The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L and Grand Cherokee are great midsize SUVs that have outstanding cabin quality, plenty of passenger space, and off-road capability for your next adventure. The Grand Cherokee L is basically a larger version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and will offer more passenger and cargo room. Both have similar powertrains, fuel economy ratings, capabilities, and features lists. Let’s take a look at both.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is a three-row midsize SUV that seats six people in its base configuration and seven if you opt for a second-row bench seat. The seats are roomy and comfortable and offer support on long drives in all three rows. The Jeep provides 17.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 46.9 cubic feet with the third row folded down, and 84.6 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down. It features one of the finest interiors in its class with plenty of soft touch materials throughout the cabin and a blend of modern styling with the rugged functionality. Cloth upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat come standard and leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, heated and ventilated second-row seats, power-folding third-row seats, and a heated steering wheel are available. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L comes in six trims: Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve. Pricing starts at $36,995 for the Laredo trim and ranges to a starting price of $61,995 for the Summit Reserve.
The 2021 Grand Cherokee is a two-row midsize SUV with five seats that are nicely cushioned and supportive in the front and in the rear, with plenty of head- and legroom up front. Cloth upholstery is standard, and available upgrades include synthetic leather upholstery, genuine leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Grand Cherokee has 36.3 cubic feet behind its rear seats and 68.3 cubic feet with the seats folded down. It also features an available power liftgate, a sunroof, and a panoramic sunroof. It has an array of trim levels suited for on- and off-road performance: Laredo E, Laredo X, Limited, 80th Anniversary, Trailhawk, Overland, High Altitude, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk. Pricing starts at $34,200 for the basic Laredo and ranges to $87,895 for the Trackhawk.
Safety and Technology
The Cherokee L comes prepared with plenty of standard advanced safety features that include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, and rear cross-traffic alert. There are just as many available advanced safety features, including a head-up display, traffic sign recognition, driver drowsiness monitoring, intersection assist, front parking sensors, surround-view parking camera system, night vision assist, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and active driving assist. It features the new Uconnect 5 infotainment interface with sharp graphics and an 8.4-inch touch screen. A six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, USB ports, Bluetooth, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard. An available 10.1-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system, wireless device charging, and navigation are options.
The Grand Cherokee also offers the same standard features, with a 7-inch touch screen or an available 8.4-inch touch screen. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, satellite radio, and a six-speaker stereo come standard. A few more options are available on the Grand Cherokee, including a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and a rear-seat entertainment system with DVD and Blu-ray compatibility. A navigation system, Wi-Fi hotspot, HD Radio, and a nine-speaker stereo are also available. Standard advanced safety features include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Cherokee L’s engine choices are a 3.6-liter V6 with 293 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque, and an available 5.7-liter V8 with 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both are capable and are paired to a smooth shifting eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive or available four-wheel drive. The V8 will have better acceleration and give the Jeep its maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. It performs well on the off-road and adds a number of off-road oriented features. It gets an estimated 19/26 mpg city/highway with the V6 and rear-wheel drive and will drop a little with four-wheel drive. The V8 four-wheel drive will give you 14/22 mpg city/highway.
The Grand Cherokee has impressive off-road ability, though it feels less composed on paved roads. Its Trailhawk configuration comes standard with all-terrain tires, multiple skid plates, a two-speed transfer case, a rugged four-wheel drive system and an available air suspension to help you tackle that rough terrain. This makes for a firm ride quality and less composure and responsiveness on paved roads. Its base engine comes with a 3.6-liter V6 with 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A trio of available engines options are offered on select trims, with a 5.7-liter V8 with 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, a 6.4-liter V8 with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque that comes on the Trackhawk trim. It is standard with rear-wheel drive, available with four-wheel drive, and comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Cherokee gets an estimated 19/26 mpg in the city and on the highway and 18/25 mpg with four-wheel drive. It can tow up to 6,200 pounds when equipped with its V6 engine and tow package. With the V8, it can tow up to 7,200 when properly equipped.
These two Cherokees will give you off-road abilities, while also looking good around town. The Grand Cherokee L offers third row seating with more cargo space and a cushioned ride, while the Grand Cherokee is smaller, but rugged with a firm ride.