Growing up in metro Detroit, you learn a few truths: The potholes will kill you, the Detroit Lions are utter trash (but damn it, they’re Detroit’s trash!), and everyone loves the Jeep Grand Cherokee. That last one surprises you? It shouldn’t.
Ask anyone from southeastern Michigan, and regardless of age, race, gender, socio-economic status, or level of car enthusiasm (even the most detached Detroiter has at least a basic understanding of or interest in the industry), they’ll profess their love for Jeep’s bread-and-butter SUV. It’s a car college kids aspire to own, a reliable steed for the area’s families, and a safe status symbol for the double-income no-kids set. Bottom line, Detroiters love the Grand Cherokee.
That’s unlikely to change with the redesigned 2022 model. Featuring the same updates introduced on the three-row Grand Cherokee L – itself an increasingly common sight on Detroit roads – the new Grand Cherokee is as attractive a proposition as it’s ever been.
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|Quick Stats||2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4|
|Output:||293 Horsepower / 260 Pound-Feet|
|Base Price:||$38,325 + $1,795 Destination|
|As-Tested Price:||$56,780 (est)|
Gallery: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Review
- Exterior Color: Velvet Red
- Interior Color: Global Black
- Wheel Size: 20 Inch
Viewed from the front, the Grand Cherokee is almost indistinguishable from the three-row L model. Both vehicles share a chiseled fascia, highlighted by Jeep’s traditional seven-slat grille and slim headlights. I love the way the grille angles forward from the bottom to the top, and the sliver of chrome trim that supports and connects the bottom of the grille with the headlights. They’re little styling details that enhance the Grand Cherokee’s face.
Less successful are the thin taillights, slightly tweaked from the L. Mostly white and with LED accents that make the so-called ribbon of light all the rage in car design today, the change from the three-row can’t help the Jeep’s underwhelming back end. The black strip that connects the lamps and holds the smallish badge doesn’t do any favors, nor does the subtle floating roof effect on the D-pillar.
Where the two-row Grand Cherokee makes its design case is in profile, with proportions that feel more balanced and familiar. Overall, the three-row L is 11.4 inches longer and its wheelbase spans 121.7 inches to the two-row’s 116.7, and while bigger is better from a practical standpoint, this looks far more like the Grand Cherokees that I regularly encounter on Detroit’s roads.
Get your best surprised Pikachu face ready, because like the exterior, the interior of the Grand Cherokee is virtually identical to the three-row I drove last year. During that test, I complained that there’s too wide a gap between the cabin the bottom and top half of the GC lineup, with the Laredo and Limited using hard plastic on the lower door panels and on the outside of the center console. As it turns out, all it takes to hide the low-end models’ cheapness is opting for the black interior scheme.
While the cheap stuff remains in low traffic areas, the darker finish dulls the constant reminder of the Limited’s position in the trim hierarchy, making it easier to focus on the matte wood, splashes of painted silver, and attractive leather dash topper that comes standard on the Limited. The solid metal gear dial and drive mode selector is a fantastic touch, but the piano black finish that surrounds them should be the same matte wood found on the dash and steering wheel. Meanwhile, plasticky buttons on the center stack mar the otherwise impressive fit and finish.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Jeep Grand Cherokee
Seating Capacity: 5
Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
Cargo Capacity: 37.7 / 70.8 Cubic Feet
Fling open either of the Grand Cherokee’s front doors and you’ll find wide, well-padded seats that are somewhat lacking on overall support. Eight-way adjustability and a power telescoping steering rack mean drivers of all shapes and sizes should find a comfortable seating position. The Limited trim includes a heated steering wheel – a godsend during a Michigan January – and heated front and rear seats as standard.
Speaking of the back seats, you’ll only find a three-abreast bench with manual 60/40 folding. That’s a departure from the Grand Cherokee L’s standard second-row captain’s chairs, but one that makes sense considering the 37.7 cubic feet of cargo space that replaces the folding third row. But if you need to haul cargo, the L is a better choice, enjoying a 10-cubic-foot advantage with the second row in place overthe short-wheelbase model. There are small differences in overall space between the two Jeeps, as well, but nowhere as dramatic as in the trunk.
|Headroom, Front/Rear||Legroom, Front/Rear||Cargo Volume|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4||39.9 / 39.4 Inches||41.3 / 38.2 Inches||37.7 / 70.8 Cubic Feet|
|Ford Edge 2.0T||40.2 / 40.3 Inches||42.6 / 40.6 Inches||39.2 / 73.4 Cubic Feet|
|Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T||41.2 / 39.0 Inches||44.1 / 41.7 Inches||36.4 / 72.1 Cubic Feet|
|Toyota 4Runner||39.3 / 38.6 Inches||41.7 / 32.9 Inches||47.2 / 89.7 Cubic Feet|
The size difference between two- and three-row has little impact on ride quality, despite the standard Grand Cherokee’s 116.7-inch wheelbase (down from 121.7 in the L). Jeep limits its ride-enhancing air suspension to the Trailhawk, Overland, and Summit trims, but there’s still a standard multi-link arrangement on both my Limited’s axles and the ride is wholly acceptable because of it. The Grand Cherokee renders small imperfections invisible and even larger bumps elicit little more than a solid thud with little impact on the steering or overall sense of stability.
My tester added the optional five-spoke 20-inch wheels and 265/50 tires. Even if you’re concerned about ride quality, I’d still opt for these optional alloys over the standard 18-inch wheels and their 265/60 tires – the comfort improvements from the slightly larger sidewall can’t overshadow how much better the optional wheels look. And even with the larger rolling stock, the Grand Cherokee keeps a tight lid on suspension noise and tire roar.
Center Display: 10.1-inch Touchscreen
Instrument Cluster Display: 10.3 inch
Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: Yes/No
Despite the rock-solid reputation of the old Uconnect 4 infotainment system, our experiences with Jeep’s newer, more modern infotainment system have been, well, buggy. Seyth Miersma recounted his woes in the Grand Wagoneer, which mirrored some of the problems I had on the first drive. So the fact that I made it an entire week in the Grand Cherokee without an infotainment meltdown is a surprise.
When it’s working, Uconnect 5 is a fantastic setup, featuring attractive graphics, quick responses, and a logical layout. The Grand Cherokee Limited’s standard screen, an 8.4-inch unit, is serviceable, but take a look at the housing and it’s clear Jeep meant for the optional 10.1-inch display to live there. Thin-ish bezels and perfect proportions make the touchscreen an attractive centerpiece to the Jeep’s cabin. All Grand Cherokees come with a standard 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster with a wide range of adjustability. Multiple info pages and two separate gauge configurations mean there’s a setup for everyone.
My tester also adds an optional 10.3-inch touchscreen in front of the passenger. Yes, this trend of sticking another display just an inch or two away from the main screen is excessive and unnecessary. I couldn’t justify the $1,095 expense, but at the very least the screen is responsive to inputs and looks quite good. And through some neat trickery, it’s not viewable from the driver’s seat.
Standard wireless Apple CarPlay is a given in 2022, but the Grand Cherokee does something I’ve never seen before. Typically, if you use CarPlay for navigation, it operates independently of the built-in navigation, meaning you won’t see navigation prompts or directions in the instrument cluster. That’s not the case in the Jeep, though, which displays Apple Maps directions as clearly as the built-in TomTom-based nav system. CarPlay was already an attractive alternative to Uconnect, and this just helps solidify that position.
- Engine: 3.6-liter V6
- Output: 293 Horsepower / 260 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: Eight-Speed Automatic
Like so much else, the Grand Cherokee’s powertrain lineup mirrors that introduced in the Grand Cherokee L (which itself dates back to the last-gen model). A 3.6-liter V6 and an eight-speed automatic is the only pairing available on the base Laredo and Limited, as well as all two-wheel-drive models. A 5.7-liter V8 is an optional extra on the four-wheel-drive Overland and Summit trims, as well as the Trailhawk (which is only available with four-wheel drive).
I wasn’t a big fan of the 3.6-liter engine when I drove it in the Grand Cherokee L. It felt wheezy and underpowered there, but during my test of the two-row, the old Pentastar felt more energetic, particularly while accelerating from 55 to 75 miles per hour. The engine was more responsive, and the 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque felt more readily available.
But despite the better showing, I’m struggling to appreciate Jeep’s decision to limit the V8 and its 357 hp and 390 pound-feet to high-dollar models. For as much as the cold temperatures helped during this test, the reality is that rivals like the Ford Explorer and Hyundai Santa Fe, via turbocharging or hybrid powertrains, offer sharper performance and/or higher efficiency for similar money.
The Grand Cherokee does stand out, though, if you’re planning to tow. My four-wheel-drive V6-powered tester can manage up to 6,200 pounds, 600 pounds more than even the stoutest Explorer. And if you take my advice and snag the V8, that figure jumps to a best-in-class 7,200 pounds. You’ll need a pickup or larger body-on-frame SUV to exceed that.
Beyond the powertrain, the Grand Cherokee stood out for the performance of its ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic. This was a great gearbox way back when Jeep added it in 2011 and it remains an excellent choice today, with crisp gearchanges and smooth, intelligent downshifts ahead of hard acceleration.
When we tested the three-row Grand Cherokee for the inaugural Motor1.com Star Awards, the confident handling was one of its biggest selling points. That impressive agility is on display with the two-row Jeep, too, with predictable, composed body motions, well-weighted and precise steering, and a chassis that’s all too happy to barrel into a corner. It’s refreshing behavior from a vehicle with real off-road chops.
As for the rough stuff, Jeep doesn’t do much for Laredo or Limited customers. The brand’s vaunted Trail Rated badge only applies to the Overland, Trailhawk, and Summit trims, with my Limited not even offering an option pack to add things like an upgraded differential or unbderbody protection. Disappointing.
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Five Stars Overall
- IIHS Rating: Rated (Not TSP/TSP+)
Speaking of things the Grand Cherokee Limited doesn’t have, let’s talk about active safety. Jeep is only offering Active Driving Assist – its soon-to-be hands-free driver aid – on the Overland and Summit trims (it’s optional on the former, standard on the latter). That’s disappointing not only because active safety shouldn’t be limited to high-dollar products, but because the excellent integration I’ve experienced in ADA-equipped vehicles seems to vanish without the system.
The Limited trim, like all Grand Cherokees, comes standard with full-speed adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and lane-keep assist with lane centering. That’s an impressive roster of standard equipment, but it never really gels the way the assists have in cars with Active Driving Assist. In particular, I found myself reaching for the lane-keep assist button, because it kept trying to make corrections when none were needed. According to Jeep, models with ADA have a different control module. I wish it were present here.
- City: 19 MPG
- Highway: 26 MPG
- Combined: 22 MPG
Heavy redesign aside, the 2022 Grand Cherokee is only slightly more efficient than the vehicle it replaced (and shared powertrains with). But while the overall stats might look disappointing, there is cause for hope, as Jeep is introducing a plug-in-hybrid Grand Cherokee 4xe that should improve on these figures.
|Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4||19 MPG||26 MPG||22 MPG|
|Ford Edge 2.0T||21 MPG||28 MPG||23 MPG|
|Hyundai Santa Fe 2.5T||21 MPG||28 MPG||24 MPG|
|Toyota 4Runner||16 MPG||19 MPG||17 MPG|
- Base Price: $38,325 + $1,795 Destination
- Trim Base Price: $46,835
- As-Tested Price: $56,780 (est)
The 2022 Grand Cherokee starts at just over $40,000 in two-wheel-drive Laredo form, but this Limited begins at $48,835 (including a $1,795 destination charge and the $2,000 four-wheel-drive system). As the volume trim, it arrives well-equipped – I wouldn’t kick an optionless Limited out of my driveway. But my test model adds every available extra.
Some of these are worth the coin. You should absolutely snag the $2,295 Luxury Tech Group II, which adds everything from upgraded Capri leather upholstery and ventilated front seats to a surround-view camera and proximity entry. I’d shell out $1,075 for the 10.1-inch center touchscreen, too, but the $1,095 passenger-facing display is a bridge too far. The $1,835 panoramic sunroof is an owner’s choice item – living in Michigan, where it’s gray and frozen for half the year, I’d pass. And yeah, you want the 20s, too. Out the door, you’d be looking at a $56,780 Jeep.
There are definitely compelling alternatives at that price, especially if you value straight-line speed. Both the Ford Edge ST and Explorer ST outgun the Jeep’s V6 without cresting $50,000, while you’ll find plenty of turbocharged torque in the $44,000 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy. And if off-roading is your game, the $52,000 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is much more capable for a little less money.
But none of these products possess the Jeep’s ride/handling balance, the promise of hands-free driving (eventually), or of course, the brand cachet. Few vehicles can match the Grand Cherokee on that last point, and it’s one worth carefully considering during your shopping process.
Grand Cherokee Competitor Reviews:
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4