- 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L ($39,739 – $69,690)
- Trim Tested: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L 4×4 Overland ($65,070)
- The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV of all time – Edumunds
- 5-Star Overall Safety Rating – NHTSA
- Pro: Incredible McIntosh sound system
- Con: Almost zero storage in a huge SUV feels pretty dumb
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV of all time. Over the years, Jeep has managed to turn a hardcore off-roader – the Jeep Cherokee XJ – into a luxury ride that is better for bumping the Mcintosh sound system than bumping up boulders. Our 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland review revealed a semi-luxurious three-row SUV that dressed as an “overlander” for Halloween.
The truth is, the Grand Cherokee L Overland is a rather toothless SUV that prioritizes luxury and seat count more than sense and reason. Unlike the 2021 Land Rover Defender or the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser, which are both fancy and killer off-road trucks, there is none of that feeling of ruggedness about the Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
|Vehicle Make and Model||2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L 4×4 Overland|
|Price as Tested||$65,070|
|Engine||3.6-liter V6 (optional 5.7-liter V8)|
|Horsepower||290 (V6) 357 (V8)|
|Torque||257 (V6) 390 (V8)|
|Towing capacity||6,200 (V6) 7,200 (V8)|
|Fuel Economy||21 mpg combined|
Which 2021 Jeep Cherokee L trim is best for you?
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is the three-row version of the Grand Cherokee, debuting in 2022. The Grand Cherokee L comes in four trims; the Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit. My 2021 Jeep Cherokee L review came dressed in the Overland trim just in time for Halloween. This Overland trim may sound cool, but it’s mostly just a costume the Grand Cherokee L wears to feel cool.
The off-road package comes with 18-inch x 8.0-inch Polished/Painted Aluminum Wheels 265/60R18 BSW All-Season All-Terrain Tires, Electronic Limited-Slip Differential Rear Axle, Front Suspension Skid-Plate, Fuel Tank Skid-Plate Shield, “Trail-Rated” Badge, and Transfer Case Skid-Plate Shield. This is cool, and all, but ultimately is worth a hill of beans if it’s never used, which it won’t be. This package is truly a waste of money for a huge, three-row SUV with nearly zero storage space.
Save the bread and go with the middling Limited trim with 4×4 if you really want to feel like you’re driving a Jeep. This trim offers tons of standard features still without paying for a bunch of nonsense. The Limited trim gets leather, interior, and exterior lighting options, heated seats, a power liftgate, and more.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L at least looks pretty good
Jeep’s three-row Grand Cherokee L looks pretty nice. There is a feeling of nostalgia with the Grand Cherokee’s front end, yet Jeep has done a nice job of modernizing the suburb crawler. The squinted headlights and bulky back end create a nice aesthetic that feels aggressive and boxy SUV at the same time.
How’s the Jeep Grand Cherokee L’s interior?
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is absolutely massive. The third row allows for seating for seven. Not only can seven people fit, but even the back row is also big enough for grown folks. However, it only works if no one brings more than whatever fits in their pockets.
The Jeep’s third row has demolished any possible storage for luggage of any kind. I took the Grand Cherokee L camping this weekend up in the foothills of the Catskill mountains with three others. The trunk space could fit my pack and two sleeping bags, nothing else. The entire third row was needed to fit our camping gear. Honestly, the lack of space was somewhat comical for such a massive SUV. This lack of storage shines a particularly silly and embarrassing light on the “Overland” trim.
The interior is dressed well. As much as the interior’s lack of utility is annoying, it does look good. My 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland review unit wore black leather and had many bells and whistles. As Edmunds also noted in their review, the button layout is not great. Some buttons block others, while others are cocked to a funny angle. Not to mention the large swaths of shiny black plastic surfaces make the dash dirty and unappealing within minutes of use. Along with the plasticy, cheap-feeling of most of the interior’s surfaces, the overall appeal of the Grand Cherokee L Overland isn’t felt easily.
What features does the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L have?
The Jeep has all the usual suspects in the features department; push-button start, remote start, nice integrated sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, moon roof, heated and cooled seats, and more. Also, like Edmunds, the CarPlay system would randomly disconnect from time to time. It probably happened three times in our nearly two-hour drive to the mountains from NYC. I also could never get the wireless charging pad in the dash to work.
My favorite feature was the 19-speaker McIntosh sound system. Testing the McIntosh audio system in the Jeep Grand Cherokee L was a treat. It’s a 19-speaker system driven by a 17-channel amplifier that produces a total of 950 watts. The system is optional on Overland and Summit models and standard with the Summit Reserve Package. As a standalone option, it lists for $1,495. That is definitely not cheap, but for McIntosh, you’d be hardpressed to buy a system for less than that in their other systems. I loved it. It was the only feature in the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L that made sense to me; It sounds great.
Handling is not the Grand Cherokee L’s strong suit
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L wasn’t made for the corners, and it makes a point to remind you every time you try. The Grand Cherokee L is long, heavy, and cumbersome. Every corner feels like you are asking it to do long division.
Even in sport mode (For the life of me don’t understand why a three-row SUV needs “sports mode”), the steering feels light and vague while the suspension feels like a 1950s Cadillac; long after you adjust steering or hit a bumpy patch of the road, the cabin just keeps bobbing. In fact, all four passengers commented on the “bounciness” of the ride, and one friend got car sick from it.
Does the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L get good gas mileage?
The Grand Cherokee L with 4WD and V6 engine gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg combined, which is average for a midsize three-row SUV. However, while putting around in the stop-and-go traffic of NYC, my 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland review unit got about seven mpg. So, be aware that in heavy traffic, those numbers fall apart pretty quickly.
Even I the highway, I felt like I was watching the gauge drop in real-time. At this point, having a big slow V6 with no hybrid assistance feels like a missed opportunity. However, the non-4WD versions get one mpg better than those with 4WD.
Is the Grand Cherokee L fast?
It is not – at least not the 3.6-liter V6. This engine kind of sounds nice, but it feels like you are asking a lot of the Jeep if you put your foot in it. This giant SUV can hit 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds with the V6. The top-trim Grand Cherokee has an optional 5.7-liter V8 if you want more metal in your pedal.
Although this long Jeep isn’t very fast, it is pretty decent in the towing game. With the V6, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L can tow up to 6,200 lbs. The V8’s towing capacity tops out at 7,200 lbs.
Even though this is a massive three-row SUV Jeep still wants you to feel like your driving a Jeep. Admittedly, I didn’t put it through its off-road paces more than a little dirt and gravel while camping. The truth is this is all 99 percent of owners will likely do, but Jeep did give it a bunch of off-road features like hill descent control, modes for various loose off-road surfaces, spotting cameras, electronic locking rear diff, and more. It feels unlikely that many people will actually use much of this, but Jeep is trying to make this square minivan more useful off-road. It’s honestly pretty good, considering how long this wheelbase is (120in).
How safe is the Jeep Grand Cherokee L?
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L received five stars from the NHTSA on its crash safety testing. The Jeep has a pile of standard safety features. Jeep gave it airbags everywhere, stability control, ABS, seatbelt pre-tensioners, anti-whiplash headrests, and more make the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is a pretty safe SUV.
How much does it cost to maintain a Jeep Grand Cherokee?
Jeeps have been struggling across the board over the past few years with their reliability. Many Jeep owners have claimed poor reliability from Jeep Wranglers, Gladiators, Liberties, and Renegades. The Grand Cherokee is no exception. Edmunds estimates that the first five years of ownership might cost around $5,000 in maintenance costs and nearly the same in repairs.
All new Jeeps come with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty included from the factory.
If you need something with seven seats and room to store anything, don’t buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee L
It’s not that Jeep Grand Cherokee is actively bad; it isn’t; it’s just that it doesn’t offer all that much. If you need to carry five to seven people regularly enough to buy a car for it, you’ll likely have to need that car to hold five to seven people’s luggage which the Grand Cherokee simply can’t do.
As tested, my 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L cost $65,070. That is an enormous amount of money to spend just to avoid buying a better, more capable, and less expensive minivan.
Jeep has long been home to many exciting and badass vehicles. Sadly, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is not one of them.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L an expert rating of 7 out of 10
The editors at Motorbiscuit landed on a mediocre 7 out of 10 for the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L review. It is an SUV that simply doesn’t feel needed. It offers almost nothing to the motoring world. That being said it’s not offensive or bad; It is just is. In a world where there are piles of great cars, trucks, and SUVs, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L feels inconsequential.