Well, there’s more chip shortage news, and this time it’s Jeep-related. Previously, we noted that Gladiator production was stalled due to the lack of semiconductors. Now, it’s the Grand Cherokee L’s turn to be affected.
As reported initially by Mopar Insiders, the SUV’s Quadra-Lift air suspension option has disappeared from Jeep’s online configurator because there aren’t enough chips to go around. When The Drive reached out for comment, the automaker noted that customers may still be able to get the feature by going through a dealer, though it’s looking like it’ll be pretty tough to nab a Grand Cherokee L with those sweet air-assisted coils.
This might sound pretty minor—boo hoo, no cushy airbags for a pricey SUV—but it sort of kneecaps the Grand Cherokee L’s off-roading capabilities and driving experience.
To be clear, the Grand Cherokee L has six trims, and this shortage really affects the top three—Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve—where the air suspension is standard and does a lot for the truck. Its maximum ground clearance of 10.9 inches, for instance, isn’t possible unless it’s equipped with air suspension. Grand Cherokee L models with traditional coil-spring suspension sit 2.4 inches lower to the ground, and this affects the approach, departure, and breakover angles. In fact, approach angle drops by nearly 10 degrees without the airbags.
They also do more than just raise the ride height. They lower the car during highway driving to improve fuel economy while also squatting the truck down very nearly to its bump stops when parked to allow for much easier entry and exit. Then there’s the improvement in ride quality and handling.
If you already ordered an Overland or above Grand Cherokee L that’s affected by the chip shortage, you’ll reportedly get a discount worth $750. As mentioned, that price will also be taken off the MSRP for any vehicles that manage to make it onto dealer lots. Really, though, this option is worth more than $750. The air suspension has five total positions, it’s manually adjustable, and it even has its own self-contained tanks to pressurize the bags so there are no filters or anything to get clogged. Much of the truck’s most impressive capabilities exist on account of the air suspension.
If you really want a Grand Cherokee L, it may be best to wait until this feature returns to normal production levels.
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