2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

By Larry Nutson
Senior editor and bureau chief
Chicago Bureau

Celebrating 80 years of technological innovation and leadership in 4×4, the Jeep brand last summer introduced the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L – a premium utility vehicle that, for the first time in the vehicle’s history, now offers three rows of seats.

Consider this. Seventy percent of sales in the mid-size commercial vehicle segment are three-row models. Yes, many families want space for a car, whether it’s their own or their own friends.

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I’ve been fortunate, thanks to Jeep, to have several driving experiences with the new Grand Cherokee L. Back last July, I joined an in-person product launch hosted by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). Scott Tallon, Director, Jeep Brand Product Marketing – North America provides a full overview of the all-new 2021 Grand Cherokee L. Not long after, I spent a week driving a V6-powered Summit Reserve 4X4 model.

Following this, in early October I participated in MAMA’s 2021 Rally held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Here, I would not only once again learn more from Jeep about the new Grand Cherokee L, but had the opportunity to drive it on a technical off-road course designed by and under the guidance of off-road experts from the Jeep Jamboree team.

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Most recently I drove a 2021 Overland 4X4 model powered by the 5.7-L V8. This drive was around the streets of Chicago where I make my home. Good luck with some Jeep-friendly weather in the form of 6 inches of snow.

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The Overland is equipped with all-season off-road tires that have a more aggressive tread pattern that is well suited for better grip in snow and other soft road conditions such as dirt, mud and sand.

The Grand Cherokee L follows the same trim offerings as the Grand Cherokee. Along with the aforementioned Summit and Overland trims are the Laredo and Limited trims. Likewise, standard is a 283-hp 3.6-L V-6 with 260 lb-ft of torque. Optional on the Overland 4X4 and Summit 4X4 is a 357-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 390 lbs.-ft. of torque. Both engines are connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

EPA fuel economy ratings are 19 city mpg and 26 highway mpg for V6 4X2 models. The V6 4X4 models get one mpg less in each. V8-powered models are rated at 14 city mpg and 22 highway mpg.

Underneath the Grand Cherokee L is an all-new unibody architecture that is stiffer through the use of more high-strength steel and uses more aluminum components to save weight. The new “L” is 15 inches longer than the 2-row Grand Cherokee that has been around for a while and will continue. Both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive are offered.

Three all-wheel drive systems are offered, depending on model: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited-slip differential. Independent front and rear suspension with available Quadra-Lift air suspension that raises the vehicle approximately 4.2 inches along with adaptive damping provides a fine balance of on-road ride comfort and off-road capability.

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Up front is a new, forward-pointing seven-slot grill and an aggressive front approach angle. The side profile is very traditional Jeep with slightly square, trapezoidal wheel arches. A bright trim piece starts at the A-pillar, runs along the top of the greenhouse, wraps over the rear hatch and returns to the opposite A-pillar. Stylish and slim rear lights lift up the rear.

The Laredo model has a starting price in the US of $36,995. The Limited costs $43,995, the Overland at $52,995 and the Summit at $56,995. The destination fee is an additional $1,695. Add $2,000 for 4X4.

All trims come standard with six-passenger seats equipped with manually folding “tip and slide” second-row bucket seats and a 50/50 split-folding third-row seat. An optional second-row bench is available for $695 to provide seating for seven.

The center console curves gracefully around the driver and front passenger. There is easy access to knobs, switches and the well-placed touchscreen.

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Technologies include the most advanced Uconnect system ever with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, windshield Head-up Display (HUD), digital rearview mirror, frameless digital cluster, rear-seat surveillance camera and an exclusive and premium McIntosh 950-watt, 19-speaker sound system.

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This is McIntosh Labs debut appearance in a vehicle. Benefiting from the ultimate in home audio audiophiles, McIntosh Laboratories’ luxury reference sound system is now making itself known. The sound from the nineteen speakers is wonderful.

The Grand Cherokee L is equipped with more than 110 advanced safety and security features, including the L2 driver assistance system with hands-on automated driving, along with 360-degree surround and night vision cameras. Jeep says an advanced L2 hands-free automated driving system will be available in late 2021 on the 2022 Grand Cherokee L.

For 2022, the Grand Cherokee L gets a newly available front passenger touchscreen as well as available dual rear seat entertainment touchscreens and Amazon Fire TV for Auto.

The Overland 4×4 I drove had plenty of performance from the 357 horsepower under the hood. But all this speed comes at a cost in terms of fuel consumption. Overland has refined performance, a good balance between ride and handling and first-class comfort. Even though it’s 204.9 inches long, it drives like it’s smaller. I did note that the trade-off for the more aggressive tread pattern was a bit more noise from the tires when driving on pavement. The off-road tires performed really well in snow and better than a normal street. For those who live in the mountains, it may be the right choice.

An available all-terrain package for the Overland 4×4 model provides Trail Rated performance and includes high-strength steel skid plates, electronic rear axle with limited-slip differential, 18-inch aluminum wheels and rugged tires with all-season performance.

Trailer rating is 6,200 lbs. for V6 and 7,200 lbs. for the V8. That’s 17.2 cu.ft. cargo space behind the third row. Fold it down and you get 46.9 cu.ft. Fold both rows of seats and 84.6 cu.ft. is yours to fill.

More information and details on the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L can be found at www.jeep.com.

Following the introduction of the all-new and restyled Grand Cherokee L, Jeep has updated the two-row five-passenger Grand Cherokee to follow suit for 2022. Now in its fifth generation, the Grand Cherokee features an all-new architecture, new plug-in hybrid powertrain, all-new exterior design and brand new interior. The first electrified Grand Cherokee 4xe and a new ultimate off-road Grand Cherokee, the new Trailhawk further expands the Jeep model range.

Good luck with your driving! Or maybe it’s trail riding!

© 2022 Larry Nutson, Chicago Car Guy

Facebook comments: From Paul Brian; Because size matters — Jeep shows its new long-wheelbase 2023 Grand Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L unveiled at the #newyorkautoshow. The new models feature an all-new Hurricane twin-turbo engine, plus 12” extra length to provide unmatched comfort and cargo space. Also added: a new carbide trim, with a darkened design. I thought it was big when I ran the standard length unit. This one may need two zip codes.

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