The current generation of Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a runaway success since its release for the 2011 model year. The 2011 model year brought new levels of refinement and luxury to the Jeep brand with features like adaptive cruise control, an air suspension, and the then-new 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine. It received a refresh for 2014 that added the UConnect 8.4 touch screen, updated styling inside and out, more technology features, an EcoDiesel engine, new colors and wheel options, and updates to the SelecTerrain system.
Since 2014, it has received a few other changes such as the 75th Anniversary model in 2016 that previewed a refreshed fascia that debuted across the lineup in 2017, the addition of a Trailhawk trim level, luxurious updates to the Summit trim, and the outrageously powerful Trackhawk, with the 707 horsepower engine from the Charger and Challenger paired with Jeep’s AWD system. Throughout the current generation, the Grand Cherokee has been the recipient of numerous awards such as having the highest model loyalty in the midsize SUV segment, a 5-star overall crash test rating, the 2017 performance utility vehicle of Texas, and an award for best-in-class vehicle satisfaction. Jeep considers the Grand Cherokee to be the most awarded SUV ever. So how do they follow up such a successful product?
We believe the Grand Cherokee will be built on a modified version of the Giorgio architecture that underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio. It will be modified both for improved off-road capability and to keep the same build points as the existing WK2 architecture to ensure that it can run down the same assembly line as the WK2 Grand Cherokee. The next generation will carry the platform code of WL. Nonetheless, it will be thoroughly modernized thanks to its new underpinnings and will be the first non-Alfa vehicle to take advantage of the technology incorporated into Giorgio. A next-generation air suspension will be offered with the new Grand Cherokee.
The engine lineup should consist of a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine featuring eTorque technology. Optional engines will include a GME turbocharged inline-6 cylinder engine with eTorque and a 5.7L HEMI V8 utilizing eTorque. More hybridization options are expected at some point after the initial release and expect performance variants to continue to be a part of the lineup.
Styling-wise, you should expect an evolution of the familiar Grand Cherokee design. The side window treatment should rise slightly toward the D-pillar, something we’ve seen on other Jeeps such as the Compass and Grand Commander. The front and rear lighting treatment will be modernized and the taillights to become much thinner than the current Grand Cherokee lights, similar to the rear treatment of the Chinese-market Grand Commander. From what we’ve seen, a black-painted roof may be a possibility on some trim levels.
The Grand Cherokee is expected to have a more luxurious interior with features borrowed from the 2019 Ram 1500 such as the 12″ screen, ventilated rear seats, updated autonomous features, and more leather and real metal and wood throughout the cabin than ever before. The Uconnect Theater system from the Pacifica is also a possibility. A foot-activated liftgate will be available on the next-generation Grand Cherokee.
To maintain its lead over mainstream midsize SUV competitors such as the Ford Edge and Chevy Blazer, the Grand Cherokee will continue to move into luxury SUV territory, easily eclipsing its rivals and even some luxury vehicles with its premium features, upgraded drivetrain, and enhanced styling.
The next-generation Grand Cherokee should debut next year as a 2020 model and, along with the 2019 Ram 1500 and 2018 Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee will mark the beginning of an influx of redesigned FCA products over the following years, including a three-row variant of the Grand Cherokee to replace the current Durango as that product moves onto a larger body-on-frame design.
Stay tuned to MoparInsiders for exclusive information on the Grand Cherokee and other upcoming FCA products. Also be sure to check out our article on predicts of the next generation Grand Cherokee (WL) Trackhawk.