With the launch of the all-new three-row 2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee L, a lot of people have questioned if the new fifth-generation Grand Cherokee will cannibalize the aging but recently updated 2021 Dodge Durango sales. But a recent interview with the Global President of the Jeep brand, Christian Meunier and Head of Jeep Brand for Stellantis North America, Jim Morrison, MotorTrend has shed some new light on the three-row E-segment debacle.
According to Morrison, the debate over adding a seven-passenger Grand Cherokee goes back several years. “Customers had been asking for it for a long time so they could stay loyal to the nameplate when their families outgrew it”, Morrison said. “It made sense to launch Grand Cherokee L first, before the non-L two-row model to meet [the] demand for a larger vehicle, knowing the outgoing 2020 model still meets the needs of those wanting the smaller two-row Grand Cherokee.”
According to Morrison, the Jeep brand believes that the new “L” three-row Grand Cherokee could make up over 50% of the Grand Cherokee’s sales.
While the three-row 2021 Grand Cherokee L will focus on more of the premium stance of the Jeep brand and its off-road prowess, the 2021 Dodge Durango will focus more on value, performance, and its muscular street presence.
|Models||2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee L VS 2021 Dodge Durango
|Horsepower||Torque (lb.-ft.)||GVWR lbs. (kg)||Curb Weight lbs. (kg)||Payload lbs. (kg)||Max. Gross Trailer Weight||Wheelbase (Inches)||Track, Front (Inches)||Track, Rear (Inches)||Overall Length (Inches)||Body Width (Inches)||Overall Height (at antenna)|
|2021 Dodge Durango GT Plus AWD (Pentastar)||295 hp @ 6,400 rpm – dual exhaust||260 lb.-ft. (353 N•m) @ 4,000 rpm||6,500 (2,948)||4,986 (2,261)||1,350 (610)||6,200 lbs||119.8||63.9||64.1||200.8||75.8||72.9|
|2021 Dodge Durango R/T Tow & Go (HEMI)||360 hp (268 kW) @ 5,150 rpm||390 lb.-ft. (529 N•m) @ 4,250 rpm||7,100 (3,221)||5,313 (2,411)||1,300 (590)||8,700 lbs||119.8||63.9||64.1||200.8||75.8||72.1|
|2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee L Overland 4×4 (Pentastar)||290 hp @ 6,400 rpm||257 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm||6,700 (3,039)||5,066 (2,298)||1,260 (570)||6,200 lbs||121.7||65.4||65.4||204.9||77.9||71.5 (standard suspension)
71.5 (air suspension)
|2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve 4×4 (HEMI)||357 hp (268 kW) @ 5,150 rpm||390 lb.-ft. (520 N•m) @ 4,250 rpm||6,900 (3,130)||5,353 (2,428)||1,200 (545)||7,200 lbs||121.7||65.4||65.4||204.9||77.9||71.5 (standard suspension)
71.5 (air suspension)
Both Morrison and Meunier don’t think the all-new Grand Cherokee L will be cross-shopped with the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer twins, which will be launched in June of this year. The E-segment Jeep Grand Cherokee which features a more car-like ride than the upcoming rugged body-on-frame F-segment Wagoneer will feature different size proportions and pricing classes.
“The Wagoneer will start in the $60,000 to $80,000 range”, said Meunier. “The more premium Grand Wagoneer competes with luxury competitors such as the 2021 Cadillac Escalade and the Land Rover Range Rover, and pricing can top $100,000”.
The three-row Grand Cherokee L on the other hand should start right around the $40,000 mark with the Laredo trim, while the more premium Summit Reserve could push about the mid-$60,000 mark. The new Grand Cherokee L will start production in March at the company’s new Mack Avenue Complex in Detroit.