DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler is expanding its popular Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup with a new three-row model, which the company believes will widen the vehicle’s appeal in an increasingly competitive SUV market.
The Grand Cherokee L marks the fifth-generation of the SUV since its debut nearly 30 years ago. A three-row Jeep has been more than a decade in the making. Jeep exited the segment in 2010 after lackluster sales of a vehicle called the Commander.
“There is high-demand in a Grand Cherokee three-row. We know we are going to do extremely well,” Christian Meunier, Jeep’s global president, said during a media briefing. “We are going to improve our leadership a lot.”
The 2021 Grand Cherokee L is recognizable as a Jeep but features a new exterior design with horizonal LED daytime running lights, a wider seven-slot grille and other design elements that debuted last year on the company’s Grand Wagoneer SUV concept. It is built off a new Fiat Chrysler vehicle architecture, which also will underpin a redesigned two-row Grand Cherokee and a new plug-in hybrid version.
Fiat Chrysler said the three-row vehicle will go on sale in the second quarter, followed later this year by the two-row and plug-in models. The company declined to release pricing for the L model, but it will likely be above the current Grand Cherokee at $34,000 and below the upcoming Wagoneer, a larger three-row SUV that’s expected to go on sale this year starting at about $60,000.
Meunier said there will be “significant differentiation” between the three-row Grand Cherokee model and the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer model, an upcoming luxury Jeep that will top $100,000.
By the end of next year, Jeep is expected to expand its lineup from six vehicles to nine, including the Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer vehicles.
The Grand Cherokee L will come standard with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 290 horsepower and 257 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5.7-liter V-8 engine rated at 357 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque also will be available. The company said the new Grand Cherokee will offer hands-free driving technology in late-2021 on 2022 model-year vehicles.
The interior of the Grand Cherokee L features 8.4-inch or 10.1-inch touchscreen displays as well as a 10.25-inch frameless digital driver information screen behind the steering wheel. It will offer more than 110 safety and security features, including 360-degree surround view and night vision cameras, according to the company. It will be available in six-seat and seven-seat configurations.
The next-generation Grand Cherokee models will be built at a new assembly plant that the company is finishing in Detroit. Fiat Chrysler invested $1.6 billion to build a 790,000-square-foot paint shop and to convert the two original Mack Avenue engine plants into the new assembly plant.
View original post