- Doors and Seats
5 doors, 7 seats
3.6i, 6 cyl.
- Engine Power
Petrol (91) 10.6L/100KM
8 Spd Auto
5 Yr, 100000 KMs
- Ancap Safety
Jeep is back in the seven-seat SUV fight with its new long-wheelbase Grand Cherokee. It’s fully loaded with tech and more premium than ever, but does it all add up to a smart choice?
- Impressive interior design
- High levels of standard equipment
- Genuinely spacious and comfortable across three rows
- 3.6-litre engine is underdone
- Starts feeling expensive with the options ticked
- Weak towing credentials
Jeep is back into the seven-seat SUV game with the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, and we’ve got the top-specification model on test: Summit Reserve.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve picks up where the Commander left off in 2010, which was Jeep’s last seven-seat SUV before this new model rolled around.
Whereas the range starts at $82,250 plus on-road costs (for Night Eagle specification), our model costs $115,450 plus on-road costs. Throw in some options, like the Advanced Technology Group ($5500) and Vision Group ($4250), and that price rises up to over $126,000 before on-road costs.
The previous-generation model – known as the WK2 – dates back to 2011 and has bones related to the previous generation Mercedes-Benz GLE large SUV. This time around, the new Grand Cherokee borrows a modified version of Alfa Romeo’s Giorgio platform. This has been used for the Italian Guilia sedan and Stelvio SUV, but stretched and strengthened to suit this American application.
This long-wheelbase seven-seat model will soon be followed by a five-seat variant shorter in both body and wheelbase. However, Jeep Australia has chosen the bigger model to lead the charge.
These new, more on-road-focussed bones mean the Grand Cherokee doesn’t have the same towing credentials as the previous model. While other models in the range have a 2813kg towing capacity (nearly 700kg lower than the previous generation), our air-suspended Summit Reserve goes even lower at 2268kg.
This new model also lacks any choice of powertrain beyond one: a long-serving 3.6-litre Pentastar petrol V6 that makes 210kW and 344Nm. It’s a carryover engine, which this time hasn’t been joined by the previously available 3.0-litre diesel V6.
Beyond that is an eight-speed automatic gearbox and full-time four-wheel-drive system, while top-spec Summit Reserve is the only model to get a low-range transfer case and height-adjustable air suspension.
|Key details||2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve|
|Price||$115,450 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Silver Zynith|
|Options||Advanced Technology Group – $5500|
– Wireless charging pad
– Night vision
– Head-up display
Vision Group – $4250
– Dual-pane sunroof
– Digital rear-view mirror
– Head-up display
Premium paint: $1750
|Price as tested||$126,950 plus on-road costs|
|Rivals||Audi Q7 | Toyota LandCruiser | Land Rover Defender|
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee is quite impressive on the inside, and that is particularly the case for the Summit Reserve specification. The dashboard is dominated by a smart-looking slab of real wood that runs the full distance side to side. It’s smart, modern and undoubtedly premium, especially in comparison to the previous-generation model.
Summit Reserve gets things like quilted Palermo leather-trimmed seats, which can be had in either Black or Tupelo (named after a kind of honey). The material feels great, with nice attention to detail. They are also heated, vented, electrically adjustable, quilted and equipped with massage and memory functions. All you can eat.
Beyond that big infotainment display – 10.1 inches in size – you’ve got a selection of buttons and dials for controlling things like your air-conditioning, driving modes and other functions. Things fall to hand easily, and one is able to navigate the big panes of piano black simply when on the move.
There are some additional premium details around in this specification, with four-zone climate control (including rear controls), multi-colour ambient lighting, second-row window shades, and the McIntosh-branded sound system. This looks and sounds great, comprising 19 speakers and a 760-watt amplifier.
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Further downwards you’ve got a lidded storage compartment that hides your power sources: twin USB-A and USB-C points, along with a 12V plug and wireless charging pad. There are twin cupholders (also lidded), along with a big flocked centre console.
There is some nice attention to detail throughout the cabin, both in terms of materials and practicality. Although, I did note that the lidded storage compartment got a bit sticky and dicky during our time with the car.
Both the second and third rows of the Grand Cherokee L are spacious and comfortable, along with having plenty of gear to keep people happy. The second row slides and tilts aplenty with a 60/40 split, which means if you cinch forward slightly, you can fit seven big adults into the Grand Cherokee with good comfort. There are power outlets, air vents and cupholders just about everywhere as well, so nobody misses out.
In terms of boot space, 487L (as a seven-seater) grows to 1328L when you fold the third row down into the floor. In a Summit Reserve, that’s electrically controlled as well. Go into two-seat mode and you’ve got a relatively huge 2395L at the ready. IKEA, here we come.
|2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve|
|Boot volume||487L to third row|
1328L to second row
2395L to first row
Infotainment and Connectivity
This new infotainment display – 10.1 inches in size – uses the Stellantis group’s Uconnect 5 operating system, with all of the trimmings in this specification: wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, digital radio and native navigation.
The 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster – with unique display capabilities for the Summit Reserve specification – can handle a maps display, along with plenty of other features: tyre pressure monitoring, a gamut of mechanical readouts, driving aids and other things.
With our options ticked, the Night Vision trick in this test model is quite impressive. It genuinely works, with thermal cameras showing you hot things like mufflers and differentials glowing in the dark. But the main trick here is that it will also highlight pedestrians with a yellow square, and help you pick out potential dangers.
We also like ‘Fam Cam’, which uses a fish-eye camera mounted in the roof lining to keep an eye on errant behaviour in the back. It covers the second and third rows, and you can even zoom in further on perpetrators as you gather your evidence and prepare your darkest, meanest scowl.
On our digital instrument cluster, we had a warning light indicating that there was an issue with the stop-start system, and the ‘messages’ part told us that the system needed servicing. We also noted that stop-start wasn’t working for the full duration of our test.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is yet to be crash-tested by the local authority (ANCAP).
By using a new platform, this Grand Cherokee L has picked up a lot of new safety technology: autonomous emergency braking (with collision assistance, pedestrian and cyclist detection), traffic sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, active lane management, drowsy driver detection and tyre pressure monitoring.
There’s also adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go functionality), and a good quality 360-degree camera system.
We noticed the lane-departure technology was mostly very good, but had a few off moments, and beeping aggressively when it thinks you’re leaving the lane. Sometimes, you’re not.
|2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve|
Putting aside the 522kW Grand Cherokee Trackhawk for a moment, this Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve is the most expensive Jeep to date. This is especially the case with a couple of expensive options ticked.
However, the Summit Reserve specification leaves nary a stone unturned in terms of specification: heating and venting on the first and second rows, massaging and memory up front, 360-degree camera system, 21-inch wheels, LED headlights, big sound system, and a big digital instrument cluster. That means you don’t need to option up much for a premium experience.
And as cool as the Night Vision is, it does feel expensive being part of a $5500 option.
So while you are shelling out a fair sum of money, the return you get – in terms of both the amount of sheetmetal and features – is strong. It feels like a cut-price competitor to something German or British, for example, even if the car doesn’t carry the same high levels of polish as the competition.
Jeep has also pointed out that an additional display for the front passenger will be appearing in future models of the Grand Cherokee L.
Servicing for a vehicle of this size and equipment seems cheap overall, running at $399 per visit for the first five years. No doubt, if you looked at some of the more entrenched premium brands, you’d be handing over more dollars for the stamp in the logbook.
|At a glance||2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve|
|Warranty||Five years / 100,000km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 12,000km|
|Servicing costs||$399 per year: $1197 (3 years), $1995 (5 years)|
Perhaps the lack of a more powerful or torquey powertrain option – an important ingredient in this neck of the woods – would hurt the appeal of the Grand Cherokee to some, along with the reduced towing capacity.
The powertrain also proved it’s not the most efficient option out there. During our time with the car (and noting the fact that our stop-start technology was on holiday), we logged around 13.0L/100km.
After longer periods of highway driving, our figure was closer to around 12.5L/100km, but a short run in town saw this number creep upwards. So if you’re planning on driving only around town and through stop-start traffic, I’d bet on something a little higher than what we saw.
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||10.6L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||13.0L/100km|
|Fuel type||91-octane premium unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||87L|
Unlike the previous-generation Grand Cherokee – which was available with a wide range of powertrains – there’s now only one available engine under the bonnet this time around.
The 3.6-litre petrol V6 – naturally aspirated and making 210kW/344Nm – is ample for the job. But it’s also far from feeling muscular or outstanding in this application. And at this price point – put best by one of my colleagues – it’s being damned with faint praise.
Over two hundred kilowatts is all well and good, but that’s only available at redline. And it’s the dearth of torque below 3000rpm that is most noticeable. The eight-speed automatic gearbox does a stellar job covering the bases here, quickly shifting upwards (multiple ratios, in most cases) to find more forward impetus. However, the shortcoming of low-rev torque is still there.
While we’re hoping for something that Jeep says won’t be coming, a turbocharged petrol or diesel engine would be perfect for shifting this 2270kg of mass. Perhaps a future electrified variant will provide a solution?
|Key details||2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve|
|Engine||3.6-litre V6 petrol|
|Power||210kW @ 6400rpm|
|Torque||344Nm @ 4000rpm|
|Drive type||Full-time four-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Eight-speed torque converter automatic|
Low-range transfer case
|Power to weight ratio||92kW/t|
|Tow rating||2268kg braked, 750kg unbraked|
There is a stack of stuff to like about this new Grand Cherokee. The jewel in the crown is no doubt the look and execution of the interior, along with all of the kit that this Summit Reserve model has as standard.
It’s also wonderfully spacious front to back. A proper seven-seater that can regularly fit a full complement without complaint.
Some of the not-so-good parts of this new Grand Cherokee surround the movements of the goalposts. It’s not a contender for one who wants to tow and more, and one could argue that it doesn’t suit the off-roader as much as it once did either.
Instead, it’s aimed at more urban and affluent family usage. And looking at it through that scope, it does move the brand into a new competitive set. It would no doubt be better with some optional powertrains, but is good enough in this regard.
I’d recommend someone to test-drive one and see if it strikes them. Because while some will find the new Grand Cherokee L too underwhelming in some respects to see the strengths, others will be too busy enjoying the space and serene design.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve Wagon
Interior Comfort & Packaging
Infotainment & Connectivity
Sam Purcell has been writing about cars, four-wheel driving and camping since 2013, and obsessed with anything that goes brum-brum longer than he can remember. Sam joined the team at CarAdvice/Drive as the off-road Editor in 2018, after cutting his teeth at Unsealed 4X4 and Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures.