Review: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

by Michael Satterfield - 08/15/2021

Jeep has long been considered the pioneer of the SUV, with a history stretching back over 100 years with the first Willys Overland models. But one segment has been underserved by Jeep for decades, the all-important third-row mid-sized SUV, in fact, the last third row offered in this segment was the Jeep Commander, which went out of production in 2010, so Jeep is long overdue for a third-row SUV. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L will be slotted between the standard wheelbase Grand Cherokee and the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and is sure to be a sales hit for the brand. As former Jeep Grand Cherokee owners, the third row would have solved a lot of problems, so Jennifer and I were excited to drive the L. 

First Drive: Jeep Grand Cherokee L

The new Grand Cherokee L starts at $41,175 and features all the modern luxury, infotainment, and tech consumers have come to expect. Under the hood are the same V-6 and V-8 engines from the short wheelbase Grand Cherokee. Rear-wheel drive is standard, jeeps Quadra-Drive all-wheel-drive system is optional and according to Jeep, it is the most advanced version ever. We didn't get a chance to take the L off-road, but it is unlikely we would ever take this kind of SUV on anything more difficult than a dirt road anyways, so unless you live where it snows the rear-wheel-drive version should be fine. 

First Drive: Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Jeep is offering several trim levels with the Laredo starting at $41,175 ranging all the way up to the Summit Reserve which starts at $62,855. The Overland edition we are driving has a base price of $55,795 which with a few optional packages it offers all the luxuries you could ever ask for including Nappa leather seats with back massagers, heads up display, McIntosh premium audio, and a great 10.1-inch display. The L, when equipped with the V8, is also capable of towing up to 6,200 lbs so it can haul the family and the boat in one trip. 

First Drive: Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Driving the Grand Cherokee L shows that Jeep has put a lot more effort into reducing road-noise, the cabin is shockingly quiet when compared to our previous generation Grand Cherokee and the materials, fit and finish, and overall ergonomics make this by far the best Cherokee yet to drive. The 293 hp V6 offers more than enough power and the 8-speed automatic transmission is smooth and refined. The air ride suspension soaks up bumps and potholes and offers one of the best rides we've ever had in a Jeep.

First Drive: Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Overall the new Grand Cherokee L fills a void in the Jeep lineup and does everything very well, both Jennifer and I were impressed with the visibility, comfort, luxury features, and overall quality for the price point. After a week of driving, both Jennifer and I found ourselves comparing it to the Range Rover Sport, the only Land Rover offering with a 3rd row, which when comparably equipped to the Jeep Overland test vehicle, comes in at $85,990. Jeep is offering a lot of value and capability in the new Grand Cherokee L and we suspect that it will be taking sales from the big European luxury brands.

For more on the Grand Cherokee L visit

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