2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
The customers have spoken. Jeep has delivered.
There had been calls for a modern three-row Jeep model by potential customers who found themselves going to other brands. Now, we have the three-row 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. It is not only a proper three-row mid-size SUV; it is also the first model of an all-new generation of one of Jeep’s popular models.
We wondered whether this new Grand Cherokee L will satisfy customers looking for that elusive three-row Jeep.
It does look the part as a three-row premium mid-size SUV. The grille is more upright with the trademark seven slots in chrome. It appears to be taller than before, while showing its extra length for the third row. The side glass profile matches the upright roofline, giving more light to the extended Grand Cherokee L. We also like the rear end with its slimmer horizontal taillights and large liftgate.
Our tester is the top-of-the-line Summit Reserve. It showed off a two-tone Silver Zynith paint job with a black contrasting roof. The 21-inch alloy wheels finish off this luxurious SUV’s design.
Inside is an exquisite interior for the Summit Reserve trim. The materials are soft, including the quilted leather on the seats. The instrumentation is now fully digital and highly customizable to match your needs. The controls and switches are tactile and logical. The center stack is crowned by a large 10.1-inch touchscreen for the Uconnect 5 infotainment system.
There are loads of room for six inside the Grand Cherokee L, including a set of captain’s chairs for the second row, providing easy access to the third row. While we praise the leather upholstery, the front seats are on the firm side. There are some bolstering to lock you in, but you somehow feel the framing of the seatback when you nestle in for the drive.
Cargo space starts with 17.2 cubic feet behind the third row. It is expandable to 46.9 cubic feet to the second row, ultimately giving you up to 84.6 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down. Our Summit Reserve tester is equipped with power third-row seats that lower and raise with a touch of a button. You can also lower the second row seats with a button, as well.
While there is a choice of engines for the Grand Cherokee L, our tester had the 290-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine. With a 6200-pound maximum towing rating, the V6 was strong enough to handle 5,086-pound three-row SUV through its daily routine. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels through its Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive system.
While it maintains a nice pace, the V6 never felt sluggish under load. Yet, it did return a fuel consumption average of 16.4 MPG under winter testing conditions.
The top-of-the-line Grand Cherokee L came with the Quadra-Lift air suspension that provided a smooth ride overall. It also provided ride height control that automatically adjusts itself depending on the drive mode the Grand Cherokee L is in. For Snow mode, the ride height is raised to compensate for deep snow and unplowed streets. Under cruising, the Grand Cherokee L maintains a lower ride height for improved aerodynamics.
Handling-wise, the Grand Cherokee has a lot of weight to maneuver. It does respond appropriately to evasive situations. The steering system felt just right – not soft not heavy. It can be precise, but it does take a lot of effort for tighter turns. We like the brake response from the pedal, giving the right amount of effort for a solid stop. It turned in some good stops in normal, panic, and winter situations.
Pricing for the Jeep Grand Cherokee L lineup starts from $39,200. You have a choice of six trim levels ranging from the Laredo to our Summit Reserve. Our tester came with a sticker price of $67,090.
Adding a three-row model makes the Grand Cherokee L more competitive with other family-oriented rivals. Those competitors include the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, GMC Acadia, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, Mazda CX-9, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Volkswagen Atlas.
Customers should be glad that Jeep delivered on a three-row SUV to their lineup. It was what they wanted all along. Considering how competitive this segment is, the Grand Cherokee L stands out by delivering the right amount of luxury to go along with its legend.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors