The new 3-row 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is now better positioned to take on midsize SUVs like the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse. Here’s how they compare.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
Above Average: Ritzy interior; excellent safety suite; V6 or V8 engines; 7,200-pound towing capacity.
Below Average: The V8’s fuel economy; third-row seat is just OK; less cargo space than some competitors.
Consensus: The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L stretches the Grand Cherokee to make room for the model’s first-ever third-row seat. The all-new design also brings a tech-loaded new interior and upscale finishes along with pricing to match.
2022 Chevrolet Traverse
Above Average: Spacious interior with adult-habitable third-row seat; very good luggage space even with all seats in use; standard 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower.
Below Average: Mediocre fuel economy; interior not as upscale as some rivals.
Consensus: The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse is the largest vehicle in its class and offers comfortable passenger accommodations and generous luggage space. The lone engine choice provides smooth acceleration but only middling fuel economy.
Grand Cherokee L vs. Traverse: Stretching Out
Jeep Grand Cherokee L
Jeep has added third-row seating to the Grand Cherokee, creating the new Grand Cherokee L. It’s 15.1 inches longer than the regular Grand Cherokee and rides on a 7-inch-longer wheelbase — but is still smaller than the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer. The upscale cabin seats six, or seven with the optional second-row bench. The second row is roomy, the third is passable. Cargo space is 17.2 cubic feet behind the third row, expanding to 84.6 with all seats folded.
Standard power comes from Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 293 horsepower, paired with an 8-speed automatic and rear- or all-wheel drive. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 357 horsepower is optional only on the top-spec model and increases towing capacity from 6,200 to 7,200 pounds. EPA combined fuel economy is 21 mpg for the V6 and 17 mpg for the V8.
The Grand Cherokee L offers three different 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems. The available Quadra-lift air suspension can raise the ride height up to 4.2 inches (for a max of 10.2 inches of ground clearance), and an Off-road package includes an electronic limited-slip differential and skid plates.
Jeep offers the Grand Cherokee L in Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve trim levels. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is standard, and the central touchscreen has an 8.4-inch or a 10.1-inch display with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Leather is on all but the base model. Heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power liftgate are optional on the Laredo and standard elsewhere.
Upper trims offer an off-road camera, a 360-degree-view camera system, a rear camera mirror, a head-up display, night vision, real wood trim, massaging seats, and a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system. Standard driver assists include adaptive cruise control (with lane-centering for the Summit), forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning.
With a 120.9-inch wheelbase and stretching 204.3 inches overall, the Chevrolet Traverse is the biggest SUV in its class. Inside, there’s plenty of passenger room including in the third row, which is big enough for adults or lanky teens. The Traverse seats seven or eight overall (configuration varies with trim level). Interior materials even on upper trims are not as luxe as many rivals.
The right-side second-row Smart Slide seat scoots forward and tilts to allow third-row access even with some child seats in place — a great feature, but why is it only on one side? Most 3-row SUVs often come up short on luggage space behind the third row, but the Traverse has a class-leading 23 cubic feet plus more space below the floor. The maximum cargo capacity is 98.2 cubic feet.
A 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 matched with a 9-speed automatic transmission is the sole powertrain. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard and all-wheel drive (AWD) is available. The V6 has the muscle to move this big machine, but fuel economy is mediocre at 21 mpg overall (FWD) and 20 mpg (AWD). The Traverse can tow 5,000 pounds, about typical for midsize SUVs.
Chevrolet offers the Traverse in L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country trim levels. With the 2022 model year, Chevrolet finally makes forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assistance standard. A rear pedestrian alert is available on the LT and higher.
Some competitors have larger infotainment displays, but Chevy’s 7- or 8-inch touchscreens are easy to use with available wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
Exterior size; standard V6 engines.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Advantages
Greater towing capacity; off-road capability; ultra-luxe interior; optional V8.
2022 Chevrolet Traverse Advantages
Lower starting price; roomier third-row seat; room for up to 8; more luggage capacity.
Which One Is Right for Me?
The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is for those seeking a more upscale passenger environment, those who plan to tow a heavy trailer, or buyers looking for more than the typical off-road capability.
The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse is a good choice for a roomy, family-friendly SUV at a reasonable price. It offers plenty of room, decent fuel economy, and high safety ratings.
Ready to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee L or a Chevrolet Traverse? Shop for one on sale now you.
|2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L||2022 Chevrolet Traverse|
|Engine||3.6-liter V6||3.6-liter V6|
|Horsepower||293 hp @ 6,400 rpm||310 hp @ 6,800 rpm|
|Torque||260 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm||266 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm|
|Transmission||8-spd automatic||9-spd automatic|
|Fuel Economy||21 mpg (19 city/26 hwy)||21 mpg (18 city/27 hwy)|
|Also Available||5.7-liter V8; AWD||AWD|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||N/A||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||7||8|
|Wheelbase||121.7 inches||120.9 inches|
|Overall Length||204.9 inches||204.3 inches|
|Width||77.3 inches||78.6 inches|
|Height||71.5 inches||70.7 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.3 feet||39.0 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.8 inches||41.3 inches|
|Headroom, 2nd row||39.9 inches||40.0 inches|
|Headroom, 3rd row||37.3 inches||38.2 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.3 inches||41.0 inches|
|Legroom, 2nd row||39.4 inches||38.4 inches|
|Legroom, 3rd row||30.3 inches||33.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||59.2 inches||62.1 inches|
|Shoulder Room, 2nd row||58.0 inches||62.2 inches|
|Shoulder Room, 3rd row||51.9 inches||57.5 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||159.1 cubic feet||157.3 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||84.6 cubic feet||98.2 cubic feet|