Earlier this year, the Jeep Grand Cherokee kicked off its fifth generation with the all-new 2021 Grand Cherokee L—the first Grand Cherokee to offer three rows of seats. Meanwhile, the 2021 two-row Grand Cherokee soldiered on for one more season with the previous, fourth-gen design. Now, for the 2022 model year, a redesigned two-row five-passenger Grand Cherokee is being introduced. The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is built on a shorter version of the L’s all-new unibody platform, and it’s scheduled to go on sale by the end of the 2021 calendar year. Shortly after the new year, Jeep will add 4xe plug-in-hybrid electrified variants of the two-row Grand Cherokee.
As with the L, the trend-setting 1963 Jeep Wagoneer is credited as the inspiration for the new Grand Cherokee’s design and rear-wheel-drive proportions. Familiar styling cues, such as Jeep’s signature seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches, are instantly recognizable, and at a glance, the two- and three-row Grand Cherokees are surprisingly difficult to distinguish from one another. The front sections of the two models are identical, with the new five-seater best spotted by its shorter rear doors and a more sloped rear-window area.
The 2022 Grand Cherokee rides a 116.7-inch wheelbase and is 193.5 inches long overall—that’s five inches shorter in wheelbase and 11.4 inches shorter overall than the Grand Cherokee L. The Grand Cherokee’s curb weights range from 4365 pounds for the rear-drive Laredo to 5045 pounds for a V8-powered Summit. Though they’re larger than the models they replace, the redesigned Grand Cherokees are about 150-300 pounds lighter across the lineup; Jeep says more-extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel contributed to the weight reduction.
The Grand Cherokee’s model roster stays basically the same as before, though the high-performance, street-oriented SRT and Trackhawk models don’t return—at least not yet. The lineup ascends through Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit models that essentially mirror the three-row Grand Cherokee L, but also includes an off-road-oriented Trailhawk trim that the L doesn’t offer. All models offer a choice of rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive save for the Trailhawk, which comes only as a 4×4. Across the board, choosing 4WD adds an even $2000 to the bottom line, though different models get different 4WD systems with varying levels of features and capabilities.
The base engine on all 2022 Grand Cherokees—the familiar “Pentastar” 3.6-liter V6—is essentially carried over from last year, though it’s now rated at 293 horsepower instead of 295 hp. It’s offered with rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive on all models save for the 4WD-only Trailhawk and Summit Reserve trims. For another $3295, buyers of the Trailhawk or 4WD Overland and Summit models can upgrade to a 357-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8—also essentially carried over from last year, when it was rated at 360 hp. Both engines mate to the well-respected TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission and are shared with the Grand Cherokee L. When it arrives later in the model year, the plug-in-hybrid 4xe—which, like the Trailhawk, is restricted to the two-row Grand Cherokee—will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder/dual electric motor powertrain (which is shared with the new-for-2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe). The Grand Cherokee 4xe boasts a total system output of 375 horsepower, a targeted 57 MPGe rating, and an estimated pure-electric driving range of 25 miles.
The base Grand Cherokee Laredo with rear-wheel drive starts at $37,390, or $41,945 with the Altitude Package, which adds gloss black trim accents and features such as remote start, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, a wireless charging pad, and an adjustable-height liftgate. The Limited starts at $43,710 and comes standard with most of the Altitude’s features, as well as upscale touches such as Capri leather upholstery. The 4WD system offered in all of the above models is Jeep’s Quadra-Trac 1 system with a single-speed transfer case; in the Limited, it includes Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction management system, which features driver-selectable Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, and Mud/Sand modes.
The Trailhawk, as expected, is the most off-road-capable Grand Cherokee—with a starting price of $51,275, it slots in well above the Limited model. Standard Trailhawk equipment includes the Quadra-Drive II 4WD system with a two-speed transfer case and an electronic limited-slip rear axle. Other hardware upgrades include 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, Selec-Speed control (essentially an off-road cruise-control system), Quadra-Lift air suspension, a front sway bar disconnect system (this activates at the touch of a button and allows for improved suspension articulation off road), front tow hooks, steel skid plates, and an integrated off-road camera system. Unique Trailhawk exterior details include unique front and rear fasciae–the front fascia brings a five-degree improvement in approach angle, for easier traversing of obstacles when driving off-road.
The Overland starts at $53,305 and adds features such as Nappa leather upholstery, “An-Teak” interior trim, dual-pane sunroof, hands-free power liftgate, and ambient LED lighting with five color choices. The Overland’s 4×4 setup is the Quadra-Trac II system that includes a two-speed transfer case and hill-descent control, along with the Quadra-Lift air suspension. Overland buyers can also choose an Off-Road Group to upgrade to the Quadra-Drive II 4WD system with two-speed transfer case, electronic limited-slip rear differential, steel skid plates, and 18-inch wheels.
The line-topping Summit ($57,365 to start) ups the luxury level with additional interior-trim upgrades, standard 16-way power-adjustable front seats with memory and massage, unique LED foglamps, drowsy driver detection, and a 360-degree surround-view monitor, among other upgrades. Summit 4x4s receive the Quadra-Drive II setup along with the electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential. For the ultimate in Grand Cherokee luxury, the 4×4 Summit can be upgraded to a Summit Reserve trim ($63,365 to start) that adds features such as 21-inch wheels, quilted Palermo leather, open-pore Waxed Walnut wood trim, ventilated rear seats, and a 19-speaker McIntosh-brand premium audio system.
The destination fee adds another $1795 on all Grand Cherokees. Pricing for the 2022 Grand Cherokee L models hasn’t been released as of this writing, so we don’t have hard numbers on how much you’ll save by choosing a Grand Cherokee over a Grand Cherokee L. Comparing prices between the 2021 and 2022 model years is dicey due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic-induced materials shortages and supply-chain issues, but we’d wager that the 2022 Grand Cherokee Ls might tack on a premium of around $1500-$2000 over a comparably equipped two-row Grand Cherokee—which, depending on your needs, would be a reasonable tariff for their added passenger and cargo-hauling capacity.
Standard safety features on all Grand Cherokee models include full-speed collision warning with active braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, rear cross path detection, active lane management, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist, brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors.
At the 2022 Grand Cherokee’s press preview event in Moab, Utah, we got a lot of seat time in a Limited 4×4 V6 that was liberally optioned with Velvet Red Pearl-Coat paint ($395), 20-inch wheels and tires ($1495), panoramic sunroof ($1695), upgraded Uconnect infotainment system with navigation and a 10.1-inch touchscreen ($995), front-passenger interactive display screen ($1095), Luxury Tech Group II ($2295; adds a collection of comfort and convenience items), and Rear Seat Video Group I ($1995; adds two front-seatback-mounted video screens and Amazon Fire TV for Auto functionality), all for a bottom line of $57,470 including destination. We also took shorter drives in a Laredo 4×4 V6 ($44,765 as-tested), Trailhawk V6 ($61,040 as-tested), Summit Reserve V6 ($69,395 as-tested), and Summit Reserve V8 ($73,085 as-tested).
The 3.6-liter V6 is very refined and offers satisfying power. Acceleration is lively, especially in Laredo and Limited models—the Summit Reserve’s added weight is evident behind the wheel and it feels a bit slower. The 5.7-liter V8 is noticeably stronger from a stop, but the difference is not as pronounced as you might expect—we think most buyers will be happy with the V6. Both engines emit a satisfying growl under enthusiastic application of the throttle, but they remain nearly silent at cruise. In all, the 8-speed automatic is very well behaved.
When properly equipped, Grand Cherokee’s maximum tow rating is 6200 pounds with the V6 engine and a class-leading 7200 pounds with the V8 (these ratings are unchanged from the 2021 Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L). We didn’t get the chance to measure fuel economy during our preview drive, but EPA-estimated fuel economy for both rear- and 4-wheel-drive V6 models is 19 mpg city/26 highway/22 combined. The V8 (which comes solely with 4-wheel drive) is thirstier, not surprisingly—it’s rated at 14/22/17. Plus, Jeep recommends pricier mid-grade gasoline for the V8—the V6 runs on regular.
Our drive routes on the press event covered long stretches of winding two-lane roads, along with shorter sections of small-town surface streets and an Interstate-style divided highway. The standard steel-spring suspension rides very comfortably. With the available 20-inch wheels, our Limited 4×4 exhibited nimble handling for a vehicle of its size and heft. Body roll is well controlled in tight cornering, and the nicely weighted steering makes it easy to dial in the driving line you want. The Quadra Lift air suspension now includes adaptive damping, and it also delivers a comfortable ride. At highway speeds, the air suspension automatically reduces ride height by nearly an inch to improve aerodynamics; the lower ride height is also used in the driver-selectable Sport mode. Handling is modestly sharper at the lowered ride height, and we detected no penalty in ride comfort.
Also, all 4-wheel-drive Grand Cherokees include the new front-axle disconnect feature that was introduced on Grand Cherokee L. The system automatically switches the vehicle into rear-wheel drive when road conditions allow, to reduce drag on the driveline and improve fuel economy. During our drives, we did not detect when the vehicles switched to rear drive. The system will automatically switch back into 4-wheel drive when the vehicle senses that extra traction is required.
To experience the Grand Cherokee off road, we hopped in a V6-powered Trailhawk and headed to the very challenging Raven’s Rim off-road course near Moab. We set the Quadra-Drive II system in four-wheel low and raised the air suspension to its highest setting (which provides a class-leading 11.3 inches of ground clearance) before navigating steep, narrow, loose-dirt trails littered with several large rocks. With help from spotters (and the handy integrated off-road camera that displays sharp video on the central display screen), we were able safely make our way up and back down the tight trail.
Front-seat space is excellent; your 6’2” tester reports generous headroom under the sunroof, and we also found plenty of legroom without pushing the driver’s seat all the way back. Outward visibility is quite good, even to the rear, and large side mirrors further help the all-around view. The digital instrument cluster graphics are sharp and clear, and various display screens can be chosen via a thumb-activated steering-wheel button. The newly optional heads-up display is easy to read as well.
The Uconnect 5 infotainment system comes standard with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen is available. The system is user customizable and includes Amazon Alexa functionality, along with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity and the ability to simultaneously connect with two Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. The graphics are sharp and easy to read, and the system reacts quickly to inputs. Many climate-control functions maintain physical control buttons, but if desired can also be controlled via the touchscreen. Here we preferred the climate and seat “short-cut” controls, where the driver or passenger can access a simple pop-up menu in the nearest upper corner of the touchscreen.
Small-items storage is on par with class rivals. The center-console armrest can be raised to reveal a shallow storage tray or a deep bin situated below the tray. Forward of the low-profile rotary shifter knob is a large open bin that houses two Type-A and two Type-B USB ports (there are a total of six USB ports in the interior), an AUX jack, and a 12V outlet, along with the available HDMI input and wireless charging pad. The sloped charging pad has a textured surface that helps hold a phone securely, and a small blue light indicates that the phone is charging. The door panels include large open storage bins that incorporate angled bottle holders.
A new Grand Cherokee option is the front-passenger interactive display screen that recently debuted on the full-size Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. This 10.25-inch touchscreen is smoothly integrated into the passenger side of the dashboard, and it allows a front passenger to control navigation and connected-device functions. It’s also possible for the front passenger to monitor the rear-seat entertainment screens or watch their own video entertainment via the integrated Fire TV for Auto functionality, HDMI input, or handheld-device screen mirroring.
Overall, the Grand Cherokee’s interior is attractive, with quality materials and obvious attention to detail. The Laredo’s cloth upholstery doesn’t wow the senses, but the gray contrast-stitch detailing adds welcome visual pizazz. The plastic top surface of the standard dashboard is forgettable, but the leather-wrapped, stitch-detailed surface in higher-end models is a visual delight. Trailhawks have a uniquely trimmed interior that’s still luxurious, but with a somewhat sportier vibe. We found this cabin surprisingly enticing, with its eye-catching silver-and-black crosshatch trim, faux-suede seat inserts, and sprinkling of red trim accents, including some excellent red contrast stitching. The Summit Reserve’s interior is fittingly opulent. The Summit Reserves we drove had the package-exclusive Tupelo interior color—a rich, honey-colored hue that looked great with the leather upholstery, quilted diamond-pattern detailing, and beautifully finished Walnut wood trim.
Rear-seat space is respectable for the class. The rear doors open wide, and entry/exit are easy. Headroom is good under the sunroof, and we had adequate legroom when we had the front seats set for our 6’2” frame. However, the front seats can be adjusted even further back to accommodate extra-tall occupants, which will cause rear legroom to tighten considerably.
Behind the back seat, Grand Cherokee has 37.7 cubic feet of easily accessible cargo space, along with some additional irregularly shaped storage space around the spare tire in an easy-to-access underfloor bin. The split-folding rear seats flip forward easily to create a flat load floor, opening up 70.8 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the front seats. (Both cargo-area numbers are improvements over the previous-generation Grand Cherokee’s respective measurements of 36.3 and 68.3 cubic feet.)
The redesigned Grand Cherokee offers a very desirable mix of luxury-level accommodations, everyday comfort, and serious off-road capability. Overall, we’ve been impressed with the new Grand Cherokee since we drove the three-row L model this past summer, and that opinion has been nothing but strengthened by the new two-row versions. The main issue here is that Jeeps are not known for bargain pricing, and this is certainly true of Grand Cherokee—the numerous temptations found on the extensive list of options make it all too easy to quickly inflate the bottom line. Still, these are impressive midsize SUVs with a blend of attributes few competitors can match at any price.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)