2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L first drive review: What the L?

Maria J. Danford

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most well-known SUVs accessible today, and for great rationale. Not only does it seem excellent, this rugged car supplies enormous off-street capability, a coddling cabin and plenty of refinement. Accordingly, whenever Jeep redesigns this mountain goat, it’s major news. And for 2021, that’s particularly true, given that the recently minted Grand Cherokee L is pumped up in stature and now comes with a regular 3rd-row seat.

The addition of that new bench lets the Grand Cherokee L to seat up to 7 people (a six-passenger configuration is available, much too), significantly increasing its versatility. And this 3rd row is just not just some young children-only zone — lifetime-sized grownups suit with plenty of area for knees and noggins, and the base cushion is a good height earlier mentioned the floor. Of training course, the 2nd-row chairs are even nicer to plunk your bottom down on and the outboard kinds suggestion up and slide for less difficult access to those people rearmost seats.

To accommodate a 3rd row, the L is 15.one inches for a longer time than the outgoing regular Grand Cherokee and the wheelbase has been stretched by seven inches, alterations that lead to the vehicle’s longroof seem. The natural way, if you will not have to have extra seats or favor a a lot more manageable car, Jeep will present a conventional two-row variation, but it will never arrive until eventually later this 12 months.

It is debatable whether or not the new Grand Cherokee L is a lot more beautiful than its predecessor. The L’s gaping reduced air ingestion and curiously angled grille seem unusual, particularly on a body that’s otherwise cleanly styled and handsome. Matching those people fresh new seems to be, the 2021 Grand Cherokee L is created on a new flexible architecture, a unibody construction comprised of a lot more than sixty% superior-energy metal, which gives this off-roader an almost unyielding spine. To decrease excess weight, the vehicle’s closures, like the hood and liftgate, are produced of aluminum.

I am not totally bought on the Grand Cherokee L’s exterior styling, but designers knocked it out of the park with this Jeep’s interior. The layout, supplies, ease and comfort and tech are all primo. The assortment-topping Summit design comes with beautiful Nappa leather or super-high quality Palermo cow hides if you nab the Summit Reserve deal. You can also get stunning open-pore wooden accents and even Berber floor mats. A acquainted rotary shifter is regular products, even though its metal building and artfully milled edges make this dial really feel like a piece of jewellery. A suede-like headliner is available, much too, as is a 19-speaker McIntosh audio method. In increased-end models, this Jeep’s interior is luxury-car or truck nice, more than enough to give autos like the Acura MDX and Lincoln Aviator a run for their funds.

This interior rivals those people of some luxury vehicles.


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The Grand Cherokee L’s symmetrical dashboard arcs from door to door, bringing to intellect a bird’s outstretched wings. In the center is either an eight.4- or ten.one-inch touchscreen, both of which are home to the Android-powered Uconnect five infotainment method. With really graphics and masses of performance, this multimedia array is quick to use and supposedly 5 times more quickly than its predecessor. A ten.three-inch electronic instrument cluster is bundled at no extra cost and you can even get evening vision.

Regular security tech involves automatic crisis braking, rear cross-website traffic warn, lane-maintaining aid, blind-spot checking and adaptive cruise handle with stop-and-go capability. Lively Driving Support, generally adaptive cruise with lane centering, is accessible on Overland models and regular on the Summit trim. This arms-on method operates phenomenally, maintaining the Jeep locked in its lane and adeptly different speed based mostly on website traffic conditions. Capacitive sensors in the steering-wheel rim know if you’ve got received a hand on the wheel or not, popping up an orange warning in the instrument cluster if you will not have at least a pair fingers earning call. Using points a phase additional, Palms-Free of charge Lively Driving Support will be available in the 2022 design 12 months. This need to function like GM’s superb Tremendous Cruise method, providing arms-absolutely free comfort on accredited motorways.

Along with a two-row variant, an electrified variation of the Grand Cherokee is below progress, much too. But for now, the Grand Cherokee L is available with two helpful and acquainted engines. If you might be very well-versed in the Stellantis powertrain lineup, absolutely nothing in this article will shock you. The foundation supplying is a three.6-liter Pentastar V6. It delivers a respectable 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, more than enough pork and beans to allow this SUV to tow up to 6,200 lbs .. As easy and silent as at any time, this bent-six supplies more than enough oomph for most buyers in regular diving, even if it does not make the Grand Cherokee L really feel significantly vigorous.

Equally a three.6-liter V6 and five.seven-liter V8 are available.


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Of training course, if you have to have a lot more gusto, a five.seven-liter Hemi V8 is on the menu, much too. Smooth, spirited and supremely sonorous, it supplies a 357-horse stampede and 390 lb-ft of twist, more than enough for this SUV to drag seven,200 lbs .. If you will not intellect the additional price tag — both up front and at the fuel pump — this is the powerplant to get.

Rounding out the Grand Cherokee L’s drivetrain is a regular eight-speed automatic transmission. Engineers have a long time of experience with this gearbox and its tuning is just about excellent. The transmission shifts quickly and seamlessly, additionally it’s a lot more than eager to fall a couple gears when you have to have to boogie. Torque will get routed as a result of this cog-swapper to either the rear wheels or one of a few different 4-wheel-generate units.

A V6-powered Grand Cherokee L with rear-wheel generate is EPA-rated at 19 mpg town and 26 mpg highway. Mixed, assume 21 mpg. Opting for 4-wheel generate decreases the 1st two figures by one mpg each individual, even though the blended score is unchanged. Hemi-powered Grand Cherokees, which occur regular with 4-wheel generate, are rated at 14 mpg town, 22 highway and 17 mpg blended.

Uconnect five seems to be excellent on the optional ten.one-inch touchscreen.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

This Jeep’s on-street functionality is admirable. Acceleration is brisk, particularly with the Hemi. And thanks to a assortment of NVH enhancements — points like acoustic glass, unique door seals and enhanced lively noise cancellation — the Grand Cherokee L’s interior is constantly serene. The accessible air suspension improves dynamics and improves off-street functionality by enabling the body to be raised a number of inches. The vehicle’s journey excellent is gentle, even when fitted with 21-inch clodhoppers that occur in the $three,000 Summit Reserve Team selections deal, nevertheless body roll is minimal when pushed as a result of corners. The steering is gentle but reasonably precise, which would make the Grand Cherokee L really feel more compact than it truly is.

Off street, this a few-row SUV is a Jeep as a result of and as a result of, an unbelievably able mountain goat even with its cumbersome proportions. Appropriately geared up models have up to ten.9 inches of ground clearance and can generate as a result of an impressive 24 inches of water. This SUV’s off-street geometry is praiseworthy, much too. Talking in optimum figures, the technique angle is 30.one degrees, breakover angle 22.6 and its departure measurement clocks in at 23.6 degrees.

Of the a few accessible 4-wheel-generate units, Quadra-Push II is the most advanced. It involves a two-speed transfer case and an electronically locking rear differential. If slippage is detected, this method can mechanically redistribute torque to the wheels with a lot more traction. Quadra-Push II is accessible on Overland models and regular on the Summit trim.

Yep, it’s a Jeep alright.


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Crashing about rocks on a significantly gnarly segment of off-street training course at Stellantis’ Chelsea, Michigan proving ground would make me recognize the accessible superior-energy metal skid plates, which protect sensitive underbody componentry from tough terrain. Bashing into and scraping alongside boulders triggers me to wince in discomfort, even though the spotters never ever bat an eye and neither does the Grand Cherokee L. Aiding tailor this SUV’s conduct to a variety of conditions, the Selec-Terrain traction-administration method has 5 modes: auto, activity, rock, snow and mud/sand. Hill-descent handle mechanically checks the Grand Cherokee L’s speed, even in reverse.

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is assembled in Detroit and goes on sale this thirty day period. It will be available in 4 trim amounts: Laredo, Constrained, Overland and Summit. Of training course, that’s just the start until eventually you will find a Trackhawk design or a plug-in hybrid variant or whatever else Jeep’s engineers might be cooking up.

An entry-amount, rear-wheel-generate Grand Cherokee L starts at $38,690 such as $one,695 in supply charges. Choose for 4-wheel generate and you will be expending an additional $2,000. My V6-powered Summit tester checks out for a significant $66,275, a figure padded by the $one,995 Superior ProTech Team, the $245 Luxury Tech Team, a shimmering Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat paint work for $345 and, of training course, the pricey Summit Reserve deal. That’s a good deal of challenging-earned scratch to expend, but thanks to the Grand Cherokee L’s refinement, capability and luxurious interior, that figure is not unreasonable, particularly as opposed to some of its luxury opposition.

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