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

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a person of the most common SUVs available these days, and for very good reason. Not only does it glance great, this rugged vehicle offers immense off-highway functionality, a coddling cabin and a good deal of refinement. Accordingly, any time Jeep redesigns this mountain goat, […]

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a person of the most common SUVs available these days, and for very good reason. Not only does it glance great, this rugged vehicle offers immense off-highway functionality, a coddling cabin and a good deal of refinement. Accordingly, any time Jeep redesigns this mountain goat, it is really massive information. And for 2021, that is particularly accurate, considering that the freshly minted Grand Cherokee L is pumped up in stature and now will come with a typical third-row seat.

The addition of that new bench allows the Grand Cherokee L to seat up to 7 people (a six-passenger configuration is available, way too), considerably escalating its flexibility. And this third row isn’t just some young ones-only zone — existence-sized grownups in shape with a good deal of place for knees and noggins, and the bottom cushion is a decent height higher than the flooring. Of training course, the next-row chairs are even nicer to plunk your bottom down on and the outboard types idea up and slide for simpler obtain to these rearmost seats.

To accommodate a third row, the L is 15.one inches more time than the outgoing typical Grand Cherokee and the wheelbase has been stretched by 7 inches, alterations that contribute to the vehicle’s longroof glance. In a natural way, if you really don’t will need additional seats or want a additional workable vehicle, Jeep will give a common two-row variation, but it will not likely get there until later this year.

It’s debatable irrespective of whether the new Grand Cherokee L is additional desirable than its predecessor. The L’s gaping decrease air ingestion and curiously angled grille glance weird, particularly on a overall body that is or else cleanly styled and handsome. Matching these new appears, the 2021 Grand Cherokee L is constructed on a new adaptable architecture, a unibody composition comprised of additional than 60% significant-toughness steel, which offers this off-roader an virtually unyielding backbone. To decrease fat, the vehicle’s closures, like the hood and liftgate, are manufactured of aluminum.

I’m not totally marketed on the Grand Cherokee L’s exterior styling, but designers knocked it out of the park with this Jeep’s inside. The format, products, ease and comfort and tech are all primo. The vary-topping Summit model will come with pretty Nappa leather-based or super-premium Palermo cow hides if you nab the Summit Reserve deal. You can also get stunning open up-pore wooden accents and even Berber flooring mats. A common rotary shifter is typical equipment, although its metallic building and artfully milled edges make this dial really feel like a piece of jewelry. A suede-like headliner is available, way too, as is a 19-speaker McIntosh audio program. In increased-stop designs, this Jeep’s inside is luxury-vehicle good, sufficient to give vehicles like the Acura MDX and Lincoln Aviator a operate for their revenue.

This inside rivals these of some luxury vehicles.


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The Grand Cherokee L’s symmetrical dashboard arcs from doorway to doorway, bringing to mind a bird’s outstretched wings. In the center is both an eight.4- or ten.one-inch touchscreen, equally of which are residence to the Android-run Uconnect 5 infotainment program. With fairly graphics and loads of performance, this multimedia array is straightforward to use and supposedly 5 situations faster than its predecessor. A ten.three-inch electronic instrument cluster is bundled at no additional cost and you can even get evening vision.

Typical protection tech features automated emergency braking, rear cross-targeted traffic notify, lane-maintaining assist, blind-place checking and adaptive cruise command with end-and-go functionality. Active Driving Guide, fundamentally adaptive cruise with lane centering, is available on Overland designs and typical on the Summit trim. This fingers-on program functions phenomenally, maintaining the Jeep locked in its lane and adeptly different speed centered on targeted traffic situations. Capacitive sensors in the steering-wheel rim know if you’ve got obtained a hand on the wheel or not, popping up an orange warning in the instrument cluster if you really don’t have at minimum a couple fingers creating make contact with. Getting things a action further, Hands-Totally free Active Driving Guide will be available in the 2022 model year. This must perform like GM’s outstanding Tremendous Cruise program, providing fingers-totally free convenience on accepted motorways.

Together with a two-row variant, an electrified variation of the Grand Cherokee is under advancement, way too. But for now, the Grand Cherokee L is available with two pleasant and common engines. If you might be perfectly-versed in the Stellantis powertrain lineup, absolutely nothing listed here will shock you. The foundation giving is a three.6-liter Pentastar V6. It delivers a respectable 293 horsepower and 260 pound-ft of torque, sufficient pork and beans to permit this SUV to tow up to 6,200 lbs. As smooth and peaceful as at any time, this bent-six offers sufficient oomph for most shoppers in ordinary diving, even if it does not make the Grand Cherokee L really feel specifically vigorous.

Both of those a three.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8 are available.


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Of training course, if you will need additional gusto, a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is on the menu, way too. Easy, spirited and supremely sonorous, it offers a 357-horse stampede and 390 lb-ft of twist, sufficient for this SUV to drag 7,200 lbs. If you really don’t mind the added charge — equally up front and at the fuel pump — this is the powerplant to get.

Rounding out the Grand Cherokee L’s drivetrain is a typical eight-speed automated transmission. Engineers have several years of working experience with this gearbox and its tuning is just about great. The transmission shifts promptly and seamlessly, furthermore it is really additional than keen to drop a couple gears when you will need to boogie. Torque gets routed by this cog-swapper to both the rear wheels or a person of a few different four-wheel-generate methods.

A V6-run Grand Cherokee L with rear-wheel generate is EPA-rated at 19 mpg metropolis and 26 mpg highway. Mixed, anticipate 21 mpg. Opting for four-wheel generate cuts down the initial two figures by one mpg each and every, although the put together ranking is unchanged. Hemi-run Grand Cherokees, which arrive typical with four-wheel generate, are rated at fourteen mpg metropolis, 22 highway and seventeen mpg put together.

Uconnect 5 appears great on the optional ten.one-inch touchscreen.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

This Jeep’s on-highway effectiveness is admirable. Acceleration is brisk, particularly with the Hemi. And thanks to a vary of NVH improvements — things like acoustic glass, exclusive doorway seals and improved active sounds cancellation — the Grand Cherokee L’s inside is generally serene. The available air suspension improves dynamics and increases off-highway effectiveness by letting the overall body to be lifted various inches. The vehicle’s trip quality is comfortable, even when fitted with 21-inch clodhoppers that arrive in the $three,000 Summit Reserve Team alternatives deal, but overall body roll is nominal when pushed by corners. The steering is light but fairly exact, which would make the Grand Cherokee L really feel lesser than it truly is.

Off highway, this a few-row SUV is a Jeep by and by, an incredibly able mountain goat despite its cumbersome proportions. Adequately equipped designs have up to ten.9 inches of floor clearance and can generate by an spectacular 24 inches of water. This SUV’s off-highway geometry is praiseworthy, way too. Speaking in utmost figures, the approach angle is thirty.one levels, breakover angle 22.6 and its departure measurement clocks in at 23.6 levels.

Of the a few available four-wheel-generate methods, Quadra-Travel II is the most state-of-the-art. It features a two-speed transfer case and an electronically locking rear differential. If slippage is detected, this program can instantly redistribute torque to the wheels with additional traction. Quadra-Travel II is available on Overland designs and typical on the Summit trim.

Yep, it is really a Jeep alright.


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Crashing in excess of rocks on a specifically gnarly section of off-highway training course at Stellantis’ Chelsea, Michigan proving floor would make me respect the available significant-toughness steel skid plates, which shield delicate underbody componentry from rough terrain. Bashing into and scraping alongside boulders results in me to wince in agony, although the spotters hardly ever bat an eye and neither does the Grand Cherokee L. Aiding tailor this SUV’s behavior to many situations, the Selec-Terrain traction-administration program has 5 modes: car, sport, rock, snow and mud/sand. Hill-descent command instantly 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 month. It will be available in four trim ranges: Laredo, Constrained, Overland and Summit. Of training course, that is just the start out until there is a Trackhawk model or a plug-in hybrid variant or whatsoever else Jeep’s engineers might be cooking up.

An entry-stage, rear-wheel-generate Grand Cherokee L begins at $38,690 which includes $one,695 in supply charges. Opt for four-wheel generate and you will be shelling out an further $2,000. My V6-run Summit tester checks out for a significant $66,275, a determine padded by the $one,995 Sophisticated ProTech Team, the $245 Luxury Tech Team, a shimmering Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat paint job for $345 and, of training course, the pricey Summit Reserve deal. That is a great deal of difficult-attained scratch to invest, but thanks to the Grand Cherokee L’s refinement, functionality and luxurious inside, that determine is not unreasonable, particularly in comparison to some of its luxury level of competition.

Rosa G. Rose

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