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A dark gray 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee is shown parked near a mountain range.

Is the Grand Cherokee or Grand Cherokee L Right for You?

When the fifth-generation Grand Cherokee was unveiled for 2021, Jeep surprised everyone by kicking things off with the all-new Grand Cherokee L. This larger three-row variant of the best-selling midsize Grand Cherokee was designed to offer more space and versatility for families and other drivers who need a larger vehicle without sacrificing any of the style, comfort, and off-road capability that drivers have come to expect from the Grand Cherokee name. Unlike other family SUVs, the Grand Cherokee L is every bit a Jeep, with impressive off-road features to get you anywhere you could possibly desire to travel. However, when you visit your Jeep dealer, you may be left wondering whether you should pick the standard 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee or upgrade to the larger 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. There are more differences between these two models than just the number of seats, but we’re here to help you find the perfect model for your travels around the great Canadian wilderness.

A black 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is shown parked off-road.

Starting With the Obvious

While there are a few less obvious differences between the two-row Grand Cherokee and the three-row Grand Cherokee L, their size and number of seats are going to be the most important differences for most shoppers. The standard 2023 Grand Cherokee measures 4.9 m in length with seating for five passengers, while the 2023 Grand Cherokee L is 5.2 m long with seating for up to seven passengers. The overall difference in length is not enough to make the larger version more difficult to drive, but it does provide significantly more space inside. The total interior passenger volume is some 10% greater at 4,505 litres, and the total cargo volume is increased from 2,005 litres to 2,396 litres in the Grand Cherokee L.

One smaller difference that this larger cabin provides is that it allows the Grand Cherokee L to be configured with second-row captain’s chairs, while the standard Grand Cherokee is only available with a bench seat. Plus, the Grand Cherokee L has another 12 mm of second-row headroom and 29 mm of second-row legroom. Even if you don’t plan on using that third row, your passengers will likely be happier in the larger three-row variant, especially if you regularly take long road trips across Canada. Plus, with the third row folded, the Grand Cherokee L has 1,328 litres of cargo space in the back compared to just 1,077 litres in the trunk of the Grand Cherokee. So don’t rule out the Grand Cherokee L just because you only need two rows of seats.

A white 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee is shown towing a boat off-road.

Powertrain Options

While you might not consider it at first, one of the largest differences between the 2023 Grand Cherokee and 2023 Grand Cherokee L are the powertrain options Jeep offers. Both models come standard with the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 that has powered the Grand Cherokee since 2011 and can be found in many other Jeep models, including the Wrangler and Gladiator. This capable engine is a solid choice for daily life, producing 293 hp and 257 lb-ft of torque and providing a max tow rating of 2,812 kg. Of course, it is more efficient in the smaller model, where it is rated for 10.9 L/100 km combined, compared to 11.3 L/100 km combined in the larger 2023 Grand Cherokee L.

However, when it comes to the optional engines, the two models take completely different routes. The 2023 Grand Cherokee L offers Jeep’s traditional 5.7L HEMI V8 with 357 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. This powerful engine has been a part of the Grand Cherokee lineup since 2005 and is a great choice if you are planning to tow anything with your SUV since it offers a max tow rating of 3,265 kg. While this engine was originally available as an option in the 2023 Grand Cherokee, it was discontinued in December 2022. If a traditional V8 with a high towing capacity is up your alley, you will need to opt for the three-row model.

The reason for the discontinuation of the 5.7L V8 from the two-row Grand Cherokee was the rising popularity of the new 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain for the model. This is not yet an option on the Grand Cherokee L, but it provides numerous advantages. By combining a turbocharged 2.0L engine with electric motors, Jeep created a powertrain that produces a combined 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. While the V8 guzzles gas at a rate of 14.1 L/100 km combined, the more powerful 4xe is rated for 10.0 L/100 km combined. Plus, in Electric Mode, it can travel an estimated 42 km on battery power alone. The one downside of the Grand Cherokee 4xe is that it has a lower maximum tow rating of 2,722 kg.

A silver 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is shown parked near a lake after visiting a Jeep dealer.


Both the 2023 Grand Cherokee and 2023 Grand Cherokee L come standard with Jeep’s advanced 4×4 systems, which are perfect for dealing with winters in Canada. If you plan on pushing your SUV to the limits with an off-road adventure, both models offer the Overland trim, which is Trail Rated when equipped with its optional Off-Road Group. This adds an upgraded Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system, electronic limited-slip rear differential, skid plates, and more aggressive tires. This option is one of the most capable vehicles in its segment and will have no difficulty tackling some of the tougher trails you will find.

However, for the ultimate off-road SUV, you will need the Trailhawk trim, which is only offered on the 2023 Grand Cherokee 4xe. In addition to the exceptional power of the 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain, you will enjoy added off-road features, such as the first-in-class front disconnecting stabilizer bar. This valuable feature was long limited to purpose-built off-road vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and allows you to enjoy greater articulation at the press of a button when you need to climb over an obstacle on the trail. The Trailhawk also comes with other important upgrades, like a full-size spare tire, heavy-duty engine cooling, and front and rear tow hooks. If you are looking to head into the wilderness right off our lot, then this trim alone will likely sell you on the two-row Grand Cherokee.

A gray 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is shown parked on a driveway.

Let Us Help You Pick the Right Model

There are a lot of decisions that go into choosing the perfect SUV for your needs, and there are a ton of options available on the market. However, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a go-to option for decades and with the addition of a three-row model, even more drivers can enjoy what it has to offer. On the surface, choosing between the 2023 Grand Cherokee and 2023 Grand Cherokee L is a simple matter of asking yourself if you need two rows of seats or three. However, there are actually more differences to consider before picking one of these two exceptional models. Whether the roomier cabin and available V8 engine of the Grand Cherokee L are right for you, or you would rather experience the incredible efficiency and performance of the two-row Grand Cherokee, it’s worth visiting a Jeep dealer to take these models for a test drive.