What Is the Difference Between the 2020 and 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

Jeep’s Grand Cherokee celebrates its 80th anniversary with a special 80th Anniversary trim. This unique model has a few stylistic upgrades and mechanical improvements that will appeal to SUV drivers. As for the remaining trims, most features carry over from 2020, but there are some interesting tweaks. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the 2020 and 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Exterior Style

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee in White

Image via Flickr by peterolthof

Jeep’s iconic style carries over into 2021 without much change from previous generations. A bold stance, signature six-bar grille, and LED lighting remain. A few new options include a power moonroof, a power rear liftgate, and some new wheel styles and sizes that give the exterior a bit of a refresh. Jeep has also included performance tires as an available option. Jeep has always made customization a priority, and the wheel department continues to offer a dozen choices in sizes and styles for 2021.

You also have the option for Bi-Xenon high-intensity discharge headlights as part of the Premium Lighting Group package. The 80th Anniversary edition comes with signature exterior badging and a few interior design elements that celebrate Jeep’s rich history.

Six trims in 2021 still offer you options. From the rugged outdoor conquering Trailhawk to the luxurious Summit to the heart-pounding Trackhawk, there’s an option for everyone. 

Interior Comfort and Convenience

Inside the 80th Anniversary edition you’ll find signature anniversary logos stitched into the seats. Unique bezels and trim highlight the minor upgrades, though the 8.4-inch touch screen is standard on this special edition. A 7-inch touch screen is still the standard in most trims.

Premium cloth is still standard in the lower trims, but you can upgrade to leather or a premium synthetic seat that is both rugged and beautiful. The Overland trim features Nappa leather-trimmed heated and ventilated seats with the Overland logo proudly stitched in the seatbacks for a refined look and feel.

The Summit earns the distinction of being the most luxurious vehicle in its class, in large part because of its quilted diamond pattern seat bolsters, Laguna leather heated and ventilated seats, open-pore wood inlays, and a heated steering wheel. In the Trackhawk you’ll find a race-inspired interior that includes black Laguna leather heated and ventilated seats bolstered for performance driving. A flat-bottom steering wheel, a launch control system, and Jeep’s Performance Pages technology enhance your thrilling drive.

Several premium audio systems are available, from the Alpine premium sound system with its nine speakers and an 8-inch subwoofer to the Harman Kardon 19-speaker audio system with a 10-inch subwoofer.

Powerful Performance

Jeep’s legendary 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 remains as the base engine in 2021. This engine has 24 valves with variable valve timing and start/stop technology, a high-flow air intake and exhaust ports, and electronic throttle control with integrated speed control. When paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission, this powertrain delivers 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

A 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine is available on select models that puts out 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, but the real beasts of the lineup come in the SRT and Trackhawk trims. Jeep uses a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine in the SRT trim that cranks out 475 horsepower. The Trackhawk comes with a 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 engine that gives you a monstrous 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of track-tearing torque and goes from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. 

Legendary Capability

Jeep’s reputation rests on its 4×4 capability up and down its vehicle lineup, and the Grand Cherokee is no different. The Trailhawk has earned the coveted Trail Rated badge for passing a series of rugged off-road tests in the areas of maneuverability, traction, ground clearance, water fording, and articulation. The Trailhawk also features Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system that intelligently sends 100% of the engine’s power to a single rear wheel for exceptional traction over unpredictable terrain.

Red tow recovery hooks add style and the ability to help your fellow off-roaders out of trouble while your steel skid plates continue to protect your Grand Cherokee from the rough terrain. New Kevlar-reinforced all-terrain tires add next-level protection and superior traction on and off the road.

An all-new class-exclusive Quadra-Lift air suspension system smooths out the bumps in the road while improving your ground clearance. Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction management system lets you dial in your Grand Cherokee’s throttle, suspension, and traction control system to match the driving conditions. The Grand Cherokee boasts a class-best 7,200-pound towing capacity when properly equipped.

The Quadra-Trac I 4×4 system is the capable standard in the lower trims. This 4×4 system is full-time with no buttons to push, so you drive confidently no matter the conditions. The Quadra-Trac II 4×4 system features a low-speed transfer case and sensors that continuously monitor for wheel slip and instantly divert power to the wheels with the most grip.

A Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system is a full-time 4×4 system with a rear electronic locking differential that can send 100% of power to the rear tire with grip. The Quadra-Trac SRT 4×4 system takes traction to a whole new level. This race-inspired system features the strongest transfer case yet from Jeep, able to withstand the massive torque produced by the SRT and Trackhawk engines. A five-mode Selec-Track system manages torque split and suspension damping with the turn of a dial. 

Safety Features

ProTech I is a suite of driver-assist technology standard on every Grand Cherokee. The suite includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection, ParkSense rear park assist, and ParkView rear backup camera.

The ProTech II suite is standard on the High Altitude, Summit, SRT, Trailhawk, and Overland trims. This suite adds to the ProTech I with adaptive cruise control with stop and go, full-speed forward-collision warning with active braking, advanced brake assist, LaneSense with lane departure warning, and a parallel and perpendicular park assist.

While the two model years share many of the same characteristics, they both offer the legendary capability only found on a Jeep. At Freedom Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we have one of the largest inventories of Grand Cherokee in the region. If you’d like to learn more about the Grand Cherokee, you can visit us online or stop into our showroom at 625 South Springfield St. in Virden, Illinois.

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