The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the largest SUV in the brand's current lineup, at least until the arrival of the highly anticipated Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The Grand Cherokee is also one of Jeep's best-sellers despite not seeing a full redesign since 2011. Now, the automaker has finally given its flagship SUV the attention it deserves. The reveal of the 2021 Grand Cherokee showcases a new 'L' model that offers 3 rows of seats, bold styling, new tech, and improved off-road capability.
A Bold Exterior
The exterior styling of the 5th generation 2021 Grand Cherokee remains familiar but gets a bolder look that borrows from the design of the upcoming Grand Wagoneer Concept as well as the original Wagoneer. The new Grand Cherokee will greet you with a more aggressive hood and Jeep's classic seven-slat grille that is now smaller and slants forward. The slim LED headlights also remind us of the Grand Wagoneer's.
The new Grand Cherokee features a defined profile and a sleek roofline that flows into the thin LED taillamps. 18-inch wheels will be standard and 21-inch wheels will be available on the Grand Cherokee Overland and standard on the all-new, top-of-the-line Summit trim. A gloss black roof will also be available on the Overland and standard on the Summit.
More Space and Premium Appointments Inside
While the Grand Cherokee's exterior remains familiar, the interior is drastically improved in both space and style. The addition of the 3rd row comes with a substantial increase to the SUV's wheelbase and overall length. The wheelbase grows by 6.9 inches from the two-row model for a total of 121.7 inches, while the length increases to 204.9 inches from 189.8 inches.
The supersized Grand Cherokee L offers seating for 6 or 7 with a fold-flat second row that slides forward for easy access to the third-row seats. In addition to hauling more passengers, the Grand Cherokee L will allow you to haul more stuff. The new SUV offers generous cargo space of up to 84.6 cubic feet of space with the second and third-row folded flat which is up from the current model's 68.3 cubic feet of space.
Along with more passenger and cargo space, the Grand Cherokee L gives drivers an upgraded cabin that can rival some luxury brands like the BMW X5. The Grand Cherokee gets a new center cluster with a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen that features the latest Uconnect 5 infotainment system and a 10.1-inch screen is available or standard on higher trims. The center console features a backlit rotary shift knob that we've previously seen in the Grand Wagoneer concept. Other creature comforts include premium appointments like genuine leather and open-pore walnut wood trim, customizable interior LED lighting, 12 USB outlets, and cooled front- and second-row seats in the Summit model.
Better Off-Road Chops
The performance upgrades for the 2021 Grand Cherokee L will be most evident when it's taken off the pavement since the powertrains carry over from the last generation. A 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 comes standard and makes 290 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. Higher trims like the Overland and Summit offer a 5.7-liter V8 for 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque and both engine options are married to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Cherokee will keep its current tow rating of up to 6,200 pounds with the V6 engine, and 7,200 pounds with the V8.
To tackle the road less traveled, the 2021 Grand Cherokee L features three drive systems: Quadra-Trac I and II, with single- and two-speed transfer cases, or the Quadra-Drive II, with a two-speed transfer case and a rear electronic limited-slip differential. The standard ground clearance for the new Grand Cherokee is 8.3 inches which is .2 inches more than the outgoing model. Higher trims including the Overland and Summit get adaptive dampers and five-stage air suspension offering up to 10.9-inches of ground clearance which is a 9% increase from last year.
An approach angle of 30.1-degrees can be achieved with the most aggressive Quadra-Lift adaptive air suspension setting which beats the previous model's 25.7 degrees. For even more off-road prowess, the Overland trim can be upgraded with Jeep's off-road package adding skid plates, 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, and an electronic limited-slip differential at the rear.
The 2021 Grand Cherokee L is expected to arrive this spring with an MSRP of around $40,000 followed by the two-row Grand Cherokee and the 4xe plug-in hybrid later in the year.