The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee starts at $34,200 in the U.S. and at $48,195 in Canada, freight and delivery charges excluded.
Desirable SRT and Trackhawk variants, undeniable versatility, off-road prowess.
Heavy fuel consumption, some cheap interior trim, environmentally unfriendly.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee should be the final model year of the current-generation SUV that hit the market way back in 2010. Despite its age, and this could be said for many Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles, it’s still selling well and remains a desirable product. In fact, it’s the 14th best-selling vehicle in the United States, and the 18th in Canada.
Part of its appeal has to do with its powertrain lineup and capabilities, although treehuggers might not like what we’re about to mention. The halo Grand Cherokee Trackhawk boasts a supercharged, 6.2L V8 that lashes out 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque, and can rip to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a claimed 3.5 seconds. The slightly less potent 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT gets a naturally aspirated, 6.4L V8 good for 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, allowing the SUV to reach 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. There’s also a 5.7L HEMI V8 with 360 horses and 390 pound-feet, optional in several tamer trim levels, that provides a towing capacity of up to 7,200 pounds or 3,266 kilograms.
However, most buyers will go the more sensible route with the standard 3.6L V6, which produces a respectable 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. With it, the Jeep can still pull up to 6,200 pounds or 2,812 kg. With a four-wheel drivetrain, its city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings are 18/25/21 mpg in the U.S. and 12.7/9.6/11.3 L/100 km in Canada.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee also offers no less than four different 4WD setups, depending on what our plans are with our beloved SUV. The Quadra-Trac I system is the basic one, with full-time functionality and a 48/52 front/rear torque split. Quadra-Trac II adds a two-speed transfer case as well as a crawl mode, and can shift 100% of available power to either the front or the rear axle. Quadra-Drive II cranks up the off-road capability by another notch with an electronic limited-slip rear differential, the ability to send all of the engine’s power to one wheel on treacherous terrain and a Low mode for rock crawling. Finally, the fully automatic Quadra-Trac SRT setup equips the SRT and Trackhawk variants, providing an adjustable power split according to the chosen drive mode.
There’s also a slew of trim levels, from the affordable Laredo up to the luxurious Summit as well as the two hot-rod SRT versions. The 2021 model year adds an 80th Anniversary Edition, which is based on the Limited, but includes leather upholstery with Light Tungsten accenting, specific 18-inch alloy wheels and appropriate badging, along with Jeep’s full suite of advanced safety features. In the U.S., there’s also a Laredo X trim that receives popular features such as the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment touchscreen, remote start, a power liftgate, vinyl and suede upholstery, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee can also be optioned up with comfort and convenience items usually found in luxury-brand crossovers and SUVs, such as various genuine leathers, wood trim, ventilated front seats, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof as well as Alpine and Harman/Kardon sound systems, the latter boasting 19 speakers.
In the U.S., pricing ranges from $34,200 for a base 2WD Laredo all the way to $70,420 for a loaded Summit, while the SRT is listed from $69,390 and the Trackhawk starts at $87,895. In Canada, the Grand Cherokee ranges from $48,195 to $80,980, although the SRT starts at $79,195 and the Trackhawk will run at least $117,845. All prices exclude freight and delivery charges.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee competes with the mainstream midsize crossovers such as the Toyota 4Runner, the Ford Edge, the Honda Passport, the Nissan Murano and the Chevrolet Blazer, but also takes a poke at the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the Audi Q7, the BWW X5, the Lincoln Nautilus and the Cadillac XT5. And since the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer is based on a stretched platform that will also underpin the Grand Cherokee, we can expect to see the next-generation model appear sometime within the next year.
What The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Does Well
- As mentioned above, the Grand Cherokee expands its presence in a few utility vehicle segments, which explains its popularity. However, the uplevel variants are truly luxury-oriented machines, not just mainstream models with a slightly fancier interior.
- As with any of the brand’s models, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee can tackle just about any terrain or road condition, thanks to its capable 4WD systems.
- The blisteringly fast, loudmouth SRT and Trackhawk variants are pure objects of desire, with performance credentials that match those of high-end German models, but at a lower price point.
- Despite the off-road, on-road performance and track prowess, the 2021 Grand Cherokee remains a family-friendly vehicle with good rear-seat accommodations and plenty of cargo space. Even the Trackhawk can purr like a cat when we’re hauling the kids instead of hauling a**.
- Although it isn’t rock-solid like the Toyota 4Runner, the Grand Cherokee boasts a fairly good reliability record and decent resale value.
What The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Doesn’t Do Well
- Fuel consumption is definitely not the GC’s forte. The 3.6L V6’s appetite for fuel is tolerable, but the V8 engines suck down liquid gold at an alarming rate. Especially the Trackhawk, but if we’re looking to buy one, we’re already aware of that. The 3.0L turbo-diesel V6 that used to be available in this Jeep is no longer offered.
- Although the uplevel trims of the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee are undoubtedly posh, there are some interior trim bits that seem out of place, such as the ill-fitting storage bin cover low on the centre stack. Also, the doors don’t close with the bank-vault feel and sound that the German crossovers and SUVs are known for.
- The SRT and Trackhawk may be desirable, but we can expect hefty tire and maintenance bills to keep these speed machines running smoothly. Then again, we could say the same thing about Mercedes-AMG, BMW M and Audi Sport products.
- The available four-corner air suspension does wonders to improve the 2021 Grand Cherokee’s ride comfort, but it’s been generally considered troublesome after the warranty expires. If we’re planning to keep the Grand Cherokee for a long time, it might be best to skip this option.
- The environmentally friendly crowd will treat us like criminals if it sees behind the wheel of the SRT and the Trackhawk. Most owners won’t be concerned by this, but it is something to think about.
What We Tell Our Friends
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is multitalented, still attractive after these years without any major changes and its capabilities make it a desirable vehicle for our active lifestyle. It’s less costly to purchase than most luxury-brand utility vehicles, but can be just as admirable. Obviously, speed freaks will love the hot-rod variants of the Jeep and we’re seeing a lot of SRTs on the road, so the price doesn’t seem to be a concern.
We must point out that an all-new Grand Cherokee is coming soon, which should offer even more luxury, more capability and more desirability.