New SUV

Redesigned 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee gets beefy, adds tech, keeps engines

Jeep has redesigned the Jeep Grand Cherokee and added a new three-row Grand Cherokee L to its lineup.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is getting grander for the 2021 model year as part of a fifth-generation (WL) overhaul. Highlights of the redesign including an overhauled exterior and interior design, fresh technology, and the same engine availability as the 2020 model.

Jeep will offer the Grand Cherokee in two body styles: a two-row Grand Cherokee and a three-row Grand Cherokee L. The Grand Cherokee L, with its 6.9-inch longer wheelbase than the 2020 model, will go into production first with the two-row variant following by the end of the year barring any complications. The current two-row, fourth-generation Grand Cherokee will continue for the 2021 model year and a new two-row will be introduced at a later date, likely as a 2022 model.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Overland exterior The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve (left) and 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland (right).Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Grand Cherokee L will be offered in Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit trim levels. It is expected that the model will compete directly with the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Chevrolet Traverse.

The new Grand Cherokee's looks are in line with the Wagoneer concept vehicle that was showcased in late-2020 and Jeep's team says that they were a bit inspired by the original Wagoneer. The comparison starts up front where the Grand Cherokee's take on the classic seven-slot Jeep grille shows off the width of the vehicle and is flanked by standard LED headlights and daytime running lights. The grille hides active shuttering and driver assistance and safety technology. LED fog lights sit low to illuminate the close-up road ahead.

A gloss black roof is standard on the Grand Cherokee L Overland and available on the Grand Cherokee L Summit. It slopes backward in Lincoln Aviator-like fashion toward blade-like horizontal taillights. The roof is accented by a wraparound chrome piece of trim and comes with a fresh roof rack design that has just one side rail cap.

The tailgate features vertical rear spoiler. Jeep has tucked the car's rearview camera with washer into the spoiler and added a LED center high-mounted stop lamp for additional visibility. An integrated tow hitch over and fascia-mounted exhaust tips are standard. Overland and Summit models come standard with a hands-free, foot-activated power liftgate.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve: Exterior

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Though it has a fancy new exterior, the Grand Cherokee L has Jeep's tried-and-true 4x4 systems, Quadra-Lift air suspension, and Selec-Terrain traction management system. The vehicle's new architecture is designed to work in tandem with the systems to deliver improved noise, vibration, and harshness to the cabin occupants without sacrificing capability.

The air suspension features five settings, each either raising or lowering the height of the vehicle to improve performance in a specific situation. The SUV's normal ride height is 8.3 inches. Off-road 1 lifts the vehicle an additional 1.6 inches to allow 9.9 inches of ground clearance. Off-road 2 goes further offering 2.4 inches of ground clearance over normal ride height and up to 24 inches of water fording depth. Park Mode lowers the vehicle 1.8 inches from its normal ride height while Aero Mode lowers the vehicle just 0.8 inches from its normal height. All modes are driver-controlled except Aero Mode, which happens automatically when in Sport Mode.

With the available Quadra-Lift air suspension, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L features a 30.1-degree approach angle, a 23.6-degree departure angle and 22.6-degree breakover angle.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland: Exterior

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Grand Cherokee L 4x4 also gets front axle disconnect. If the vehicle senses that road conditions do not require all-wheel drive, the front axle disconnect automatically places the Grand Cherokee L in two-wheel drive, reducing drag on the driveline and improving fuel economy. Four-wheel drive automatically re-engages when the vehicle senses it is needed.

Jeep's Selec-Terrain system offers five available terrain modes (Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud/Sand) in the Grand Cherokee L. There's also hill descent control. An Off-Road Group Package is available that gives the Trail Rated Overland 4x4 model high-strength steel skid plates, an electronic limited slip differential rear axle, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and rugged, all-season performance tires.

The Grand Cherokee Limited and Laredo ride on 18-inch wheels while the Overland and Summit get standard 20-inchers. Adding the Summit Reserve Package to the model gives it 21-inch wheels. The 2021 Grand Cherokee L has a track that is 36 millimeters wider than the 2020 Grand Cherokee.

The doors of the model open wider in this generation than the last. They open 64 degrees with an ingress/egress exterior side step.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve: Interior Design

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Buyers can get their Grand Cherokee L with their choice of one of two offered powertrains, both of which are carryovers from the 2020 Grand Cherokee. The standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 delivers 290 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a 6,200-pound towing capacity and has a range of 500 miles on a single tank of gas. The available 5.7-liter V8 engine gives drivers access to 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. It has a class-leading towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. The engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The interior of the Grand Cherokee L features design lines meant to emphasize the width of the SUV. The model's center stack features a 10.1-inch infotainment screen that runs Uconnect 5, FCA's latest operating system. In front of the driver is 10.25-inch frameless digital gauge cluster.

High-quality materials and technology give the Grand Cherokee L a premium look. Glossy piano black finish features on the console while a metal rotary shifter rests nearby, along with the Selec-Trac switches. The front bin can hold two wireless devices that can charge simultaneously. There are 12 USB Type A and Type C ports in the vehicle. Personalized ambient lighting solutions are available.

The Grand Cherokee Summit features open-pore Absolute Oak natural wood accents while the Summit Reserve Package adds open-pore Waxed Walnut. That's on top of the leather upholstery that comes in the trim level.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland: Seating & Cargo Areas

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Upscale Overland and Summit models get a length-adjustable cushion in the front row. First-row seats with power 16-way adjustable position with memory and lumbar are available on Overland and standard on Summit. Those two models also are available with back massage capability with five customizable profiles and three levels of configuration.

Heated seats in the first two rows, with three-level configurable controls for personalized passenger comfort, are standard on Limited models and above. Ventilated front-row seats are available on Limited and standard on Overland and Summit models. Ventilated seats in the second row and a suede-like headliner that wraps around the A-pillar come standard on the Summit Reserve Package.

The second row comes with standard "tip and slide" bucket seats and a bench seat is available. The standard seats offer seven inches of fore/aft travel. Child safety seats installed in the second row do not have to be removed to access the third row. The second-row seats also recline 18 degrees. The third-row seat features a 50/50 split

Small item storage and cup holders are available for third-row passengers. The model seats six or seven depending on the configuration.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L: Speedometer

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Four-zone automatic climate control is standard on Summit models and offers four different temperature settings. The location of the vents in the vehicle have been changed from the 2020 model to offer more precise heating and cooling.

Like the Wagoneer concept, the Grand Cherokee L comes with a McIntosh audio sound system. It's available in Overland and Summit models and comes standard with the Summit Reserve Package. It features a 17-channel amplifier with a maximum output of 950 watts and 19 speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer, to envelope vehicle occupants in high-definition sound.

Overland and Summit models also come with a dual-pane sunroof with a power sunshade. It's available on the Grand Cherokee L Limited. The Laredo model features an available single-pane sunroof.

Rear cargo volume behind the second row is increased of there 2020 Grand Cherokee, which is no surprise given its longer wheelbase. Both the second- and third-row seats fold forward into a flat-load floor. When the second- and third-row seats are folded flat, the maximum cargo space is 84.6 cu. ft. There is a remote release to fold the second-row seats flat from the cargo area (standard on Overland and Summit). Overland and Summit models come standard with a hands-free, foot-activated power liftgate.

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L offers more than 110 safety and security features. Buyers can equip their model with a host of driver assist technologies including adaptive cruise control, highway assist, night vision, drowsy driver detection, and speed limit traffic signs display. Hands-free driving capability is slated to arrive on the SUV for the 2022 model year, likely as a high-end add-on.

Jeep will make the Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L at its new Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack Plant in Detroit.

Pricing for the Grand Cherokee L is expected to start around $40,000. The Grand Cherokee will likely be priced lower while the Grand Cherokee 4xe version will probably carry a far higher price tag.

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New SUV

New Jeep Compass Coming Soon

The Compass gets a major update for 2022.

Stellantis/Jeep

The Chicago Auto Show is happening now, which means we've already seen a few new models and concepts. Just yesterday, Jeep introduced the new 2022 Compass compact SUV. It gets a new design inside and out, updated tech, and a load of new available driver aids. The Compass' refresh comes as new models from Ford, Subaru and others could cut into Jeep's off-road dominance.

As it was in previous model years, the new Compass is powered by a 2.4-liter "Tigershark" four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. It's good for up to 31 mpg on the highway in 2WD models and can deliver a max towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds in 4WD models. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for Compass Sport and Latitude 4X2 models, while all others get a nine-speed automatic transmission that can handle the 20:1 crawl ratio setting in the Trailhawk model.

An all-new Latitude LUX trim joins the Compass lineup for 2022 as well. It features leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a seven-inch full-color gauge cluster, and the larger 10.1-inch screen.


2022 Jeep Compass The new Compass is more upscale than its predecessor.Stellantis/Jeep


The Compass comes with a class-leading 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, but higher trims get an even larger 10.1-inch unit. It offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and runs Uconnect 5, a colorful, responsive infotainment system with advanced features and tech.

Several new safety features make an appearance, but most are added-cost options. The highway assist system offers a semi-autonomous driving feature, which Jeep says will become available later. Other tech includes traffic sign recognition, standard pedestrian/cyclist automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and a long list of more traditional advanced driver aids like blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.

The Compass lineup for 2022 includes five trims: Sport, Latitude, Latitude LUX, Limited, and Trailhawk. Pricing for the new Compass starts at $26,490, including a $1,495 destination charge. At the top of the lineup, the Trailhawk and Limited models both start at $32,890. It's expected to start arriving on dealers' lots in fall 2021.


2022 Jeep Compass New color schemes highlight the Compass' interior.Stellantis/Jeep

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Jeep Freedom models get special appearance-related upgrades.

Stellantis

The Fourth of July is almost here, and for many of us that means relaxing with family and friends over hot dogs, drinks, and fireworks. For Jeep, the holiday is another opportunity to tout its all-American roots. The brand just picked up an award for America's "Most Patriotic Brand," which is based on a survey of 6,000 Americans to choose the 50 companies that best represent America's patriotic spirit.

No huge surprises here. This year marks the 19th consecutive year that Jeep has been recognized as America's most patriotic brand. The automaker 's vehicles are synonymous with American cars for some people, and since 1941 the company has been making SUVs and off-road vehicles here.


2022 Jeep Wagoneer Flags adorn the side of the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand WagoneerStellantis


To celebrate the occasion, Jeep is offering special-edition Freedom models of each of its vehicles for the 2021 model year. The Freedom models have military-themed design features, matte black or Satin Carbon wheels, and an American flag decal on the side. The vehicles' hoods will be emblazoned with a large "Oscar Mike" (military term for "on the move") star on the hood as well. Wrangler and Gladiator models add an extra Oscar Mike star on the rear tailgate. As part of the rollout, Jeep will donate $250 to the USO for every 2021 Freedom model sold. Active and recently retired service members may also qualify for a $500 cash bonus.

Even after the Freedom models have come and gone, Jeep will retain flag-emblazoned models in its lineup. The 2022 Grand Wagoneer and the 2021 Grand Cherokee L both have American flag badging on their sides. Jeep says it will show off the new Grand Wagoneer on the outside of its tower in Auburn Hills, Michigan.


2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L The new three-row Grand Cherokee also has flag badging.Stellantis

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