You won’t be able to put the keys to a Jeep Grand Cherokee L under the Christmas tree this year.
The first three-seating-row Grand Cherokee variant is now slated for a local launch in the first half of 2022, instead of later in 2021 as previously announced.
The Grand Cherokee L is but one part of a new two-prong attack on the Australian large SUV market: the newly detailed two-row Grand Cherokee replacement will arrive shortly after, in the second half of 2022.
An entry on the Australian Government’s Road Vehicle Certification System reveals a four-model line-up for the new Grand Cherokee L, comprising Limited, Overland, Summit and Summit Reserve variants.
All models seat seven, though the Summit and Summit Reserve will be available with a six-seat layout.
Each is powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre V6 engine, producing 210kW of power and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
That’s 6kW down on the same engine in North American-market models. A torque figure isn’t listed, though in North America it produces 350Nm.
MORE: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L detailed
The base Limited has a tare mass of 2190kg, a gross vehicle mass of 2948kg, and a maximum braked towing capacity of 2813kg.
All other models have a tare mass of 2270kg, gross vehicle mass of 3039kg, and a braked towing capacity of 2268kg.
Unbraked towing capacity is 750kg across the board.
The RVCS entry makes no mention of the naturally-aspirated 5.7-litre petrol V8 engine available in both the current car and the North American-market Grand Cherokee L.
The V8 produces 266kW of power and 530Nm of torque.
Jeep has confirmed the new 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain will be available in both two- and three-row Grand Cherokee models.
Using a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and an eight-speed automatic transmission, the 4xe has total system outputs of 280kW of power and 637Nm of torque.
The plug-in hybrid replaces the old turbo-diesel V6, with Jeep shifting away from oil-burners.
The Grand Cherokee L has a total length of 5204mm, meaning it’s 289mm longer from bumper to bumper than the redesigned, two-row Grand Cherokee.
Its 3091mm wheelbase is also 127mm longer than that of the two-row model.
That makes the new three-row SUV longer than even a Nissan Patrol (5175mm) or a Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series (4980-5015mm).
The new Grand Cherokee L has been tested locally, with Jeep engineers developing a bespoke suspension tune.
It has shifted to a new platform, and has been designed to be stiffer, lighter, and subsequently more efficient and safer than before.
Jeep has always pitched the Grand Cherokee as an almost-premium SUV. It’s taken a number of measures to smooth out noise and vibrations, including active engine mounts that soften off at idle for better refinement, but stiffen up at speed to make sure the car feels stiff and the suspension can do its job.
There’s also active noise cancellation, double-sealed body joins and door seals, and acoustic glass to keep the outside, well, outside.
Inside, the new Grand Cherokee represents a giant leap forward from the current car. Central to the cabin is an 8.4- or 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system built on Google’s latest Android Automotive bones, and the driver is faced with a customisable 10.25-inch gauge cluster.
The new Grand Cherokee L will give Australian Jeep buyers their first three-row option since the Commander was discontinued in 2010.
US buyers have been without a three-row option since the discontinuation of the old Commander, though a seven-seat, Cherokee-based Grand Commander was launched in China in 2018 and a Ram 1500-derived Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer have been revealed for North America.
None of these models, nor the Compass-based Commander/Meridian for Latin America and India, are coming here.
MORE: Everything Jeep Grand Cherokee