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2019 or 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee: the preview

Updated December 5, 2017
by David Zatz and
Robert S. Miller

The next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee is due in around a year, and we already have some idea of what we can expect - including the fact that FCA is unlikely to change a winning formula. We should see an SUV of about the same size, with similar unit-body construction, and two rows of seats, with an optional V8, according to various sources.

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We have heard two sets of reports on the next Grand Cherokee; in one set, we see essentially a continuation of the WK series, but with a new body code. The other sees the Grand Cherokee sharing much more with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, but with key differences, mostly because Jeeps have lower prices but need to be practical off-road; and to accommodate a V8. What has shaken out is the realization that there is not a large contradiction between the two; the dimensions and some powertrains will stay true to the WK, but much of the rest of the architecture will move on over to "G."

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The 2020 Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango should both be lighter, which will improve on fuel economy as well as on-road handling. Grand Cherokee will target its current market, but the Durango should get a new lease on life with some re-targeting.

All the gadgets FCA has will be brought to bear, adding 360° views from inside and a twelve-inch vertical center screen (perhaps optional). LED headlamps are almost certainly to be standard on higher-end models, and quite possibly across the board. Look for updated Uconnect systems, with a new Uconnect heads-up display, enhanced parallel and perpendicular park assistance, and a hands-free power life gate.

Visually, the headlights should have a similar shape and appearance as the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. If it is like the 2019 Jeep Cherokee design, you can expect to see the "switchback" signature lighting, where the white LED lights flash amber when the turn signal is activated.

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Rear tail lights will likely follow recent Jeep threads, with long and narrow lenses that are closer to shots of the proposed 2020 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. One source said,

The body lines look more muscular from the sides with even a more chiseled look than the current WK2 body styling. The new D-pillar "shark fin" design that has made an appearance on Renegade and the Compass looks to make itself at home in this design as well. It should also have a front and rear skylight sunroof similar to current models, while bumpers may be a more aggressive take on the Summit. The wheels may be pushed out further to the corners, improving handling.
We might see the "eTorque" four-cylinder-turbo-plus-electric-motors setup to push mileage up and provide some backup to the diesel. Hemi engines will remain optional; but the long-loved 5.7 Hemi ("Eagle") might only make it to the 2021 model year. The 392 or even the Hellcat may return in Trackhawks, but the SRT name is moving on over to Dodge.

Don't expect the Grand Cherokee to get any less capable off-road either. Next-generation air suspensions will help with ground clearance, and 360° cameras will help you around tight terrain. The 2020 Grand Cherokee will keep its standard rear wheel drive, with a range of optional AWD systems to help you tackle the elements. Low range AWD will still be an option.

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