Last year Mike Manley let slip that Jeep would be building a three-row midsize SUV that’ll play alongside the Grand Cherokee. We think the vehicle you’re looking at now could be that three-row Grand Cherokee-based Jeep. Wagoneer hopefuls, don’t fret. This three-row Jeep is no replacement and will be sold alongside the full-size luxury Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
Let’s dive into the details of what we’re looking at. Spy shots of the next-gen Grand Cherokee have already surfaced. The exterior of that SUV looks mighty similar to this new one, but our eagle-eyed spy shooter managed to catch some new bits in the rear undercarriage. Check out the side-by-side photo below.
We can see a new exhaust design snaking around the spare tire that is completely absent from the previous set of Grand Cherokee spy shots. The motivation for this would be to free up space in the way-back for extra legroom, headroom and cargo capacity. Flatter floors make us happy, and it looks like that’s exactly what Jeep is aiming for.
Left: Three-row; Right: Two-row
As for the exterior, our eyes tell us that this new Jeep is a touch longer than the previous Grand Cherokee seen in spy shots. The wheelbase looks stretched, and the gap between the C and D pillars looks like it could be similarly elongated. We’ll also note that there’s an extra bit of rake to this new SUV’s stance when compared to the previous Grand Cherokee, as the wheel gap in the rear is noticeably higher than up front. Just like the regular two-row Grand Cherokee, this new car is expected to ride on a modified version of the Giorgio platform. We still expect it to be superb off-road, but it should ride and handle on-road much better than the current Grand Cherokee, too. The new platform also opens the new Grand Cherokee up to new powertrain options, and as Jeep has already hinted in other models, electrification is a real possibility.
We still don’t know what a three-row Grand Cherokee-based Jeep will be called — Manley has already expressed distaste in keeping the Grand Cherokee name for the derivative model. Jeep currently sells the three-row Grand Commander in China, but that vehicle is different than the one we’re looking at here.
Manley previously suggested a 2020 debut for the new Grand Cherokee and the mystery three-row SUV. It most likely won’t happen at the beginning of this year, but look out for auto shows later in 2020, like Detroit and L.A.