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GREEN | 5 out of 10
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee: 17/23 mpg (V-6 RWD); 16/23 mpg (V-6 4WD) 14/20 mpg (V-8 4WD); 12/18 mpg (SRT8)
With our admittedly heavy right foot, we saw an average of 18 mpg in mixed driving.
Remember that commute thing? Well, if you can live with the gas mileage (we averaged just 12.2 mpg during our two weeks, which includes two dirty dry lake flogs) this is great daily driver.
Chrysler did its best to goose the Grand Cherokee's fuel economy when it revamped the sport-utility vehicle in the 2011 model year, but it's still at the low end of the gas-mileage ratings--and the addition of the ripping SRT8 model really hasn't helped matters at all.
The EPA has the final say on ratings submitted by manufacturers, and it affirms Jeep's ratings for the V-6, rear-drive Grand Cherokee at 17/23 mpg, a 1-mpg improvement over the ute's 2011 figures. Adding four-wheel drive lowers the numbers to 16/23 mpg, still a 1-mpg improvement on the highway cycle.
Stepping up to the V-8 edition and its standard four-wheel drive drops fuel economy to 13/20 mpg. Those figures are also 1 mpg better on the highway than the 2011 model year.
Finally, though we heartily approve of its slamming performance, the SRT8 gets dismal fuel economy of 12/18 mpg.That said, most large V-6 crossover vehicles--some of them with three rows of seating--have fuel economy ratings that are a mile or two per gallon better than the Grand Cherokee. The reason? The Grand Cherokee's somewhat older-tech five-speed automatic might be part of it, as might be its more portly weight, near 5,000 pounds--perhaps the price of rugged off-road ability.
No matter which Grand Cherokee you're in, it could use more gears and better fuel economy.