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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L: Grand in every way except one

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Buckle up for what starts out as a smooth ride with Publisher Tim Esterdahl. But don’t get too comfortable because things get a little rough when he starts talking about the engine options and fuel economy in this 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland 4×4 video review.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L = Long

For the first time ever, the Grand Cherokee is offering a longer wheelbase and body to accommodate a third row of seats in one of Jeep’s best-selling vehicles. But please don’t confuse this longer Grand Cherokee with the brand-new Wagoneer, which is even bigger and more luxurious than the GC-L.

Esterdahl starts his review in the third row where he shows us the seats for two passengers, which he says are OK, but not great. However, the third-row passengers do get their own cupholders, USB charging ports and air vents for added comfort on what he guesses will be occasional use of the seats.

The downside of adding a third row is even with the added length the cargo space behind the third row is pretty small. Interestingly, Jeep plans to offer the Grand Cherokee with a 2-row option, which will offer an extra-large cargo area for customers who choose that option.

Esterdahl runs his hands over the woodgrain finish several times, so I think it’s safe to say that’s a pretty nice finish that will really stand out. He also pointed out beautifully bolstered front seats, the brand-new Uconnect system, a digital rearview camera mirror, wireless charging and a McIntosh sound system.

Capable yes. Practical?

The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L has multiple ride heights including an easy exit, normal and off-road 1 and 2 which uses an air ride suspension system to raise and lower the vehicle for more or less ground clearance. This means you can get up to 24-inches of water fording and 10.9-inches of ground clearance for off-roading. You can see just how this works in the video below.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland comes with fog lamps and tow hooks. It also offers several drive modes, 4×4 Hi, 4×4 Low and crawl control. But it’s the engine options that leave Esterdahl scratching his head and wondering why this thing even comes with a V-8 option. Watch the video, and check out his little rant at the end.

What do you think? Is the V-8 worth it for just 1,000 additional pounds of towing and a significantly lower fuel economy?

 

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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