While other brands are trying to make their SUV’s more sporty, it’s evolution, not revolution over at Jeep. Their Grand Cherokee now wears the L moniker, with 7-seats, and a new design that’s big and bold.
We’ve jumped into the mid-pack Limited, priced at $88,750 plus on-roads, plus any optional extras you decide to throw in on top. If you have a thing for understated American automotive goodness, then this will be right up your alley.
The front end is exactly what you would expect, with the classic 7-slot grille looking just as good here on a 2022 family SUV wagon, as it did on the early US renaissance Jeep. The front bumper thus, doesn’t get, nor need much attention.
All the necessities are there, the sensors, cameras, the LEDs, all doing their thing, not taking anything away from what is a beautiful looking car. Around the sides, there are big doors, big windows and big wheel arches.
Absent are any flicks or angles in the bodywork. It’s all purpose and intent. The squared off wheel arches and the crease line that meets the front and rear lights are all this car needs to maintain the tough Jeep aesthetic.
The proper wagon rear end also has a simple elegance to it. There is no fake exhaust tips or vents to be found. It truly looks like the designers of the Grand Cherokee L exterior put their pens down on a great design before they got too silly.
The standard wheels for the L Limited are 20-inch polished 5 spoke alloys, which are, while not ugly by any stretch, lacking in style compared to the rest of the car. Either standard wheel from the Night Eagle and Summit models are easily better suited.
The L Limited is available in five colours, and costs $1,750 extra if you don’t want the white one. Cue the dads rolling out the “yeah but it’s a lot of paint” jokes, but hey, the old man is right on that one.
The Grand Cherokee L looks like a big car from the outside, and it looks even bigger from the inside. Much like the exterior styling being classy but not overdone, that translates to the interior.
The layout is very pleasing to look at, with timber grain laminate wrapping around the doors and across the dash, with leather/plastic treatment above and below. Touch points are reasonably good on the centre console and arm rest too, elevating the comfort levels.
It brings up the enjoyment factor of being seated in the car, which is a happy place to be. The jewel in the crown though is the 10.1-inch U Connect infotainment system. It’s the newest generation of technology that has traditionally been well received by all users.
The interface is intuitive and there is no sign of lag when swiping across menus, even when using wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The inbuilt GPS is very easy to use and you are able to construct the home screen how you want it.
There’s a 9-speaker stereo system which really works well with the hall shaped cabin, providing impressive acoustics, with AM/FM and DAB+. A new feature is FamCam, letting you keep any eye on the rear seats thanks to cameras mounted inside the car.
This is particularly good when it comes to rear facing baby seats, or alternatively checking out which child is the one playing up. Outside the driver’s seat is where this car really starts to hit its stride.
The extended wheel base offers the passengers from all three rows premium levels of comfort. Seated in the middle row almost feels like the ‘second’ front row with the amount of space and dials you are looking at.
There’s plenty of space between your knees and the true front seats, along with the heated second row seating and connectivity ports on the back of the centre console. You are even able to slide the seats forward to give the full sized adults behind you more room.
Getting into the third row is made very easy because the second row seats fold forward. We’d liken it to the ease of jumping in the back row of a van. Once in the third row, again the space is the first thing you notice.
For a full size adult, this is still a perfectly comfortable seat to be in for a long drive. Your knees only just touch the seats in front if your above 180cm, but that’s manageable because you still have plenty of head space, drink holders and connectivity ports.
The ambience of the interior is a real strength of this car, further highlighted by the ventilation built into the B and C pillars. The Grand Cherokee L is very much a passenger’s car, and there’s still a surprising amount of cargo space behind the third row.
With all the seats in use, you get 487-litres. With the third row down that number grows to 1,328 litres, and better yet, with both second and third rows down, you have a whopping 2,395 litres to play with.
Safety hasn’t been forgotten either, with active lane management, autonomous emergency braking with cyclist detection, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go. Front and rear parking sensors and multiple camera views around the car also help with parking.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited is powered by a 3.6-litre petrol V6 putting out 210kW of power, with 344Nm of torque. This doesn’t sound too bad, until you remember the big, bold, seven adult moving luxury land barge we are talking about.
Much like your stereotypical yank, it makes a big song and dance about getting up and going, but once you find the sweet spot, its quite effective. The suspension set up can handle the weight shifting around, and it’s particularly good under brakes.
It is very stable and even in the worst conditions, there is a feeling of attachment to the road. You would think by now it’s going to be painful looking at the fuel consumption numbers, but at an average of 10.6-litres/100km, its actually pretty impressive.
There are snow and mud/dirt drive modes if you find yourself in those conditions, which while being a cool option, this car is very much a street fighter. There is however, that ever present whisper “what about the build quality” that is there when considering a Jeep.
Despite some criticisms from other media outlets, the example we had was perfectly fine. Panels aligned, interior felt sturdy, and all things considered, it was everything the price tag promised, over the week we had it in our possession for testing.
The Grand Cherokee L Limited is an improvement on nearly every aspect of the previous model. Jeep are punching upwards at the moment, and they need to be if they want to be considered on the same level as the big German makes.
As a driver, the thing looks great, performs well, and has premium levels of comfort for the family. As a passenger, this writer hopes his Uber driver has one. There may be build quality questions, but if you can get your hands on a good one, it just might be gold.
Our test vehicle was provided by Jeep Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited, contact your local Jeep dealer.