Jeep’s prominent Quadra-Lift system is a segment-exclusive for the Jeep Grand Cherokee L. It offers a dynamic, electronically controlled semi-active damping system that gives the Grand Cherokee L a lot of advantages over the competition, as well as leeway when it comes to both on-road and off-road traversal. Due to the recent chip shortage, however, the feature has been hard to acquire for some potential Jeep Grand Cherokee owners. The Quadra-Lift was discontinued on the 2021 Grand Cherokee L; however, it returns for the 2023 model year. The changing availability of this feature does raise the question: how important is the Quadra-Lift suspension for the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee three-row SUV? Well, it all boils down to the trim selection, where you drive, and how you drive.
What Is the Quadra-Lift?
Before we get into the details of the Quadra-Lift’s role in the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, it might be important to talk a little bit about the feature and why it’s such a popular option for those who purchase a Grand Cherokee. The Quadra-Lift air-ride suspension has been utilized since 2010. It debuted with limited availability on select Grand Cherokee WK trims, offering four-corner leveling.
The Quadra-Lift enables the Grand Cherokee to alter its maximum ground clearance, wheel travel, and ride height. The importance of this varies per use. For instance, there are five modes of the Quadra-Lift, including the Normal Mode, Off-Road 1, Off-Road 2, Aero Mode, and Park. Park lowers the vehicle for easy entry and exit, as well as making it more convenient to get items in or out of the vehicle or reach items located on the roof rack. Aero Mode is an aerodynamic mode, enabling the Jeep to perform better on the highway, improving aerodynamics, granting drivers better handling, and lowering fuel consumption.
The Off-Road modes are exactly what you might expect, changing the ride height to give you maximum wheel travel to climb and descend hills, rock crawl, and ford water. It operates on an electronically controlled hydraulic compression system that can dynamically make driving on the road smoother or driving off-road more tolerable. It also offers some unique benefits depending on the Grand Cherokee you have, which we will discuss in the next section.
How the Quadra-Lift Affects the 2023 Grand Cherokee L
The Grand Cherokee L is up to the 2023 model year after initially debuting in 2021. The newest model doesn’t make any drastic changes to the overall design or platform, so its wheelbase is still five inches longer than the standard Grand Cherokee, meaning it’s on a 121.7-inch wheelbase. Now a wheelbase that’s only five inches longer doesn’t seem like much, but when we’re talking about aerodynamics and handling, five inches can make or break how a vehicle performs on the road.
Given that the profile is the same between the Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L other than length, this can drastically change how both vehicles handle. The Grand Cherokee L can also weigh up to 100 lbs more and is much longer than the standard two-row Cherokee. This means that the two vehicles going at the same speed won’t handle the same because the longer, bigger, and heavier Cherokee L will have more mass to move around on the road. This means it can be more unwieldy to maneuver around turns and sharp corners.
This is where the Quadra-Lift comes into play for the Grand Cherokee L because it can alter the ride height to make the ride stiffer, softer, higher, or lower to get the grip needed to make the turns. At higher speeds, you need a lower ride height for better grip on the corners. With the Quadra-Lift, it can be manually or dynamically adjusted to ensure that the handling of the Cherokee L feels more like a crossover than a boat. So it’s not just about making the Grand Cherokee L better at handling off-road terrain, although it’s certainly one of the things it excels at. It’s a great feature that makes it easier for drivers to maneuver the large SUV on the road with confidence.
Utilitarian and Convenience Factors of the Quadra-Lift
Adjusting ride height, making it easy to get in and out of the vehicle, or simple access to the roof are all great features, but the Quadra-Lift also performs another important feature: it makes towing easier. If you hitch a trailer to the Grand Cherokee L, you’re now not only maneuvering a large SUV but also having to consider how the trailer sway will affect the handling of the vehicle. Sure, the Grand Cherokee L comes with trailer sway control, but it’s made easier when the Quadra-Lift levels the Grand Cherokee L with the trailer.
Since not every trailer or cargo haul hitched to the vehicle will be the same height, being able to raise or lower the Cherokee can help balance how the vehicle handles while towing. It’s a great feature to have and makes it easier to maneuver something as large as a three-row 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Realistically, there’s not anyone out there who doesn’t want trailering made easier.
Pros Over Cons
A feature being important for a vehicle is different from whether or not it’s more beneficial over the long run than the short term. Instead of using traditional coil-over springs for the suspension, the Quadra-Lift is a complex mechanism involving many moving parts that can eventually give out over time. While there is a greater risk of having more to repair, you get more utility and functionality out of it compared to a standard coil-over suspension.
For instance, with the standard coil-over, you don’t have access to the Quadra-Drive II. So, if you opted for a 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L and wanted the three-rows and the Quadra-Drive II, with the rear electronic limited-slip differential in the full-time 4×4 mode, you would need the Quadra-Lift system. If you opt for the coil-over suspension, you can only top out with the Quadra-Trac II 4×4 system. For some people, this may not seem like much of a big deal, but if you did want a three-row SUV that could make the most use of its 4×4 capabilities and be more than capable of providing you with a smooth ride, then the Quadra-Drive II would probably be the preferred option, which means you would need the Quadra-Lift installed.
Is It Worth the Wait?
With chip shortages hampering the top automakers from including some of their most requested and popular features in some of the top nameplates on the market, it might leave some wondering if some of these features are worth it. Well, it all depends on how much you value your vehicle’s handling and stability, your performance expectations, and where you plan to drive an SUV like the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
The two-row Grand Cherokee and standard Cherokee are smaller, easier to handle on the road and make moving them around at higher speeds less complicated. A feature like the Quadra-Lift may not seem as important, but for the Grand Cherokee L, it will probably seem much more imperative if you’re not used to driving something that size and want the added security and stability that the Quadra-Lift air-ride suspension provides.
So, where does that leave the situation? Well, for people who simply love everything about the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L and want a reliable three-row SUV, nothing will stop those people from buying what they want. For people who may not want to compensate for the length, weight, and dynamics of handling a larger three-row SUV without a little help, the Quadra-Lift is the perfect solution for that problem.