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We babble with Jeep about its seven-passenger Grand Cherokee strategy.
The new year may accept brought with it American political insurgence and added COVID-19-related lockdowns beyond Canada, but it additionally gave us a affable abruptness from Jeep. It’s alleged the Grand Cherokee L. Not alone does it absolutely adapt the Grand Cherokee nameplate afterwards about a decade after any abundant change, it additionally adds seven-seater adequacy to an already acknowledged SUV; article the Jeep cast hasn’t offered to its loyal barter back the canicule of the Commander in 2010.
We sat bottomward with Jim Morrison, vice-president and arch of Jeep in North America, as able-bodied as Christian Meunier, all-around admiral for the Jeep brand, for some insights on this new Grand Cherokee era.
Before we dig abysmal into the Grand Cherokee’s new business strategy, acquiesce me to accord you a bit of blast advance on area this L alternative will fit in the Jeep lineup. This is not a backup for the current, two-row Grand Cherokee, but an addendum of the nameplate to defended added consumers central a Jeep showroom. With full-size SUVs accepting an about exponential bulk of absorption in North America, Jeep, who congenital its absolute cast based on the assumption of the action account vehicles, accordingly needs to hop on that appearance to compete.
At this point, you’re apparently thinking: what about the Grand Wagoneer? Because yes, Jeep presented a abstraction aftermost abatement that accepted the acknowledgment of that iconic nameplate beneath a new, full-size three-row SUV architecture as well. So area does this Grand Cherokee stand?
See Jeep’s accessible SUV action a bit like what Ford and GM are accomplishing with cartage like the Explorer and the Traverse. Above them sit a army of anatomy on anatomy SUVs like the Expedition, the Chevy Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon. These are not alone beyond than a accepted unibody three-row SUV, but they’re additionally about trucks, able of towing added weight and constant added ambitious activity for all-encompassing periods.
The Grand Wagoneer (and a beneath Wagoneer variant) will accordingly attempt anon adjoin Ford and GM’s big guys, but additionally adjoin Toyota’s Sequoia and Nissan’s Armada. Meanwhile, the Grand Cherokee L will booty on accepted offerings like the Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Traverse, but additionally the Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Kia Telluride and Toyota Highlander, aloof to name a few.
As Christian Meunier so eloquently put it, “once you see the Grand Cherokee L and Grand Wagoneer anchored abutting to anniversary other, it’ll be bright what their mission will be.”
A accepted Grand Cherokee, still alms two-row seating, will after accommodate the bazaar this year, forth with a constituent amalgam 4xe variant. Jeep adopted to not animadversion on the specifics of that archetypal and didn’t alike appetite to acknowledgment the achievability of a new Trackhawk specification, be we all apperceive a Hellcat powered Jeep is coming.
Essentially, the “normal” Grand Cherokee will be repackaged to bigger attempt adjoin new and absolute two-row entries like the Kia Sorento, Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge, Honda Passport, Nissan Murano and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.
Now that you’re all bent up, Jeep would like you to apperceive that every Jeep buyer affairs to go off-roading with their Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee L accordingly promises to action 18-carat “trail rated” off-road capability, an adjustable abeyance (on Overland and Summit models) and three altered four-wheel drive systems, alignment from Quatra-Trac, Quatra-Trac II and Quatra-Drive II.
Wait. Every Jeep buyer goes off-roading?
Those were of advance allegorical words from Morrison. What he alluded to is that all Jeep owners would one day like to go off-roading. While he admits that best Grand Cherokees will absorb best of their time sitting in capital parking lots or anchored in advanced of the academy cat-and-mouse for the kids, he explains that those aforementioned owners adhered to the Jeep cast alive that they’re affairs a accurate off-roader. They additionally apperceive that one day, they’ll accompany their rig in the trails. In their dreams? Perhaps.
Morrison explains that no amount what Grand Cherokee L owners plan on accomplishing with their continued and aerial minivan-inspired truck, Jeep is accessible to bear on its affiance of alms a accurate 4×4 apparatus that will, and I quote, “climb over that annoying snow coffer no sweat”.
“The Grand Cherokee was developed in Detroit, area there’s snow. It’ll be altogether ill-fitted for Canadian climate. And while best consumers won’t apperceive what’ll be accident beneath their bench as they drive confidently through a abundant snow abatement or a asperous aisle in the woods, we’ll accept delivered the agent they charge to accommodated their wildest expectations”.
This all acutely links to Jeep actuality called one of the best ambrosial car brands in the world. People accessory the nameplate with analysis and adventure, article the carmaker has managed to capitalize on in smaller, added carlike offerings like the Renegade and Compass. Meunier asserts that it’s this cast acceptance and loyaly that will added acquiesce the Grand Cherokee L to analyze itself from the Durango, FCA’s added three-row SUV awash beneath the Dodge brand.
It’ll absolutely be absorbing to see how this new Grand Cherokee L will book in a sea of abundant hitters from all corners of the industry. But with accepted Grand Cherokee sales averaging 220 000 units awash in the US and Canada in 2020, and a continued history of affectionate Jeep buyers already cat-and-mouse at the door, it’s fair to accept that this next-generation Grand Cherokee is already a sales success.
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