Should You Take the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Off Road?

The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee is ready to hit the off-road trails, hearkening back to what made Jeep great.
Written by Brad Marley
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Nov 03, 2022
The 2005
Jeep Grand Cherokee
is an upgrade over previous versions of this off-road trailblazer. With a standard V6 and better suspension, drivers can hit the trails with confidence.
When you’re able to take your vehicle to places unknown, it feels like adventure is merely a turn signal away. But how can you tell which vehicles are the real deal when it comes to off-roading? 
, the
super app
that saves drivers money on
car insurance
, is here to break down the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee's off-road rating. We’ll explore the specs that go into a great off-road vehicle (like torque and ground clearance), discuss how the Jeep measures up, and share some alternatives for you to consider if the Grand Cherokee isn’t for you. 

Can the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee go off road?

Heck yes, it can! Jeeps were built to tackle all kinds of terrain, and the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee is no different. While it has the off-road capabilities you’re looking for, the interior is something out of a Mercedes-Benz catalog. 
Brand new, the 2005 Grand Cherokee had an MSRP of $26,255. Today, you can pick one up used for somewhere around $6,000 to $8,500.
So, what makes this vehicle great for adventure? Let’s examine some of the key specs that determine a vehicle’s off-road ability.

Ground clearance

Ground clearance is, perhaps, the most important number to consider when it comes to off-road ratings. It’s the measurement of the distance between the ground and the vehicle’s chassis. 
The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a ground clearance of 8 inches. This is decent for an off-road vehicle. 
In a perfect world, you want the ground clearance to be between 8.8 and 10.8 inches to comfortably drive off road. The higher the number, the better your vehicle will handle a variety of terrains without worrying about doing damage to the bottom of the vehicle. 
Jeep must have recognized as much over the years. The 2022 version of the Grand Cherokee has 8.4 inches of ground clearance. 
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You want to see some low-end torque in an off-road vehicle. That means high amounts of power at lower RPMs. This helps tackle those tough turns and steep inclines when you’re off-road. 
The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s 3.7-liter V6 engine gives you a low-end torque of 235 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm. Unfortunately, that’s not a ton of power. 
This means the ‘05 model is less than ideal for difficult trails. Luckily, it should hold up fine on mild to moderate terrain.


The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with P235/65R17 tires, which means they are 235 millimeters wide and can be mounted on 17-inch wheels. 
Typically, these are not
all-terrain tires
— which you’ll want to go off road. While they don’t last as long as regular tires on the highway, a more aggressive tread pattern offers better traction to keep you steady on the trails.


You’ll need four-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive) when you go off-roading. Fortunately, you can find it on certain versions of the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. 
While rear-wheel drive comes standard on some models, four-wheel drive was an option when buying brand new.


Going off-road means angles will come into play—specifically, the approach angle and departure angle. Here’s what’s meant by each term: 
  • Approach angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference 
  • Departure angle: The maximum angle at which a vehicle can descend without interference
The 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s approach and departure angles are 29.8 degrees and 22.8 degrees, respectively. Both are decent for crawling over rocks and handling rises and dips with relative ease. 

Off-road rating: Rough and Ready

super-technical DIRT rating system, the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s off-road rating is R — Rough and Ready. The DIRT classifications are broken down in the table below:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
While it’s clearly built to drive off road, there are better trail vehicles out there. That said, you’ll be okay if you want to go off the beaten path in casual off-roading conditions.

The best off-road alternatives to the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Some drivers desire more capability. Maybe you want something with more oomph or something built for more difficult terrain. 
Either way, here are some alternatives to the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee:
Best affordable alternative
2022 Ford Explorer
The 2022 Ford Explorer seats more people—with three rows—while costing only around $9,000 more brand new than the Jeep was in ‘05. The base engine is also more powerful, which makes for better pick-up.
Best eco-friendly alternative
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
This is an expensive vehicle, for sure, and the low ground clearance doesn’t help its off-road rating. But if you care about the planet, the 4xe is rugged yet eco-conscious.
Best alternative for serious off-roading
2021 Ford Bronco Wildtrak
This is what you want for the most difficult trails. Four-wheel drive and a turbo V6 engine come standard, while its approach and departure angles are far and away better than what you’ll find anywhere else.

How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

One of the downsides of buying an off-road vehicle is that you’re going to pay more, both for the vehicle and
car insurance
. Obviously, the chances of damaging your car are greater when you go off road, even if your car was built to handle whatever nature throws at you. Thus, insurance companies are going to charge you more.
The solution? Shop with
to find the lowest rates. As
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Even better? Jerry users save, on average, more than $800 per year — money you could use for mods to make your vehicle an even bigger off-road beast.
“When we added a new car to our family, we were shocked at how high our current insurer was going to hike our rates. We used
for some comparison shopping and are now saving around $1,000 a year. Thank you, Jerry!” —Darius P.
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