With a touch of luxury mixed into its rugged exterior that is meant to protect the occupants, we test-drive the Jeep 2022 Grand Cherokee L to see if it aligns with our expectations.
- Interior space and equipment
- On-road performance and dynamics
- Third-row seat accessibility
- Excessive road noise transmitted to cabin
- Lack of Quadra-Drive II option
- No 18-inch wheel option from factory
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is the latest model in a line of vast improvements to the company’s 7-seat family four-wheel-drive wagons. Despite being more premium, it continues to use the Grand Cherokee name, which helps retain its family friendly gravitas.
The current WK2 Grand Cherokee is not nearly as quick or agile as the WL Grand Cherokee, which is more closely based on Mercedes-Benz and Alfa Romeo passenger cars. The all-new Jeep rides on a platform derived from their passenger cars and SUVs.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is already on sale in the United States and will be available in Australia later in the year.
In Australia, there are three models of the Grand Cherokee L: the entry-level Grand Cherokee L Night Eagle for $82,250; the mid-spec Limited for $87,950; and the king of the hill Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve for $115,450.
Only the Summit Reserve is tuned to be off road compatible with a two speed transfer case and height adjustable suspension.
Even though this test drive was in a point-to-point fashion, we were restricted to formed roads in the Grand Cherokee L Limited.
This particular car was optioned with premium paint and the Vision Pack that adds a massive sunroof, interior camera, and a heads-up driver’s display. The total cost of this car is $93,950 (plus ORC).
Powertrain and performance
With 210kW and 344Nm, the Pentastar V6 engine is powerful and fuel efficient, giving the Australian WL a 3.6-litre capacity which features a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.
I was skeptical of how well the V6 would perform in 2019, but overall it has done better than expected.
In its natural state, the engine is smooth and subdued at low speed and throttle inputs, but it gets rorty when you put the boot in and ask for more.
Active engine mounts that alter their stiffness help keep noise and vibration to a minimum, but it is still vocal when you ask for it all.
The V6 delivers on performance; albeit anyone with preferences will agree that it sounds pretty good for a V6 engine.
4 X 4 Australia Reviews 2022 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited L 34105
Jeep offers the WL powered by an engine that does not offer the same performance as we would in countries with a Hemi V8, like the USA.
Otherwise, we will have to wait until Jeep electrifies its entire model line-up and only receive a hybrid version.
Jeep has announced a new engine that will replace both Pentastar and Hemi engines across the range eventually.
It will be electrified for hybrid applications, and should take its place in the upgrades of the WL Grand Cherokee variants within a few years.
This is the engine that should give it the performance and refinement it really deserves.
The WL comes with ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission, and the Limited has a 4×4 on demand system. The drive can be decoupled when it isn’t needed to reduce fuel consumption.
The Summit Reserve gets low range in the transfer case, while the other models get standard no-low range.
On-road ride and handling
The Grand Cherokee is a well-known SUV that uses its powerful engine, strong frame and independent suspensions to offer a smooth ride.
It comes in three limited editions (L, N, and H) that have non-coil springs or height-adjusted air suspension.
Both set-ups work well on sealed and gravel roads, delivering firm, flat dynamics with a quality ride control.
Although the active dampeners make driving much more comfortable, the steel springs are still highly commendable. One big issue? The road noise.
The Limited is a sport utility vehicle with 20-inch wheels that has no problem handling the rigors of gravel roads and poorly paved highways.
On the other hand, driving the Summit Reserve on 21-inch wheels was frustrating as you have to raise your voice to have conversations with passengers.
Attempting to create a World Land Speed Record for this car would be interesting, but the 18 inch wheels and 60 tyre aspect ratio are not offered in Australia.
In response, I feel that the car’s monocoque is insulated from the suspension components and how it deals with road noise so I feel there could be an issue.
Despite improved cabin acoustics, this car feels like a downgrade to higher end models in terms of quality of materials used.
As it did not have the necessary hardware to go off-road, we took the Grand Cherokee L Limited on gravel roads where its stability and performance were notable.
We drove over a few bumps in a quarry, and even on the non-coil-spring model, it easily picks up one of the wheels.
4 X 4 Australia Reviews 2022 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited L 66105
With the electronic traction control, you can maintain momentum and stay on course. There’s also the ability to change terrain modes that make recalculating the ETC effective.
The Selec-Terrain system was also handy for subduing the throttle cut on loose gravel and on top of that, we were able to manually override the engine revs by doing upshifts with the shift buttons behind the steering wheel.
Cabin and accommodation
The 2019 model of the WK2 is even more well-appointed inside than the predecessors, with an increased level of luxury, but the price shoots up too.
The biggest change is the addition of a third row of seats, allowing for two extra passengers in the back.
The third row has a long enough cushion to accommodate adults comfortably, but it can be difficult for bigger kids or adults to get in and out of this row, despite the near side second row folding forward to make access more convenient.
In general, it’s best left to the children.
4 X 4 Australia Reviews 2022 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited L 3105
There is also a large cargo area with tie-downs and an outlet. The second row can be folded almost entirely flat to make a space long enough for adults to fit.
With plenty of room and charging points, plus A/C vents for extra breath-ability, this car has enough space for everyone.
Front passengers find themselves in heated and ventilated seats that are power-adjustable and have a big screen before them.
I found the centre console to be wide where it encroached on my left knee, but there is nothing else worth complaining about.
The Limited has all the luxurious features you need and outperforms the Summit Reserve by a large margin with its 980-watt McIntosh sound system and night vision.
That sound system alone is worth the extra money for the top-spec model; off road hardware becomes a bonus.
When you buy a 2018 Grand Cherokee L, you’re not just buying a vehicle—you’re also purchasing a remote-controlled toy to play with on snowy days.
The interior is roomy and luxurious, the cabin has comfortable seats, and all-wheel drive capability means it’s perfect for blazing snow or muddy paths.
The Limited suffers because of its poor ground clearance, as it was not designed to have a dual-range transfer case. This limits its abilities as a four-wheel drive vehicle.
The ridiculously low-profile tyres restrict comfortable long distance touring to sealed roads, as they cause not only a decrease in ride quality and are also more susceptible to damage and punctures on rough roads than tyres with taller sidewalls and smaller diameter wheels.
The 87-liter tank is average for this class of vehicle, but with only a gasoline engine offered, you’ll often be looking for fuel stops on the highway.
Nowadays, sales of the Grand Cherokee in Australia are happening to the best of times. The WK2 is affordable, has good levels of off-road ability and is able to tow at a capacity of 3500 kilograms at a range within proportions due to its petrol and diesel engines.
The smaller size, lower cost of the WK compiles with demand in Australia. With its popularity, Jeep Australia would be more than happy to have this model on their showroom floor again.
In the WL Grand Cherokee L, many of the elements that made its predecessor marketable have been removed. This model is priced higher and has a petrol engine only; it’s severely restricted on off-road capability, especially in the lower priced variants; and significantly for those previous buyers, there is less towing capacity.
The newer model includes some features, such as a shorter WL Grand Cherokee and increased safety equipment, which partly justify the higher prices.
The new vehicles do not offer many of the features that were important to previous buyers.
While the quality of the luxury features might be through the roof, one major drawback is that road noise has become a major issue.
Buyers who were initially drawn to this vehicle for its luxurious and off-road style are now disappointed because it doesn’t keep up with their needs on the road.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited specs
|Engine||Naturally aspirated petrol V6|
|Max Power||210kW at 6400rpm|
|Max Torque||344Nm at 4000rpm|
|4×4 System||On-demand single-range AWD|
|Construction||5-door wagon on monocoque platform|
|Front Suspension||Independent w/ A-arms and coil overs|
|Rear Suspension||Independent w/ 5-link location|
|Adr Fuel Claim||10.6L/100km|
|On-Test Fuel Use||15.1L/100km|
|Price||$87,950 + ORC and options|