DETROIT - More than a decade after the current-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee hit the scene, Jeep has whipped the covers off an all-new version of its premium SUV.
Built on a new unibody platform and boasting advances in all relevant areas, the newcomer is also somewhat larger than its predecessor, which is why they’re now referring to it as the Grand Cherokee L. With this increase in size comes a three-row seating configuration, for the first time, while tech and luxury also come in abundance with Jeep boasting of more than 110 advanced safety and security features being available as well as the most advanced Uconnect infotainment system ever.
The new Grand Cherokee L appears to be equally sophisticated beneath the skin, thanks to a new Quadra-Lift air suspension, now with electronic adaptive damping, and a choice of three 4x4 systems: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited slip-differential. Quadra-Trac I comes with a single-speed active transfer case, which can send up to 100 percent of the torque to either axle. Quadra-Trac II comes with a two-speed active transfer case with low-range gear reduction, while the flagship Quadra-Drive II with eLSD can pre-emptively adjust the vehicle’s systems to limit or eliminate tyre slip.
The only engine options mentioned for now are a pair of normally aspirated petrol units, these being a 3.6 V6 with 216kW and 348Nm and a 5.7 V8 that’s good for 266kW and 530Nm. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and they also feature a front-axle disconnect system that allows the vehicle to drive the rear wheels only to save fuel, at least until sensors detect that 4WD is required. The V8 also features cylinder deactivation.
An electrified version of the Grand Cherokee is expected to debut later in 2021; it will be called the 4xe, but no further details have been released as yet.
Cabin brought up to date
Moving inside, the all-new cockpit includes a digital instrument cluster, redesigned Uconnect infotainment system with wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, a new Head-up Display system, digital rear-view mirror, a rear-seat monitoring system and an available 960-watt 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.
Jeep has also aimed for some serious premium vibes through the use of hand-wrapped, quilted Palermo leather and open-pore Waxed Walnut wood in models ordered with the new Summit Reserve Package. The pack also includes 21-inch wheels and numerous additional luxuries.
But is the new model headed to SA? According to FCA South Africa, there is currently no confirmation on local plans for the Grand Cherokee.