Jeep Grand Cherokee's current generation is returning for 2021 after all

Ronan Glon

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Jeep is busily putting the final touches on the fifth-generation Grand Cherokee, but the SUV isn't ready yet, so the current-generation model will allegedly return for one final model year. Although it won't receive major changes, a recent report claims the company is planning several minor tweaks to keep its biggest SUV looking fresh.

Introduced at the 2009 edition of the New York Auto Show, the fourth-generation Grand Cherokee is the oldest model in the Jeep line-up by a significant margin. Even Ralph Gilles, the head of design for Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), recently admitted that "it's getting on." Enthusiast website Mopar Insiders learned from anonymous dealers that the SUV will return for 2021 and gain a package named 80th Anniversary Edition that will commemorate the original Jeep's 80th birthday. It will be based on the mid-range Limited trim level.

We don't know what the 80th Anniversary Edition package will consist of, or whether it will also be available on other Jeep models. Mopar Insiders added the Limited and Limited X will also gain an option package named Sun & Sound that will add a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a 506-watt Alpine stereo with nine speakers.

Other small changes are in the pipeline, like a new 18-inch wheel design for the entry-level Laredo model. The rest of the range will carry on largely unchanged, including the 707-horsepower Trackhawk. It will be the proverbial calm before the storm; the 2021 Grand Cherokee's production run will be cut short to make space for the fifth-generation model that will arrive in showrooms as a 2022 model. It will wear a new design, its engine roster will be overhauled, and, significantly, it will reportedly shift to Alfa Romeo's Giorgio platform.

Jeep still lists the 2020 Grand Cherokee on its consumer website. It's expected to announce details about the 2021 model in the coming weeks, and it confirmed the next-generation SUV will make its debut by the end of 2020. We know the line-up will include a direct replacement for the current five-seater model, and a three-row variant with seating for up to seven passengers. Looking ahead, Jeep will resurrect the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer nameplates on a pair of body-on-frame SUVs built using components borrowed from the Ram 1500.

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