It was a Wednesday afternoon, and for some reason I just had a sudden “I need to go home” feeling. In this case, it was an unexplainable pull to go visit my parents a few hours away. Luckily Jeep had dropped off the top trim Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve. With my on-loan conveyance ready for a road trip, I set off to find out why exactly I had the draw to go back to where I grew up.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overview
First, a little more about this Jeep. The Grand Cherokee, now on it’s fifth generation (WL), sort of debuted for the 2021 model year. I say sort of because the three-row Grand Cherokee L debuted ahead of the two-row version by a full model year. Now, even though we’ve got some 2023s coming in for testing, this one was still a 2021. Aside from some trim and option changes for 2022, the 2021 is basically the same.
I can only show you the 2022 pricing and trim, as you can see the Laredo remains the base trim starting at just under $41,000. Our top spec Summit Reserve trim will run you around $67,000. All of those trims, save for the Trailhawk I just reviewed, are available in the aforementioned “L” three-row spec.
You can read through the window sticker above, but some highlights of the Summit Reserve include:
- Upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim and ventilated rear seats
- Standard Quadra-Drive II Active 4×4 system plus the Quadra Lift adaptive air suspension
- 19-speaker McIntosh audio system
- 21-inch polished aluminum wheels
2021 Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve Inside & Out
On the outside, the L looks pretty much like the regular Grand Cherokee, only longer. Obviously. How much longer, well the L comes in at 204.9 inches long while the regular JGC measures 193.5 inches. So, it’s just over 11 inches longer than the regular version which isn’t insignificant when parking. The styling details are basically the same, the new Grand Cherokee has the same squinty headlights and taillights, as has been fashionable in the industry lately.
The most obvious way to determine if it’s a top trim Summit Reserve are the 21-inch wheels combined with the black roof (which also comes on the Summit non-Reserve). Most of the rest of the differentiation is on the inside, so let’s take a closer look.
I’ll say it up front, the Summit Reserve trim has a fantastic interior. It’s well laid out, massively comfortable, and full of features. While I’m not a huge fan of the upholstery color next to the (spectacular) wood, the whole thing looks very high end.
The Summit Reserve seats six, thanks for the 2nd row captain’s chairs. Like the new LX 600 I reviewed recently, that center console isn’t going anywhere, but at least it has a 3rd row, and that does fold flat. That means that longer stuff, like a cornhole set, will easily fit with the 2nd row in place.
You’ll get 17.2 cu. ft. of cargo space with all seats in place. Not amazing, but better than some other three-row SUVs.
2022 Grand Cherokee L On The Road
Out on the road, our tester was powered by a 3.6L V6 engine good for 290 horsepower and 257 lb-ft of torque. While it’s not exactly light, weighing in at 5,086 pounds, the Grand Cherokee L gets moving pretty easily. On the highway it’s got plenty of merging and passing power, even with a full load. Waze even took us across a free ferry, which was fun. Despite the “don’t get out of your car” signs, the ferry driver said I was free to take pics.
I piloted the Summit Reserve to a special place from my childhood. We visited Roaring Point, a small beach that comes to a, well, point. When the tide is out, which it was while we were there, you can walk way out into the river. Which iI did.
The trip was a massive success, I stopped by the university I graduated from, saw the house I grew up in, and more. I’m still not sure what caused the call to go home, my parents are in their 80s so perhaps it was just a desire to spend more time with them. Even though it was just me and my teenage daughter, the Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve was more than up for the challenge. Considering the sub $70,000 price, it was easily as good as the Q7 Prestige I reviewed a few weeks ago. Maybe better. Although it doesn’t have as much power, it’s larger and just as well-equipped for $10,000 less. With tons of space, a solid engine, and a comfortable ride, it should definitely be on your three-row shopping list.