2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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First Drive: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

The new Grand Cherokee packs more tech, more luxury and more off-road gear than ever before. Canada Drives had some exclusive seat time with the midsize two-row SUV in Port Hope, Ontario to learn more.

Key Features:

  • Wide range of versions
  • Out of the box off-road capability
  • Tried and proven engines

Direct Competitors:

  • Honda Passport
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Kia Sorento
  • Nissan Murano
  • Ford Edge
  • Chevrolet Blazer
  • Toyota Venza
  • Hyundai Santa Fe

The very first Jeep Grand Cherokee appeared in 1993, debuting in spectacular fashion on the steps of Detroit’s Cobo Hall. Back in the day, Jeep was marketing the thing as a luxury adventure vehicle, a risky move that paid off. 

The Grand Cherokee soldered on through four generations, selling well over 1 million units throughout its career. It even earned the reputation of being America’s Land Rover due to its wonderful balance of off-road capability, sophistication, and creature comforts.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Jeep 

For the 2022 model year, Jeep arrives with a fresh new model and injects it with more technology, capability, and standard features than ever before. Did Jeep get it right? We spent a few days with it during its Canadian launch in Port Hope, Ontario to find out.

New Grand Cherokee’s pricing and rivals

Like its predecessors, the 2022 Grand Cherokee is available in a wide variety of flavors. There are up to seven trim levels to choose from, ranging from an entry level, $51,545 Laredo, all the way to the range-topping $78,040 Summit Reserve. 

Between the two, consumers can opt for an Altitude, a Limited, a Trailhawk – which adds a set of serious off-roading parts – Overland and Summit.

Many new players have entered the Grand Cherokee’s ring since it first came to market three decades ago. Key competitors now include the Honda Passport, Toyota 4Runner, Kia Sorento, Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, Toyota Venza and Hyundai Santa Fe as part of the midsize two-row SUV segment.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee interior

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Jeep 

Since the Grand Cherokee wears different hats that reside in diverse price brackets, different interior themes are offered across the lineup. For instance, the base Laredo makes do with a more traditional cabin layout, with piano black plastics and an 8.4-inch infotainment screen versus 10.1-inch on higher trims. 

Plenty of standard features

However, even in its most basic form, the Grand Cherokee comes loaded with standard features, like heated seats and steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, onboard WiFi and a fully digital gauge cluster that allows its driver to customize the displays to their liking. 

Overall seat comfort in the Grand Cherokee Laredo is good, with ample visibility front and rear thanks to a high seating position. Rear leg and head room are also class-competitive thanks to a slightly stretched wheelbase from its predecessor (2 inches longer). 

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Jeep 

Summit and Summit Reserve trims level-up the luxury

Step things up to higher models, like the Summit and Summit Reserve, and the Grand Cherokee transforms into a full-on high-end luxury vehicle. Quilted Nappa leather seats not only look the part with their brown on black color combination, but the entire cabin is also tapered in a rich wood trim. 

The entire center console gets fancier dials too made of actual metal. The digital instrument cluster includes more useful technology, like a night vision system that operates during the day, and off-roading information that detail the vehicle’s tilt angles and altitude in a trail.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Jeep 

And it doesn’t end there. Jeep installed a second, smaller screen on the passenger side from which maps, entertainment and climate control settings can be accessed. Two other screens are available in the rear as part of an entertainment system. Those screens can connect to Amazon Fire TV. 

Finally, a 19-speaker McIntosh premium audio system ensures an ultimate cabin experience for music lovers. We tried it, and it sounds epic!

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Jeep 

Performance and driving impressions

While a 4xe plug-in hybrid drivetrain is scheduled for next spring, the 2022 Grand Cherokee carries over with the same tried and proven engines as before. Base models come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 good for 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, while higher end models get an available 5.7-liter HEMI V8 – an exclusivity in this segment – rated at 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

7,200 pounds towing capacity with the V8

Max towing for the V6 is rated at a stout 6,200 pounds, besting the segment’s 5,000-pound average. The V8 cranks things up a notch at 7,200 pounds. And just like before, the Grand Cherokee comes standard with Jeep’s Quadra-Trac I four-wheel drive system. Quadra-Trac II, with two-speed transfer case, and Quadra-Drive II, with rear electronic limited-slip differential, are also available.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk | Photo: Jeep 

How does the new Jeep Grand Cherokee handle?

During our time with the vehicle, we drove a V6-powered Laredo on the highway, a V6-powered Trailhawk in the trails and a V8-powered Summit Reserve around town.

In all configurations, the Grand Cherokee proved highly smooth, comfortable, and surprisingly sporty, even with the V6 engine. Drivetrain pickup is energetic thanks to a transmission that quickly hands you the proper gear, with plenty of mid-range punch from both engines. 

We also liked how the Grand Cherokee performed in the twisties, especially when equipped with the optional air suspension. At times, it felt like we were driving a midsize sedan, not a top-heavy SUV. In the trails, the Trailhawk allowed us to lift its ride height and disengage its sway bars at the push of a button. It then articulated its way up a muddy hill. Hill decent control, with adjustable cruise speeds, allowed us to slide our way back down with little effort. 

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk | Photo: Jeep 

Not a fuel-efficient hauler

Our only main gripe with the way this Grand Cherokee performs, is that it’s not exactly fuel efficient. With the V6, we couldn’t get the darn thing under the 11L/100 km mark. The V8 refused to go under 12L/100 km, even with the presence of cylinder deactivation, which sounds coarse when it’s doing its thing.

Verdict: is the 2022 Grand Cherokee SUV worth it?

With the 2022 Grand Cherokee, Jeep’s promise of offering an SUV that can both be refined, classy and practical around town, but still get its hands dirty is still well fulfilled. Yes, it’s not exactly cheap, and the gas bills could be an issue, but there’s no denying its endearing mix of attributes. 

There may be several two-row midsize SUVs on the market, but none of them comes with the Grand Cherokee’s charming personality. If you’re shopping for a certified, used SUV or crossover, here is our current inventory

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Photo: Jeep 

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