Jeep has established itself as a brand for off-road adventures. Toting a history of taking people anywhere the pavement ends, the Jeeps of today still excite. But one new family member is donning a suit and tie. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is stepping into high-end territory.
But will its luxe features be worth it for an off-roader?
Introducing the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L shares its name and a few styling details with the Grand Cherokee, but it’s an entirely different SUV. The Grand Cherokee L features a unibody platform that extends the crossover’s length.
Expect four trim levels, including the Laredo, the Limited, the Overland, and the Summit. But luxury will be a common theme across each.
The Grand Cherokee L isn’t a luxury SUV per se, but it feels like one
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L boasts stitched leather from the seats to the dashboard. And the accents are classically engineered with fine metal lines and impeccable wood grains. The Grand Cherokee L’s Reserve trims offer open-pore Absolute Oak or a Waxed Walnut. The luxury extends beyond the 16-way adjustable front seats, and even the second row offers heated and ventilated seats.
The technology is also robust. Even the third-row passengers have access to some of the Grand Cherokee L’s 12 USB ports. Plus, the infotainment system is smart and intuitive, with a 10.1-inch display and the latest Uconnect software, Car and Driver reports.
Another high-end feature is the Grand Cherokee L’s sound system.
The Grand Cherokee L’s high-end sound system
For the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, the automaker partnered with McIntosh for this pilot launch in the Stellantis (née FCA) lineup. Imagine 19 speakers throughout, custom-designed and paired with a 10-inch subwoofer. The MX950 system offers 17 channels and a 950-watt amplifier. That’s right — your morning commute could feel more like a front-row seat at your favorite concert. McIntosh amplifiers helped power Woodstock and even the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound, CNET reports.
McIntosh sound systems are a first for Jeep, but the audio company has partnered with other automakers before. It worked on branded sound platforms in the past with Ford for the 2005 and 2006 GT. The company has also collaborated with Subaru and Harley-Davidson.
Can an off-road brand succeed at softer touches?
The Grand Cherokee has always striven to be a more luxurious Jeep vehicle. But the 2021 Grand Cherokee L may be diving into the upscale pool head-first. With all of its comfort and convenience, it might have you wondering if the extras are worth it in an essentially off-road vehicle. And is this fancy stereo really necessary, considering we don’t even know what it actually sounds like in action yet?
Jeep is venturing into new territory and enhancing its luxury offerings. And it could be a smart move, as consumers continue to demand more creature comforts and in-cabin extras. Jeep already dominates the off-road market. Offering a third-row SUV to appeal to luxury-car consumers might tap into an entirely new audience of SUV buyers.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L could offer the best of both worlds — off-pavement prowess and interior luxury. If you crave a 19-speaker sound system on your off-road adventures, this could be the ideal Jeep for you. Only time will tell if its upscale amenities will appeal to consumers.