Ever since its debut in 1993, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been one of , if not the best selling SUVs in the brand’s lineup. It seems, however, that Jeep wants to broaden its appeal as it debuts an all-new model, the Grand Cherokee L.
Yes, the L in its monker stands for a longer length and wheelbase to accommodate a third row seat. This is the first time the Grand Cherokee offers this type of seating configuration, arguably designed to compete in this fast growing segment.
Of course, this isn’t merely a case of extending the vehicle and slotting an extra row of seats back there. The latest-generation Grand Cherokee boasts of a masculine look that is an evolution of the current design, now cleaner yet still with touches like the 7-slat grille up front. These are complemented by a pair of LED headlights, 21-inch alloy rims, and a rugged yet sophisticated stance.
Step inside that three-row cabin and you will get touches of luxury such as Palermo leather, open pore walnut wood, veneers, and heated and ventilated front seats with 16-way power adjustment and massage function on higher end Overland and Summit trims.
A standard 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen system can be upgraded to a 10.1-inch unit that features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless device connectivity. This is complemented by a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster that even features Night Vision. Plus, there are 12 USB-A and USB-C ports scattered around the cabin.
And yes, safety is part of the package with stuff like adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, and more. These will be enhanced by the Active Driving Assist feature that promises even more advanced autonomous driving capabilities.
Under the hood, buyers can choose either a 3.6-liter V6 with 290bhp and 257lb-ft of torque, or a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with 357bhp and 390lb-ft. Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic, with the V6 able to tow 6,200lbs while the V8 hauling up to 7,200lbs.
While the Grand Cherokee comes in two-wheel drive as standard, this is still a Jeep. Hence the availability of 3 four-wheel drive options: Quadratrac I, Quadratrac II, and Quadra-Drive II with an electronic limited slip differential. Each of these systems likewise features an active transfer case and the Quadra-Lift air suspension that lets owners raise or lower the ride height, depending on the road conditions and terrain.
All told the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee looks to conquer the 7-seat SUV market with luxury, tech, and of course, that legendary Jeep go-anywhere capability. Deliveries are set to begin by the second quarter of 2021.