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The WL Grand Cherokee Has Big Shoes To Fill

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL Spy Photo
Photo copyright Sam George, Muscle Cars & Trucks

It’s no secret that Michigan’s roads are notoriously awful. So awful, in fact, that the state’s current governor campaigned (and won) on the promise of “fixing the damn roads.” But the tradeoff is that Michigan’s three major automakers have taken the opportunity to use the worst of the state’s pavement to properly vet and shake down future products. And that’s what we see here, with a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WL – still in heavy cladding – using Detroit’s cracked washboard roads to better improve its everyday ride and handling.

Our own Sam George caught the future Jeep SUV passing through the way while he was waiting outside for ramen noodles, or something. Its official debut was originally scheduled to happen this year, but with reports of the WL Grand Cherokee being delayed three months, it might be early 2021 before we see this next-gen Jeep in all of its glory.

Styling-wise, it’s likely that the 2022 Grand Cherokee will maintain a similar design language as the WK Series. Expect a seven-slot grille, sleek lighting, and a slightly larger size. A third row is expected to be an option for this next-gen Jeep midsize SUV for the first time.

WL Jeep Wrangler
Photo copyright Sam George, Muscle Cars & Trucks


At launch, it’s expected that the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee will offer two engines: a 3.6L Pentastar V6, and a 5.7L Hemi V8. It’s unclear at this time if electrification will be standard, or optional. It is expected to utilize a lower-cost version of the Alfa Romeo Giorgio Platform, which underpins the beautiful Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV.

Originally expected as a 2021 model year SUV, the WL Jeep Grand Cherokee will likely bow as a 2022 model year, as recent reports indicate that the current-generation WK Grand Cherokee will return for the 2021 model year. The WK Grand Cherokee has been on sale since 2009, and has been a resounding success, bot in allocated awards and in sales.

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be built at the FCA Jefferson North Assembly Plant, where it will be built alongside the Dodge Durango. On February 26, 2019, FCA announced plans to invest $900 million to retool and modernize the plant to build the next-generation Dodge Durango and WL Jeep Grand Cherokee, adding 1,100 new jobs in the process. It was part of a $4.5 billion total investment announcement that will impact five existing Michigan facilities and build a new assembly plant within the city of Detroit. In total, the proposed projects will create nearly 6,500 new jobs. FCA currently has the biggest manufacturing footprint in Detroit.


Jeep Grand Cherokee Logo

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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