Jeep’s New Grand Cherokee L Has Hit South Africa
Jeep has revealed its latest Grand Cherokee L, and it looks set to shake up the local luxury SUV market.
The Grand Cherokee has always been Jeep’s luxury contender but for some reason, the Wrangler’s more reserved older brother and the classiest member of the Jeep family never carried the same sense of sophistication as its European counterparts.
Well…that is about the change because Jeep has just launched their brand-new Jeep Cherokee L and this time, it looks like they’ve taken the “Good ol’ American boy done good” image, and spruced it up with Stellantis’ (Jeep’s parent company) European sophistication to ensure they can take on the Germans and Brits at the own game.
So, how have they achieved this? For starters, there are the Grand Cherokee L’s new looks which retain Jeep’s trademark 7-seven slot grill and boxiness but the designers have thrown in surface detailing, a “Range Roveresque” body line and the slimline LED headlights. This redesign is far more sophisticated than the last two generations of Grand Cherokee which looked way too brutish.
Underneath the new skin, the Grand Cherokee employs independent front and multi-link rear suspension to ensure improved comfort and on-road behaviour.
Being a Jeep though, the engineers could not leave out the off-road stuff that makes it worthy of the name, and that's why the Grand Cherokee L is available with one of three 4x4 systems, Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited slip-differential (eLSD). Regardless of which system your variant is offered with, it will include an active transfer case which improves traction by transferring the available torque to the wheel with the most grip. Working in conjunction with the Quadra-Trac is the Selec-Terrain traction management with five terrain modes, Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, and Mud/Sand.
To further improve their Grand Cherokee L’s on/off-road life balance, Jeep has also equipped it with their Quadra-Lift Air Suspension which allows automatic height adjustment and features electronic adaptive damping that can soften or stiffen the ride depending on driving conditions.
Opening the door, all that sophistication on the outside and under the skin leads to an equally sophisticated and luxurious interior. Gone are the days when American cars had the most uninspiring and badly assembled interiors. In the Grand Cherokee L, you get a two-tone dash with fine stitch detailing, slim line vents, leather-clad seats and my personal favourite, the steering wheel which has a very minimalist and Scandinavian feel, like it was designed by a Swedish architect who drove a Volvo before moving to the US where he bought one their SUVs. Aside from my almost unnecessary focus on the steering wheel, another area where you should focus on in the Grand Cherokee L is in the back where, for the first time, Jeep has thrown in a third row of seats. That third row of seats, together with the overall design of the interior has earned the Grand Cherokee L a place on WardsAuto’s 10 Best Interiors for 2021 list.
Apart from sporting an eye-catching design, the interior is also host to an equally impressive array of technology, headed up by a 4-inch or 10.1-inch digital touchscreen that allows you to control the Uconnect 5 system. With Uconnect 5, you can enjoy Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, simultaneous connectivity from two Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and connect to the Uconnect mobile app to name but a few.
Powering all this new design, luxury and technology is Jeep’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine that produces 210kW and 344Nm of torque and is equipped with engine start-stop (ESS) technology which should help you save on fuel.
When it comes to pricing, Jeep has not held back, starting at R1,299,900 for the Limited, R1,479,900 for the Overland and R1,679,900 for the Summit Reserve trim levels. With those price tags, you will also be happy to know that Jeep has thrown in a standard Five years/120,000km warranty and Roadside Assistance.
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