Longer Jeep adds extra row of seats
Two-row Grand Cherokee comes later with PHEV model
There’s a new Jeep in town. An all-new Grand Cherokee is here, and it’s coming first as a model new to the company lineup. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L adds a third row to the model for the first time and will mean that Jeep has a handful of seven-seat models coming very soon.
The L uses a wheelbase about 180 mm longer than the current Grand Cherokee, and double that longer overall. It’s a touch wider, but a wider track will give the truck more of a planted stance.
Underpinning the 2021 Grand Cherokee L is an all-new platform. It will offer three different 4×4 systems including an available limited-slip differential, and while two of them have low range, all will have an active transfer case. Air suspension will be available and adds adaptive damping to adjust shock tuning for different terrains. From standard height, it can go up 40 or 60 mm for max ground clearance, while parking mode drops it 46 mm (twice as fast as before) and Aero mode lowers 21 mm.
This isn’t Jeep’s first try at a three-row, the short-lived and largely forgotten Commander served in that role. And while the nose (and much of the rest) looks to mirror the Wagoneer we saw last year, this one is built on a unibody chassis instead of the ladder frame of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
Jeep says lightweight aluminum bits like the hood and tailgate for the ’21 Grand Cherokee L reduce weight and help improve fuel economy. There are also aluminum shock towers and a magnesium cross beam.
The 3.6L V6 is returning, with 290 hp and 257 lb-ft of torque. Stop-start will be standard, and it will tow up to 6,200 lb. A 357 hp 5.7L Hemi V8 will be optional, and while a 4xe plug-in version will come to the platform, it will be two-row Grand Cherokee only.
This will be the first home of Jeep’s Hands-Free Active Driving Assist, the hands-off Level 2 driver assist system that’s expected for the 2022 model year. For now, hands-on Active Driving Assist will be on top trims. A night vision camera on Overland and Summit will look 200m down the road. The big crossover will offer a full range of driver assist features including intersection collision assist.
An all-new cabin is more luxurious, offered with six or seven-seats. New leathers and wood trim options set trim levels apart, while a McIntosh audio system offers 19-speakers and 950 watts with a design that mimics the high-end audio company’s home audio components. 8.4 and 10.1-inch version of Jeep’s Uconnect 5 system will be offered along with wireless versions of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 12 total USB ports will charge all the devices you can stuff inside.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L will hit dealers the second quarter of this year, while the standard Grand Cherokee debuts later in the year as a 2022 model.