What Is It?
Jeep made a big splash when it created the Grand Cherokee almost 30 years ago, and this capable, comfortable crossover continues to make waves. The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee enters its fifth generation and the new model year with fresh styling, major interior upgrades and an available third row in the Grand Cherokee L. We had the opportunity to spend some time in the 2-row Grand Cherokee, and even though the previous generation is a good vehicle, this new version takes the time-honored SUV to the next level.
Jeep provided us with a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4WD painted in Velvet Red Pearlcoat. The Overland comes well equipped, although the test vehicle also included the Luxury Tech Group, Advanced Protech Group, Off-Road Group and Uconnect5 10.1-inch display for a total MSRP of $65,070. Competitors to the Grand Cherokee are numerous and include the Honda Passport, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer.
“The Jeep Grand Cherokee is our global flagship and will be leading the Jeep brand into a new era of premium refinement, innovative technology, advanced 4 x 4 capability and electrification,” said Jeep Brand Chief Executive Officer Christian Meunier. “With a perfect balance of on-road dynamics, 4 x 4 capability and 4xe performance, the all-new 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most technologically advanced, luxurious and 4 x 4-capable Grand Cherokee ever,” noted Meunier.
Underneath the stylish new skin of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee, an all-new unibody design features independent front and rear suspension, three available 4WD systems as well as an available Quadra-Lift air suspension. Utilizing both aluminum and high-strength steel, the new Grand Cherokee features a body structure both strong and lightweight, designed to enhance overall drivability both on- and off-road.
This new Grand Cherokee remains easily recognizable as a Jeep — perhaps more important than any styling updates, the SUV retains the brand’s signature 7-slot grille. For the 2022 model year that grille gets wider and larger, integrating well with an updated front fascia designed to conceal the long-range radar and other high-tech components that support new driver-assistance technologies. A longer hood, wider track and slim headlights add to the SUV’s bold stance, and aerodynamic enhancements include active grille shutters, front-wheel spats and air curtains.
Like the 3-row Grand Cherokee L, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee roofline gets lowered and tapered, while the beltline is also lowered to allow more light into the cabin as well as improve outward visibility. For the first time Jeep offers the Grand Cherokee with a gloss-black roof for upper trim levels. This new Jeep line has eight wheel options on various trim levels, including 21-inch wheels for the first time. The tester Grand Cherokee featured 18-inch polished/painted aluminum wheels fitted with all-terrain tires as part of the previously mentioned off-road group.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee features slim wraparound LED taillights, as well as integrated exhaust outlets at the edges of the lower fascia to punctuate the SUV’s wide stance.
Under the Hood
Jeep offers this new Grand Cherokee with two engine options. The test vehicle arrived equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 producing 293 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Standard with 2WD or 4WD, the V6 provides enough power to tow up to 6,200 pounds. The Grand Cherokee has an optional 5.7-liter V8 (priced at $3,295) that bumps horsepower to 357 and adds 1,000 pounds of towing capacity. Unless additional towing capability is absolutely necessary, most drivers will find the V6 provides more than enough power. Jeep will also offer a Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid — watch for our full review of the hybrid Jeep later this year.
According to U.S. EPA fuel-economy ratings, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD with the V6 powertrain gets rated at 19 mpg city / 26 mpg hwy / 22 mpg combined. Thanks to the first use of a front axle disconnect in the Grand Cherokee, fuel-economy ratings are the same for 2WD and 4WD. However, during our drive the dash display didn’t read much more than 16 mpg.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a capable player when it comes to venturing off-road; however, with Quadra-Lift air suspension this Jeep can be raised to offer as much as 11.3-inches of ground clearance and 24 inches of water fording. The Quadra-Lift system also features electronic adaptive damping that automatically adjusts to changing road conditions for improved comfort and control.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee has preset drive modes that optimize the SUV for multiple conditions. The modes include Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud / Sand and Automatic. These settings configure the torque split, steering, suspension, throttle control, transmission, traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes as needed.
The Grand Cherokee’s dashboard features a clean design with horizontal vents that give the cabin a wide feeling. A large touchscreen display integrates well at the center of the dash, and drivers will appreciate that icons for climate control and vehicle features remain at the bottom of the screen for quick, easy access. Climate control as well as volume and tuning knobs are within easy reach. A stylish new rotary shifter as well as other drive controls for ride height and mode selection sit lower on the center console.
The latest version of Jeep’s infotainment system, Uconnect 5 uses the Android operating system and is reportedly five times faster than the previous version. The system can be customized for up to five user profiles and includes not only music preferences but also temperature settings, seat position and mirror placement. The easily customizable home screen keeps the features used most often within easy access; additional screens can also be added and stored in an individual’s profile.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s wireless Android Auto connectivity provides seamless integration, putting personalized apps onscreen every time the driver starts the SUV. Unlike many vehicles that hide the OEM controls when Android Auto is in use, Jeep keeps selections at the bottom of the screen for easy access.
Great Sound System
Jeep engineers teamed up with McIntosh Audio to create a special sound system available only on the Grand Cherokee Overland and Summit trims. This advanced system features a 17-channel amplifier, 19 speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer and 950 watts of output. Adding to the experience are signature McIntosh output level meters that can be viewed in the center display.
The Grand Cherokee Overland we tested included Global Black Nappa Leather seat trim with contrasting stitching and decent side bolsters that are both stylish and comfortable. Seats offer multiple power adjustments as well as heating or cooling.
Plenty of legroom and headroom make the rear seat of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee a pleasing space to spend time. The outboard seats are heated, and rear-seat passengers can control their own climate settings. Two USB-A and two USB-C ports provide plenty of options for keeping devices charged.
Thanks to the new design for the 2022 model year, the Grand Cherokee’s rear cargo space increases by 1.4 cubic feet. The larger space can easily swallow multiple suitcases, grocery bags or other large items; rear seats fold flat to handle even larger items.
On the Road
Even though the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee has impressive off-road capabilities, most owners will spend the bulk of their time on pavement. That’s fine — this new Jeep is just as good cruising around town or on the highway. The new Grand Cherokee is appreciably quieter and smoother than the previous generation, with plenty of power on tap when needed. The steering system provides decent feedback and the SUV’s overall ride is solid and comfortable — certainly a great road tripper or everyday driver, no matter the weather conditions.
The test vehicle we drove came with one of the newest Jeep safety features: night vision. Using infrared cameras, the night-vision view gets projected into the driver display. Not only does the system make it easy to spot vehicles at a distance, it also identifies pedestrians and animals and alerts the driver when conditions might make them difficult to spot.
Even though we didn’t get a chance to take this particular Grand Cherokee off-roading, we did have the opportunity to test the new Jeep’s capabilities at an event last summer. Much more than a great family hauler, the new Grand Cherokee lives up to Jeep’s legendary reputation for off-road prowess. On an off-road course at the brand’s proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, the Grand Cherokee’s raised air suspension and smart 4-wheel-drive system proved perfectly capable of handling mud, rocks, deep water and steep inclines/declines.
With a fresh, stylish exterior design and a vastly improved interior, the Grand Cherokee moves into its fifth generation with no indication of slowing down. With multiple engine options — including an upcoming plug-in hybrid — and impressive on- and off-road manners, the 2022 Grand Cherokee will likely continue as one of the best-selling SUVs in America.