The Jeep Grand Cherokee is considered one of the hottest SUVs obtainable immediately, and for good purpose. Not solely does it look nice, this rugged car supplies immense off-road functionality, a coddling cabin and loads of refinement. Accordingly, at any time when Jeep redesigns this mountain goat, it is huge information. And for 2021, that is very true, since the newly minted Grand Cherokee L is pumped up in stature and now comes with a regular third-row seat.

The addition of that new bench permits the Grand Cherokee L to seat as much as seven folks (a six-passenger configuration is obtainable, too), vastly rising its versatility. And this third row is not just a few kids-only zone — life-sized adults match with loads of house for knees and noggins, and the backside cushion is an honest top above the flooring. Of course, the second-row chairs are even nicer to plunk your bottom down on and the outboard ones tip up and slide for simpler entry to these rearmost seats.

To accommodate a 3rd row, the L is 15.1 inches longer than the outgoing normal Grand Cherokee and the wheelbase has been stretched by 7 inches, alterations that contribute to the car’s longroof look. Naturally, should you do not want further seats or favor a extra manageable car, Jeep will provide a conventional two-row model, but it surely will not arrive till later this yr.

It’s debatable whether or not the new Grand Cherokee L is extra engaging than its predecessor. The L’s gaping decrease air consumption and curiously angled grille look unusual, particularly on a physique that is in any other case cleanly styled and good-looking. Matching these recent appears to be like, the 2021 Grand Cherokee L is constructed on a brand new versatile structure, a unibody construction comprised of greater than 60% high-strength metal, which supplies this off-roader an nearly unyielding spine. To scale back weight, the car’s closures, like the hood and liftgate, are manufactured from aluminum.

I’m not completely offered on the Grand Cherokee L’s exterior styling, however designers knocked it out of the park with this Jeep’s inside. The structure, supplies, consolation and tech are all primo. The range-topping Summit mannequin comes with beautiful Nappa leather-based or super-premium Palermo cow hides should you nab the Summit Reserve package deal. You also can get stunning open-pore wooden accents and even Berber flooring mats. A well-recognized rotary shifter is normal tools, although its steel development and artfully milled edges make this dial really feel like a chunk of jewellery. A suede-like headliner is obtainable, too, as is a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. In higher-end fashions, this Jeep’s inside is luxury-car good, sufficient to provide autos like the Acura MDX and Lincoln Aviator a run for his or her cash.

This inside rivals these of some luxurious vehicles.

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The Grand Cherokee L’s symmetrical dashboard arcs from door to door, bringing to thoughts a fowl’s outstretched wings. In the center is both an 8.4- or 10.1-inch touchscreen, each of that are house to the Android-powered Uconnect 5 infotainment system. With fairly graphics and a great deal of performance, this multimedia array is straightforward to make use of and supposedly 5 occasions quicker than its predecessor. A ten.3-inch digital instrument cluster is bundled at no further cost and you’ll even get evening imaginative and prescient.

Standard security tech contains computerized emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping help, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go functionality. Active Driving Assist, principally adaptive cruise with lane centering, is out there on Overland fashions and normal on the Summit trim. This hands-on system works phenomenally, holding the Jeep locked in its lane and adeptly various velocity based mostly on visitors situations. Capacitive sensors in the steering-wheel rim know should you’ve received a hand on the wheel or not, popping up an orange warning in the instrument cluster if you do not have a minimum of a pair fingers making contact. Taking issues a step additional, Hands-Free Active Driving Assist will likely be supplied in the 2022 mannequin yr. This ought to perform like GM’s wonderful Super Cruise system, offering hands-free comfort on accredited motorways.

Along with a two-row variant, an electrified model of the Grand Cherokee is below growth, too. But for now, the Grand Cherokee L is obtainable with two pleasant and acquainted engines. If you are well-versed in the Stellantis powertrain lineup, nothing right here will shock you. The base providing is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. It delivers a decent 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, sufficient pork and beans to permit this SUV to tow as much as 6,200 kilos. As easy and quiet as ever, this bent-six supplies sufficient oomph for many prospects in regular diving, even when it does not make the Grand Cherokee L really feel notably vigorous.

Both a 3.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8 are supplied.

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Of course, should you want extra gusto, a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is on the menu, too. Smooth, spirited and supremely sonorous, it supplies a 357-horse stampede and 390 lb-ft of twist, sufficient for this SUV to pull 7,200 kilos. If you do not thoughts the added value — each up entrance and at the gasoline pump — that is the powerplant to get.

Rounding out the Grand Cherokee L’s drivetrain is a regular eight-speed computerized transmission. Engineers have years of expertise with this gearbox and its tuning is nearly good. The transmission shifts shortly and seamlessly, plus it is greater than prepared to drop a couple of gears when you have to boogie. Torque will get routed by way of this cog-swapper to both the rear wheels or considered one of three totally different four-wheel-drive techniques.

A V6-powered Grand Cherokee L with rear-wheel drive is EPA-rated at 19 mpg metropolis and 26 mpg freeway. Combined, anticipate 21 mpg. Opting for four-wheel drive reduces the first two figures by 1 mpg every, although the mixed ranking is unchanged. Hemi-powered Grand Cherokees, which come normal with four-wheel drive, are rated at 14 mpg metropolis, 22 freeway and 17 mpg mixed.

Uconnect 5 appears to be like nice on the elective 10.1-inch touchscreen.

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This Jeep’s on-road efficiency is admirable. Acceleration is brisk, particularly with the Hemi. And because of a spread of NVH enhancements — issues like acoustic glass, particular door seals and enhanced lively noise cancellation — the Grand Cherokee L’s inside is all the time serene. The obtainable air suspension enhances dynamics and improves off-road efficiency by permitting the physique to be raised a number of inches. The car’s trip high quality is tender, even when fitted with 21-inch clodhoppers that are available the $3,000 Summit Reserve Group choices package deal, but physique roll is minimal when pushed by way of corners. The steering is mild however moderately exact, which makes the Grand Cherokee L really feel smaller than it really is.

Off highway, this three-row SUV is a Jeep by way of and thru, an extremely succesful mountain goat regardless of its cumbersome dimensions. Properly geared up fashions have as much as 10.9 inches of floor clearance and may drive by way of a powerful 24 inches of water. This SUV’s off-road geometry is praiseworthy, too. Speaking in most figures, the strategy angle is 30.1 levels, breakover angle 22.6 and its departure measurement clocks in at 23.6 levels.

Of the three obtainable four-wheel-drive techniques, Quadra-Drive II is the most superior. It features a two-speed switch case and an electronically locking rear differential. If slippage is detected, this technique can robotically redistribute torque to the wheels with extra traction. Quadra-Drive II is out there on Overland fashions and normal on the Summit trim.

Yep, it is a Jeep alright.

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Crashing over rocks on a very gnarly part of off-road course at Stellantis’ Chelsea, Michigan proving floor makes me respect the obtainable high-strength metal skid plates, which protect delicate underbody componentry from tough terrain. Bashing into and scraping alongside boulders causes me to wince in ache, although the spotters by no means bat an eye fixed and neither does the Grand Cherokee L. Helping tailor this SUV’s habits to numerous situations, the Selec-Terrain traction-management system has 5 modes: auto, sport, rock, snow and dust/sand. Hill-descent management robotically checks the Grand Cherokee L’s velocity, even in reverse.

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is assembled in Detroit and goes on sale this month. It will likely be supplied in 4 trim ranges: Laredo, Limited, Overland and Summit. Of course, that is simply the begin till there is a Trackhawk mannequin or a plug-in hybrid variant or no matter else Jeep’s engineers could also be cooking up.

An entry-level, rear-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee L begins at $38,690 together with $1,695 in supply charges. Opt for four-wheel drive and you will be spending a further $2,000. My V6-powered Summit tester checks out for a hefty $66,275, a determine padded by the $1,995 Advanced ProfessionalTech Group, the $245 Luxury Tech Group, a shimmering Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat paint job for $345 and, in fact, the dear Summit Reserve package deal. That’s a variety of hard-earned scratch to spend, however because of the Grand Cherokee L’s refinement, functionality and luxurious inside, that determine isn’t unreasonable, particularly in comparison with a few of its luxurious competitors.

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