2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee (676)

This week I drove the 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee. What a nice SUV. Some folks including my friend Norman would disagree. Norm had a lemon, I’m convinced of it, because I have driven many Jeeps – years and models and never had the problems Norm had. Several transmissions and other parts failed, but that happens with every carmaker’s products.

I have been on Jeep Jamboree’s and tested all models under the harshest conditions. For those who don’t know what a Jamboree is, it is a gathering of Jeep owners who like to go off road on 26 various venue’s around the country. You have a chance to use your SUV under conditions you just won\’t believe. Great experience. My other friend Norman has a daughter who experienced similar problems with a Chrysler minivan and it is doubtful her family will own another car from that company. But for as many critics of a product there are die-hard supporters.

Well, generally speaking you get what you pay for and at the end of the day if you’ve experienced low maintenance problems and thus limited the aggravation of spending time at the dealer the extra money would have been worth it.

General Info:

Parts – USA

Assembly – Detroit, MI.

Class: – Special Purpose

Cars: – Grand Cherokee, Liberty and Wrangler.

Handling & Performance:

As good as the rest but all suck when it comes to gas consumption.


Simply the best. This is perhaps the most identifiable SUV of the entire field. It has looked the part longer than any of the other copycats. Lets face it, if there weren’t so much profit in making this class vehicle Jeep would still own the market and others wouldn’t bother competing. Jeep Wrangler styling is what started the whole craze and remains special in its nitch.

Fit and Finish:

Very good. Jeep did have problems in this area in years past but I have noticed a marked improvement over the years.


A bit overpriced.

Consumer Recommendation:

You simply have a huge range of sizes, makes and models to choose from. Establish a price range. If you want to spend $18-24,000 you will be looking at smaller SUV’s like Jeep Liberty, Ford Escape and Honda CRV, $25-35,000 mid range like the Ford Explorer, Chevy Trailblazer and Lexus RX 300 or $40-80,000 High end luxury SUV’s like the Lincoln Navigator, BMW X5, and Bad Boys like the Hummer and the downscaled H2.

Manufacturer Recommendations:

Don’t be so cheap. When a customer has problems that are chronic, give them a replacement and avoid the bad press and consumer dissatisfaction. Good news travels fast, bad news travels faster.

The Competition: (in order of avg. price).

(1t) Chevrolet TrailBlazer $26-35,000, (1t) Nissan Pathfinder $27-34,000, (2t) Oldsmobile Bravada $33-35,000, (2t) Honda Pilot $27-31,000, (3) Toyota 4Runner $28-36,000, (4) Ford Explorer $26-36,000, (5) Lexus RX 300 $35-37,000, (6) Dodge Durango $26-38,000, (7) GMC Envoy $28-37,000, (8) Jeep Grand Cherokee $26-36,000, (9) Land Rover Discovery $33-37,000, (10) Mitsubishi Montero $32-36,000, (11) Mercedes-Benz M-Class $36-66,000.

* – Ranking is based on cost, cu ft, number of features, warranty and gas mileage.

Good News:

Granddaddy of the bunch, classic styling, powerful and the best size for sport Ute’s.

Bad News:

Poor gas stats, a bit overpriced.

Standard Equipment:

4.7 liter V8 engine, 5-speed auto trans, dual front and side airbags, 4-wheel abs disc brakes, rear defrost, on-demand 4WD, variable lock progressive rear axle, heavy duty suspension with gas shocks, skid plates front, transfer case and gas tank, rain sensitive wipers, dual zone air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, tilt wood and leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, computer, security alarm, radio with 10 disc remote CD player and Cassette, six infinity speaker system, keyless entry, universal garage door opener, 10-way power seats with memory, rear 60/40 fold down seats, front and rear 12V outlets, power sunroof, auto headlights, tow hooks and tow package, 17” chrome wheels, fog lights, power mirrors, power adjustable pedals and tire pressure monitoring system.

Gas Stats:

14 City and 19 Highway MPG.


MSRP $39,195.

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