is a bit of a longshot. The 2013 Grand Cherokee comes with all the creature comforts you expect from a midsize SUV.
At the same time, it’s comfortable and, if you factor in depreciation, a cheaper alternative. One interesting aspect of this model year is that there’s a significant drop in complaints compared to the 2012 year.
Not only that, but several magazines have rated it positively. Therefore, out of this generation of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2013 model is a must buy.
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee: older and wiser
The 2008 Grand Cherokee is an interesting case. It has positive ratings in magazines such as JD Power and Kelley Blue Book, the later of which relies heavily on customers and their satisfaction.
At the same time, this model year has fewer complaints than other models such as the 2006 Grand Cherokee and the 2010 Grand Cherokee. So, it stands out as a reliable option that can be cheaper to buy.
The main challenge with this model year is finding one that is in good condition. After all, a 2008 Grand Cherokee has been around for almost twenty years, and it certainly has seen its share of miles.
Interestingly, the 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee doesn’t appear to be as reliable as this year, nor does the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Therefore, you should ideally avoid these.
1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee: a reliable veteran
If you want an older model as a fun side project, then you can consider the 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Rudimentary and reliable, it’s part of the early years of the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup.
However, don’t let the old age fool you. In the list of best and worst years for the Grand Cherokee, the 1995 model year ranks highly.
This performance is due to its simplicity. After all, it has a rudimentary electrical system, plus tried-and-true engines that deliver adequate performance.
While these are still common, finding one with no rust is increasingly harder. So, if you’re looking to buy one, you should ideally get one from drier states, and avoid the rust problems.
Conclusion to the worst Jeep Grand Cherokee years to avoid
The Jeep Grand Cherokee debuted in 1993, as an upgrade to the rugged but rudimentary Jeep Cherokee. Since its launch, it has earned a reputation for providing the same performance with a hint of comfort.
In its three decades of production, the Jeep Grand Cherokee experienced some great years. At the same time, there have been some that are just not reliable.
This article covers the worst Grand Cherokee years to avoid and explains the reasons behind this rating. Unfortunately, there are common problems with Jeep Grand Cherokees, and they include faulty TIPM sensors, bad wiring harnesses and transmissions.
These problems have earned several years a reputation for being extremely bad. These are 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, and 2005.
The worst Jeep Grand Cherokee you can buy is the 2011 model year, with 2014 close behind.
Since this article covers the best and worst, we’re also mentioning which Grand Cherokee models are the best for you to buy. This way, you can make the most informed decision for your next purchase.