By KBB.com

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee LThe new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is 15.1 inches longer than the current Grand Cherokee, and it has a wheelbase stretched by seven inches. This allows the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L to comfortably accommodate three rows of seats. Equipped with the standard center-row captain’s chairs, the new Grand Cherokee L seats six. With an optional center bench in place, this new Grand Cherokee L seats seven.

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee L has a stout unit-body structure with rugged subframes for the engine and suspension. With all-new vehicle architecture and multilink rear suspension, the Cherokee L is similar in size to the 3-row Dodge Durango, which is 3.7 inches shorter than the Cherokee L.

Chrysler’s familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 powers all the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L models, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is optional in the top two models, working with the same 8-speed. Rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and 4-wheel-drive (4WD) versions are available in each of the four trim levels.

While we see the Grand Cherokee L primarily being used as a luxurious family hauler, it does appear to have some off-road chops. When ordered with Quadra-Lift air suspension, the Cherokee L has a 30.1-degree approach angle, a 23.6-degree departure angle, and a 22.6-degree breakover angle. You can also order an Overland model with an Off-road package that includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential and steel skidplates for the fuel tank, transfer case, underbody, and front suspension.

Look for the new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L to compete with the likes of the Ford Explorer, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, and Honda Pilot.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Pricing

Pricing for the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee starts at $36,995, plus a $1,695 destination charge. You’ll pay $2,000 for 4-wheel drive. For $43,995, you can get a Grand Cherokee L Limited, which adds heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power liftgate.

The luxury features (and prices) rise as you climb the Grand Cherokee L mountain. The Overland model, with the dual-range Quadra-Trac II 4WD system, a premium navigation system, and an available off-road package that includes skidplates and an electronic limited-slip rear differential, starts at $52,995.

At the top of the mountain is the fittingly named Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit. With quilted Nappa leather, oak interior trim, heated and cooled 16-way-adjustable seats with massage, and a 360-degree surround-view camera. The Summit Reserve, with Palermo leather, open-pore walnut trim, 21-inch alloy wheels, and the 19-speaker McIntosh audio system, starts at $61,995.

Driving The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

KBB sampled a Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve, a super luxurious 4X4 model equipped with the 3.6-liter V6, an 8-speed automatic transmission, a quilted Palermo leather interior, air suspension, and 21-inch alloy wheels.

Even though this big, new 3-row Jeep SUV tips the scales at a substantial 5,068 pounds, the 293-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 feels up to the task, providing smooth acceleration around town and relaxed cruising on the highway, where 70 mph equates to a relaxed 1,800 rpm.

This Jeep is quiet and roomy, and the view out the front is excellent. It has an in-command — but not overly high driving — position, and the heated and cooled quilted leather seats prove to be both supportive and comfortable on long stints. Items you touch — such as knurled metal rotary knob of the gear selector, the thick-rim steering wheel, and even the open-pore walnut trim — all have a high-quality feel.

We have no complaints about the Grand Cherokee L’s steering or brakes, and the atmosphere inside the cabin is impressively quiet, a great environment in which to enjoy the Summit Reserve’s superb 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. There’s 4-zone automatic climate control, and headroom and legroom abound in the first two rows. The third row is a little tight for a pair of full-size adults, but it’s passable for short trips.

There are five selectable driving modes (Sport, Auto, Snow, Sand/Mud, Rock) in the new Grand Cherokee L, but Auto, the default setting, works just fine in most situations. The Quadra-Lift air suspension, standard on the Overland and Summit models, delivers a comfortable and well-controlled ride while offering up to an extra 4.2 inches of chassis lift. This allows the new Grand Cherokee to ford water that’s up to 24 inches deep, which is four inches more than the previous Grand Cherokee could manage. The max ground clearance is 8.5 inches with the standard suspension and 10.9 inches with the air suspension in its highest setting.

In short, we’re impressed. While we look forward to driving the 5.7-liter V8 model (which bumps the max tow capacity from 6,200 pounds to 7,200), the new 2021 Grand Cherokee L shines as a luxurious people-hauler that also has the outstanding off-road abilities we’ve come to expect of Jeep.

Interior Comfort

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L looks sophisticated and handcrafted inside, with an instrument panel angled away from the driver for added spaciousness. The 10.25-inch digital gauge display and 10.1-inch screen for the Uconnect 5 infotainment system are both beautifully integrated into the dash.

Cloth seat upholstery is standard on the Laredo model; all other Grand Cherokee L models get leather. The top Summit model features perforated Nappa leather with quilted bolsters, which look especially luxurious when complemented by the attractive open-pore wood trim.

A metal gearshift dial is on the Grand Cherokee L’s center console, and paddles behind the steering wheel allow drivers to upshift or downshift without taking their hands off the steering wheel.

There’s 39.8 inches of headroom in the Grand Cherokee L’s first row, with 39.9 in the second and 37.3 in the 2-seat rearmost bench, which splits 50/50 and folds flat. The 3rd row, with only 30.3 inches of legroom, is best suited for kids or petite adults.

Behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee L’s rear bench, there’s 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s enough for a grocery run. Behind the second row, it has 46.9 cubic feet. With the second and third rows folded, the Cherokee L has 84.6 cubic feet of cargo room. For comparison, the Ford Explorer has 18.2 cubic feet behind its 3rd row and 87.8 cubic feet with both back rows folded.

Also notable: The Overland and Summit models are available with a premium McIntosh audio system with a 17-channel amplifier and 19 speakers. All to accentuate the premium feel of the Grand Cherokee L’s new interior design, says Jeep.

Exterior Styling

The first Jeep Grand Cherokee came out in 1992, and the new Grand Cherokee L seeks to build on that legacy. Mark Allen, boss at Jeep Exterior Design, explains: “The Jeep design team envisioned a modern aesthetic for the all-new 2021 Grand Cherokee L – they worked to sculpt it down and gave it a clean and updated premium appearance tailored for today’s customer. The design for the first-ever 3-row Grand Cherokee pays respect to its heritage and honors its utilitarian roots. The results reflect its premium characteristics, contemporary style, and legendary capability that has defined the Grand Cherokee since its inception.”

In addition to proportions inspired by the original Wagoneer, notable styling details include a lean profile, a long hood, a low beltline, and slim LED headlights that add a welcome technical look. The front fascia also is larger than on previous Grand Cherokees.

The Overland model is available with a gloss-black roof, which is standard on the Summit models.

Favorite Features

QUADRA-DRIVE II
This 2-speed transfer case, standard on the top Grand Cherokee L Summit model and available on the Overland, immediately senses tire slip and directs power to the tire(s) with better traction, aided by an electronic limited-slip rear differential.

QUADRA-LIFT AIR SUSPENSION
Standard on the Overland and Summit, Quadra-Lift has five height settings that can lower the Cherokee L 1.8 inches for easier ingress/egress or raise it by up to 4.2 inches for better off-roading. There’s also an Aero mode that lowers the Cherokee L by 0.8 inches for more efficient highway cruising.

Standard Features

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee L is available in four trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit. All have a 3.6-liter V6 and an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. RWD and 4WD models are available, and there are three different 4WD systems. Moreover, all of the new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ls have a remarkably thorough safety suite, which includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning, and trailer sway control.

If you order a Grand Cherokee L Laredo, it comes with Quadra-Trac I, a single-range 4WD system, along with 18-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, and a cloth interior. Other standard Laredo fare includes a power driver’s seat, a digital gauge cluster, a manual liftgate, LED headlights, 2nd-row captain’s chairs, adaptive cruise control, and the Uconnect 5 infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and 12 USB ports.

The Grand Cherokee L Limited ups the luxury quotient with leather upholstery, heated power front seats (with lumbar), a power liftgate, and the Select-Terrain traction management system (with five settings). The Limited also has a heated steering wheel, a remote start system, heated side mirrors with supplemental turn signals, and automatic high-beam headlights.

As an Overland model, the 2021 Jeep Cherokee L gets the Quadra-Trac II transfer case with high- and low-range gearing. This off-road-focused but luxurious Cherokee L also gets Quadra-Lift air suspension with active electronic damping, plus hill-descent control and front tow hooks. In addition to premium LED headlights and a navigation system, the Overland model gets 20-inch alloy wheels, a dual-pane sunroof, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, a black roof rack with a stainless insert, a Nappa leather interior, and a 9-speaker Alpine audio system. Of note, the Overland’s 2nd-row “tip and slide” captain’s chairs (or optional center bench) have a remote electric release in the cargo area, plus a 3rd-row bench with a power fold-flat feature.

The Grand Cherokee L Summit builds on the Overland with Quadra-Drive II, a dual-range 4WD system that features an electronic limited-slip rear differential. The Summit, which has a gloss-black roof, is the most luxurious Grand Cherokee L, thanks in part to its Nappa leather interior with quilted bolsters, massaging front seats, 4-zone automatic climate control, and 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. Also standard on the Summit is a 2nd-row floor console with illuminated cupholders, a 360-degree surround-view camera, and Active Driving Assist, which uses the adaptive cruise control and active lane-centering to lessen the strain of highway driving, but only with the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.

Factory Options

A 2nd-row bench seat is an option on all 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L models. This raises the seating capacity from 6 to 7. The Laredo base model can be ordered with the Lux Tech Group I, which includes heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power liftgate, a wireless charging pad, and a remote start system.

The Grand Cherokee L Limited is available with a dual-pane sunroof, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a tow package, plus a Lux Tech Group II option grouping that includes a digital rearview mirror, a power tilt/telescope steering wheel, a wireless charging pad, a surround-view camera, and the Intersection Collision Assist system.

The 5.7-liter V8 engine becomes available at the Overland level, along with Quadra-Drive II, a gloss-black roof, and a few other option packages. The Advanced ProTech Group I includes a head-up display and a night vision system, while the Lux Tech Group II has massaging front seats, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and 4-zone automatic climate control.

Jeep fans will be pleased to learn that the Overland model is available with an Off-road Group. It’s highlighted by an electronic limited-slip rear differential and skidplates for the fuel tank, transfer case, underbody, and front suspension. This particular Grand Cherokee L gets Jeep’s Trail Rated badge.

The 5.7-liter V8 also is optional on the Summit, along with an Advance ProTech Group II that includes a head-up display and night vision. If you order the Summit Reserve Package, you get seats covered in premium Palermo leather, together with open-pore walnut trim, a suede headliner, massaging front seats, 21-inch alloy wheels, and a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.

The Overland and the Summit, in RWD form, are available with Trailer-tow Group II, which is standard on the 4WD versions. The package includes a Class IV hitch receiver, a 4- and 7-pin wiring harness, and load-leveling rear suspension.

Engine & Transmission

The standard engine in all four 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee models is Chrysler’s familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The fuel-saving engine stop/start system has been refined to minimize the number of starts and stops related to minor movements of the throttle, and active engine mounts are now used to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness.

Also notable: The 3.6-liter V6 mounts about 1.5 inches lower in the new chassis. This lowers the center of gravity and improves this Jeep’s cornering ability. It also helps the Jeep pass pedestrian-impact tests in Europe, as it gives the hood more room to flex downward upon impact. As a result of the lower engine, though, an axle shaft on the 4WD models now must pass through the new cast-aluminum oil pan.

Max towing capacity with the 3.6 peaks at 6,200 pounds and at 7,200 for the V8. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L, with a 23-gallon fuel tank and the V6, has a driving range of nearly 600 miles.

Looking for more power? Order the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which is optional in the Overland and Summit models. It puts out 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, which gives the new Grand Cherokee L a max tow capacity of 7,200 pounds. This engine benefits from cylinder deactivation, which shuts down four cylinders on the highway to improve fuel economy.

Further improving fuel economy is a new front-axle disconnect system. If the Grand Cherokee L senses that the road conditions do not require 4WD, the front axle disconnects automatically, placing the vehicle in RWD to improve fuel economy. Four-wheel drive automatically re-engages when necessary.

Three types of 4WD systems are available in the new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

Quadra-Trac I, standard on the Laredo and Limited models, is a full-time single-speed 4WD system. Quadra-Trac II, standard on the Overland, is an active 4WD system with a 2-speed transfer case and hill-descent control. Quadra-Drive II, standard on the Summit, also has high and low ranges, but includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential. If you order the Off-Road Group on the Overland model, it comes with Quadra-Drive II.

Of note, the 3.6-liter 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L has the same EPA fuel efficiency as a standard 3.6-liter Grand Cherokee, returning 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway in 2WD form and 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway with 4WD.

The 2021 5.7-liter Jeep Grand Cherokee L, available only with 4WD, is rated by the EPA at 14 mpg city/22 mpg highway.

3.6-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
257 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19 mpg/26 mpg (RWD), 18 mpg/25 mpg (4WD)

5.7-liter V8
357 horsepower @ 5,150 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14 mpg/22 mpg (4WD)


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