Jeep’s latest three-row SUV is feature-rich, power-heavy, and rides on the Grand Cherokee’s credibility

Instead of introducing a brand new model in the rather popular three-row SUV market, Jeep played it smart and decided to offer the Grand Cherokee SUV itself with an extra set of seats. Called the Grand Cherokee L, Jeep decided to capitalize on this 27-year old popular moniker instead of building a new vehicle from the ground up that may or may not have been successful.

Jeep has sold over 200,000 examples of the Grand Cherokee annually in the last four years, so there’s no reason why the three-row Grand Cherokee L won’t be a hit. But, is it just about extra seats, or does the Grand Cherokee L bring something new to the table?

Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior

  • 15.1 inches longer than the standard Grand Cherokee
  • Based on a new platform
  • 60-percent of the body is composed of high-strength steel
  • Hood and tailgate made of aluminum
  • 21-inch wheels in the top-spec
  • LED headlights and taillights
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The 2021 Grand Cherokee L will be available in four trims – Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit. The standard Grand Cherokee comes with three other trims – Trackhawk, Trailhawk, and SRT – and they could be offered on the three-row SUV, too, in the future. Logic dictates that the Trailhawk and Trackhawk should appear within a year after the deliveries begin, whereas the SRT could be offered a couple of years down the line.

The Grand Cherokee L looks similar to its namesake two-row model. There are shades of Jeep Grand Wagoneer, too, which means similar styling cues could be seen on the next-gen two-row Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee L rides on an extended version of a brand new platform built for the upcoming standard Grand Cherokee. Currently, it doesn’t underpin any other vehicles; so, the ride quality, in all likelihood, will be better than the current Grand Cherokee’s.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Jeep has stated that around 60-percent of the body is composed of high-strength steel.

The automaker has also made use of aluminum for the hood, tailgate, the front sub-frame, and shock towers to keep the weight on the lower side. Up front, the signature seven-slat grille comes decorated with a lot of bling. The slime, sleek headlights look swell with the eyebrow daytime running lights. There are honeycomb mesh inserts in the air dam below and the fog lamp housing, and you can also spot the front parking sensors neatly places in them.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior Wallpaper quality
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When viewed from the side, it looks quite proportionate overall and not a weirdly stretched two-row SUV. Depending on the trim, Jeep offers the Grand Cherokee L with various wheel designs and finishes ranging between 18- and 21 inches, wrapped in different sections of all-season tires from brands like Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, and Continental. Things at the rear are quite neat. Elements like LED taillights enhance the aesthetics, whereas stuff like vertical-pillar spoilers on the tailgate aid in performance and reduce drag. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L, by the way, comes with a coefficient of drag of 0.357, which isn’t too bad for a three-row SUV not focused on performance.

How Big Is The Grand Cherokee L?

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Jeep Grand Cherokee L measures 204.9 inches in length, 77.3 inches in width, and 71.5 inches in height. This makes it 15.1 inches longer, 0.8 inches wider, and 2.2 inches taller than the standard Jeep Grand Cherokee. The wheelbase measures 121.7 inches, which seven inches more than its two-row counterpart’s 114.7-inch wheelbase. The front and rear track measure 65.4 inches, which is also wider than the Grand Cherokee’s 63.9- and 64.1-inch front and rear tracks.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L exterior dimensions
Wheelbase 121.7 (3,091)
Track, Front 65.4 (1,660)
Track, Rear 65.4 (1,660)
Overall Length 204.9 (5,204)
Overall Width (width at mirrors) 84.6 (2,149)
Overall Width (width with folded mirrors) 77.3 (1,964)
Body Width 77.9 (1,979)
Overall Height 71.5 (1,815)

Grand Cherokee L Angles

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior Wallpaper quality
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In the standard form, the Grand Cherokee L sits 8.5 inches off the ground. But, if you opt for the Quadra-Lift air suspension, it can be raised by up to 2.4 inches to 10.9 inches. This is pretty much on par with the standard Grand Cherokee, which rides 8.6 inches higher than the ground with the standard suspension and up to 10.8 inches with the air suspension.

The approach angle on this SUV is rated at 20.6 degrees, breakover angle at 18.2 degrees, and departure angle at 21.5 degrees. In the highest setting on the models equipped with air suspension, it will have an approach angle of 30.1 degrees, breakover angle of 22.6 degrees, and a departure angle of 23.6 degrees. These will be the ratings for the off-road friendly Overland trim. The top-Summit trim has similar ratings except for the approach angle, which is reduced to 28.2 degrees, courtesy of a different front bumper.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L off-road specs
Standard Off-Road 2
Approach 20.6 Degrees 30.1 Degrees
Breakover 18.2 Degrees 22.6 Degrees
Departure 21.5 Degrees 23.6 Degrees
Ground Clearance 8.5 Inches 10.9 Inches

How Much Does The Grand Cherokee L Weigh?

The Grand Cherokee L weighs anywhere between 4,618 and 5,353 pounds, depending on the trim, engine option, and drive layout. Surprisingly, it weighs just around 100 pounds more vis-à-vis models of the two-row Grand Cherokee. Fun fact: the standard Grand Cherokee is also offered with the bigger Trackhawk engine, which weighs slightly more than the Grand Cherokee L in its heaviest form.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L Interior

  • Six- and seven-seat configurations
  • Spacious in all the rows
  • 10.25-inch frameless digital instrument cluster
  • 10.1-inch touchscreen on the center console
  • UConnect 5 infotainment system
  • Supports Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 84.6 cubic feet of maximum cargo space available
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Interior
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The Jeep Grand Cherokee L can be had with either a bench seat in the second row or two bucket seats, which means the Grand Cherokee L will be sold in six- and seven-seat configurations. In the top trim, the steering wheel is finished in leather and ‘Absolute Oak’. There is a top-of-the-line Summit Reserve Package available on the Grand Cherokee L that comes with many premium niceties:

  • Waxed Walnut wood accents for the steering wheel
  • Hand-wrapped, quilted Palermo leather upholstery
  • Ventilated front- and second-row seats
  • Memory and massage front seats
  • Tupelo interior color
  • Suede-like fabric on A-pillars and headliner
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Interior
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There’s also a lot of other stuff offered, like:

  • A 10-inch head-up display
  • McIntosh sound system
  • CommandView dual-pane sunroof
  • Four-zone automatic climate control

How Spacious Is The Grand Cherokee L Inside The Cabin?

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Interior
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The SUV is bigger than the standard Grand Cherokee, but all the extra space is added to the third row only. The space here in the first and second row is almost identical to the space offered in the two-row SUV. In the front row, the Grand Cherokee L comes with a headroom of 39.8 inches, legroom of 41.3 inches, shoulder room of 59.2 inches, and hip room of 57.4 inches. In the second row, the measurements are rated at 39.9-, 39.4-, 58-, 56.3 inches, respectively.

Coming to the third row, this SUV offers you 37.3 inches of headroom, 30.3 inches of legroom, 51.9 inches of shoulder room, and 42.9 inches of hip room. Honestly, these figures aren’t too bad – on paper at least – for the third row.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L interior dimensions
Front Row Second Row Third Row
Headroom 39.8 (1,012) 39.9 (1,014) 37.3 (947)
Legroom 41.3 (1,050) 39.4 (1,000) 30.3 (770)
Shoulder room 59.2 (1,504) 58.0 (1,474) 51.9 (1,317)
Hip room 57.4 (1,459) 56.3 (1,429) 42.9 (1,090)

How Much Cargo Space Does The Jeep Grand Cherokee L Offer?

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Interior
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With all the seats in place, the Grand Cherokee L offers a space of 17.2 cubic feet.

Flip the third row and you have 46.9 cubic feet of space. Fold the second row, too, and you have a massive 84.6 cubic feet of space available at your disposal.

To put things into perspective, the standard Grand Cherokee offers 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seats and 68.3 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L cargo room
Cargo room - all seats up 17.1
Cargo room - second row folded 46.9
Cargo room - third row folded 84.6

Jeep Grand Cherokee L Technology?

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Interior
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What differentiates the Grand Cherokee L from the standard Grand Cherokee is the addition of the third. However, that doesn’t mean Jeep hasn’t paid attention elsewhere. The SUV comes with a new layout that feels fresh and a lot more modern. Behind the chunky, three-spoke steering wheel is a 10.25-inch frameless digital instrument cluster. It comes with around 20 different menus that feature stuff like adaptive cruise control, highway assist, drowsy driver detection, and so on. You can also customize it to display off-road data, navigation, and feed from the night vision camera over and above the standard drive-related data.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Interior
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The Grand Cherokee L also comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen on the higher models and an 8.4-inch touchscreen on the base models. They run on FCA’s UConnect 5 infotainment system that’s arguably one of the best ones out there. The system supports a ton of features, such as:

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Simultaneous connectivity for two Bluetooth-enabled phones
  • Alexa “Home to Car” and “Car to Home” features
  • Compatibility with the new Uconnect mobile app
  • SiriusXM 360L platform
  • Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora
  • TomTom navigation with live traffic updates
  • Maps OTA updates at the push of a button for Uconnect NAV system
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to eight wireless devices

It also comes with up to five user profiles plus a valet mode so that you don’t have to customize your music preferences, apps, seat position, mirror angles, and climate comfort levels every time someone different takes over the driver’s seat.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L Drivetrain

  • 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine
  • 290 Horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 mill
  • 357 Horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic gearbox
  • Three different four-wheel-drive systems
  • Air suspension with 4.2 inches of travel range
  • Selec-Terrain drive mode system
  • Up to 7,200 pounds of towing capacity
  • Up to 1,410 pounds of payload capacity
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior
- image 963093

The Jeep Grand Cherokee L will be offered with two engine options. The first one is FCA’s go-to Pentastar V-6 that displaces at 3.6 liters. It produces 290 horses and 257 pound-feet of twist. The next one is a 5.7-liter, V-8 engine that dishes out 357 ponies and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both the engines are mated to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic gearbox and can be had in either a two-wheel-drive or a four-wheel-drive configuration.

This three-row SUV also comes with Jeep’s Selec-Terrain drive mode system. It comes with five preset modes – Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud/Sand.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L specifications
Engine 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar 5.7-liter V-8
Horsepower 290 HP 357 HP
Torque 257 LB-FT 390LB-FT
Transmission eight-speed automatic eight-speed automatic
Towing capacity 6,200 pounds 7,200 pounds

Four-Wheel-Drive Systems

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Speaking of the four-wheel-drive system, Jeep is offering a choice of not one, not two, but three different setups on the Grand Cherokee L. The base system is the Quadra-Trac I that comes with a single-speed active transfer case and makes use of sensors to adjust torque distribution and make corrections if there’s a tire slip. It can send 100 percent of torque to the axle which needs it the most.

Next is the Quadra-Trac II setup which features a two-speed active transfer case with low-range gear. It is also equipped with Active 4-Low torque control with a 2.72:1 gear ratio that makes things a lot easier when you take your Grand Cherokee L off the roads.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 963065

Finally, there’s the full-fledged Quadra-Drive II system, which features a two-speed active transfer case and a rear electronic limited-slip differential. It will be available only on Summit trims and the Overland four-wheel-drive models when equipped with the Off-Road Group.

Jeep says that all the three drive systems can disconnect the front axle automatically. The Off-Road Group, by the way, comes with skid plates, 18-inch off-road wheels wrapped in all-season tires, and up to 24 inches of water fording capability.

Suspension System

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior
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Jeep offers the Grand Cherokee L comes with multi-link independent suspension on all four corners. An air suspension called the Quadra-Lift is also available and can be operated either automatically or manually. Jeep says it adds up to 4.17 inches of lift from the lowest ride point. The Quadra-Lift comes with five different modes and settings:

  • Normal Ride Height: The default setting wherein the Jeep sits at 8.3 inches off the ground
  • Off-Road 1: Lifts the vehicle by 1.6 inches from Normal Ride Height
  • Off-Road 2: Lifts the SUV by 2.4 inches from Normal Ride Height
  • Aero Mode: Lowers the SUV by 0.8 from Normal Ride Height
  • Park Mode: Lowers the SUV by 1.8 from Normal Ride Height

Towing and Payload Capacities

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior
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Jeep has stated that the 2021 Grand Cherokee L can tow up to 6,200 pounds with the V-6 engine under the hood, and up to 7,200 pounds when you opt for the 5.7-liter, V-8 mill with the four-wheel-drive configuration.

As for the payload capacities, it ranges between 1,200 and 1,410 pounds, depending on the trim, drive layout, and engine option. The 1,410-pound rating comes in the Limited trim in both, two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive layouts, whereas the lowest 1,200-pound rating comes on the Summit trim with the 5.7-liter, V-8 engine that powers all the wheels.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L Pricing

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior
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Jeep has not announced the pricing of the Grand Cherokee L for now, but we speculate a premium of around $6,000 over the price of the standard Grand Cherokee, which means a starting sticker price of around $40,000.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L Competition

Ford Explorer

2020 Ford Explorer
- image 813351

The Ford Explorer is one of the most neutral and safest options in the segment today. It comes with three rows of seats, decent cargo capacity, and a feature-rich cabin that will please even the younger folks. If you opt for any of the lower and mid trims, you get a four-pot, 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 280 horses and 310 pound-feet of torque. The top two trims come with a 3.0-liter, V-6 turbo engine that produces 365 horses and 380 pound-feet of torque. A hybrid mill is also available as optional. The 2021 Explorer starts at $32,225 and goes all the way up to $54,480.

Read our full review on the Ford Explorer

Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Chevrolet Traverse Exterior
- image 892025

If you need a utilitarian, value-for-money, spacious SUV, the Chevy Traverse is your best bet. The lower trims are almost bare-bones, but go higher up the ladder and you can get yourself an SUV that’s feature-rich and feels premium. But that said, it isn’t as luxurious as its rivals even in the top-spec. The SUV is powered by a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine that produces 310 ponies and 266 pound-feet of twist. The maximum cargo capacity is rated at 98.2 cubic feet, which is segment-best. The 2021 Traverse starts at $29,800 and goes up to $50,900.

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Traverse

Jeep Grand Cherokee L Safety and Security Features

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior
- image 963094

The automaker will offer the Grand Cherokee L with features like:

  • Active Driving Assist
  • Night Vision Camera
  • Intersection Collision Alert
  • Drowsy Driver Detection
  • Traffic-sign Recognition
  • 360-degree Camera

The standard set of safety features include:

  • Full-Speed Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking System
  • Rear Cross-Path Detection
  • Adaptive Cruise with Stop-and-Go
  • Active Lane Management
  • Lane-Keep Assist and Lane-Departure Warning
  • Advanced Braking Assist
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

The Active Driving Assistant is essentially a Level 2 autonomous system that makes use of lane-centering and adaptive cruise control.

Final Thoughts

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Jeep has said that the Grand Cherokee L’s production will start soon and the SUV will reach the dealerships in the second quarter of 2021. It will be built at the automaker’s new Detroit Assembly Complex. The two-row SUV will go under the knife to fall in line with this model. Jeep also has plans to introduce a 4xe hybrid Grand Cherokee, which could be a staple model from now on and will be offered on every SUV it sells. As mentioned earlier, there is no word on any special off-road or performance trims as of now, but the Trailhawk, Trackhawk, and SRT version could be introduced in the future.

  • Leave it
    • Too bold and bright
    • Will be pricier than the Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

https://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=22410&mid=1

Press release

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