Johannesburg - For Jeep in South Africa, 2022 will be a year of forging new territory.
Back in June, its parent company, Stellanti,s entered the bakkie market with the capable Gladiator double cab. And now, the American 4x4 brand is expanding deeper into premium territory, with the new Grand Cherokee L.
Set to launch in South Africa in August, the Grand Cherokee L is a larger and more premium product than today’s Grand Cherokee, and the newcomer will probably have large seven-seaters like the BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS in its crosshairs.
With its larger external dimensions, the Jeep Grand Cherokee L has morphed into a seven-seater for the first time, and Jeep is also offering a more plush six-seater layout as an option. With its 3091mm wheelbase being 176mm longer than that of the current Grand Cherokee, owners can be assured of much-improved cabin space.
There’s also a standard-wheelbase version of the new Grand Cherokee, but its local availability has yet to be announced.
Built on a new unibody platform, the new Grand Cherokee L also takes its technological game to the next level, with more than 110 advanced safety and security features being available.
The cockpit looks somewhat plusher than before, with flagship models in the US boasting quilted Palermo leather upholstery and open-pore Waxed Walnut wood. The electronics have been modernised too, with the inclusion of a digital instrument cluster and a redesigned Uconnect infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other hi-tech features include a new Head-up Display, digital rear-view mirror and 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. Keep in mind though that South African specifications have yet to be confirmed.
There’s also a new Quadra-Life air suspension system, now with electronic adaptive damping.
The South African engine line-up will be announced at launch, but it’s likely that Jeep’s 3.6-litre normally aspirated V6 petrol engine, with 216kW and 348Nm, will be the mainstay of the range as it is abroad. Jeep also offers a 5.7-litre V8 in the US, which is good for 266kW and 530Nm.
In overseas markets, the Grand Cherokee L is offered with a choice of three 4x4 systems.
Quadra-Trac I comes with a single-speed active transfer case, which can send up to 100% 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.
Stay tuned for more details when the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L is launched in South Africa in mid-August.