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As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That certainly holds true for the Jeep Grand Cherokee – also known as the Most Awarded SUV Ever – which doesn’t need a redesign to keep outselling other midsized SUVs. A few revisions for 2021 keep the Jeep Grand Cherokee in line with the needs and wishes of today’s drivers. This iconic vehicle is well-appointed and comfortable, making long road trips more than a pleasure. Plus, it has stellar off-road chops and top-notch towing capabilities – up to 7,200 pounds, to be exact.
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in a dozen trim levels: Laredo, Upland, Altitude, North Edition, Limited, Limited X, Trailhawk, Overland, High Altitude, Summit, SRT, and Trackhawk. Most of these rear-wheel drive with the option for four-wheel drive. The only trims that get standard 4WD are the North Edition, Trailhawk, SRT, and Trackhawk.
The Laredo through North Edition get a 3.6-liter V6 engine (295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque) coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission. For the Limited and above trims, that same powertrain is standard, but buyers have the option of upgrading to a 5.7-liter V8 (360 hp and 390 lb.-ft. of torque) instead. The high-performance SRT really means business with its 6.7-liter V8, which makes 475 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. But don’t think the brawn stops there: the Trackhawk exceeds expectations with its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that hammers out 707 hp and 645 lb.-ft. of torque.
The base Laredo comes with fog lights, heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Upland and Altitude receive a power liftgate, remote start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and heated front seats. The North Edition makes it easier to tackle winter with its all-terrain tires, front tow hooks, thick rubber floor mats, and heated steering wheel. The Limited comes with a front-row sunroof, auto-dimming side mirrors, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, leather seating, and memory functions for the driver’s seat.
Upgrading to the Limited X lets you enjoy full leather upholstery, premium fog lamps, and quad headlamps. The off-road oriented Trailhawk provides off-road tires, four-wheel drive with low-range gearing (Quadra-Trac II), an electronic rear differential with terrain-selectable traction control (Quadra-Drive II), an adjustable air suspension (Quadra-Lift), and underbody skid plates. On the inside, this primo trim gets heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and simulated leather and suede upholstery.
The Overland and High Altitude forgo some of the Trailhawk’s off-road elements, but otherwise they’re similarly outfitted. They do, however, add a second-row sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, and leather upholstery. The Summit lets occupants enjoy a more luxurious experience with its self-parking system, active noise cancellation, and upgraded leather. The high-performance SRT comes with a special 4WD system, summer performance tires, an adaptive sport-tuned suspension, sport-tuned steering and braking, a sport body kit, a limited-slip rear differential, and selectable performance drive modes. The range-topping Trackhawk sets itself apart with an upgraded adaptive suspension, Brembo brakes, and lightweight 20-inch wheels with high-performance tires.
Each of the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee trims comes with blind-spot monitoring, although a more comprehensive suite of driver-assist features is available through the Jeep Active Safety Package. This safety enhancing bundle consists of adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane keeping assist. All of these technologies are included as standard on the Summit trim.
The Laredo gets a nice basic infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six-speaker audio, wireless smartphone charging, and Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming. The Altitude adds integrated navigation, satellite radio, and HD radio, and the Limited upgrades to an 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen. The Trailhawk is well outfitted with a 10-speaker audio system, which the SRT and Trackhawk also get, but the Summit offers the ultimate with 19 speakers.