The Real Grand Cherokee Has Arrived
The 5th–generation Jeep Grand Cherokee climbed to new ground last year when it debuted with first-time 3-row 7-passenger seating as the Grand Cherokee L. Well, a lot of the Jeep faithful thought the GC was just fine with room for only 5. So, now there’s a new one for them, too.
While it was great of Jeep to offer a 3rd row for those that need it; for those that don’t, the real 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee has finally arrived.
Its 116.7-inch wheelbase is shorter by 5-inches, enabling better off-road maneuvering; and, let’s be honest, it just looks better, too. Traditional face, of course, but the body is a little more sculpted and the roof increasingly tapered to improve aerodynamics by necessity; otherwise, still classy, rugged-looking, and every bit a Grand Cherokee.
Same engine choices as the L for starters, standard 293-horsepower V6, optional 357-horsepower V8; but with the additional option of the 4xe plug-in powertrain from the Wrangler. Our tester was packing the 3.6–liter V6 and its 260 lb-ft. of torque, plus the standard 8-speed automatic transmission, and outfitted in Trailhawk trim which, for the time, being is exclusive to the 2-row GC. For max towing, you’ll want the heavyweight punch of the V8, capable of pulling 7,200-lbs.; but this V6 isn’t that far off at 6,200.
There are 3 different 4X4 systems depending on trim, and available Quadra-Lift air suspension that gets the GC’s hard parts up to 11.3-inches off the ground. Plus, the Trailhawk’s new sway-bar disconnect allows for more wheel articulation than ever. Trailhawks also come with Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels, unique off-road camera displays, Quadra-Drive II active transfer case, Selec-Speed low-range off-road cruise control, steel skid plates, red tow hooks, and, of course, a matte-black anti-glare treatment on the hood. Also new for this generation GC is complete front-axle disconnect, which happens automatically if the vehicle senses no need for four-wheel-drive.
We planned on exploiting all the grip we could find at Mason Dixon Dragway. This Pentastar V6 and 8-speed combo has been around for quite some time now, but incremental updates have been made over the years, and this Trailhawk weighs in a few hundred pounds less than last gen. So, it still feels plenty strong off the line, and surges to 60 in 8.2–seconds, a tenth quicker than before. Smooth and steady from there, completing the ¼-mile in 16.1-seconds at 86 miles-per-hour.
Considering its off-road prowess, the Trailhawk expectedly felt a tad cumbersome through our cone course. But with the increase in size, Jeep has gone to great lengths to not only reduce weight by using a lot more aluminum in the chassis and suspension, but to also get that weight lower by mounting the engine more than an inch lower in the chassis itself. The softly sprung off-road spec suspension does translate into some nose dive under panic braking, but not as bad as some; stops averaged a good 120-feet.
While there are options to take the new Grand Cherokee to higher levels of luxury than we’ve ever seen before, Trailhawk keeps things a little more familiar; yet still showcases new features like the slimmed-down air vents, and the wealth of real estate taken up by screens. Stellantis continues to improve their easy to use UConnect infotainment system, with faster operating speeds than ever, and a great looking 10-inch display. Plus, as in the Grand Cherokee L, there’s an auxiliary display available for the front passenger as well.
It may not have as much room inside as the L, but there’s more space over last gen for both people and cargo; 37.7 cubic-ft. in back expands to 70.8 with the rear seatbacks folded. Trailhawk additions include ventilated front seats with suede accents, navigation, and 9-speaker Alpine audio. Standard safety features are quite comprehensive, including Full-Speed Collision Warning with Active Braking and Active Lane Management.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the V6 Trailhawk are 19-City, 26-Highway, and 22-Combined; we saw 20.0 miles-per-gallon on Regular. That’s an average Energy Impact Score; with use of 13.5-barrels of oil annually, and 6.8-tons of CO2 emissions.
Not much of anything is getting cheaper these days, so no surprise to see a slightly higher base price of $40,120; that’s 2-grand less than the Grand Cherokee L.
With your choice of 5 or 7-passenger Grand Cherokees, plus so many options when it comes to fitment, you can basically get whatever experience you’re looking for; from stripped down basic transportation, to over the top luxury, with off-road dominance in between. That’s just part of what makes the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee so special.
Engine: 3.6L V6 | V8
Horsepower: 293 | 357
Torque: 260 lb-ft |
Towing Capacity: 6,200 lbs | 7,200 lbs
0-60 mph: 8.2 seconds
1/4 Mile: 16.1 seconds at 86 mph
60-0 Stopping Distance: 120 feet
EPA: 19 City / 26 Highway / 22 Combined
MW Fuel Economy: 20 mpg