Sampling The Newest Three-Row Mid-Size SUVs: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L and 2022 Nissan Pathfinder
As families continue to flock to SUVs, two new mid-size models have arrived at their respective showrooms. While they have taken two different approaches to the same formula, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L and the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder are making their presence known in this highly competitive field.
We experienced both SUVs at a recent media event near Chicago. The opportunity to take both new mid-size three-row SUVs on a short suburban test loop gave us a glimpse at what you are shopping for right now.
The introduction of the 2021 Grand Cherokee L is not just start of a new generation of Jeep’s popular mid-size SUV – there will a two-row version that will roll out for 2022. It is part of the iconic brand’s 80thanniversary. The new generation Grand Cherokee L takes on a more upmarket design approach from the outgoing model. The exterior is more upright, including the grille area. Taillights appear to be thinner, along with a less rakish “floating” roofline.
The cabin of our Overland example was nothing short of luxurious. Seating was comfortable and there is plenty of room behind the front row. Third-row passengers have easy access from the rear doors. There is a clean 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a new 10.1-inch infotainment screen.
The Grand Cherokee L comes with a. choice of a 3.6-liter V6 or a 5.7-liter V8. Our example had the latter, putting out 357 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission and the Quadra-Trac II driveline - one of three four-wheel drive systems available on the Grand Cherokee L .
The Overland model is one of the two most luxurious trim levels available on the Grand Cherokee L. The example we drove came with a sticker price of $67,210. However, pricing starts at $38,635.
The new 2022 Pathfinder is a part of the Nissan Next program that has seen its entire lineup revamped and improved. In contrast to the outgoing model, the new Pathfinder went for a more useful and bolder look that features a shorter rear overhand and a taller profile inside and out.
The Pathfinder is powered by a 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. The biggest change comes with a new nine-speed automatic transmission, replacing the continuously variable transmission on the previous model. If you choose the all-wheel drive system, there are now seven drive and terrain modes available.
Inside, the Pathfinder’s cabin follows the same design language seen in the compact Rogue. Our SL example came with a 12.3-inch digital dashboard and a nine-inch infotainment screen. We found the seats were very comfortable and supportive with space for up to seven. There are now Pathfinder models with newly-available captain’s chairs for the second row, along with an easier-to-use single button for third-row access.
While the Pathfinder lineup starts at $33,410, our SL example with front-wheel drive came with a sticker price of $45,795.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L and 2022 Nissan Pathfinder enter into a market ripe with eager customers looking for something for their families to enjoy. The segment already offers a solid choice of competitors that are often compared to these two new entrants. These competitors include the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Subaru Ascent, Mazda CX-9, and Honda Pilot.
Of course, we only had a few moments with both vehicles. Hopefully in the next several months we will get a chance to thoroughly test these two vehicles for a more in depth review.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors