Jeep Unveils Total Grand Cherokee Redesign That Adds a Third-Row

January 07, 2021 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Jeep unveiled the Grand Cherokee L as it works to defend its position in the SUV market and bring in more consumers by offering a 7-seat version.

“When you set out to reimagine an SUV as beloved as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, building on its nearly 30-year legacy as an overachiever is paramount to every decision that is made,” said Christian Meunier, global president of Jeep Brand – FCA.

Here’s the scoop on the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which will reach dealers in the second quarter of this year.


The new Jeep Grand Cherokee has a new vehicle architecture, independent front and rear suspensions and air suspension with electronic adaptive damping. S shorter two-row version and a hybrid model will come after the launch of the L.

The styling of the Grand Cherokee L channels previous versions of the Cherokee and was inspired by the original Wagoneer, Jeep’s first full-size SUV. The new model has a longer hood and cab, which Jeeps says “shifts the vehicle rearward to give a sense of motion with a ready to react response. A forward-tipped grille further enhances the length of the hood and gives a respectful nod to Wagoneer’s iconic design.”

But a lowered, tapered roof works to improves aerodynamics and efficiency.


The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L offers buyers a choice of two engines. The standard is an all-aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, rated at 290 horsepower and 257pound-feet of torque. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Cherokees equipped with the engine have a towing capacity of up to 6,200 pounds and an estimated driving range of nearly 500 miles.

Jeep will also offer a 5.7-liter V-8, rated at 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. It also uses an 8-speed automatic transmission and has a towing capacity of up to 7,200 pounds.


The new Grand Cherokee L offers a choice of thee four-wheel-drive systems that Jeep calls Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited-slip differential. All come with an active transfer case to improve traction by moving torque to work with the wheel with the most grip.

Quadra-Trac I uses a single-speed transfer case that uses input from multiple sensors in the vehicle to pre-emptively adjust torque distribution and will make corrections if tire slip occurs.

Quadra-Trac II is a two-speed active transfer case with low-range gear reduction. With a two-speed active transfer case and rear eLSD, Quadra-Drive II provides the best traction of the options, Jeep said.

The air suspension improves ground clearance and water fording. The system automatically adjusts the shock tuning to changing road conditions for enhanced comfort, stability and control. The system operates automatically or can be controlled manually with console controls. It offers five height settings that go up to 10.9 inches of ground clearance and up to 24 inches of water fording depth.


Jeep is packing the new model with advanced safety technologies. The standard safety suite includes forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.


The new Jeep Cherokee L will have sophisticated driving technology, but it’s available only on the most expensive trim levels.

The systems include Active Driving Assist, the company’s name for hands-on-wheel and eyes-on-road automated driving using lane-centering with adaptive cruise control. The system uses multiple sensors, including radars and cameras, to dictate appropriate roads for the technology.

Another feature called Hands-free Active Driving Assist will be available late this year for the 2022 model-year. It offers hands-free driving at all speeds and lane centering on approved roadways for even greater driving convenience. The system also will predictively slow the vehicle down in tight curves.

Jeep also will offer a night vision camera that uses infrared sensors to search for pedestrians and animals’ heat signatures in the road ahead, at distances up to 219 yards and provide an alert to the driver.


Jeep will release price and fuel economy information closer to the launch of sales.

Jerry Hirsch November 30, 2020
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