2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$35,460MSRP
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Overview
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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
$37,580MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$35,460MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
$37,580MSRP
Overview
Overview
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CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee was 7.2 out of 10, while the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L scored 7.8 out of 10. Final Recommendation: Given these ratings, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L emerges as the superior choice. It offers more modern styling, enhanced interior space with third-row seating, advanced technology, and a more robust safety package. For consumers seeking a family-friendly SUV with the latest features and a forward-thinking design, the Grand Cherokee L is the preferable option.

Choose the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L if:

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7.8of 10overall
  • You require a seven-passenger SUV with more cargo volume and third-row seating, ideal for larger families or those needing extra space.
  • You favor cutting-edge technology, such as the advanced Uconnect 5 system, advanced driver assistance features, and greater digital control over driving and entertainment functions.
  • You desire a newer design with a more modern interior that includes more premium materials and thoughtful comfort features like heated, ventilated, and massaging seats, available in higher trims.

Choose the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee if:

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7.2of 10overall
  • You prefer a well-tested and reliable SUV with a broad spectrum of trim levels and price points, capable of addressing various preferences from budget to performance to luxury.
  • You want a vehicle with robust off-road capabilities, especially in the Trailhawk trim, designed for serious off-roading adventures.
  • You appreciate a blend of traditional analog driving experience with essential but not overwhelming technology, ensuring straightforward and intuitive vehicle management.
Overview

MSRP

$35,460

MSRP

$37,580

Average price

$29,916

Average price

$36,361

Listings

6614

Listings

1970
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.2 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.8 out of 10
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Premium interior materials
  • Great handling
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Pros
  • Great handling
  • Premium interior materials
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Poor fuel economy

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Reviews Summary

There is a redesigned 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee coming soon—and this isn’t it. In a confusing turn of events, the all-new 2021 Grand Cherokee L is a three-row SUV, while this decade-old 2021 Grand Cherokee is a two-row SUV. Now, with that clear-as-mud distinction between very different vehicles with nearly identical names, let’s examine why you still might want to try the old Grand Cherokee, and why you might wish to wait.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Reviews Summary

Over ten years ago, the last 2010 Jeep Commander rolled off a Detroit, Michigan, assembly line, leaving Jeep without a three-row SUV at a time when American families were switching their allegiance from sedans to SUVs in record numbers. While the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler have nevertheless proven popular, Jeep customers have made it clear that they want an SUV with a third-row seat. The redesigned 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L supplies one, and much more.
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

3.6L 295 hp V6

Engine

3.6L 290 hp V6

Drive Train

4X2

Drive Train

4X2

Seating Capacity

5

Seating Capacity

7

Horsepower

295 hp @ 6400 rpm

Horsepower

290 hp @ 6400 rpm

MPG City

19

MPG City

19

MPG Highway

26

MPG Highway

26
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$35,460MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
$37,580MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
$35,460MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
$37,580MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee was 7.2 out of 10, while the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L scored 7.8 out of 10. Final Recommendation: Given these ratings, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L emerges as the superior choice. It offers more modern styling, enhanced interior space with third-row seating, advanced technology, and a more robust safety package. For consumers seeking a family-friendly SUV with the latest features and a forward-thinking design, the Grand Cherokee L is the preferable option.

Choose the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L if:

Shop Now
7.8of 10overall
  • You require a seven-passenger SUV with more cargo volume and third-row seating, ideal for larger families or those needing extra space.
  • You favor cutting-edge technology, such as the advanced Uconnect 5 system, advanced driver assistance features, and greater digital control over driving and entertainment functions.
  • You desire a newer design with a more modern interior that includes more premium materials and thoughtful comfort features like heated, ventilated, and massaging seats, available in higher trims.

Choose the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee if:

Shop Now
7.2of 10overall
  • You prefer a well-tested and reliable SUV with a broad spectrum of trim levels and price points, capable of addressing various preferences from budget to performance to luxury.
  • You want a vehicle with robust off-road capabilities, especially in the Trailhawk trim, designed for serious off-roading adventures.
  • You appreciate a blend of traditional analog driving experience with essential but not overwhelming technology, ensuring straightforward and intuitive vehicle management.
Overview
MSRP
$35,460
$37,580
Average price
$29,916
$36,361
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.6
4.9
Expert reviews

7.2 out of 10

Read full review

7.8 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Premium interior materials
  • Great handling
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Pros
  • Great handling
  • Premium interior materials
  • Impressive technology
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Poor fuel economy
Summary
There is a redesigned 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee coming soon—and this isn’t it. In a confusing turn of events, the all-new 2021 Grand Cherokee L is a three-row SUV, while this decade-old 2021 Grand Cherokee is a two-row SUV. Now, with that clear-as-mud distinction between very different vehicles with nearly identical names, let’s examine why you still might want to try the old Grand Cherokee, and why you might wish to wait.
Over ten years ago, the last 2010 Jeep Commander rolled off a Detroit, Michigan, assembly line, leaving Jeep without a three-row SUV at a time when American families were switching their allegiance from sedans to SUVs in record numbers. While the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler have nevertheless proven popular, Jeep customers have made it clear that they want an SUV with a third-row seat. The redesigned 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L supplies one, and much more.
Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
3.6L 295 hp V6
3.6L 290 hp V6
Drive Train
4X2
4X2
Seating Capacity
5
7
Horsepower
295 hp @ 6400 rpm
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG City
19
19
MPG Highway
26
26
Look and feel
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
9/10
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
9/10
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee had a timeless and elegant design that appealed to a wide range of consumers. Originally launched over a decade ago, its fourth-generation styling was still impressive in 2021, blending rugged utility with upscale sophistication. The big wheels, flared fenders, and purposeful stance gave it a balanced and appealing look, cementing its status as an automotive work of art that SUV enthusiasts appreciated unless they were seeking the distinctive styling of a Jeep Wrangler. Throughout its lifespan, the Grand Cherokee defied easy categorization, fitting seamlessly into several segments including mainstream, luxury, and performance SUVs. The 2021 lineup offered a range of trims starting with the budget-friendly Laredo and Limited models, escalating to the upscale Overland and Summit trims and extending even to the performance-oriented SRT and Trackhawk models. Midway sat the off-road capable Trailhawk. The Laredo and Limited trims received minor updates for 2021, and new versions like the value-focused Laredo X and high-end 80th Anniversary Edition were introduced. Pricing varied significantly across the range, starting at around $35,000 and nearing $90,000 for the most premium models. Our test Grand Cherokee Summit came furnished with a plush interior, powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine paired with a 4WD system. The extra-cost paint, Platinum Series Group, and Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package brought the MSRP to $68,185 including the $1,495 destination charge. The Platinum Series Group accentuated the vehicle's premium look with body-color mirror caps, door handles, side sills, and lower bumpers, whilst replacing the sparkly parts with a refined platinum chrome finish. Inside, the Summit trim's cabin was luxurious, adorned with premium leather, genuine wood, real aluminum, and simulated suede for the headliner. The Indigo and Ski Gray color scheme provided a striking contrast, while quilted seat bolsters, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, and partially digital instrumentation enhanced the luxury ambiance. However, despite the high-quality materials, the outdated switchgear, non-flush panel fittings, and dated components indicated that it was high time for a redesign. Meanwhile, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L introduced a new era for the Grand Cherokee lineup by offering a seven-passenger model not based on the existing Grand Cherokee. It was actually an advanced, extended-length version of the upcoming 2022 redesigned Grand Cherokee, featuring a third-row seat and increased cargo volume. Despite the confusion of naming it a 2021 model, the Grand Cherokee L’s styling was immediately attractive. The Grand Cherokee L exhibited flawless proportions and clear Jeep branding with its seven-slot grille, trapezoidal wheel arches, and familiar lighting arrangements. Available trims included Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve, with pricing from $36,995 to $64,235. Our Summit trim test vehicle featured 4WD, metallic paint, the Advanced Pro Tech Group, the Luxury Tech Group, and a 19-speaker McIntosh premium audio system, for a total of $64,770. While the Grand Cherokee L cabin's higher-end materials like quilted and perforated leather and real wood trim were appealing, they sometimes fell short of the Summit trim's high expectations. However, it was loaded with technology and represented a significant interior design upgrade from its predecessor.
Performance
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
8/10
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
7/10
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee came standard with a robust 3.6-liter V6 engine, producing a notable 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It could be coupled with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or a 4WD system through a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, offering a towing capacity of 6,200 pounds. This V6 engine provided ample power for most driving needs. For those seeking additional power, Jeep offered an optional 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine paired with a Quadra-Trac II 4WD system. The V8 delivered impressive performance with 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, as well as a best-in-class towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. The V8 version of the Grand Cherokee excelled with quick acceleration and a satisfying engine roar. Though the cylinder deactivation "Fuel Saver" technology enhanced fuel efficiency by running on fewer cylinders under lighter loads, the EPA rated the V8 at just 17 mpg combined. Our test achieved 18.2 mpg on a varied driving loop with mountainous and highway sections. The Quadra-Trac II system brought additional off-road prowess with a two-speed transfer case, hill-descent control, and Selec-Terrain traction management featuring Snow, Sand, Mud, Auto, and Rock settings. The Grand Cherokee Summit came standard with a Quadra-Lift air suspension providing 4.1 inches of height variability, lowering in Aero mode for efficiency on highways and raising ground clearance to 10.8 inches for off-roading. This configuration made trail adventures seamless, allowing the Summit to tackle mountainous terrain with ease in Auto mode and safely descend using hill descent control. However, in daily driving, the Grand Cherokee Summit's V8 engine guzzled gas in city conditions and despite its air suspension, could feel overly bouncy on uneven surfaces. Nevertheless, its tight turning radius was advantageous both in urban environments and off the beaten path. The brakes felt responsive, visibility was generally good, although a surround-view and forward-view camera system would have been beneficial given its off-road capabilities. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L mirrored its shorter sibling with a base 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This engine, combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, offered RWD or a choice between three different 4WD systems featuring fuel-saving front-axle disconnect technology. Like the standard Grand Cherokee, it also had a towing capacity of 6,200 pounds and returned 21 mpg in combined driving according to the EPA. For a power boost, the Grand Cherokee L offered a 5.7-liter V8 engine option, but only in Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve trims, with 4WD. The V8 provided 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, increasing towing capacity to 7,200 pounds. However, fuel economy dropped to 17 mpg combined, and this engine upgrade added a $3,295 cost to the 4WD Grand Cherokee L models. Our test Grand Cherokee L featured the 3.6-liter V6 and 4WD. It provided brisk acceleration but was noticeably loud when revved. The eight-speed automatic transmission performed well, though it sometimes resisted downshifts in Auto mode to improve fuel economy. The Grand Cherokee L Summit 4WD averaged 17.8 mpg on our testing loop, falling short of expectations. The Grand Cherokee L included a Sport mode, which held revs longer and provided a more controlled ride via the Quadra-Lift adaptive air suspension. Additional Selec-Terrain off-road modes consisted of Snow, Mud/Sand, and Rock, and the Summit's Quadra-Drive II 4WD system incorporated an electronic locking differential and a low-range transfer case. The Quadra-Lift suspension offered 8.3 inches of ground clearance in Normal mode, increased to 10.9 inches with two Off-Road settings, enabling 24 inches of water fording capability, with maximum approach, breakover, and departure angles of 30.1, 22.6, and 23.6 degrees, respectively. Despite its size, the Grand Cherokee L handled most off-road challenges with ease, though only the Overland model with the Off-Road Group achieved Trail Rated status. In everyday driving, the Grand Cherokee L's sturdier structure was noticeable, providing a smooth and secure ride. In Auto mode, it felt slightly soft over rough surfaces, but the Quadra-Lift suspension managed body motions well. The variable-ratio steering allowed for competent handling on winding roads. From the driver's seat, the Grand Cherokee L's proportions made it easy to park, aided by a surround-view camera system. It also remained composed on highways, with precise steering and relatively quiet cabin conditions except during acceleration or on very hot days requiring robust air conditioning use.
Form and function
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
7/10
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
7/10
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit’s interior fostered an air of luxury with its flat, firm, and supportive seats swathed in quilted and perforated leather, courtesy of the $4,995 Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package. The front seats provided eight-way power adjustments, along with heating and ventilation. Though the controls for these features were integrated into the Uconnect infotainment system, physical buttons would have been more intuitive. Rear passenger comfort was adequate, though taller adults found legroom somewhat restrictive. The optional rear-seat entertainment system, with its dual folding screens, could exacerbate a sense of cramped space, but large side windows, a dual-pane panoramic glass sunroof, and light gray leather upholstery helped counteract this. Rear passengers enjoyed air conditioning vents and optional heated outboard cushions. Interior storage left some room for improvement, particularly if opting for the rear-seat entertainment system, which consumed most of the center console bin space. Alternatively, the Grand Cherokee’s 4G LTE WiFi hotspot could replace the entertainment system's DVD/Blu-Ray player. Despite limited storage space, thoughtful touches like robust plastic grocery bag hooks added to the vehicle's practicality. Cargo space in the Grand Cherokee measured 36.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats, with a recessed bin for items like milk jugs or wine bottles and additional storage around the spare tire. The power liftgate closing button was conveniently placed for shorter drivers. Folding the second-row seats was easy and required minimal effort, resulting in 68.3 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, on the smaller side for a midsize SUV. On the contrary, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L excelled in comfort and space, especially with the Summit trim. Featuring heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats with 12-way power adjustments, a heated steering wheel, and a four-zone automatic climate control system with vents in all three rows, it aimed for a premium experience. Yet, cooling performance was hindered by smaller dashboard vents, causing the system to be loud and slow to lower cabin temperature. The second-row captain’s chairs offered ample legroom and comfort, with manual side window sunshades standard on the Summit trim, ensuring sun protection. Notably, captain’s chairs could slide forward without removing child safety seats, facilitating third-row access, which was comfortable for all but the tallest adults, thanks to large side windows. Despite its vast size, the Grand Cherokee L exhibited less practical storage space for front-seat passengers. Meanwhile, second-row passengers benefited from a console providing utility to those in the third row. Cargo capacity behind the third-row seat was 17.2 cubic feet, typical for a three-row midsize SUV, with extra storage beneath the load floor. Folding the third-row seat increased cargo space to 46.9 cubic feet, and maximum capacity totaled 84.6 cubic feet behind the front seats.
Technology
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
7/10
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
9/10
Despite being an outgoing model, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Uconnect 4C with Nav infotainment system proved to be effective and user-friendly. The system offered rapid response times, intuitive touchscreen navigation, outstanding visuals, and easy-to-access stereo controls. Primary features included navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and integration with Amazon Alexa, allowing for voice commands like starting the vehicle remotely. SiriusXM services played a key role in the Grand Cherokee’s infotainment suite, providing six months of satellite radio, five years of Traffic Plus and Travel Link services, and a year of SiriusXM Guardian services, which included remote lock and start access, vehicle finder, SOS emergency calling, and more. Voice recognition was surprisingly effective, controlling various infotainment and climate functions, although some commands needed specific prompts. The test Grand Cherokee Summit boasted a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system delivering excellent sound quality, contrasting with the simpler nine-speaker Alpine system in other trims. Overall, the Grand Cherokee's technology package centered on essentials rather than superfluous gadgets, aligning with a more analog appeal, yet still supplying advanced 4WD systems and driving assistance features. Conversely, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L introduced Jeep’s latest Uconnect 5 infotainment system, boasting five times the processing speed of previous systems and an improved user experience. Available with 8.4-inch or 10.1-inch touchscreens, our test vehicle featured the larger screen, integrated neatly between air vents and climate controls. While there were minor user experience quirks, users typically acclimated quickly. Uconnect 5 highlights included wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Alexa compatibility, satellite radio, and connected services like a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Natural voice-recognition with a programmable wake phrase, typified by “Hey Jeep,” worked well for numerous commands, though some results were amusing, like a medical marijuana dispensary popping up when searching for a hospital. Additionally, the Grand Cherokee L featured a McIntosh high-end audio system with 19 speakers. Although the branding felt out of sync with the interior, the sound quality, especially for bass enthusiasts, was exceptional. Depending on the trim level, the technology options expanded to include a 10.25-inch digital instrumentation panel, a digital rearview mirror, night vision with thermal imaging, and a Fam Cam system for monitoring rear passengers. Another advantageous feature was the head-up display, remaining legible even with polarized sunglasses.
Safety
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
4/10
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
8/10
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee faced scrutiny for its safety ratings, particularly from the IIHS. Despite earning a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA for 4WD models, the 2WD models received a lower four-star overall rating due to a three-star rollover resistance rating. The IIHS assessments were less favorable, with the Grand Cherokee receiving "Marginal" and "Poor" ratings for driver and front passenger safety in small-overlap frontal collisions. Furthermore, unless upgraded, the headlights were rated as “Poor," detracting from the vehicle’s safety profile. Nevertheless, equipped with the ProTech II Package in Summit trim, the Grand Cherokee included a comprehensive array of safety features such as adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and automatic high-beam headlights. These systems performed reliably, contributing to overall safety. Additional safety aids included a backup camera with guidance lines, parking sensors, and ParkSense parallel and perpendicular parking assistance, which, though useful, was best employed in low-traffic areas. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L pioneered Active Driving Assist, combining adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability and lane-centering assistance for relaxed long highway drives. Though effective, the lane-centering assist felt artificially responsive, and the vehicle's steering felt overly reactive during lane changes. The Grand Cherokee L Summit introduced Intersection Collision Assist, which detected lateral threats and could apply brakes to avoid collisions, especially useful at traffic lights. Other expected driving assistance and collision avoidance technologies were present, including Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist for effortless parking. As of this writing, crash-test ratings were unavailable for the Grand Cherokee L, but improvements over the older Grand Cherokee’s structure and engineering were anticipated.
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By: CarGurus + AI

This car comparison has been created with using generative AI. It is based entirely on CarGurus expert review content, ratings and data, and leverages our extensive library of hands-on product tests to create thousands of unique comparisons to help shoppers choose the right car.