There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the next-generation Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WL) over the past year. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is pouring a lot of money into one of the iconic Jeep brand’s best-selling vehicles for the 2022 model year. The next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee much different vehicle, then the Grand Cherokee that has been on the market since 2011. This new Grand Cherokee will feature a new architecture, new powertrains, as well as a new manufacturing facility. So let’s take an in-depth look at the new Grand Cherokee.
Starting with the architecture, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be the first core FCA US vehicle to be featured on the “Giorgio” architecture. Currently underpinning the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio, the “Giorgio” architecture is FCA’s state-of-the-art unibody rear-wheel-drive based architecture. It should allow the new Grand Cherokee to have the vehicle’s best on-road driving dynamics yet while featuring a platform that is much lighter than the outgoing structure while delivering close to perfect 50/50 weight distribution (depending on the trim-level).
Even though the dimensions of the tow-row Grand Cherokee and its upcoming unnamed three-row variant will be different than the Italian-built Giulia and Stelvio, the new architecture should give a lot better on-road ride than Grand Cherokee models of the past. Expect the Grand Cherokee to have segment-leading torsional rigidity, which will allow the vehicle to benefit on the trail or in many off-road conditions.
Expect much of the same legendary 4×4 systems from the current Grand Cherokee (WK2) to come over to the new Grand Cherokee models, with some slight updates. The current Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is already a best-in-class off-road performer. The next-generation Grand Cherokee Trailhawk with an updated Quadra-Lift air suspension, lower crawl ratio, and improved approach and departure angles, should prove to be the best off-roading Grand Cherokee out of the factory yet.
As for powertrains, the next-generation will feature four different powertrain options in its first year of production. Sadly, the upcoming turbocharged GME-T6 inline-six-cylinder engine will not be part of the original lineup. We don’t expect that motor to join the Grand Cherokee until 2023. However, at the launch of the new Grand Cherokee (WL) and its three-row variant, there will be the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with eTorque from the Ram 1500 as the standard powertrain. An optional 5.7-liter HEMI V8 will eTorque will also be available at launch.
In the summer of 2021, the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder with eTorque will also become available for both models. The 2.0-liter will provide 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque with improved fuel economy over the bigger engines and will be the first time that a four-cylinder and/or a turbocharged gasoline motor has been added to the Grand Cherokee lineup.
The fourth powertrain will be the new plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) system, which should debut in the fall of 2021. It is unknown as to what engine will be used as a generator for the PHEV system, as the 3.6-liter Pentastar is currently used under the hood of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, while the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four is used under Jeep’s own Chinese-market Commander PHEV model.
Expect all four powertrains to be backed with 8-speed automatic transmissions, sourced from ZF.
When talking about styling, both the two-row Grand Cherokee (WL74) and its unnamed three-row variant (WL75) will share the same overall design theme. Using a more boxy look than the current Grand Cherokee, the next-generation vehicle goes to more of a “Range Rover” look with a longer and more squared-off hood design. This is a bigger departure from the look of the current Compass, Renegade, and Grand Commander. The seven-slot grille, gets a more upright position on the front of the vehicle, while the headlamps are narrow and wrap around the front of the vehicle. Fog lamps sit in a similar position as the current Grand Cherokee, higher up on the front fascia.
A new belt-line bodyline meets from the corner of the headlamps and runs down the vehicle through the door handles and ends as the touch the corner of the taillamps that wrap around the vehicle as the headlamps do. While the windshield sits at a taller angle and gives the greenhouse of the new Grand Cherokee a look that is similar to the 2005 to 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) model. The signature Jeep trapezoidal wheel arches are still prominent from the side profile.
Inside, the next-generation Grand Cherokee, the Jeep design staff has really pushed the interior design forward. The dash features a more horizontal design, featuring more premium materials. Sources close to MoparInsiders are telling us that the conventional shifter will be replaced by a new highly detailed shift knob, like several other FCA vehicles but will be featured on the center console. A panoramic sunroof will return to open up the cabin on both the two-row and three-row models.
Infotainment will be prominent in the new Grand Cherokee. Three different Uconnect infotainment touchscreens will be available. A standard 7-inch, an optional 8.4-inch, and the new 10.1-inch touchscreen shown on the new 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will be available. We are told that the same rear-seat infotainment found in the Pacifica will find its way inside the Grand Cherokee as well. The Uconnect Theater system allows passengers to watch movies, play built-in games, and connect personal devices to surf the internet.
Production of the next-generation Jeep® Grand Cherokee, as well as it’s new three-row variant, and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models will be built at the new Mack Avenue Assembly Plant (soon to be called Detroit Assembly Plant 1), while additional next-generation two-row Grand Cherokee models will be built alongside the updated 2021 Dodge Durango at the retooled Jefferson North Assembly Plant (soon to be called Detroit Assembly Plant 2). The first vehicles will roll out of the Detroit Assembly Plant 1, this fall.