It was 30 years ago, that the Jeep® brand introduced the Grand Cherokee nameplate to replace its iconic Grand Wagoneer (SJ). In those 30 years, the Grand Cherokee became the most awarded SUV nameplate in history, and with four groundbreaking generations and over 7 million sales across the globe, the American adventure brand introduced us to the first of three new Grand Cherokee variants last year, with the introduction of the first-ever three-row Grand Cherokee L.
Launched five months ahead of the new two-row variant, the three-row Grand Cherokee L (WL75) gave us a taste of the new Grand Cherokee (WL) architecture, showing us an all-new vehicle that has been designed and engineered to deliver an unmatched combination of legendary 4×4 capability, class-leading on-road refinement, premium craftsmanship both inside and out, in a stylish package that offers the most advanced safety and technology features than ever before.
While we loved the WL75, many people just assumed that the all-new two-row Grand Cherokee (WL74) would be just a shorter version of the Grand Cherokee L.
Instead, we are treated to a version that feels and looks much sportier thanks to its edgier and more racked rear profile, shorter wheelbase, 250 lbs. in reduced weight, and almost 1 foot shorter in overall length. But what truly separates the WL74 from the WL75, is the Trailhawk model that offers even more off-road capability.
Compared to the fourth-generation Grand Cherokee (WK2) which started production as a 2011 model, the all-new WL74 is quite an upgrade. Yes, the WK2 model was updated several times since then, but the new fifth-generation WL vehicles offer something drastically different and refreshing even though most of the new vehicle’s running gear is a carryover. Materials, technology, and design execution are paramount for the new model when compared to the outgoing one.
Recently, Jeep invited the media to Moab, Utah to see the all-new WL74 close-up. While the more upscale models were showcased, it was the first time that the media got a chance to see the all-new off-road-oriented Trailhawk in its element.
When the brand launched the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L (WL75), many diehard Grand Cherokee fans were shocked to learn that Trailhawk trim level would not be offered on the new three-row SUV. Instead, Jeep provided a new “Trail Rated” package with the Overland Off-Road Group.
Exclusively offered on the WL74, the Trailhawk sits right in the middle of the Grand Cherokee lineup (between the Limited and Overland models). Trailhawk models are equipped with a host of standard off-road capability features, including Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system with 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio and rear electronic limited slip-differential (eLSD) for both Pentastar and HEMI versions, a unique version of Grand Cherokee’s Quadra-Lift air suspension (developed specifically for Trailhawk), a class-exclusive sway-bar disconnect to allow improved articulation and total suspension travel, as well as Selec-Speed® Control with Hill Ascent Control.
The new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk also includes a set of 18-Inch x 8-Inch polished/painted aluminum wheels wrapped with Goodyear Wrangler Territory 265/60R18 BSW A/S all-terrain rubber, and an integrated front-mounted high-definition off-road camera.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk improves on off-road capability thanks to an increase in ground clearance of .5 inches over the outgoing 2021 model. This means the Trailhawk has up to 11.3 inches (28.7 cm) of ground clearance and features an improved approach angle (35.7 degrees), break-over angle (24.4 degrees), and departure angle (30.2 degrees). Trailhawk models also have a water fording depth of 24 inches (61 cm), an impressive feat for an E-segment SUV.
On the exterior, Trailhawk models share the same front fascia styling as the more luxury-oriented Overland model. Of course, there are Trailhawk-signature red tow hooks in the front and rear, Trailhawk and Trail Rated badges with red accents, a Gloss Black-painted roof, Gloss Black-painted mirror caps, and underbody skid plates, and a new glare-proof black-and-red matte “Trailhawk” hood decal.
Inside, seating is covered in Global Black Capri Leather and Suede with Trailhawk-signature red stitching and embossed “Trailhawk” logos on the seatbacks. There is an available Entertainment Group 1 package that replaces the standard 8.4-inch Uconnect 5 touchscreen with a 10.1-inch display and 10.25-inch front passenger interactive display from the Grand Wagoneer (available on Trailhawk, Overland, and Summit WL74 models).
The 2022 model, looks much more upscale inside than the outgoing model. It proves that the high quality in materials and finishes can make for a much more luxurious feel for the off-road-oriented model.
Built for those who travel both on- and off-road, the Overland model adds more luxury to the off-road-oriented equation of the Grand Cherokee. The Overland model is the closest modern representation of the original Grand Wagoneer (SJ) than anything else currently offered in the Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer lineups.
The Grand Cherokee Overland’s exterior features mimic the Grand Cherokee L Overland. This means 20-inch x 8.5-inch machined cast-aluminum wheels with Black Noise pockets, a unique front fascia design with chrome front tow hooks, Gloss Black roof rack with Bright Stainless insert, rain-sensing windshield wipers, approach-lit door handles, rearview mirror puddle lighting, power-folding multifunctional auto-tilt down in reverse Gloss Black mirrors with Bright Chrome insert, auto-dimming glass on driver’s side and courtesy lighting, windshield wiper deicer, and passive entry.
For those who like the two-tone appearance found on other Jeep models, a Gloss Black roof is available for the first time on Overland models.
Inside, Overland offers a much more premium interior with comfort and convenience amenities like Nappa leather seats and door panels, An-Teak interior trim, ventilated front seats, leather-stitched instrument panel, upgraded Uconnect 5 system with navigation, and premium Alpine audio system with 9-speakers, a subwoofer, and 506-watt amplifier. A new five-color ambient lighting system offers an inviting glow along the bottom of the entire Instrument Panel (I/P) as well as the front and rear doors, making the Overland look welcoming and more upscale than ever before.
Those looking at the off-road capability of the Overland models, 4×4 models add Jeep’s well-known Quadra-Trac II system, which adjusts torque distribution and continues to reactively make corrections if tire slip occurs. When wheel slippage is detected, as much as 100% of available torque can instantly be routed to the axle with the most traction.
Overland also adds a hands-free, foot-activated adjustable power liftgate and CommandView dual-pane sunroof with a power sunshade as standard equipment for 2022.
When equipped with the available Off-Road Group, the Trail Rated Overland 4×4 model adds the Quadra-Drive II system, high-strength steel skid plates, eLSD, 18-inch x 8-inch polished aluminum with High-Gloss Black pockets wheels wrapped in rugged Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventurer rubber. A similar Selec-Terrain system and Hill-Descent Control found on the Trailhawk model are also found on the Overland Off-Road Group as well.
At the top of the trims, is the luxurious Summit model. The Summit is packed with premium amenities, such as Nappa leather seats with quilted seat bolsters and perforated seat inserts, Absolute Oakwood and leather-wrapped multifunctional steering wheel, and Berber floor mats. First-row seats feature power 16-way adjustable position with memory and lumbar and are offered for the first time on Grand Cherokee a massage feature with five customizable profiles and three levels of pressure intensity. Forget stepping up to the Grand Wagoneer for such features.
Passenger comfort is elevated on Summit thanks to four-zone automatic temperature control. The system has the capability to select different fan levels and modes for individual passengers in the first and second rows. The system also can have four different temperature settings.
Exterior touches include 20-inch x 8.5-inch polished cast aluminum Painted Silver Lithos wheels, unique Summit-specific LED fog lamps, power-folding multifunction Gloss Black mirrors with a Platinum insert and new 360-degree camera, illuminated door sills, and a roof rack with Fine Silver rails with Gloss Black insert.
For those looking for ultra-luxury, look no further than the Summit Reserve. The new Summit Reserve Package sets the benchmark for luxury in the full-size SUV segment. There is premium quilted Palermo leather, ventilated front and second-row seats, memory and massaging front seats, and choice of a new Tupelo interior color help add distinguishable details to the model.
Also unique to the Summit Reserve Package is genuine open-pore Waxed Walnut wood and premium, wrapped, suede-like fabric on the A-pillars and headliner. For the first time on Grand Cherokee, 21-inch x 9-inch machined multi-spokes with Mid-Gloss Black pockets cast-aluminum wheels come standard with the Summit Reserve Package. Summit Reserve also includes a premium audio experience from a 950-watt, 19-speaker McIntosh audio sound system, which is one of the best, if not the best sound system we have ever heard.
Under the hood of the new 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, is two powertrain options. Standard is the award-winning all-aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, rated at 293 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The Pentastar features fuel-saving engine start-stop (ESS) technology and is rated for a towing capacity of up to 6,200 lbs. (2,812 kg) with an estimated class-leading driving range of more than 500 miles (804 km).
The Pentastar V6 is mated to a standard 8-speed 850RE TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
Those who crave more power will be seeking out the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V8 delivering 357 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque delivered over a broad powerband. The V8 delivers performance and efficiency with VVT and Fuel Saver Technology (cylinder deactivation). With Fuel Saver Technology, the engine control computer turns off fuel and spark and closes the valves to four of the engine’s cylinders during light-load operation, such as highway cruising, when full power is not needed. The system immediately re-engages the deactivated cylinders when the driver presses on the accelerator pedal. The HEMI has a class-leading towing capacity of up to 7,200 lbs. (3,265 kg).
The HEMI V8 is mated to a standard 8-speed 8HP75 TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
The HEMI can be optioned on only the Trailhawk, Overland, and Summit trim levels.
While the powertrain lineup is carried most over from the last generation, the new electrified 4xe model offers an all-new experience for Grand Cherokee customers. The 4xe powertrain integrates two electric motors and a 400-volt battery pack with a fuel-efficient, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from the Stellantis Global Medium Engine (GME) family and TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. This configuration maximizes the efficiency of the hybrid propulsion components and mates them with the world-renowned and proven driveline from the Wrangler 4xe.
Nevertheless, the WL74 is an awesome evolution forward for the Grand Cherokee nameplate. It should be a huge success for the Jeep brand, along with its electrified 4xe and three-row variants.
Our favorite trim is the Overland 4×4 with the Off-Road Group. The Overland Off-Road offers the “Trail Rated” off-road capability we have come to love across the Jeep brand but doesn’t sacrifice any of the Grand Cherokee’s well-mannered on-road behaviors. The package also looks much more upscale than the Trailhawk, thanks to its chrome accents (rather than red) and its premium interior is that sweet spot in the Grand Cherokee lineup.
- Great step forward for the Jeep brand and the Grand Cherokee nameplate.
- Beautiful interior with well-executed styling, materials, and technology.
- Off-road capability is still best-in-class.
- Lackluster powertrain lineup in the non-4xe lineup. We would love for the turbo 2.0-liter to be available in the standard lineup.
- Pricing. Huge increase in price over the outgoing model.
- No off-road-oriented lower-trim models.
Be sure to check out our dedicated WLJeepForum.com website for all the latest news and information surrounding the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, Grand Cherokee L, and Grand Cherokee 4xe.