Jeep Makes it a Grand New Year
Eat Sleep Drive Repeat
11 January 2021
Grander Cherokee unveiled
Jeep kicks off the new year by unveiling its fifth generation Grand Cherokee.
The Grand Cherokee L is a 7-seat SUV that promises improvements to Jeep’s off-road capabilities, with better safety, comfort and on-road manners.
It also introduces a new look for the big Jeep, now less muscular and more athletic. Although it rides on up to 22” wheels, the rest of the package appears slimmed down, with narrowed grille, headlights and taillights.
The Grand Cherokee is powered by a choice of two engines. The 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine puts out 216kW and 348Nm, while the 5,7 V8 has outputs of 266kW and 528Nm. Both motors have efficiency-boosting tech - electronic start / stop in the case of the V6, and cylinder deactivation for the V8. The only gearbox option in the range is the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic. A new innovation for the Grand Cherokee L 4x4 is a front axle disconnect system, which will send drive to the rear wheels only when the vehicle senses that road conditions do not require all-wheel drive.
For the interior, Jeep had quite lofty ambitions for its newcomer: to create “the most exquisite and technically advanced interiors in the industry”. To help achieve this, there’s a new layout with slimmed-down elements and an all-new multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters; upgraded materials like open-pore wood veneers; and the latest tech, including wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto. The Uconnect system features a 10.1-inch touch display, while the instrument cluster is a 10.25-inch all-digital unit.
Adaptive cruise control, highway assist, night vision, drowsy driver detection and speed limit traffic signs display are available as part of the Grand Cherokee package,
Passenger comfort includes 16-way power adjustable seating for front passengers, available with ventilation and massage functions. Seat heating is also available for the second row of captain’s chairs, which sit aside a new second-row console; the rear cabin also features armrests, cup holders, and USB Type A and Type C ports.
Customisable interior LED lighting is now standard on all models, while four-zone climate control is available on selected models. Other model-specific standard features include McIntosh premium audio, dual-pane sunroof with a power sunshade and electronic remote folding for the the second row of seats.
The new Jeep Cherokee has made sure to maintain Jeep’s status as one of the world’s top off-road machines by including three 4x4 model-dependent systems – Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with rear electronic limited slip-differential (eLSD). All three systems are equipped with an active transfer case that improves traction by moving torque to the wheel with the most grip.
Quadra-Lift air suspension is also available and includes electronic adaptive damping. Operating automatically or controlled manually, the system can drop the Grand Cherokee by as much as 46mm, or raise it by as much as 60mm for a total ground clearance of 276.8mm, and up to 609mm wading depth.
Taking control of on- and off-road driving is Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction management system. It offers five modes which automatically set up the throttle response, transmission, 4x4 torque split, braking, handling, steering, suspension, transfer case, traction control, stability control, ABS and steering feel to suit driving conditions. No word yet on the new Grand Cherokee’s arrival in SA, but it will be arriving in the US in the first half of 2021.