Cargo & Towing

The Grand Cherokee's cargo area measures 35.1 cubic feet, which is 5.6 cubic feet larger than the prior model's cargo area but less than what the Toyota 4Runner (47.2 cubic feet) and Nissan Pathfinder (49.2 cubic feet) provide behind their second rows. With the Grand Cherokee's backseat folded, cargo room increases to 68.7 cubic feet.

The wheel wells intrude somewhat into the sides of the cargo area, but the bigger issue for some will be clearing the tall rear bumper; the cargo floor was nearly as high as my hip. The optional air suspension's Park mode provides some relief by lowering the ride height 1.5 inches.

A powered liftgate is optional, and it readily stops if anything obstructs its movement. You can also easily open and close the liftgate manually, which is sometimes difficult on models with power liftgates. All models have a rear window that opens independently of the liftgate.

All Grand Cherokees are rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds by adding an appropriate trailer hitch. For maximum towing capacity — 7,400 pounds for the rear-wheel-drive V-8 model or 7,200 pounds for the four-wheel-drive V-8 version — you will need the optional Trailer Tow Group IV Package, which features heavy-duty engine and engine oil cooling, a 220-amp alternator, a full-size spare tire and a Class IV receiver hitch with wiring harness.

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