It’s astonishing to believe that the current WK2 Jeep Grand Cherokee dates way back to 2010; the handsome SUV has aged surprisingly well, with strong sales keeping it relevant in today’s SUV-dominated climate. Yet, the time has finally come for a thorough, ground-up redesign.
Most 2021 Grand Cherokee (we initially thought it would launch as a 2022MY, but today, Jeep confirmed it’ll be a 2021MY) test mules have worn heavy camouflage, making it hard to decipher the design. However thanks to newer spy photos but (far) more importantly, information provided by our sources, we can confidently claim that our illustrations are an accurate depiction of the real car that will be revealed tomorrow, January 7.
At first glance, the Cherokee’s longer proportions are rather striking. Drawing inspiration from the new Grand Wagoneer, they’re rear-wheel-drive biased with a long hood, dash-to-axle ratio and short overhangs. Frontal styling features Jeep’s seven-slot grille, flanked by slim LED headlights that appear to be connected by a LED daylight running strip.
Its extra length is notable when viewing from the side, and there’s a family resemblance to the Compass with chrome visually separating the contrasting roof as it tapers away towards the rear. The rearview is handsomely restrained, thanks to slim LED taillights, large exhaust finishers and a chrome strip that wraps around beneath the tailgate glass.
A Premium Place To Be
FCA or Stellantis (whatever you want to call it) are nailing their recent interior game, and the new Grand Cherokee will be no exception. It’ll be feature-rich in content, with an emphasis on great UI and premium materials. Goodies will include a 10.5-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch infotainment screen and a new rotary dial gear selector.
Riding upon a stretched version of Alfa Romeo’s Giorgio platform, occupants will benefit from improved interior packaging and access to 7-seat, third-row seating. Expect an abundance of semi-autonomous driver-assist features and selectable trail modes.
While exact powertrains are yet to be confirmed, evidence points to many options being available in different markets. These include a mild-hybrid 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder, 3.6-litre Pentastar V6, and a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6.
A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will also be offered, utilising elements from the Wrangler 4xe. In the 4xe, it combines a 2.0-litre turbo-four, 17.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and electric motors to produce a combined 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It has an all-electric range of 25 miles and power is sent to the ground via an 8-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
We hope to see a return of the V8 variants, especially the monstrous Trackhawk version. Sadly, these are unlikely to reach global markets with their ever-tightening emissions rules.
Rivals & Reveal
The Grand Cherokee competes against popular SUVs like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Lexus GX, Lincoln Aviator, Dodge Durango, Subaru Ascent, Kia Telluride, Chevrolet Traverse, Hyundai Palisade and many others.
Last month’s official debut was postponed (presumably due to pandemic) and delayed until this month. Production will commence in the first half of this year at FCA’s redeveloped Mack Avenue factory in Detroit.
What do you think of the 2021 Grand Cherokee’s design? Share your views in the comments below.