Jeep Grand Cherokee L bursts into the Middle East

US brand's newest arrival was featured in a series of simultaneous reveals that took place across the entire Gulf region

The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee L, one of the year’s most anticipated vehicles, landed in the Middle East in a firestorm of publicity this week.

The covers simultaneously came off dozens of vehicles sitting in showrooms across the entire region, in front of VIPs, salespeople and, of course, the media.

Senior Jeep personnel from the region appeared on-screen during the reveal, giving anyone present the chance to submit questions about the new vehicle. Then, and only then, did a select few get the chance to climb aboard and see what the newbie could do.

Many eyes in the automotive world are taking a close peep at the Grand Cherokee. The Jeep brand, which is now part of the Stellantis group, is marking its 80th anniversary this year, and this vehicle is one of its signature launches.

The proportions of the Grand Cherokee were inspired by the Wagoneer, the manufacturer’s first foray into the full-size luxury SUV market.

Style-wise, the new car is recognisably one of the family (the seven-slot grille is a trademark feature, for example). It has been given a more assertive stance though, which seems to be a trend among SUV manufacturers across the board in recent times.

However, make no mistake, this isn’t a car with rough riding in its DNA like, say, its stablemate the Gladiator. The Grand Cherokee has plenty of 4x4 capabilities, but comfort and luxury are equally key to the car’s make-up.

That much is obvious as soon as you get in. You can tell with some cars that they’ve been deliberately kept a little rough, presumably because the people who make them think this will lead to a vehicle with character. And while character is something the Grand Cherokee definitely has, the designers have ticked the comfort and luxury boxes in no uncertain terms at the same time.

The inside is a mix of quilted leather upholstery, wood trim, set off with digital displays. There's a choice of touchscreens – 8.4-inch or 10.1-inch – as well as seat massage options for those riding in the front.

One of the key changes to the new Grand Cherokee is that it will have a three-row, seven-seat option for the first time in its history, and there is actually enough room for adults to sit in the rear, as opposed to only young children.

The driving experience is particularly impressive. The Grand Cherokee is a smooth runner, giving little to no indication of the kind of ground you’re on. It’s quiet in the cabin, too. Unless you’ve got the McIntosh sound system with its 19 speakers jacked up to the max, of course.

There are two engine options available, a 3.6-litre V6 and a 5.7-litre V8, which deliver 293 and 357 horsepower respectively. In a lot of lesser made vehicles, that would certainly be enough to rattle the windows when you’re going at full pelt, but the sense of calm is always there in the Grand Cherokee.

Should you decide you want to give it a bit of a test, there are five terrain modes now available, including auto if you can’t make your mind up.

The Grand Cherokee L is a worthy new competitor in the SUV market. It’s relaxing and serene when you need it to be, but it’s got a bit of grit should the going get tough as well. We said it was highly anticipated, and those who were awaiting its arrival are unlikely to be disappointed.

The specs

Engine: 3.6-litre V6 or 5.7-litre V8

Power: 293hp or 357hp

Torque: 353Nm or 529Nm

Transmission: eight-speed auto

Price: from $40,000 for the Laredo version, up to $70,000 for the Summit

Updated: October 30th 2021, 8:47 AM