On the Highway evaluate: Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Again in November, Jim Morrison, Jeep’s model supervisor for Stellantis/FCA, got here to New England to unveil the 4 new merchandise rolling into dealerships. Headlining his program for New England auto writers have been the all-new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer full-size SUVs, adopted by the Wrangler 4Xe hybrid and what might finally be the best-selling newcomer of all—this week’s Grand Cherokee L.

Jeep has been lacking from the three-row part of the SUV/crossover phase and now has three entries arriving on the similar time. In recognition of the significance of this area of interest market, the Grand Cherokee L debuts forward of the common two-row midsize Grand Cherokee, which can be in showrooms as you learn this. The GC L is an instantaneous competitor to Ford’s Explorer, Chevy’s Traverse, Kia’s Telluride and Hyundai Palisade, in addition to Dodge’s Durango. In reality, Durango followers (and sellers) could also be considering that the GC L will quickly substitute the Durango within the Stellantis portfolio. Morrison argued that this isn’t the case.

The complete Grand Cherokee platform is up to date with larger size and width within the chassis, for higher driving dynamics, whereas retaining its off-road capabilities with three variations of Quadra-powered all-wheel drive – together with a brand new all-wheel drive format. The GC L stretches to 205 inches (11 inches longer than the usual two-row GC), which is 5 inches longer than the Explorer and Durango, 8 inches greater than the Telluride/Palisade duo, and 10 inches longer than the Toyota Highlander. It is noticeable in each rear seat area and third-row seating, plus most cargo capability.

Jeep expects customers to take the bigger Grand Cherokee at about 50 % of whole manufacturing, in line with Morrison.

Powertrains stay the identical, to date, with the venerable 3.6-liter 290-hp V-6 customary and the 5.7-liter 357-hp Hemi V-8 elective. No phrase on a bigger Hemi engine, however a plug-in hybrid model ought to debut in mid-2022. Every engine is backed by an eight-speed automated with a 6,200-pound tow ranking for the V-6, 1,000 kilos extra for the Hemi . EPA rankings are 18/25 mpg for 4WD V-6 variations, like our pattern Overland, whereas the V-8 mannequin is 2 mpg much less. We noticed a gradual 19 mpg in windy, chilly winter climate, and we used the distant begin function repeatedly.

Whereas styling is modest contemplating the best-selling midsize SUV hasn’t been redesigned in over 10 years, consumers will acknowledge a trendy new inside stuffed with know-how within the fifth-generation Grand Cherokee. Options comparable to ahead night time imaginative and prescient displayed in entrance of the driving force plus a heads-up show and selectable rearview mirror make driving simpler day or night time. A brand new intersection collision program detects automobiles approaching from the left and proper, not simply in entrance, whereas a entrance terrain digital camera and an in-cabin digital camera are additionally new.

The central display is a ten.1-inch unit that feels nearly excellent in form and scale whereas utilizing the most recent U-Join 5 apps and assists. The graphics are sharp, the operational controls are concise, and the overall command panel of the most recent GC is handy for everybody. The shifter is a Jeep/Ram/Dodge-wide rotary, whereas the quilted Nappa leather-based seats and finely detailed cabin transfer the Grand Cherokee up a notch in refinement to luxurious class. With massaging energy entrance seats, heated and cooled too, consumers will cross-shop the brand new Grand Cherokee in opposition to the Lexus and different massive crossovers.

Pricing begins at $41,175 for the Laredo L, the brand new Altitude is $44,080, with the favored Restricted beginning at $46,200. Our Overland 4X4 began at $55,795 earlier than including the superb 19-speaker McIntosh Audio system, dual-panel panoramic sunroof, plus the Off-Highway Group with undercarriage skid plates, limited-slip rear differential and entrance tow hooks. Consumers can now get wheels as much as 21 inches in diameter, whereas our Overland wore 18-inch tires that work with the adjustable air suspension. The highest Summit Reserve trim, with Palermo leather-based, pushes the worth to over $63,000.
Second-row bucket seats are customary; a three-person bench is elective, giving the GC L potential seating for seven.

With larger experience compatibility and much more stability because of the bigger chassis design, the Grand Cherokee stays a easy driver on the street and a prepared companion when the pavement runs out. Including a 3rd row opens up a worthwhile new phase for the Jeep model and makes this Grand Cherokee L a viable different to conventional massive crossovers.
Subsequent week: Nissan Pathfinder Platinum

Tim Plouffe

Tim Plouff has reviewed automobiles on the pages of The Ellsworth American each week for almost twenty years.

Tim Plouffe

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