The 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a wide range of standard and available safety equipment—including some active-safety items that are typically reserved for models with luxury badges. Its occupant safety ratings, from both the the insurance industry-funded IIHS and the federal NHTSA, are very good, but not quite perfect.
The Grand Cherokee includes a full suite of airbags, as well as trailer-sway control, hill-descent control, and hill-start assistance. Active headrests are standard as well. Bluetooth is standard, but a rearview camera is not offered on the base Grand Cherokee Laredo.
On other models, safety options include parking sensors and blind-spot monitors. Adaptive cruise control is available, bundled with a frontal-crash warning system. The Grand Cherokee can also be fitted with automatic high beams.
Four-wheel-drive Grand Cherokees feature hill-ascent control, which is like off-road cruise control for uphill work, a sort of automatic climbing mode; speed is selected in 1-kilometer-per-hour increments. We crawled up the 55-degree face of a rock outcropping 200 feet, with just a little bit of tire scrub, as the Grand Cherokee Summit diesel simply tugged its way unassisted to the top, set at its lowest 1-kph level.
According to crash-test ratings, the Grand Cherokee is a safe pick. The IIHS awards the Grand Cherokee its top "Good" rating in all but the new, tougher small-overlap front test, on which it's just "Marginal." The IIHS rated in 2016 the Grand Cherokee "Basic" in front crash prevention, when equipped with its optional forward collision warning—but not it's automatic emergency braking—part of the Technology Group.
The NHTSA has given the Grand Cherokee either a four-star or five-star overall rating, with five stars for front protection and a five-star rating for side impact protection. The rear-drive Grand Cherokee gets just three stars in rollover testing (based mostly on calculations). It's a typical rating for SUVs, though the four-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee is rated at four stars.
The airy Grand Cherokee provides drivers with great forward visibility. The hood’s shaped to give a good sense of the front corners, and the very large side mirrors are almost square.