2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited review (video)

Brett Davis

The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is the latest release from the iconic American 4×4 brand, debuting a host of new features and technologies while carrying over plenty of its traditional off-road character and capabilities.

It was only about 10 years ago that the Jeep Grand Cherokee was one of the best-selling SUVs in Australia, outright. During 2014 it reported 16,582 sales, which was more than the Toyota Prado at the time (16,112). And then over the years the trend has spiralled downward, with just 1780 sales reported in 2022, according to VFACTS new vehicle registration figures. So, what happened?

Well, we think a number of things happened to create a perfect storm for the large SUV, including an influx of desirable mid-size SUVs and a general market shift to mid-sizers, as well as a falling reputation for the Jeep brand likely not helped by the countless safety recalls issued in Australia.

But now there’s an all-new model, built with more modern roots, a fresh face, and vastly updated technology. It also welcomes the letter L, which basically means long and large. Will it be able to win buyers back? Let’s take a look.

Three trim lines are on sale in Australia, spanning from the Night Eagle, Limited, and Summit Reserve. Starting prices range from $82,750, $88,750, and $115,950 (excluding on-road costs). It is an expensive one but you do get a lot of vehicle for your money.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited – THE SPECS

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]Engine: 3.6-litre V6 petrol
Output: 210kW@6400rpm / 344Nm@4000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Drive type: Four-wheel drive
Wheels: F & R: 20×8.5, 265/50
ANCAP: Not tested
Tare weight: 2190kg
Power-to-weight: 10.42:1 (kg:kW)
Official fuel economy: 10.6L/100km
Economy during test: 12.1L/100km
Fuel capacity/Type: 87L/91 RON[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]Power efficiency: 19.81kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 4.00 seconds*
0-100km/h: 8.65 seconds*
60-110km/h: 6.13 seconds*
1/4 mile: 16.24 seconds at 142.0km/h*
Max acceleration: 0.726g*
100-0km/h braking: 3.34 seconds at 41.17 metres*
Max deceleration: -1.152g*
Decibel at idle: 39*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 84*
Priced from: $88,750[/column][end_columns]

* Figures as tested by PerformanceDrive on the day. Factory claims may be different

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited – THE PACKAGE

All feature a 3.6-litre ‘Pentastar’ V6 petrol engine producing 210kW and 344Nm, which is sent through a four-wheel drive system via an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s unfortunate that Australia misses out on the 5.7-litre V8 HEMI option offered overseas, and there’s even a ‘4xe’ plug-in hybrid option available in some markets. Instead, the V6 petrol is carried over from the previous generation. More on that later.

From the outside, the Grand Cherokee L Limited looks like a classic Jeep, with its iconic seven-slot grille and sturdy bold lines. The exterior has been updated with modern touches such as slim LED headlights and taillights, plus 20-inch alloy wheels for a sporty look. It also comes with black accents around the windows and door handles for that street appeal. We quite like the design. The previous model was always cherished for its handsome and rugged looks, and we think that trait is carried over nicely with the new model.

We’re not a big fan of the 20-inch alloy wheels fitted to the Limited though, mainly because they are full chrome and lack sophistication, adopting a basic five-spoke spoke pattern. They are very American, and we guess they go hand-in-hand with the rest of the styling theme. From the back you can see the long and continuous roofline, which gives you some hint of its big interior and long wheelbase of 3092mm – that’s a whopping 242mm longer than the 300 Series LandCruiser, and 17mm longer than the current Nissan Patrol.

This is an impressive interior. It’s not only expansive and accommodating, but presents a classy design, too. The main 10.1-inch touch-screen is a cinch to use, running Uconnect 5.0, and it’s angled in a way that blends with the dash contour. We like the climate control buttons on a separate panel below so they are easy to adjust while driving, and there’s heaps of storage space for all your things. There’s also more than enough charging sources, including USB, USB-C, a wireless pad, and a 12-volt socket. And that’s just in the front.

The driving position is pretty good, although the big steering wheel can make it feel like a truck – probably what Jeep was aiming for. The seats are comfortable and offer plenty of adjustment. We like the way the doors feel a bit heavy and chunky, as it supports the sturdy and heavy-duty character of Jeep.

In the back, well, this is about as large as it gets. The legroom in the second row is just ridiculous, and the bench slides so you can prioritise room for the third row if you want to. You don’t have to worry about keeping devices charged, either, as there is another array of charging port options presented on the back face of the centre console, including a proper 150W/230V household socket.

The second row works on a flip and slide mechanism, leaving heaps of access space to climb into the third row. And even back here the legroom is very good, with divots in the ceiling adding extra headroom. Did anyone say USB port? Yep, there are four more in the third row (USB and USB-C, on both sides). Family road trips couldn’t be easier. Some climate vents in the C-pillar ensure optimum comfort as well.

Surprisingly – or unsurprisingly, really, considering the external dimensions – you’re still left with almost 500 litres of boot space with the third row in place. With 487L, that’s plenty for weekly shopping or a family-load of school bags and random bits and pieces. It’s actually similar to what you get in a mid-size SUV. Fold down the third row and space grows to 1328L, and then to 2395 litres with the second row folded. Another power socket is featured in the boot (12V), and there’s an under-floor plastic tub, ideal for storing wet or dirty items.

Safety wise there are plenty of active safety systems presented here including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking with cyclist detection, traffic sign recognition, and surround-view cameras. ANCAP has not provided a safety rating.

The best aspect of the cabin in our opinion is the sheer practicality and simplicity of it all. There’s more than enough passenger space in the first two rows, and enough in the third row including for adults. And then the dash offers an excellent user interface experience, with one of the best touch-screen systems we’ve seen in this class. We like the range of physical buttons surrounding the screen for the important or commonly-used functions as well, while the screen menus offer loads of depth; there’s also some interesting real-time off-road pages and displays to play around with.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited – THE DRIVE

You could never guess it, but the new model is in fact built on the same platform that underpins the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Giulia, called the Giorgio layout. Obviously it has been extended and modified to suit the big tank, accommodating the large cabin while supporting heavy-duty 4×4 running gear. Speaking of which, the Limited comes with Jeep’s Quadra-Trac I active 4×4 system with Selec-Terrain driving modes, and a single-speed active transfer case.

Ground clearance is rated at 215mm, which, to be honest, is not very impressive. The 20.6-degree approach and 21.5-degree departure angles are not particularly attractive either, with the LandCruiser Sahara (32/25) and Patrol Ti (28/26.3) presenting more meaningful dimensions. They also offer more ground clearance, at 245mm and 273mm. And we know, technically the Grand Cherokee L is not in the same class in Australia, instead competing with the likes of the Toyota Prado and co.

It’s a bit of a shame we’re left with this ageing petrol V6. It’s a good engine, having won a number of awards over the years. But it is getting old now and we feel like it lacks the torque a big SUV like this deserves. Peak torque is available at a 4000rpm. Not only is that a relatively high rev point for a large SUV, you’ll only receive a serving of 344Nm.

Many 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engines these days generate 350Nm or more, and often at lower revs. This essentially means it’s always revving and being noisy and busy. The Torqueflite 850RE eight-speed auto – based on the renowned ZF 8HP – seems to be calibrated to make the most of the engine’s abilities. Often we see peaky engines paired with a gearboxes that hunt around a lot to try and find the optimum rev range, but not this one. It is well-suited and decisive.

This V6 engine does sound pretty good though, with a nice roar and some throaty gargle low in the revs. We’re sure we can hear a swift parp during upshifts under full throttle as well, almost like a DCT. Performance is a bit below average for this kind of setup; petrol V6 in a large SUV. Using a private road and our Vbox Sport we clocked 0-100km/h in 8.65 seconds. For reference we’ve timed the Toyota Kluger V6 (GX) in 7.60 seconds, the Hyundai Santa Fe V6 in 8.00 seconds, and the Palisade V6 in 8.01 seconds.

Fuel economy is rated at 10.6L/100km on the official combined cycle. That’s not particularly good compared with some of the more efficient competitors, especially the turbo-diesel and hybrid packages out at the moment. However, for a petrol V6 it is about average. Over a distance of about 1037km our trip computer displayed a reading of 12.1L/100km.

With the Giorgio platform, the new Grand Cherokee L obviously has good foundations. Out on a winding road it handles well to a certain point. And that point is likely to be higher than where most SUV owners are going to want to push it, or expect to be able to push it. However, compared with some SUVs we have driven in this class, on the same strip of road, the Jeep can feel unsettled and vague through the steering when pushed.

We did experience a strange shunting sensation at times, mainly when encountering little bumps on the road. There seems to be a pulsing moment  as the suspension and steering work out the best plan of attack. We did feel it when driving normally as well and not just when pushing hard. Being such a long vehicle (5.2m), it can be typical for feedback to be more delayed than in a smaller vehicle.

It doesn’t exhibit excessive body roll or pitch and squat during braking and acceleration, though. In fact, body control is quite good for a large SUV. This is not some floaty-boaty road barge, like some rivals. And ride comfort is pleasurable, if a little choppy at times. It’s also fairly easy to manage in the suburbs despite its substantial footprint.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited – THE VIDEO

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited – THE VERDICT

From its bold exterior design to its outstanding interior amenities, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited is an interesting choice in the demanding large SUV market segment. Brand fans will appreciate the off-road-readiness, but hardcore enthusiasts won’t enjoy the comparatively low ground clearance and long wheelbase. The peaky V6 also doesn’t bode well for low-end torque for towing and off-roading, or economy.

For us, the most enjoyable area of this vehicle is the interior. This is very practical and user-friendly, and it’s not cheap-looking or rushed. It’s a nice design. It seems like Jeep engineers have spent considerable time listening to customers and applying the most sought-after attributes.

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]PROS:
– Excellent Uconnect 5.0 touch-screen
– USB and USB-C ports everywhere you look
– Passenger space and boot space
– Nice consistent design inside and out
[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]CONS:
– V6 lacks low-end torque, pretty thirsty too
– Feels a bit like a truck to drive; shunting/pulsing sensation over bumps
– A lot more expensive than Grand Cherokee predecessor[/column][end_columns]

As always, if you’re thinking about buying a new car don’t forget to click here to speak with our car buying specialists.

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