Jeep Introduces All-New Three-Row Grand Cherokee L

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - January 7, 2021

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the few midsize SUVs that manages to be both luxurious and highly capable when it comes to off-roading. For roughly 10 long years, the Grand Cherokee has remained the same. Against newer competitors, especially those with three rows of seats, it just doesn’t have the mustard to cut it anymore. While we were all expecting the upcoming Grand Wagoneer to be Jeep’s only three-row option, the automaker pulled a surprising move by introducing the new, fifth-gen Grand Cherokee. More importantly, it’s available in a Grand Cherokee L model that can seat up to seven.

If you’re not interested in a three-row Grand Cherokee, don’t fret. The fifth-gen SUV will also be available in a regular two-row model. Unfortunately, Jeep is only talking about the three-row Grand Cherokee L at the moment. We should have more information on the two-row model later this year, closer to when the SUV is launched.

Compared to the current Grand Cherokee, the all-new Grand Cherokee L has a wheelbase that’s roughly seven inches longer. The lengthier wheelbase ensures the Grand Cherokee L has an accommodating third row that’s easy to access. Passengers in the rear get 30.3 inches of legroom and 37.3 inches of headroom, which is competitive for the midsize segment. Cargo space behind the rear seats measures in at 17.2 cubic feet of space. Folding the third row expands cargo space to 46.9 cubic feet. In total, the Grand Cherokee L will be able to hold up to 84.6 cubic feet of cargo.

The design of the fifth-gen Grand Cherokee has some design elements of the old Grand Wagoneer, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. The floating-roof design is especially noteworthy, helping the SUV look far more upscale than the current SUV on sale. The interior has also been given a major design overhaul with more luxurious touches. The cabin can be fitted with metal trim, open-pore wood accents, “hand-wrapped” and quilted Palermo leather, and a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Jeep’s new Uconnect 5 infotainment system will be controlled via an available 10.1-inch touchscreen. Lower trims come with an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Both have wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Every Grand Cherokee L comes with a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster that can display 24 different menus. The three-row SUV will come with a variety of standard safety features including automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist. Jeep claims an “advanced hands-free L2 automated driving system” will be offered toward the end of the year.

While the Grand Cherokee L looks great, you’ll find the same engines underneath the more angular hood. A 290-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 is standard, while a 387-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 will be available. Both come with an eight-speed automatic, with the V8 being rated to tow up to 7,200 pounds. Jeep’s four-wheel-drive systems remain the same, too, with Quadra-Trac I and Quadra-Trac II being available. One new feature the Grand Cherokee L has is a front-axle disconnect system that will automatically put the SUV into two-wheel drive if it senses four-wheel drive isn’t needed.

Seeing the same engines on the new Grand Cherokee L is a bit of a disappointment. But Jeep is expected to introduce a plug-in hybrid model before the end of the year. High-performance SRT models are also expected, but those could just be available with the two-row layout.

Jeep claims the three-row Grand Cherokee L is still a capable off-roader and we have plenty of reason to believe that claim. The SUV has a ride height of 8.5 inches, but can grow to be 10.2 inches tall with the Quadra-Lift air suspension system. When in its tallest setting, the SUV can ford through 24 inches of water.

Jeep’s decision to offer the Grand Cherokee L as a three-row SUV may seem confusing, especially with the Grand Wagoneer on the horizon. We expect both of these SUVs to thrive on the market, though. SUVs are incredibly popular and having more options certainly won’t hurt Jeep. Additionally, the two SUVs will be entirely different vehicles. The Grand Cherokee L is expected to start around $40,000, while the Grand Wagoneer will be far more expensive with fully-loaded models expected to hit six figures. The platforms will also be different, as the Grand Cherokee L utilizes a unibody construction, while the Grand Wagoneer uses a body-on-frame design.

The three-row Grand Cherokee L should arrive at dealers later this spring. It will be sold alongside the current Grand Cherokee. The new two-row Grand Cherokee will be introduced before the end of the year.

Learn more about the current Grand Cherokee on sale now »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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