Jeep has been an instrumental player in the automotive industry for years because of its many premium quality vehicle makes and models. Yet, amongst the sea of noteworthy Jeep models, one stands out above the rest; the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Since the early 1990s, the Grand Cherokee has continued to be one of the best-selling models for the brand because it’s widely believed to be one of the most capable midsize SUVs on the market.
One of the reasons the Grand Cherokee remains one of the most popular and widely desired Jeeps is because it is available in a wide variety of trim levels, has capable four-wheel-drive systems, and features impressive towing capabilities.
These SUVs are also known for their off-road and on-road capabilities, innovative technology, and safety features, not to mention their sleek designs and luxuriously comfortable interiors. The Grand Cherokees are also powerful, with the Grand Cherokee SRT and Trackhawk models featuring beefed-up V-8 engines capable of impressive feats.
All that aside, you’ve likely come here to learn more about the Jeep Grand Cherokee model year towing capabilities, and we certainly don’t want to disappoint.
If you continue reading our Jeep Grand Cherokee towing capacity guide, you’ll discover everything you should know about the model year towing capabilities alongside the advantages and disadvantages of the different Jeep Grand Cherokee generations.
Bottom Line Up Front
There are many different Jeep Grand Cherokee model years, but there is an average range surrounding towing capacity. When evaluating all the model years, it’s evident that the Grand Cherokee has a towing capacity range of between 3,500 and 7,400 pounds.
Usually, the higher the towing capacity, the more likely a model is to have a tow package equipped.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Overview
Before we delve into the different jeep Grand Cherokee generations and their towing capacities, we want to deliver an overview of this phenomenal vehicle. From the beginning, the Grand Cherokee has been making waves in the industry, especially considering its grand entrance.
In 1992 at the prestigious Detroit Auto Show, the brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee was driven up the steps of Detroit’s Cobo Hall. It then proceeded to be driven through one of the convention center’s plate glass windows, literally making a ‘smashing’ entrance.
With such shock value, it’s easy to see why sales did so well. After all, in only its second year of production, the Grand Cherokee’s sales surpassed 200,000 units. People quickly took notice of just how rugged this SUV was and were eager to learn more about what it could do.
Additionally, this luxurious vehicle was the only real contender to the Ford Explorer at the time. It came in Laredo, Base, and Limited trims, with the first engine offering a 4.0 liter straight six capable of producing a horsepower rating of 190.
Moreover, many don’t realize that the grand Cherokee was the first SUV to offer a driver’s side airbag (yes, you read that right).
It also housed a slew of attractive uncommon technologies that included power door locks, power windows, anti-lock brakes, and cruise control. Yet the Limited trim was the most desirable with its digitized climate controls and comfortable leather seats.
Sales might have decreased for the Grand Cherokee in recent years, but this doesn’t mean this model is being left to the wayside.
1st Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee: ZJ 1993 – 1998
The first-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ was produced from 1993 to 1998 (including the facelift). As the closest rival to the Ford Explorer, the Grand Cherokee was sought after because of its innovative features, including four-wheel ABS, keyless entry, and luxury touches.
Three trims within the first generation included the Base model that was changed to the SE, which was later discontinued after only a few years in production. Drivers loved the ZJ models because of their powerful performance capabilities.
The first-generation Grand Cherokees were equipped with 4.0 liter straight six engines. Curiously, this was later upgraded with an optional 5.2-liter V8 engine. These 5.2-liter models had a maximum horsepower rating of 220.
Interestingly, although the 1993 and 1994 models featured a five-speed manual transmission, this was changed in 1995 to a standard four-speed automatic transmission because of consumer preference.
Additionally, many drivers often seek the 1998 Grand Cherokee because of its impressive 5.9-liter V8 engine. This is the most powerful first-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, as it could produce a horsepower rating of 245. No wonder collectors are keen to get their hands on these models when they are in mint condition.
Moreover, you should also know that few changes were made to the various year models within the first generation range. The notable changes included upgrades like adding a passenger side airbag, four-wheel disc brakes, various driver experience improvements, and a unibody chassis.
1st Gen Towing Capacities By Year Model
Some might find it interesting that the second generation 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee had a model with the lowest towing capacity in the lineup’s history, with a towing capacity of only 2,000 pounds. Yet, other 1994 models had a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and 6,500 pounds depending on trim level.
Additionally, out of all the second-generation model trim levels, certain Grand Cherokees in 1994, 1995, and 1996 had towing capacities of 6,500 pounds.
Moreover, in 1997 and 1998, the Grand Cherokee models all had a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds which was considered reasonable at the time and is still decent considering that some modern-day SUVs have lower towing capabilities.
- 1993: 5,000 and 6,500 pounds
- 1994: 2,000, 5,000, and 6,500 pounds.
- 1995: 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.
- 1996: 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.
- 1997: 5,000 pounds.
- 1998: 5,000 pounds.
2nd Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee: 1999 – 2004
In the early 2000s, much changed in the automotive industry as companies began rethinking transportation. One of the brands to stay with the times was, you guessed it, Jeep.
Just before 2000 hit, Jeep introduced the first, second generation Jeep Grand Cherokee model in 1999. This model was wholly redesigned to attract more drivers who were interested in sleek designs.
The second generation modes were produced from 1999 until 2004 (including the facelifts). These models included the Laredo 26E, Laredo 28E, Sport, Limited, Freedom, Columbia Edition, Overland, Special Edition, and the 60th Anniversary Edition.
The 1999 model said goodbye to its boxy shape and nondescript appearance and embraced a rounded and sleek appearance that captured the eye. Yet, appearance isn’t the only thing that has changed with the second-generation models. They also received engine and performance capability upgrades.
Even though the 4.0 liter straight six engines remained the standard, drivers could upgrade to the 4.7-liter V8 engine. Unfortunately, much to the chagrin of some, this new 4.7-liter engine replaced the 5.2-liter engine featured in certain ZJ models. Interestingly, the standard engine experienced a power increase with a horsepower rating of 195.
Another notable upgrade that brought this model class into the future was its Quadra-Drive four-wheel drive system. This system wowed with its progressive locking differentials. However, this wasn’t all the second generation brought to the table.
Other impressive updates included side curtain airbags, a modern and eagerly anticipated CD player, and more passenger space. The premium quality second-generation 2002 Overland trim was perhaps the most impressive since it was equipped with a mighty V8 engine that could produce a horsepower rating of 265.
For those who weren’t looking for as much power, there were also 2002 models equipped with a 2,7-liter turbo diesel engine that could produce a horsepower rating of 11.
In addition, 2004, the last production year of the second generation WJ models, saw the introduction of many special edition models that are still popular in the second-hand market today. If you’re anything like me, you would be thrilled to get your hands on a 2004 Rocky Mountain Edition.
2nd Gen Towing Capacities By Year Model
From 1999 to 2004, the various trim levels in the second-generation Grand Cherokee models had the same towing capacities each year.
The second generation models were equipped with 2.7-liter engines, 4.0-liter engines, 4.7-liter engines, and 5.2-liter engines, as mentioned above. Depending on the trim level, the models had a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.
- 1999: 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.
- 2000: 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.
- 2001: 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.
- 2002: 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.
- 2003: 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.
- 2004: 5,000 to 6,500 pounds.
3rd Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee: 2005 – 2010
The Jeep Grand Cherokee third-generation models were produced from 2005 until 2010 (including the facelifts). As with the second generation, the third generation WK models experienced a complete design overhaul.
For starters, the 4.7-liter six-cylinder standard engine was replaced with a 3.7-liter V6 engine (some were disgruntled with this decision). Yet, despite its apparent downsizing, the models with this engine achieved a maximum horsepower output rating of 210.
The engine change most drivers were excited about was the addition of the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which had a horsepower rating of 357. Moreover, there were also a few mid-cycle powertrain changes between 2006 and 2009.
As a personal favorite, out of all the models in the third generation lineup, I prefer the 2006 SRT8, which was equipped with a powerful 6.1-liter V8 engine capable of producing a horsepower rating of 425!
A close runner-up was the 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6 engine released in 2007 that could produce a subdued but still powerful horsepower rating of 210.
The third-generation Grand Cherokees with this engine achieved a phenomenal horsepower rating of 325. The Quadra-Drive system was also improved with the introduction of the second version (Quadra-Drive II).
Yet what surprised some drivers the most was that the third generation took the Grand Cherokee back to its roots with a boxier-style transformation.
There were also a few new features that were exciting for many. These included rack and pinion steering and independent rear and front suspension. However, what people loved the most were the uber-modern (for the time) tech and safety features like the navigation system, infotainment system, backup camera, and remote start.
3rd Gen Towing Capacities By Year Model
Despite its age, the towing capabilities of some of the third-generation Grand Cherokee models might surprise you. As previously mentioned, this generation had the 3.7-liter, 4.7-liter, and 5.7-liter automatic transmission engines. How much a model is capable of towing depends mainly on its engine type.
Starting strong, the 2005 and 2006 models had a towing range between 3,500 pounds on the lower end (3.7-liter engine) and 7,200 pounds on the higher end (5.7-liter engine).
The 2007 models were slightly more impressive, with a towing range between 3,500 pounds and 7,400 pounds. Like the 2007 models, the 2008 and 2010 Grand Cherokees had the same towing range.
- 2005: 3,500, 6,500, and 7,200 pounds.
- 2006: 3,500, 6,500, and 7,200 pounds.
- 2007: 3,500, 6,500, 7,200, and 7,400 pounds.
- 2008: 3,500, 6,500, 7,200, and 7,400 pounds.
- 2009: 3,500, 6,500, 7,200, and 7,400 pounds.
- 2010: 3,500, 7,200, and 7,400 pounds.
4th Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee: 2011 – 2020
When the fourth generation Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced in 2011, car enthusiasts were impressed with the stylistic changes and blown away with the modern features and incredible performance capabilities.
The fourth generation models were produced from 2011 up until 2020 (inclusive of the facelifts). Many have compared this generation to the popular Dodge Durango platform because of its stylistic choices.
The fourth generation models had two standard engine types: the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. Although rear-wheel drive remained unchanged and standard, this generation saw the introduction of the Jeep’s Selec-Terrain feature. This generation also had the Quadra-Trac, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II options.
Unsurprisingly the fourth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokees also featured many new features that consumers rejoiced over. For example, depending on the year model in this range, there were ventilated seats, blind spot monitoring, and HID headlights. Additionally, some models also possessed adaptive cruise control and air suspension.
In this range, my favorite model was the 2018 Trailhawk trim grand Cherokee. Not only did this spectacular vehicle have off-road capabilities, but it also had an impressive suite of off-road performance features alongside significantly larger and more capable tires.
This model also featured a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine (yes, it’s the same as the engine found in the magnificent Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, you’re not confused). With an engine like this, it’s unsurprising that drivers were blown away when it produced a horsepower rating maximum of 707.
4th Gen Towing Capacities By Year Model
The fourth-generation models had various towing capabilities that depended on the engine size and trim level. From 2011 to 2013, the Grand Cherokees had a maximum towing capacity that ranged between 5,000 pounds and 7,400 pounds.
Although the 2014 and 2015 Grand Cherokees had the same two engine options as the 2011 to 2013 options, the 2014 and 2015 models had a much improved towing capacity range. The year model towing capacity range was between 6,200 and 7,400 pounds.
The 2016 to 2020 Grand Cherokee models featured an overall towing capacity of between 3,500 pounds on the low end of the spectrum (with the weaker engines) and 7,200 pounds on the higher end of the towing spectrum (commonly with the stronger engines).
- 2011: 5,000, 7,200, and 7,400 pounds.
- 2012: 5,000, 7,200, and 7,400 pounds.
- 2013: 5,000, 7,200, and 7,400 pounds.
- 2014: 6,200, 7200, and 7,400 pounds.
- 2015: 6,200, 7200, and 7,400 pounds.
- 2016: 3,500, 5,000, 6,200, 7200, and pounds.
- 2017: 2016: 3,500, 5,000, 6,200, 7200, and pounds.
- 2018: 2016: 3,500, 5,000, 6,200, 7200, and pounds.
- 2019: 2016: 3,500, 5,000, 6,200, 7200, and pounds.
- 2020: 2016: 3,500, 5,000, 6,200, 7200, and pounds.
5th Generation Jeep Grand Cherokee
The fifth generation Jeep Grand Cherokee L debuted in 2021. Unlike the models before it, the Cherokee L features a longer wheelbase. It also comes in four trim levels: Overland, Limited, Laredo, and Summit.
Both the Overland and Summit fifth generation models are equipped with 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engines but what’s interesting is that they feature a multi-displacement system. Thanks to the engine and displacement system, these models can produce a horsepower rating of 357.
In contrast, the Limited and Laredo models are equipped with a standard 3.6-liter V Pentastar engine that is assisted by an ingenious and innovative eTorque mild hybrid system. This system allows these models to have an eight-speed automatic transmission.
2022 was one of the best years yet for the Grand Cherokee as it came in seven trim levels: the Summit, Limited, Laredo, Summit Reserve, Trailhawk, Altitude, and Overland.
Jeep outdid themselves by making some of the trim levels 4xe plug-in hybrids with 2.0-liter turbocharged internal combustion engines. These models also have a 17kWh battery pack, allowing these cars to drive about 25 miles when switched to fully electric. Impressive!
Of course, as with the other generations, the fifth generation Grand Cherokee came with a wide range of state-of-the-art features and upgrades.
These included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a UConnect five infotainment system, a built-in virtual assistant, massaging leather seats (my favorite kind), and a convenient rearview camera mirror.
5th Gen Towing Capacities By Year Model
As with the above generations, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 2021 and 2022 models will have a towing capacity varying depending on the trim level and equipped engine. Let’s look at both year model ranges to better understand how much your Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow.
Those with a 2021 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine model can expect a towing capacity of up to 6,200 pounds with a payload capacity of around 1,200 pounds. In addition, those with a model with a 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine can expect a towing capacity of up to 7200 pounds with a payload capacity of about 1,130 pounds.
Interestingly, those with a model equipped with a 6.4-liter SRT V8 engine can expect a towing capacity of up to 7200 pounds and a payload capacity of 1,130, like the Hemi engine models. The supercharged 6.4-liter V8 engine models can also look forward to the same specs as the Hemi and SRT models.
Additionally, some 2021 models have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. These models can be found in the Laredo E, Laredo X, Freedom, and Limited X, amongst other trims.
Before we look at the ranges for the 2022 Grand Cherokee models, you should note that you will need to have the Trailer Tow Group IV equipped if you want to tow something safely. Trust me, the very last thing you want is to have the back of your Jeep pulled off.
The 2022 Grand Cherokee models with the 2.0-liter I4 DOHC DI turbo PHEV engine can expect to tow up to about 6,000 pounds, and those with models with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine should look forward to towing up to 6,200 pounds.
Moreover, the people with a model equipped with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine can count on being able to tow up to 7,200 pounds (best in class).
- 2021: 3,500, 6,200 and 7,200 pounds.
- 2022: 6,000, 6,200, and 7,200 pounds.
Question: How much Can a Jeep Grand Cherokee Tow without a Tow Package Equipped?
Answer: How much your Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow without a tow package will primarily depend on its manufacturing year and what trim it is.
Some older models, like the 1993 and 1994 first-generation Jeep Grand Cherokees, can only tow 2,000 pounds without a tow package. In contrast, more modern models like the 2021 Grand Cherokee Freedom can tow up to 3,500 pounds without a tow package.
Question: Are the Jeep Grand Cherokee Models Good Towing Vehicles?
Answer: Considering that the Jeep Grand Cherokees are SUVs and not trucks, their towing capacities become much more impressive. Most models in the Grand Cherokee lineup are capable towing vehicles, but they are not widely considered the best in the heavyweight class.
Question: What Can the Jeep Grand Cherokee Models Tow?
Answer: What a jeep Grand Cherokee model can tow will largely depend on its maximum towing capabilities and whether a tow package is equipped. Models with a tow package can tow significantly more weight than models that haven’t got one installed.
On average, if a Grand Cherokee has a maximum towing capacity of 6,500 pounds, it can tow various items like a small boat, trailer, travel trailer, pop-up camper, and toy hauler.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has varying towing capabilities. The newer models tend to have better-towing capacities than the older models, especially those that did not include a tow package.
Additionally, It’s also clear to see that Jeep Grand Cherokee models have improved significantly as the years have gone by with the various advancements in automotive technology.
With impressive engine performance capabilities and decent towing capacities, it’s no wonder people are still fascinated with the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup.