Jeep is expanding the 2021 Grand Cherokee lineup—literally and figuratively—with a new model that it’s calling the Grand Cherokee L. It’s larger than the existing version you’re familiar with and includes a third row of seats that allows it to accommodate up to seven passengers. While it also sports a cabin that’s decked out in more modern infotainment tech, it continues to use the same V-6 and V-8 engines from the two-row Grand Cherokee. Although rear-wheel drive is standard, Jeep will offer no less than three different versions of its Quadra-Drive all-wheel-drive system, with the most advanced version claiming to deliver additional off-road prowess. Driver-assistance tech is more of a focus on this new generation of Jeep, with advanced features such as adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection coming standard across the lineup. The 2021 Grand Cherokee L should be in showrooms soon and the two-row Grand Cherokee will move to this more modern design for the 2022 model year.
What’s New for 2021?
This year marks the beginning of a new generation of Grand Cherokee with the arrival of the three-row L model. It makes its debut before the updated two-row Grand Cherokee (reviewed separately), which will switch to this new design for 2022.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Of the Grand Cherokee L’s six trim levels, the Limited should best balance features and pricing. Luxuries such as a power-operated rear liftgate, automatic high-beam headlamps, remote start, interior ambient lighting, driver memory settings, leather upholstery, and heated second row seats seem well worth the upgrade.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Like the two-row Grand Cherokee, the three-row Grand Cherokee L is available with either a 290-hp V-6 or a 357-hp V-8 with either rear- or all-wheel drive; both engines come with an eight-speed automatic. Those seeking to maximize towing capacity should spec the V-8, which can tow 7200 pounds; V-6 models carry a 6200-lb tow rating. We haven’t had a chance to test drive the Grand Cherokee L yet, but when we do we’ll update this story with driving impressions and test results.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel economy estimates for the V-8–powered Grand Cherokee L aren’t out yet, but the V-6 one is rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway when ordered with rear-wheel drive; adding all-wheel drive drops both of those numbers by 1 mpg. These numbers are in line with V-6–powered rivals such as the Kia Telluride and the Chevrolet Traverse. For more information about the Grand Cherokee L’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
While base Laredo models will likely offer the essentials, upscale Summit and Overland trims will add luxuries such as quilted leather upholstery, open-pore wood trim, and high-tech digital displays. All Grand Cherokee L models come with a third row of seats, which means space for up to seven via an optional second-row bench seat; a pair of captain’s chairs is standard and results in space for six riders. If you aren’t in need of the Grand Cherokee L’s third row, you should consider the two-row Grand Cherokee, which we review separately.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen sits atop the Grand Cherokee’s dashboard and offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio as standard. In-dash navigation with real-time traffic and weather updates is an optional feature and higher-end models can be had with wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While the Laredo and Limited models ship with a standard six-speaker stereo, you can upgrade to either a nine-speaker Alpine audio setup or a high-end 19-speaker McIntosh arrangement.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Unlike the previous generation Grand Cherokee, the new era ushers in a host of newly standard driver-assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. For more information about the Grand Cherokee’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Jeep’s warranty is nothing special. The Telluride and the Hyundai Palisade both provide much better plans, including 10-year powertrain warranties and five years of bumper-to-bumper coverage. However, all 2021 models do come with three years of free maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance is included