The Jeep brand is on quite a roll lately. I have already driven and reviewed the outstanding Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I hailed that full-size SUV as one of the best vehicles in recent years. The Grand Cherokee L comes in a step up in both quality and size. The L part is what makes the Grand Cherokee different. One letter makes a big difference.
The Grand Cherokee L is a seven-passenger SUV (compared to the eight-passenger configuration of the Grand Wagoneer). Plus the Grand Cherokee L is only slightly shorter than the Grand Wagoneer. So in some ways it’s less grand than the Grand Wagoneer, but when it comes to MSRP and value, the Grand Cherokee L outshines the expensive Grand Wagoneer.
Perhaps the Grand Cherokee L has other competitors in its sights, while the Grand Wagoneer is aiming squarely at the Cadillac Escalade. With a base price under $60,000, the Grand Cherokee L can honestly put many competitors in its scope and target them.
For the 2022 model year, the Grand Cherokee L is mostly a carryover after its introduction last model year. There are more touchscreens available inside the Grand Cherokee L, similar to those in the Grand Wagoneer. It’s really a good thing.
Otherwise, aesthetically, this seven-passenger SUV is familiar. It has that iconic waterfall grill that has been a part of Jeep for so many years. It has a powerful stance and a prototypical profile that loses some distinction. Among other full-size SUVs, it loses a bit of personality (compared to the Grand Wagoneer) by having a less stylish exterior. Aside from the neat L emblem on the rear bumper and the Grand Cherokee logo with an American flag on the side, there isn’t much else that makes this SUV stand out from a crowded field of competitors.
My tester was the Summit Reserve trim which has some great interior touches that help re-establish this SUV as something that stands out from the crowd. As was the case with my Grand Wagoneer experience, the Grand Cherokee had me saying wow several times and exclaiming “Who does Jeep think they are!”
It’s a great shout out and really shows how Jeep has changed its name thanks to SUVs like the Grand Cherokee. Sure, Jeep still has the rugged Wrangler, with its basic interior, but it can really pack on the refinement and luxury, too. And with the Grand Cherokee L, the interior screams luxury with every glance and every feel of the exclusive touch points.
For 2022, Jeep brings an optional 10.1-inch touchscreen to the passenger-side dashboard, which mimics the one in the Grand Wagoneer. Standard is a 10.25-inch digital cluster and an 8.4-inch touchscreen that seamlessly integrates with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Stellantis, the company that owns Jeep, continues to have one of the cleanest and most intuitive infotainment systems in the industry. And all the technology fits perfectly in the Grand Cherokee L.
Cargo space behind the third row of seats is impressive at 17.2 cubic feet (with the seats upright). Total cargo space is 84.6 cubic feet with all seats folded, which shows just how large and resourceful this SUV is.
My tester had the optional Summit Reserve equipment package, which includes a 19-speaker audio system, ventilated front seats, Palermo leather door trim, and premium leather seats.
None of these niceties would matter if the show wasn’t there. Thankfully, the Grand Cherokee L has a capable 3.6-liter V6 engine. This is less power than in the Grand Wagoneer, but it doesn’t struggle off the line either. The 293 horsepower is adequate and the 8-speed automatic transmission offers smooth, confident shifts. For those who want more power, a 5.7-liter V8 engine is available as an option.
My tester came with available all-wheel drive and variable road settings. This adds an extra amount of confidence and also holds true to the Jeep’s capable off-road prowess. You won’t be traversing a mountainside with the Grand Cherokee L, but in tough road conditions it will outperform many other competitors.
The base price of my tester was $59,660. With additional equipment packages and options, my tester had a final MSRP of $67,090.
Fuel economy for the V6-powered, all-wheel-drive SUV is rated at 18 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway. In a week of mostly suburban driving, I averaged just over 21 mpg.
You know Jeep is on to something when the only vehicle that compares to the Grand Cherokee L is another Jeep SUV. The greatness continues from Jeep and it’s on full display in the 2022 Grand Cherokee L.
Jimmy Dinsmore is Automotive Editor for The Weekend Drive and freelance automotive journalist and author of two books, Mustang by Design and Ford Trucks: The History of the Ford F-Series.