2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L first drive review: What the L?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a single of the most well known SUVs available right now, and for good cause. Not only does it seem wonderful, this rugged automobile provides immense off-highway functionality, a coddling cabin and a good deal of refinement. Accordingly, when Jeep redesigns this mountain goat, it is significant news. And for 2021, that’s particularly accurate, because the recently minted Grand Cherokee L is pumped up in stature and now comes with a regular third-row seat.

The addition of that new bench lets the Grand Cherokee L to seat up to seven people (a six-passenger configuration is provided, way too), significantly growing its versatility. And this third row just isn’t just some little ones-only zone — life-sized grownups in good shape with a good deal of place for knees and noggins, and the bottom cushion is a decent height earlier mentioned the floor. Of class, the 2nd-row chairs are even nicer to plunk your backside down on and the outboard kinds tip up and slide for easier obtain to those people rearmost seats.

To accommodate a third row, the L is 15.one inches longer than the outgoing regular Grand Cherokee and the wheelbase has been stretched by seven inches, alterations that lead to the vehicle’s longroof seem. The natural way, if you you should not have to have added seats or like a additional manageable automobile, Jeep will provide a traditional two-row model, but it will not likely arrive right up until later this 12 months.

It really is debatable whether the new Grand Cherokee L is additional beautiful than its predecessor. The L’s gaping decrease air intake and curiously angled grille seem strange, particularly on a human body that’s if not cleanly styled and handsome. Matching those people fresh new appears to be like, the 2021 Grand Cherokee L is developed on a new versatile architecture, a unibody framework comprised of additional than sixty% large-energy metal, which offers this off-roader an practically unyielding backbone. To lower excess weight, the vehicle’s closures, like the hood and liftgate, are created of aluminum.

I’m not totally sold on the Grand Cherokee L’s exterior styling, but designers knocked it out of the park with this Jeep’s interior. The layout, components, comfort and ease and tech are all primo. The selection-topping Summit design comes with beautiful Nappa leather or tremendous-high quality Palermo cow hides if you nab the Summit Reserve package. You can also get stunning open up-pore wooden accents and even Berber floor mats. A common rotary shifter is regular equipment, although its steel construction and artfully milled edges make this dial truly feel like a piece of jewelry. A suede-like headliner is provided, way too, as is a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. In greater-close products, this Jeep’s interior is luxury-automobile nice, plenty of to give motor vehicles like the Acura MDX and Lincoln Aviator a run for their dollars.

This interior rivals those people of some luxury cars and trucks.

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The Grand Cherokee L’s symmetrical dashboard arcs from doorway to doorway, bringing to thoughts a bird’s outstretched wings. In the center is possibly an eight.four- or ten.one-inch touchscreen, the two of which are house to the Android-run Uconnect five infotainment system. With fairly graphics and loads of operation, this multimedia array is simple to use and supposedly 5 moments faster than its predecessor. A ten.3-inch digital instrument cluster is bundled at no added demand and you can even get night eyesight.

Common protection tech involves computerized crisis braking, rear cross-targeted traffic inform, lane-preserving support, blind-location monitoring and adaptive cruise command with cease-and-go functionality. Active Driving Help, essentially adaptive cruise with lane centering, is available on Overland products and regular on the Summit trim. This palms-on system is effective phenomenally, preserving the Jeep locked in its lane and adeptly varying pace based on targeted traffic disorders. Capacitive sensors in the steering-wheel rim know if you’ve got obtained a hand on the wheel or not, popping up an orange warning in the instrument cluster if you you should not have at least a couple fingers creating get in touch with. Using things a action further more, Hands-Cost-free Active Driving Help will be provided in the 2022 design 12 months. This ought to perform like GM’s outstanding Super Cruise system, delivering palms-cost-free convenience on permitted motorways.

Together with a two-row variant, an electrified model of the Grand Cherokee is under advancement, way too. But for now, the Grand Cherokee L is provided with two pleasant and common engines. If you’re effectively-versed in the Stellantis powertrain lineup, nothing at all in this article will shock you. The base providing is a 3.six-liter Pentastar V6. It delivers a respectable 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, plenty of pork and beans to allow this SUV to tow up to six,two hundred kilos. As easy and peaceful as ever, this bent-six provides plenty of oomph for most consumers in typical diving, even if it will not make the Grand Cherokee L truly feel significantly vigorous.

Each a 3.six-liter V6 and five.seven-liter V8 are provided.

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Of class, if you have to have additional gusto, a five.seven-liter Hemi V8 is on the menu, way too. Smooth, spirited and supremely sonorous, it provides a 357-horse stampede and 390 lb-ft of twist, plenty of for this SUV to drag seven,two hundred kilos. If you you should not thoughts the extra cost — the two up front and at the fuel pump — this is the powerplant to get.

Rounding out the Grand Cherokee L’s drivetrain is a regular 8-pace computerized transmission. Engineers have a long time of expertise with this gearbox and its tuning is just about perfect. The transmission shifts swiftly and seamlessly, plus it is additional than willing to drop a couple of gears when you have to have to boogie. Torque gets routed via this cog-swapper to possibly the rear wheels or a single of 3 various 4-wheel-drive systems.

A V6-run Grand Cherokee L with rear-wheel drive is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Merged, be expecting 21 mpg. Opting for 4-wheel drive reduces the first two figures by one mpg each and every, although the put together ranking is unchanged. Hemi-run Grand Cherokees, which occur regular with 4-wheel drive, are rated at 14 mpg city, 22 highway and seventeen mpg put together.

Uconnect five appears to be like wonderful on the optional ten.one-inch touchscreen.

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This Jeep’s on-highway effectiveness is admirable. Acceleration is brisk, particularly with the Hemi. And thanks to a selection of NVH advancements — things like acoustic glass, unique doorway seals and increased energetic noise cancellation — the Grand Cherokee L’s interior is constantly serene. The available air suspension boosts dynamics and enhances off-highway effectiveness by permitting the human body to be raised several inches. The vehicle’s journey high quality is comfortable, even when fitted with 21-inch clodhoppers that occur in the $3,000 Summit Reserve Team choices package, however human body roll is minimum when pushed via corners. The steering is light but reasonably exact, which makes the Grand Cherokee L truly feel lesser than it in fact is.

Off highway, this 3-row SUV is a Jeep via and via, an amazingly able mountain goat inspite of its bulky dimensions. Correctly outfitted products have up to ten.9 inches of floor clearance and can drive via an outstanding 24 inches of drinking water. This SUV’s off-highway geometry is praiseworthy, way too. Speaking in highest figures, the technique angle is 30.one degrees, breakover angle 22.six and its departure measurement clocks in at 23.six degrees.

Of the 3 available 4-wheel-drive systems, Quadra-Generate II is the most highly developed. It involves a two-pace transfer case and an electronically locking rear differential. If slippage is detected, this system can quickly redistribute torque to the wheels with additional traction. Quadra-Generate II is available on Overland products and regular on the Summit trim.

Yep, it is a Jeep alright.

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Crashing over rocks on a significantly gnarly section of off-highway class at Stellantis’ Chelsea, Michigan proving floor makes me take pleasure in the available large-energy metal skid plates, which defend fragile underbody componentry from rough terrain. Bashing into and scraping alongside boulders triggers me to wince in pain, although the spotters by no means bat an eye and neither does the Grand Cherokee L. Assisting tailor this SUV’s conduct to numerous disorders, the Selec-Terrain traction-administration system has 5 modes: vehicle, sport, rock, snow and mud/sand. Hill-descent command quickly checks the Grand Cherokee L’s pace, even in reverse.

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is assembled in Detroit and goes on sale this thirty day period. It will be provided in 4 trim degrees: Laredo, Constrained, Overland and Summit. Of class, that’s just the start off right up until there’s a Trackhawk design or a plug-in hybrid variant or whichever else Jeep’s engineers may possibly be cooking up.

An entry-level, rear-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee L starts at $38,690 together with $one,695 in delivery expenses. Opt for 4-wheel drive and you can expect to be investing an further $2,000. My V6-run Summit tester checks out for a significant $sixty six,275, a determine padded by the $one,995 Sophisticated ProTech Team, the $245 Luxurious Tech Team, a shimmering Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat paint work for $345 and, of class, the expensive Summit Reserve package. That’s a ton of difficult-attained scratch to expend, but thanks to the Grand Cherokee L’s refinement, functionality and luxurious interior, that determine is not unreasonable, particularly in contrast to some of its luxury levels of competition.