2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Review By Larry Nutson
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
THE AUTO CHANNEL
The Jeep brand is celebrating 80 years of technological innovation and 4x4 leadership and last summer introduced the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L – a premium utility vehicle, which for the first time in the vehicle’s history, now offers three rows of seats.
Consider this. Seventy-percent of sales in the midsize utility vehicle segment are three-row models. Yes, many families want room for a carful, whether it be their own or friends of their own.
I’ve had the good fortune, thanks to Jeep, to have multiple driving experiences with the new Grand Cherokee L. Back in July of last year I joined an in-person product presentation hosted by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). Scott Tallon, Director, Jeep Brand Product Marketing – North America provide a complete overview of the all-new 2021 Grand Cherokee L. Not long thereafter I spent a week driving a V6 powered Summit Reserve 4X4 model.
Following this, in early October I participated in MAMA’s 2021 Rally held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Here I not only again was to learn more from Jeep about the new Grand Cherokee L but had the opportunity to drive it on a technical off-road course designed by and under the guidance of off-road driving experts from the Jeep Jamboree team.
Most recently I drove a 2021 Overland 4X4 model powered by the 5.7-L V8. This drive was around the streets of Chicago where I make my home. Good fortune brought some Jeep-appropriate weather in the form of 6-inches of snow.
The Overland is fitted with all-season all-terrain tires that feature a more aggressive tread pattern that is well suited for better traction in snow and other soft-surface road conditions such as dirt, mud and sand.
The Grand Cherokee L follows the same trim offerings as the Grand Cherokee. Along with the previously mention Summit and Overland trims, there are Laredo and Limited trims. Similarly, standard is a 283-hp 3.6-L V-6 with a torque rating of 260 lb-ft. Optional on the Overland 4X4 and Summit 4X4 is a 357-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 390 lbs.-ft. of torque. Both engines are coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
EPA fuel economy ratings are 19 city mpg and 26 highway mpg for V6 4X2 models. The V6 4X4 models are rated one mpg less in each. V8 powered models are rated 14 city mpg and 22 highway mpg.
Underneath the Grand Cherokee L there’s an all-new unibody architecture that is stiffer through the use of more high strength steel and uses more aluminum components for weight saving. The new “L” is 15 inches longer than the 2-row Grand Cherokee that’s been around for a while and will continue. Both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive are offered.
Three all-wheel drive systems are offered, depending on model: the Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited-slip differential. Independent front and rear suspension with available Quadra-Lift air suspension that raises the vehicle about 4.2 inches along with adaptive damping provide a nice balance in on-road driving comfort and off-road capability.
Up front there’s a new, forward-tipped seven-slot grille and an aggressive front approach angle. The side profile is very traditional Jeep with somewhat squared, trapezoidal wheel arches. A bright trim piece begins at the A-pillar, runs along the top of the greenhouse, wraps across the rear hatch and returns to the opposite A-pillar. Sleek and narrow taillights bring up the rear.
The Laredo model has a starting U.S. MSRP of $36,995. Limited is priced at $43,995, Overland at $52,995 and Summit at $56,995. Destination charge is an additional $1,695. Add $2,000 for 4X4.
All trims come standard with six-passenger seating equipped with manual-folding “tip and slide” second-row bucket seats and a 50/50 split-folding third row seat. An optional second-row bench is available for $695 to provide seating for seven.
The center console curves graciously around the driver and front passenger. There’s easy access to knobs, switches and the well positioned touch screen.
Technologies include the most advanced Uconnect system ever with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, windshield Head-up Display (HUD), digital rearview mirror, frameless digital cluster, rear seat monitoring camera and an exclusive and premium 950-watt, 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.
This is McIntosh Labs’ debut appearance in a vehicle. Favored by the ultimate in audiophiles for home audio systems, McIntosh Laboratories luxury reference audio system is now making themselves better known. The sound from the nineteen speakers is wonderful.
The Grand Cherokee L is equipped with more than 110 advanced safety and security features, including L2 driver-assist systems with hands-on automated driving, along with 360-degree surround view and night vision cameras. Jeep says advanced hands-free L2 automated driving system will be available in late 2021 on the 2022 Grand Cherokee L.
For 2022 the Grand Cherokee L receives a newly available front passenger touchscreen as well as available dual rear-seat entertainment touchscreens and Amazon Fire TV for Auto.
The Overland 4x4 I drove had plenty of performance coming from the 357-horsepower under the hood. However, all this go-power does have a trade off on fuel consumption. The Overland has refined performance, a good balance of ride and handling and premium comfort. Although 204.9 inches long it drives as if smaller. I noted the trade off for the more aggressive tread pattern was a bit more noise from the tires when driving on pavement. The all-terrain tires proved really good in snow and better than a normal street tread. For those who live in the mountains, it might just be the right choice.
An available Off-Road Group for the Overland 4x4 model delivers Trail Rated performance and includes high-strength steel skid plates, electronic limited slip differential rear axle, 18-inch aluminum wheels and rugged, all-season performance tires.
Trailer tow rating is 6,200 lbs. for the V6 and 7,200 lbs. for the V8. There’s 17.2 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the third row. Fold it down and you get 46.9 cu.ft. Fold both seat rows and 84.6 cu.ft. are yours to fill.
More information and details on the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L can be found at www.jeep.com.
Following the introduction of the all-new and restyled Grand Cherokee L, Jeep has updated the two-row five-passenger Grand Cherokee to follow suite for 2022. Now in its fifth generation the Grand Cherokee has an all-new architecture, new plug-in hybrid powertrain, all-new exterior design and all-new interior. The first electrified Grand Cherokee 4xe and a new ultimate off-road Grand Cherokee, the new Trailhawk further expand the Jeep model program.
Happy motoring! Or might it be trail driving!
© 2022 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy