2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee First Look Review: Legend Reborn

First Look / Comments

The fifth generation has arrived and it's ready for anything.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee arrived in style back in 1992. Bob Lutz, the then-president of Chrysler, drove one through an enormous glass window at that year's Detroit Auto Show. The Grand Cherokee has since become synonymous with off-roading and, when properly equipped, luxury.

And now the all-new fifth-generation model has arrived. Introducing the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee two-row model. An extended-length, three-row version, called the Grand Cherokee L, was revealed a few months ago. Most people are familiar with the two-row version which, up until now, was the only body style available. Like the new three-row, the shorter-length version rides on a new platform, offers three off-road driving systems, and an available V8 engine. Every Grand Cherokee generation has progressively moved upmarket, and the new one is no exception. The SUV is more premium than ever and comes packed with an array of convenience technology features that both drivers and passengers alike will benefit from.

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Exterior Design: Genuinely Premium

Jeep describes the SUV's new styling as "sculpted" with a more premium appearance. We totally agree. Take particular notice of the lowered and tapered roof that improves aerodynamics but doesn't hinder interior volume. Even the hood was designed with efficiency in mind. A lowered beltline helps to bring more light into the cabin.

Up front, the traditional seven-slot Jeep grille is now wider and bigger. Integrated within the front fascia is a long-range radar system. The taillights are connected by a darkened strip with the word "Jeep" located in the dead center. Other new styling items include active grille shutters, front-wheel spats, air curtains, hood aero flick, and rear vertical-pillar spoilers. Overland models now have an optional gloss black roof, which comes standard on the pricier Trailhawk, Summit, and Summit Reserve trims. Other trims include Laredo, Altitude, and Limited.

Designers also widened the SUV by 1.4 inches to help achieve better handling and maneuverability. There's a total of eight wheel options up to 21-inches in size.

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Handcrafted Interior Appointments

Modern SUVs are much more than just off-roaders. They're full-on luxury vehicles and the new Grand Cherokee is no exception. The new interior is comprised of handcrafted materials and a slew of modern features. Dual 10.1-inch screens for the driver's digital cluster and the Uconnect 5 infotainment system are standard. A 10.25-inch display is optional for the front passenger. Rear seat occupants can enjoy an available rear-seat entertainment display with built-in Amazon Fire TV. Wireless Apply CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Front seat passengers get 16-way adjustable seats with power lumbar and memory. Higher-spec models can now be equipped with driver and front passenger seatback massage. Heated and vented seats are also optional.

We particularly like the new center console with its slick-looking switches and greater storage space. Jeep says the front bin can accommodate two wireless devices and a wireless charger. A fully customizable LED lighting suite, with daytime and nighttime settings, is standard on all trims. Higher trims get ambient lighting. The Summit Reserve trim gets Palermo leather and a 19-speaker audio system.

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Power, Off-Roading, and Safety

Standard power comes from the reliable 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Trailhawk, Overland, Summit trims can be equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 357 hp and 390 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic is standard for both engines. Those who require solid towing should opt for the V8 with its 7,200-pound capacity.

There's also the first-ever Grand Cherokee plug-in hybrid, the 4xe. It combines a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a pair of electric motors and a 400-volt battery pack for a total of 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.

Three 4x4 off-roading systems are available: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II. The latter features a rear electronic limited-slip differential and all three systems have an active transfer case to help improve traction.

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The Quadra-Lift air suspension boasts electronic semi-active damping and has up to 11.3-inches of ground clearance and 24 inches of water fording. The Selec-Terrain traction management system has five modes: Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud/Sand. The Trailhawk is for off-road enthusiasts, featuring 18-inch all-terrain tires, integrated off-road camera, red tow hooks, and high-strength steel skid plates, among other goodies.

Some standard safety includes full-speed collision warning, active land management, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and advanced brake assist. A few available systems are a night vision camera, drowsy driver detection, and a 360-degree surround-view camera system.

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Pricing and Competition

Official pricing has not been announced but it shouldn't deviate too much from that of the outgoing generation, which starts off at about $34,000 and goes up to nearly $60k. A fully-loaded Summit Reserve is likely to surpass the $60k mark this time.

The new Grand Cherokee faces very familiar competition, such as the Kia Telluride, Toyota 4Runner, Ford Explorer, and the Subaru Ascent. The Toyota Highlander should also be considered by anyone who's turned off by the 4Runner's truck underpinnings.

Jeep says the 2022 Grand Cherokee will arrive in dealerships nationwide by the end of this year. Production will continue to take place in Michigan, though it'll be at the new Detroit Assembly Complex - Mack Plant.

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