2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Adds a Third Row for the First Time

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Adds A Third Row For The First Time - Wbe1B3Rgtiuwijszmzyt 1
Photo: Jeep

Now your Jeep Grand Cherokee can seat the whole family.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a fan favorite among Jeep enthusiasts that need a little extra comfort for the kids, and now the brand has continued to deliver. With a third row and tons of first for Chrysler, the 2021 edition is going to be a hit. Its competition in the mid-size SUV market have been selling 3-row SUVs like hotcakes; it’s time for Jeep to deliver.

Chrysler, which owns the Jeep brand, has been teasing a new three-row SUV, but no one knew where it would be coming until today. This machine will be built in the company’s Detroit plant, with deliveries to dealerships starting in the second quarter of 2021.

There is no official price yet, but estimates have it starting at around $40,000. Now, let’s run you through the details of what we do know.

Related: The Best 7 Seater SUVs for Back to School Carpools

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

You’ll still know it’s a Jeep, but you can feel refined while driving it. Photo: Jeep

The Jeep Legacy

While the Jeep Grand Cherokee L may be a nice family transporter, don’t think that it’s skimping on off-road capabilities. This car offers three different 4×4 systems, with higher trims offering even more adaptability when off-roading. These options change the amount of torque being used, the activation of the electronic limited-slip differential, and automatically sends power to wheels that it senses need a little extra help.

It’s also offering something called Quadra-Lift, which is basically just Jeep’s name for its air suspension. It offers five different pre-set modes—Normal, Off-Road 1, Off-Road 2, Park, and Aero modes—that can be enabled as-is or customized to fit the driver’s preferences. Basically, these modes change the ride height of the Grand Cherokee L in order to best fit what you’re doing. If you’re on the highway and need to save fuel, pop it into Aero mode. If you need to ford a two-foot river, you’ll want Off-Road 2.

There are also five different terrain modes available—Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud/Sand—so your machine will already be optimized for the task at hand before you even start crossing it. It also features descent control in certain models, which will work in both forward and reverse. An extra off-road package adds better traction, high-strength skid plates, and more.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Endless combinations of drive modes and suspension settings make this the perfect family off-roader. Photo: Jeep

A Fresh Makeover

You can’t get away with selling a new car these days if it doesn’t also get a nice makeover, and Jeep has done just that—which it kind of had to, considering it has tons of extra length as a result of that third row!

So, while the body is much longer now, Jeep has done a great job making things feel streamlined, which comes down to things like the slim LED headlights and front grill, lots of window space, tight wheel flares, and a tidy rear fascia. From the front and rear, you know you’re looking at a Jeep, but it’s like the Jeep that settled down, got a good job, bought a nice house, had a few kids, and discovered the importance of aesthetically pleasing architecture in its spare time.

Now imagine the lobby of a modern five-star hotel. That’s a little bit like what you’re getting with the Jeep Grand Cherokee L’s interior. Warm leather serves as a great contrast to larger infotainment and digital cluster screens. The center console is beautifully streamlined into the rest of the car, and there are captain’s seats in the second row for the kids. Depending on your trim level, you can opt for warmer or cooler colors.

And with that third row, Jeep has prioritized space. The second and third rows both fold down, and the third row can feature two seats instead of three for more space. You’ll have ambient LED lighting, different temperature settings for each row, plenty of cupholders, and USB chargers for everyone.

Last on our list is space, which is important to everyone:

  • Car seats added to the second row do not have to be removed to access the third row
  • Third-row passengers will have 37.3 inches of headroom
  • Second-row seats recline 18 degrees
  • Rear cargo volume behind the second row is 49.6 cubic feet
  • With second and third row seats folded, that cargo space expands to 84.6 cubic feet

 Related: The 10 Best Small SUVs (With Small-ish Price Tags) for Weekend Adventure

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

The warm interior feels like a beautiful lounge. Photo: Jeep

Safety Features Galore

The Jeep Grand Cherokee L promises to be a class leader in the safety realm with a suite of over 100 different features.

Standard on the car will be:

  • Full-speed collision warning with active braking
  • Rear seat monitoring
  • Pedestrian/cyclist Detection
  • Rear cross path detection
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane management
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Advanced brake assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear back-up camera
  • Rear park assist sensors
  • Switch-activated electric park brake
  • Tire-pressure monitoring
  • LED lighting
  • Steel-reinforced body designed to direct crash impact away from cabin

More advanced technologies include:

  • Uconnect 5 system, which I’ll talk about in more detail below
  • Rear-seat monitoring camera
  • Digital rearview mirror that you can activate or deactivate
  • Full color heads-up display that displays up to five different information elements
  • Frameless digital cluster
  • McIntosh 19-speaker premium audio system

Now, there are some other bits of safety tech that need some more explanation. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L features level two automated driving capabilities. That means that certain features of the driving experience are automated but that, ultimately, it’s up to us humans to take control—but that the SUV is also optimized to monitor your behaviors. So, it’ll be watching that your eyes stay on the road and your hand stays on the steering wheel while also helping you stay in the lane, slow down for corners, and remain an acceptable following distance behind the car in front of you.

On higher trims, you’ll find things like night vision cameras to help you monitor the road in the dark, intersection collision assist to make sure no one is careening into the intersection when you’re about to go, traffic sign recognition to ensure you don’t miss any crucial information, a 360-degree camera to help you get a sense of your vehicle’s surroundings, and parallel and perpendicular park assist, which uses sensors to guide your Grand Cherokee L into parking spaces.

Related: Two Jeeps I Can’t Wait to Drive — or Buy: Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Wrangler 4xe Plug-in Hybrid

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Screens, buttons, and toggle switches for all. Photo: Jeep

Now, let’s talk about Uconnect 5, which is Jeep’s name for this SUV’s infotainment center. Its name comes from the fact that it’s five times faster than any previous Uconnect model. Its highlight reel includes:

  • 8.4-inch or 10.1-inch digital touchscreen, depending on the trim
  • Five user profiles plus a valet mode – customizable music preferences, apps, seat position, mirror angles and climate comfort levels
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Fully customizable home screen for quick access to frequently used features and one-touch operation
  • Simultaneous connectivity for two Bluetooth-enabled phones
  • Alexa “Home to Car” functionality to include in-vehicle Alexa virtual assistant with natural voice capability and “Car to Home” features
  • All-new Uconnect mobile app
  • SiriusXM 360L platform and new Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora
  • TomTom navigation with predictive search, natural speak and live traffic updates
  • Maps OTA updates at the push of a button for Uconnect NAV system
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot to connect up to eight wireless devices
Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Fold down the second row for more leg room. Photo: Jeep

Let’s Talk Specs

We need to get down to the nitty-gritty. Let’s talk about numbers and specs. We’ll start with the first of two engine options:

  • 3.6-liter Pentastar V6
  • 290 horsepower and 257 lb-ft of torque
  • Standard fuel saving technology
  • 6,200 pound towing capacity
  • An estimated driving range of nearly 500 miles
  • This is a great option for anyone who needs a spacious daily driver that can handle your basic adventurous needs.

And the second engine option:

  • 5.7-liter Hemi V8
  • 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque
  • Fuel saving technology activated when not required
  • 7,200 pound towing capacity
  • No current range estimation
  • This is a great option for the people with large families that also need more power for towing and off-roading capabilities.

There are also hints that an electric version will be available in the future as well.

Both engines come fitted to an eight-speed automatic transmission. You can toggle the options here to send power to just the rear wheels or to all four, depending on what you need. As we stated before, pricing is yet to come, but we can expect base models to start around $40,000.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

You’re not sacrificing space for seating. Photo: Jeep

I'm Elizabeth Blackstock, managing editor of AGGTC, blogger, journalist, novelist, editor, MA/MFA graduate student, wife, motorsport fanatic, and bearer... More about Elizabeth Blackstock