Jeep Grand Cherokee A Good Car – 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Review: Late But Great A new arrival to the three-row party, the Grand Cherokee L offers all the right parts.
For a brand so synonymous with SUVs, Jeep is surprisingly not very competitive in the full three-row space. In fact, the last three lines sold in the US are the Commander, which is so weird we probably shouldn’t have developed it. The new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L – as the “L” in its name implies – is the brand’s first serious contender in the segment, and it comes packed with plenty of ammunition.
Jeep Grand Cherokee A Good Car
Take a look at the Grand Cherokee’s unassuming exterior and you’ll find a decent, upscale cabin with enough room for seven passengers to sit comfortably in this configuration. Uconnect 5 also made its debut in the Grand Cherokee, as did Active Driver Assist – and both systems rival the best alternatives in the business. And it’s also one of the few mid-range inline-three V8s available, if you like. The bottom line: while Jeep may be late to the space, it’s instantly one of the best options in its class.
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The Grand Cherokee L doesn’t immediately impress you with its good looks. Instead, it builds on its predecessor’s rugged styling with flat hood lines, thin headlamps and a large lower opening below the iconic seven-blade grille. The Overland model also gets polished silver trim around the grille trim and lower opening. We’re not so fond of the faux chrome treatment, but some customers may appreciate the high-end addition compared to lesser trims.
The wheels are a set of 20-inch 10-spoke units that match the Grand Cherokee’s personality perfectly, and Velvet Red paint is standard on the Grand Cherokee – though it’s a $345 option. and it doesn’t look any better on the back. Thankfully, slim LED taillights with two-tone red and white housings do most of the heavy lifting.
The cabin looks clean, with a mix of high-quality materials like aluminum, wood – and in this Overland model – standard Nappa leather. There are some exposed plastics to reach and the wood on the steering wheel is definitely fake, but that’s not unusual in its class. The center screen looks sleek; it’s a 10.1-inch display that blends seamlessly into the center console.
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The Jeep Grand Cherokee L feels spacious, that’s the point. The three-row model is 15.1 inches longer than the previous two-row Grand Cherokee and has a wheelbase that is also 7.0 inches longer. With that said, 39.8 inches of front headroom and 41.3 inches of legroom are more than adequate. Neither of these numbers are best in class, but they are at the bottom of the segment. In comparison, the Nissan Pathfinder has the most headroom in its class at 42.3 inches, while the Ford Explorer has the most legroom at 43.0 inches.
The front and second row seats are comfortable seats, with Nappa leather standard on the Overland model. The support is firm, the back and back support is ample and there is enough adjustment in both rows to easily find a comfortable sitting position. And while the front row may not be the largest in its class, the Grand Cherokee L’s total passenger volume of 159.1 cubic feet beats the Pathfinder, Hyundai Palisade, Chevrolet Traverse and a few others.
Average-to-above-average adults should be able to fit easily into the third row, even with the traditional second-row bench seats our tester was equipped with (a $695 option). Pull the shoulder-mounted lever and the entire left side of the bench lifts and swings forward, revealing an opening wide enough for easy access. Jeep calls this feature “tip-and-slide.” And getting back to it, the Grand Cherokee L has 37.3 inches of headroom and 30.3 inches of legroom, which lends itself to modest headroom.
With the optional Quadra-Trac air suspension (which is expected to return to the line soon), the Grand Cherokee L has a very comfortable ride. It soaks up imperfections like a luxury vehicle and expertly manages body roll. Plus, the cabin is smooth and quiet – except for a little engine rev when you push it.
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An 8.4-inch screen is standard on the Grand Cherokee L Laredo, Altitude and Limited, but our Overland (and Summit and Summit Reserve) testers were treated to the larger, sharper 10.1-inch screen with the new infotainment system fun UConnect 5. UConnect 5 is one of our favorite user interfaces; the new home layout is clean and easy to parse, the graphics are sharp and the response time is now as fast as a smartphone. Navigation is also cleaner and smoother, while wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available at no extra cost.
Just behind the steering wheel is a highly configurable 10.3-inch digital cluster that features things like navigation, audio and more. There is also a night vision feature available. But one feature the Grand Cherokee L boasts above all is the McIntosh Labs audio system – the American hi-fi brand’s first automotive venture.
With 19 speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer and 950 watts of power, the McIntosh audio system is truly exceptional. The quality is crystal clear and the tonal range almost rivals that of high-end alternatives like Lexicon and ELS.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L comes with your choice of two engines: a base 3.6-liter V6 and an optional 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The only way to get your hands on a bigger V8 is to opt for four-wheel-drive Overland or Summit models, as well as the range-topping Summit Reserve, which comes standard with 4WD. And in all trims, this car is a $3,295 option.
Jeep Grand Cherokee L Reviews, Price, Mpg And More
The Overland tested here is a 4WD model, but still uses a base V6. This unit produces 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. “Powerful” is not the right word to describe this Grand Cherokee L; The V6 offers enough oomh to accelerate this 4,997-pound SUV, but grunts and grumbles all the way. The optional Hemi will probably do wonders for this SUV in a straight line.
But at speed, the V6 is smooth and silky, the eight-speed automatic shifts anonymously, and body roll remains well-controlled for an SUV this size. The Grand Cherokee feels more like a truck in corners than its counterparts like the Kia Telluride or Nissan Pathfinder, but it still makes for a pleasant driving experience.
Unlike these alternatives, the Grand Cherokee L is also more capable off the beaten track. The SUV has a locked differential and an optional Quadra-Trac air suspension which gives the SUV an impressive approach angle of up to 31.0 degrees and departure angle of up to 23.6 degrees.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has made huge strides in the active safety department compared to its lesser-equipped predecessor. Now things like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection are standard on all models.
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Equipped with Advanced ProTech Group III equipment ($1,995), this Overland model also offers the brand’s advanced Active Driver Assist feature, which is so good it rivals luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz in its capabilities.
Simply activate the adaptive cruise control and tap a button on the steering wheel to activate Active Driver Assist and navigate the Grand Cherokee L in drama-free fashion. Lane assist features keep the Jeep straight between lanes, braking and acceleration are smooth, and the Grand Cherokee closely monitors for potential lane interference. The Grand Cherokee will even navigate corners without a problem.
This four-wheel-drive Overland model achieves 18 miles per gallon city, 25 highway and 21 combined, which puts it in the middle of the pack in terms of fuel economy. Of the all-wheel-drive options, the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander both combined for a 23, while the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade matched the Jeep with a combined 21.
The base rear-wheel-drive Jeep Grand Cherokee L Laredo is priced at $38,635 plus $1,695 in destination charges. That’s slightly higher than average, considering the Kia Telluride costs $32,790, the Ford Explorer costs $32,925, and the new Nissan Pathfinder starts at $33,410. The old-but-related Dodge Durango starts at $32,962, while a V8 is available for about $47,000 — significantly less than the Hemi-powered Jeep, which starts at $58,290.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Review 2022
The Grand Cherokee L Overland starts at $55,135 with rear-wheel drive or $56,935 with all-wheel drive, while our tester topped out at $63,315 in post options (only about $7,000 below the maximum). The two most expensive additions are Advanced ProTech Group III and Luxury Tech Group IV,
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