Tuesday, December 6, 2022
First Reviews 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee First Drive Review: The King is not Dead;...

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee First Drive Review: The King is not Dead; All Hail the New King


  • Pricing for the 2022 Grand Cherokee L starts at $51,545 in Canada, $37,390 in the US.

  • The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the most accomplished SUVs in history and it continues to be with the new 5th generation truck.

  • Fuel efficiency is its only quasi-weakness, but Stellantis has a plan.


The Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced back in 1993. I remember seeing the pictures for the first time and reading the specifications, and immediately falling for the rugged yet premium SUV. I wasn’t alone as the Grand Cherokee was a near-instant success and quickly began collecting awards.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

So strong and impactful was the Grand Cherokee’s first two generations that Jeep managed to stretch the 3rd generation SUV over nearly 12 years. Despite being “ancient”, Stellantis saw deliveries increase towards the end of its lifecycle. This is the power of the Grand Cherokee brand name.

And its power will continue to grow with the all-new 2022 Grand Cherokee. Built on an all-new platform, the Grand Cherokee is stronger and more capable than ever and more importantly, more refined, and luxurious for discerning buyers.


The best-looking Grand Cherokee ever

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Aesthetically, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is perfect, and I mean it. Strangely, I’d found the Grand Cherokee L to be almost boring visually but not so with the non-L version. The 5-seater’s proportions are cleaner and better sorted visually. The short overhangs, clean lines, and purposeful stance deliver a level of unexpected elegance to the SUV. Even from the base $51,545 Laredo and ultra-popular $59,045 Limited, the Jeep looks premium.

Much work went into the Grand Cherokee’s design, from increasing the greenhouse to keeping its overall dimensions tidy. At only 3.7 inches longer (2-inch longer wheelbase), the 2022 truck is as wide despite the wheels being pushed out 1.4 inches. These small changes are largely responsible for the Jeep’s newfound stance.


Luxurious and modern cabin

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Far more dramatic are the changes brought to the Grand Cherokee’s cabin. Like the Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer duo, the dashboard is modern and superbly laid out. Technology-wise, there’s little comparison to be made with the WK. As standard, they are all delivered with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, Uconnect 5 with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and much more.

The base touchscreen display measures 8.4 inches however is quickly replaced in the trim ladder to a 10.1-inch unit. Depending on trim and options, a third class-exclusive 10.25-inch (26 cm) front passenger interactive display can be added. As well, a pair of 10.1-inch rear-seat entertainment displays with built-in Amazon Fire TV is also available.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Above and below the display are a series of important controls from the ESP switch to a full suite of HVAC buttons. The ergonomics are contemporary and importantly, navigating the infotainment is fairly easy. The only negative comment here is that the screen, throughout the day, would reboot itself at will. We noticed the same in every Grand Cherokee L and Grand Wagoneer we’ve driven in 2021.

All versions of the Grand Cherokee are superbly appointed. The best-selling and driven Limited showed superior craftsmanship and lovely materials. The seats were comfortable and supportive, all within a roomy, luxurious, and airy interior. The trunk is more spacious than previous and can now fit a pair of golf bags across.


Ultra-competent on and off-road

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The 2022 WL Jeep Grand Cherokee is another testament to manufacturers developing gifted products. From the base Laredo, the SUV is not only more talented off-road with its Quadra-Trac 1 AWD system, but it is also as or more competent on paved surfaces than the others. And it only gets better from here.

Smooth, quiet, and refined, the Grand Cherokee covers the ground with extreme ease. Even at elevated highway speeds, the cabin stays quiet, and the chassis demonstrates impressive poise. In the city, ruts and the like are handled with ease. With the available Quadra-Lift air suspension, the ride can be as firm as required or as compliant as needed.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

What this suspension also enables is the Trailhawk (not offered with the L) to tackle any off-road adventure with disconcerting ease. New for the WL, the Trailhawk’s version lifts the SUV an extra inch over the Summit for a total of 11.3 inches of ground clearance. For both versions and the Overland, the system is now about 50% faster (7 seconds) to lower the SUV when parked. Combined with the semi-active dampers, any Grand Cherokee equipped with this chassis is the better driver.

We experienced the Trailhawk’s abilities on a brief off-road course. With front sway-bar disconnect, low-range Selec-Speed Control (off-road cruise control), and the Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system with an active electronic 2-speed transfer case and rear eLSD, only the most impassable terrains will stop it. In fact, so sophisticated and capable is the Trailhawk that even a novice can look like a pro – I sure looked like I knew what I was doing.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The 2022 Jeep SUV’s only fault is fuel efficiency. Despite tipping the scale at about 250 fewer pounds than the WK, the WL is still quite thirsty. The returning pair of older petrol engines is at fault.

The 3.6-litre V6 is Stellantis’ absolute workhorse. Under the Grand Cherokee’s bonnet, it produces 293 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque. Its power is a notch above adequate, saved mostly by the ideally tuned 8-speed automatic transmission. From 4,000 rpm, the V6 comes to life but the consequence is and will be a fuel consumption average that will hover near 13L/100km. The 5.7-litre V8 and its 357 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque are far more entertaining. The HEMI is optional on the Trailhawk, Overland, and Summit for about $3,500. It will increase towing capacity and fuel stops with a realistic 15.5L/100km of fuel.

Next spring, Jeep will launch the Grand Cherokee 4xe with plug-in hybrid technology. The system will enable the SUV to cover an estimated 40 km of all-electric range and provide decent performance. We’ll find out more including the price in the near future. Also, there will be a Trackhawk version as well…


There’s no competition

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s competitive set is vast and narrow at once. Its immediate rivals are the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, Toyota Venza, Chevrolet Blazer, and Honda Passport according to Stellantis. The reality is that none of these SUVs come close. Adding the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, changes little. The Toyota 4Runner is the Jeep’s only concern off-road but in every other respect, the Grand Cherokee has it.

From the $68,045 Overland and up, the Grand Cherokee’s fate is slightly different. Although the 3-row Lincoln Aviator and Cadillac XT6 pose no threat to the Jeep, once into the $70,000 range, the Audi Q7 and BMW X5 offer sharper driving dynamics and far more advanced powertrain options.

Both the WK and WL 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Will be on Sale at the Time

If you’ve made it this far in the review, thank you. And if you’re still wondering about the new Grand Cherokee, know that it is still the king.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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