Jeep continues showcasing grand SUVs with big Grand Cherokee L

The Grand Cherokee L is a seven-passenger SUV (compared to eight-passenger configuration for the Grand Wagoneer). When it comes to the manufacturer's suggested retail price and value, the Grand Cherokee L outshines the pricey Grand Wagoneer. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/JIMMY DINSMORE

Combined ShapeCaption
The Grand Cherokee L is a seven-passenger SUV (compared to eight-passenger configuration for the Grand Wagoneer). When it comes to the manufacturer's suggested retail price and value, the Grand Cherokee L outshines the pricey Grand Wagoneer. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/JIMMY DINSMORE

The Jeep brand is on quite a roll lately. I’ve already driven and reviewed the outstanding Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I raved on that full-sized SUV as one of the best vehicles over the last several years. Coming in a notch behind that in both excellence and size is the Grand Cherokee L. The L portion is what makes the Grand Cherokee different. One letter makes a big difference.

The Grand Cherokee L is a seven-passenger SUV (compared to eight-passenger configuration for the Grand Wagoneer). Plus the Grand Cherokee L is just slightly shorter than the Grand Wagoneer. So in some ways it’s less grand than the Grand Wagoneer, but when it comes to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and value, the Grand Cherokee L outshines the pricey Grand Wagoneer.

Perhaps the Grand Cherokee L has other competitors in its sights, while the Grand Wagoneer aims right at the Cadillac Escalade. With a base price under $60,000, the Grand Cherokee L can honestly put a lot of competitors in its scope and target them.

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For the 2022 model year, the Grand Cherokee L is mostly a carryover after its introduction last model year. It has that iconic waterfall grille that has been part of Jeep for so many years and also has a stout posture and a prototypical profile. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/JIMMY DINSMORE

For the 2022 model year, the Grand Cherokee L is mostly a carryover after its introduction last model year. It has that iconic waterfall grille that has been part of Jeep for so many years and also has a stout posture and a prototypical profile. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/JIMMY DINSMORE

Combined ShapeCaption
For the 2022 model year, the Grand Cherokee L is mostly a carryover after its introduction last model year. It has that iconic waterfall grille that has been part of Jeep for so many years and also has a stout posture and a prototypical profile. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/JIMMY DINSMORE

For the 2022 model year, the Grand Cherokee L is mostly a carryover after its introduction last model year. There are more available touch screens inside the Grand Cherokee L, similar to those in the Grand Wagoneer. That’s certainly a good thing.

Otherwise, aesthetically, this seven-passenger SUV is familiar. It has that iconic waterfall grille that has been part of Jeep for so many years. It has a stout posture and a prototypical profile that loses some distinction. Among other full-size SUVs it loses a little personality (when compared to the Grand Wagoneer) by having a less elegant exterior.

Other than the snazzy L-symbol on the back bumper and the Grand Cherokee American-flag logo on the side, there’s little else to make this SUV pop out from a crowded field of competitors.

My tester was the Summit Reserve trim, which brings with some great interior elements that help re-establish this SUV as something that stands out from the crowd. As was the case with my Grand Wagoneer experience, the Grand Cherokee made me say wow several times and exclaim, “Who does Jeep think they are!”

That’s a great exclamation and truly shows how Jeep has rebranded itself thanks to SUVs like the Grand Cherokee. Sure Jeep still has the rugged Wrangler, with its basic interior, but it can really pack on the refinement and luxury, too. And with the Grand Cherokee L, the interior screams luxury with every glance and every feel of the high-end touchpoints.

For 2022, Jeep brings an optional 10.1-inch touchscreen to the passenger side dashboard, mimicking that in the Grand Wagoneer. Standard is a 10.25-inch digital cluster and an 8.4-inch touchscreen that integrates smoothly with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Stellantis, the company that owns Jeep, continues to have one of the cleanest, and most intuitive, infotainment systems in the industry. And all the technology comes together perfectly within the Grand Cherokee L.

Combined ShapeCaption
With the Grand Cherokee L, the interior screams luxury with every glance and every feel of the high-end touchpoints. For 2022, Jeep brings an optional 10.1-inch touchscreen to the passenger side dashboard. Standard is a 10.25-inch digital cluster and an 8.4-inch touchscreen that integrates smoothly with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/JIMMY DINSMORE

With the Grand Cherokee L, the interior screams luxury with every glance and every feel of the high-end touchpoints.  For 2022, Jeep brings an optional 10.1-inch touchscreen to the passenger side dashboard. Standard is a 10.25-inch digital cluster and an 8.4-inch touchscreen that integrates smoothly with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/JIMMY DINSMORE

Combined ShapeCaption
With the Grand Cherokee L, the interior screams luxury with every glance and every feel of the high-end touchpoints. For 2022, Jeep brings an optional 10.1-inch touchscreen to the passenger side dashboard. Standard is a 10.25-inch digital cluster and an 8.4-inch touchscreen that integrates smoothly with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/JIMMY DINSMORE

The cargo area behind the third-row seat is impressive with 17.2 cubic feet (with seats upright). The overall cargo area is 84.6 cubic feet with all seats folded, showing how big and resourceful this SUV is.

My tester had the optional Summit Reserve equipment package, which brings with a 19-speaker sound system, ventilated front seats, Palermo leather door trim and high-quality leather seats throughout.

None of these niceties would matter if the performance wasn’t there.

Thankfully, the Grand Cherokee L has a capable 3.6-liter V6 engine. This is less power than that in the Grand Wagoneer, but it also doesn’t struggle off the line. The 293 horsepower is adequate, and the 8-speed automatic transmission offers smooth, confident shifts. For those wanting more power, there is an optional 5.7-liter, V8 engine.

My tester came with available four-wheel drive and variable road settings. This adds an extra amount of confidence and also holds true to Jeep’s capable, off-road prowess. You won’t traverse a mountainside with the Grand Cherokee L, but in rough road conditions it will outperform many other competitors.

Base price of my tester was $59,660. With additional equipment packages and options, my tester had a final MSRP of $67,090.

Fuel economy for the V6-powered, four-wheel drive SUV is rated at 18 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway. In a week’s worth of mostly suburban-type driving I averaged just over 21 mpg.

You know Jeep is onto something when the only comparable vehicle to the Grand Cherokee L is another Jeep SUV. The grandness continues from Jeep and it’s on full display in the 2022 Grand Cherokee L.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at jimmydinsmore73@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @driversside

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Price/As tested price................................................ $59,600/$67,090

Mileage.......................................... 18 mpg/city; 25 mpg/hwy

Engine............................................. 3.6-liter V6

Horsepower................................. 293 hp/260 lbs./ft.

Transmission................................. 8-speed automatic

Drive Wheels................ Four-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point................ Detroit, Michigan

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