Car News

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Debuts with 3-Row Seating

Jeep today unveiled the redesigned 2021 Grand Cherokee SUV in an all-new three-row body style that will go on sale in Canada in the spring.

When it reaches dealers in the second quarter of this year, the Grand Cherokee L will mark the first six/seven-seat version of Jeep’s mid-size SUV with upscale aspirations. The L configuration also previews a new five-seat Grand Cherokee and a 4xe plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain that will arrive later in 2021 for the 2022 model year. For now, the new L will be sold alongside the existing Grand Cherokee design.

The new Grand Cherokee L will offer six or seven seats and carried-over 3.6L V6 and 5.7L V8 engines, which will be joined later by a version of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain recently launched in the Wrangler off-roader.

Jeep will also offer a range of four-wheel drive systems including base Quadra-Trac configurations and a more capable Quadra-Drive setup. All will have a front-axle disconnect system to engage front-wheel traction only when the rear wheels slip.

With the Grand Cherokee L, Jeep will primarily compete with mid- and full-size three-row SUVs from Ford (Explorer and Expedition), Chevrolet (Traverse and Tahoe), and Toyota (Highlander and Sequoia), along with the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade. It will also eclipse Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ only current three-row SUV, the aging Dodge Durango.

Laredo, Limited, Overland and Summit trim levels echo those of the current Grand Cherokee. Summit will gain new upscale features to better compete with luxury seven-seaters from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Land Rover, and Volvo. Those include massaging ventilated front seats with adjustable cushion length, real wood cabin trim, second-row captains’ chairs with console, dual-pane sunroof, and 360-degree cameras. Also new is a Summit Reserve package with ventilated rear seats, a McIntosh stereo, quilted leather, and 21-inch wheels.

All Grand Cherokee L trims will come with an 8.4-inch infotainment display (a 10.1-inch touch display will be optional) and a standard 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Also standard will be forward collision warning/intervention, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise, active lane management, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors.

In late 2021, Jeep says it will add a Level 2 automated driving system to the 2022 model's options list.

The Grand Cherokee L isn’t the first seven-seater in Jeep’s modern history. The Jeep Commander was a short-lived (2006-2010) attempt to expand the Grand Cherokee’s platform into three-row territory. What the Grand Cherokee L does differently is ride on a stretched wheelbase that should provide useful space for everyone.

Jeep will announce Grand Cherokee L pricing closer to its market launch.