Something that is mysteriously missing from the Jeep lineup is a 3-row SUV. Ever since the Jeep Commander was discontinued a decade ago, the biggest Jeep has been the Grand Cherokee, which, although it’s mechanically similar to the 3-row Dodge Durango, only offers seating for up to five. A 3-row Jeep Grand Cherokee has been rumored for some time now, and we’ve gotten an early look at what could be that SUV in some spy shots under heavy camouflage.
Now, we’re hesitant to actually call this a Grand Cherokee since Fiat–Chrysler CEO Mike Manley has said previously that he doesn’t like the idea of using the Grand Cherokee name on a derivative 3-row SUV. However, we’re confident that the mystery SUV we’re looking at will be a Jeep model that is at least based on the same architecture as the next-generation Grand Cherokee. What the 7-seater will be called is a mystery.
Whatever it ends up being called, it’s an SUV that we’re excited about. What we can glean from the spy photos is that it has a rather boxy profile, suggesting military-inspired styling that Jeep is famous for. That also means we’re likely to see a space-efficient interior, hopefully with a third row of seats that actually has decent legroom. As for what the body will look like aside from the shape, the camouflage doesn’t tell us much. What we can say is the camouflaged front-end of the SUV reminds us of the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer, but it will undoubtedly have some form of the iconic 7-slat Jeep grille.
We’re expecting this SUV to be based on the Giorgio platform used by Jeep’s corporate cousins at Alfa Romeo, namely the Giulia sedan and the Stelvio SUV. This would have to be a longer version of that platform since the Stelvio is a compact crossover, and what we see here is a 3-row SUV that’s on the bigger side of the midsize crossover segment.
We expect its base engine to remain some version of the Pentastar V6 with the option of a turbocharged, mild hybrid inline-six that could be replacing the Hemi V8 option. Plug-in hybrid and diesel variants of the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee have been confirmed, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see those alternative powertrains available in its 3-row stablemate.
We’re hoping for a full unveiling of this big Jeep at one of the auto shows this year, and we’re expecting it to go on sale in 2021, assuming there are no unforeseen delays. It’s slated to compete with the likes of the Ford Explorer, the Chevrolet Traverse, and the Toyota Highlander, but in classic Jeep fashion, we expect it to have a leg up on the competition when it comes to off-road capabilities. Find a Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale