2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L seven-seat SUV revealed, expected in Australia late this year | Ralph Lauren

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Jeep has unveiled its crucial next-generation Grand Cherokee ahead of an expected Australian rival late this year.

Though local specifications and pricing won’t be known until closer to its local launch, the US-specific details revealed for the Grand Cherokee L offer some insight into what we can expect.

Crucially, the Grand Cherokee L has three rows, finally giving Jeep a much needed entrant into the seven-seat SUV market.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
Camera IconJeep Grand Cherokee L. Credit: Supplied

As expected, the exterior design closely resembles the Grand Wagoneer concept revealed last year.

The front gets slim LED headlights, a wider seven-slot grille with active grille shutters, to help improve on-road performance and fuel efficiency.

The roof is lower and tapered, however Jeep says it doesn’t eat into cargo and passenger space.

In fact, it claims the second row has class-leading legroom, while cargo space ranges from 1328 litres with the third row stowed and 2395 litres with both rows folded down.

Jeep hasn’t revealed cargo space figures for when the third row is in use.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
Camera IconJeep Grand Cherokee L. Credit: Supplied

Inside, the instrument panel is angled to create more space and features a 10.1-inch infotainmnet screen with the new Uconnect 5 system, plus a 10.25-inch frameless digital gauge cluster with more than 20 different menus to control tech such as adaptive cruise control, highway assist, night vision, drowsy driver detection and speed limit traffic signs display via an all-new multifunction steering wheel.

Seats can be heated with massage function and had with a captain’s chair rear layout, while other interior highlights include a digital rear view mirror and a rear seat monitoring camera.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
Camera IconJeep Grand Cherokee L. Credit: Supplied

Initially, the US market will have a choice of a 216kW/350Nm 3.6-litre V6 or 266kW/530Nm 5.7-litre Hemi V8 petrol engines, both paired to an eight-speed automatic.

More powertrains will likely emerge, with Jeep’s local arm likely to push hard for a diesel option.

It will have a number of off-roading enhancements, including three 4×4 systems including a choice of single-speed active transfer case, two-speed active transfer case with low-range gear reduction and a two-speed active transfer case with rear electronic limited slip differential.

The Selec-Terrain system offers five terrain modes: Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow and Mud/Sand.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
Camera IconJeep Grand Cherokee L. Credit: Supplied

The brand’s Quadra-Lift air suspension can raise the ride height from the standard 212mm to up to 272mm when off-roading, lower it to 191mm when at high speed and drop further to 166mm when parking and stopping to make it easier to get in and out.

When set to its highest setting, the Quadra-Lift suspension creates a 30.1-degree approach angle, a 23.6-degree departure angle and 22.6-degree breakover angle.

The suspension has also been highly modified to allow for better handling and comfort on-road, while lightweight, high-strength aluminium closures including the bonnet and tailgate help reduce weight and fuel use.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
Camera IconJeep Grand Cherokee L. Credit: Supplied

The new Grand Cherokee is vital for Jeep in Australia.

The current version was a great initial for success for the brand Down Under, being the main driver behind sales rising to 30,400 in 2014.

However a combination of reliability issues, recalls, customer service complaints, poor crash ratings for other models and increasingly savage social media campaigns have seen Jeep sales plummet in the years since.

Jeep sold just 5748 vehicles in Australia last year, but given this represents a 4.1 per cent rise on 2019, the brand may have arrested its sales slide.


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