Unveiled back in January as the first all-new model in eleven years, in addition to being first in the nameplate’s 29 year history to offer seven-seats, Stellantis has officially taken the covers off of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, minus the L suffix and with five seats.
Still carrying the WL internal moniker, the five-seat Grand continues to be based on the soon-to-depart Giorgio platform used by sibling as well as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Stelvio and incoming Maserati Grecale, albeit with a change in dimensions.
While the overall width remains unchanged at 1 963 mm and the height at 1 816 mm, the Grand’s total length shrinks from 5 204 mm to 4 914 mm with its wheelbase contracting by 127 mm from 3 091 mm to 2 964 mm. Claimed boot space with all five seats in place stands at 1 068-litres.
In a departure from the L, the Cherokee will offer a choice of no less than seven trim levels; Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Overland, Trailhawk, Summit and Summit Reserve with the same trio of four-wheel-drive systems as its sibling; Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive III with a low range transfer case standard fare.
As before, Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system remains with five modes; Auto, Mud/Sand, Snow Rock and Sport in addition to the automatically decoupling and recoupling front axle that turns the Grand Cherokee into a two-wheel-drive model in order to aid consumption.
Standard on Quadra-Drive III equipped models is an electronic limited slip differential with the off-road focused Trailhawk also coming as standard with the Quadra-Lift air suspension that raises ground clearance from 276 mm to 287 mm. Aimed at improving articulation on tough terrain, the Trailhawk also sports the rear sway bar disconnect.
Inside, the design of the interior mirrors that of the L with features, depending on the trim grade, consisting of a ten-inch colour Heads-Up Display, a 10.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system with over-the-air updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and heated and cooled first and second rows.
Carrying over the 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster as well as an optional 19-speaker, 950-watt McIntosh sound system, the Grand also sports a model exclusive 10.25-inch display on the passenger side with up to 12 USB scattered around the cabin.
The full array of safety and driver assistance systems, again depending on the trim level, comprises Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection, Park Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Autonomous Emergency Braking with Cyclist and Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, surround-view camera and Intersection Collision Assist.
Compared to the L, the Grand’s biggest difference resides underneath the bonnet. Still offered with either the 3.6 Pentastar V6 that produces 216kW/350Nm or the 5.7 Hemi V8 rated at 266kW/530Nm, it comes with a third option in the shape of the plug-in hybrid 4xe.
A moniker already used on the Wrangler, Compass, Renegade and Chinese market Grand Commander, the powertrain, available on the Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and Summit Reserve, combines the 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine from the Wrangler, known as Hurricane, with a 17 kWh battery that powers an 400-volt electric motor for a total output of 280kW/637Nm.
Like the rest of the range, the unit is paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with Jeep claiming an all-electric range of 40 km and total distance of 708 km in combination of the petrol.
Unique to the 4xe are three driving modes known as E Selec; the default Hybrid, eSave that charges the battery using the internal combustion engine and Electric that relies solely on the battery and electric motor. Towing capacity for the 4xe is rated at 2 720 kg with the V6 able to haul 2 812 kg and the V8 a claimed 3 265 kg.
The arrival of the 4xe effectively also signals the end of the diesel model following Jeep’s shift away from oil-burners announcement at the beginning of this year. In addition, the newcomer won’t spawn a SRT derivative or indeed a replacement for the supercharged V8 Trackhawk.
Going on sale in the States from the final quarter of this year, the Grand Cherokee, like its sibling, will be built at Stellantis’ Mack Plant in Detroit with pricing to be announced later. Although planned for local introduction this year, expect South African sales to now only commence in 2022.