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For a brand that took off with bare-bones military vehicles, it’s pretty wild to think that Jeep is also now a real competitor to the likes of Cadillac, Lincoln and Audi among many others. Yes, Jeep is a world-class luxury SUV provider, and the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit is proof of that.
Simply put, this jaded car reviewer just kept saying the same words over and over again after opening the front door: “Wow.” That’s because your eyes, and soon your hands, are treated to sumptuous materials across virtually every surface. The instrument panel is upholstered and has warm, natural wood details. The seats are upholstered in soft, quilted leather with contrast stitching. In this case, it’s black leather with brown stitching, but gray and saddle brown leather options are available. The optional McIntosh speakers have polished metal grilles with illuminated logos that match the other metal accents well, and the giant touchscreen is beautifully integrated, bridging the top of the dash with the center.
Things get better when you get your hands on the controls and surfaces. The home button has an elegant textured edge that gives it a sense of place. The shift knob is a heavy, cool piece of metal with a machined checkered texture around the edge. It’s flanked by additional metal controls that adjust ride height and change ride modes, and they’re just as substantial and pleasant to use. While the climate controls and stereo controls aren’t as eventful in their action, they are, thankfully, physical buttons and dials, making adjustments to these functions quick and easy. And speaking of climate control, it’s a four-zone automatic system.
The infotainment system is equally impressive. The graphics are sharp and very readable. The 10.1-inch screen, standard on the Summit, provides large, easy-to-tap icons, and it’s generally responsive. However, it takes a few moments for everything to load on startup. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included along with navigation. The standard sound system is no slouch with more than 500 watts of power, nine speakers and a subwoofer. But if you’ve got the scratch, we recommend the optional and incredible-sounding McIntosh sound system. It even has a neat feature in its blue-backlit virtual VU meters that can pop up on the infotainment screen, just like you’d find on the company’s home hi-fi system. The Summit also gets a 10.25-inch digital instrument display that’s chock full of information, should you want to see it, and has unobtrusive graphics like the infotainment screen. An optional head-up display is available, which is useful enough that you might not even look at the large instrument panel much. Again, the head-up display comes with night vision when added with our tester’s Advanced ProTech Group IV package, so you may still be able to use it.
Seating in the Summit is quite feature-rich. In addition to the beautiful leather, the front seats have heating and ventilation, massage and 12-way power adjustment with memory. Nappa leather is standard, but our test model came with Palermo leather, which is probably better. The second row gets heaters along with slide and tilt adjustments, but that’s not unusual. However, the possibility of ventilation is and is included in the Summit Reserve Group package. However, the cushioning is a bit firm in both rows and they don’t have much shape. As such, it could get a bit tiresome after a few hours on the road. Head, leg and shoulder room are certainly not lacking in any of the rows.
But of course those aren’t the only lines to talk about. The Grand Cherokee L is the first in the line to offer a third row of seats. Access is quite easy thanks to the reclining and sliding seats in the second row. Accommodations are quite tight. Adults can squeeze back there, but don’t want to stay because of the cramped knee room and position close to the floor. Still, it’s better than some three-row options like the Infiniti QX60 and Mercedes GLE-Class.
The cargo area is useful regardless of how many seats are raised. Behind the third row is 17.2 cubic feet, which is about average for the segment. That expands to 46.9 with the third row weight and 84.6 with both rows down.
For all its luxury, the Jeep Grand Cherokee L has a luxury price tag. It starts at $62,095 including destination. Our model, with four-wheel drive, McIntosh sound system, head-up display, ventilated rear seats, night vision and more came to $67,090. If you’re feeling particularly flashy, there’s a step above our test Summit: the Summit Reserve, which starts at $66,575. That pricing puts it on par with rivals from Audi, Lincoln, Land Rover and Mercedes. Arguably less comfortable seats aside, the Jeep’s interior is as nice if not better than all of them.
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