HEMI or V6 - Which Engine Is Right For Your Jeep Grand Cherokee? | Jeep Canada

TO HEMI OR NOT TO HEMI? WHICH ENGINE IS RIGHT FOR YOUR 2021 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE?

2021-03-24
It wasn’t so long ago that when it came to the powertrain most would choose for their Jeep Grand Cherokee, a V-8 of the HEMI variety was the easiest answer. It always had the power, the noise, the performance and most importantly for some, the pedigree.
A white Jeep Grand Cherokee driving towards the camera
HEMI-powered Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler products were the toast of the town in the muscle car era on the track, the drag strip and even the street. Dropping one in a mass-market SUV and pickup was a smart move that would guarantee sales.

Two Competent, Efficient Engines in the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Thing is, as fuel prices continue to climb and as more people are perhaps becoming a little more environmentally conscious, big V-8 engines have started to fall out of style for some, even though many of them aren’t actually that much worse for the environment than their V-6 counterparts.
Of course, on the flip side of that coin you have the Pentastar V-6 engine that you can get in almost every Grand Cherokee trim level. It’s powerful, it’s smooth and while it does give up a few horsepowers and a few torques to the 5.7L HEMI, the Pentastar still makes 295 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, power enough for most any task you’re going to ask of your Grand Cherokee.
For its part, the 5.7L HEMI V-8 – that is to say, the smallest and least powerful of the three available HEMI options – is good for 360 hp and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s great for quick acceleration off freeway entry ramps and the like, but it also offers cylinder-deactivation tech to help reduce fuel usage and bring it closer to what’s achieved by the Pentastar in that department.
So, it’s not strictly about power delivery or fuel economy, though those two factors could sway buyers one way or the other.
Indeed, it’s more the attitude of each engine that we should look at. If you like deep, low-down torque and a gruffer exhaust note, then the HEMI is a great choice. If you want smooth, predictable power at most any rev but don’t want to make too much of a show of it, then the Pentastar is worth a look.
Then there’s that other aspect that tends to separate the wheat from the chaff in the SUV and truck world: tow rating. You’d think that the HEMI would have a higher rating, and you’d be right – it’s just that you wouldn’t be right by all that much. It can tow up to 3,300 kg (7,200 lbs.), while the Pentastar can tow “just” up to 2,818 kg (6,200 lbs.). So, it’s not exactly a runaway victory for the HEMI there, as both can tow the kind of loads that most SUV drivers need to – campers, ski-doos and the like. You do get a little more with the HEMI, however, so that may be enough to sway some buyers.
Indeed, when it’s all said and done, these are both great engine choices, though the Pentastar is your only choice until you get to the Trailhawk model – offering the 5.7L V8 engine with Trail-Rated capability. Or, perhaps you want all the luxury offered by the Overland and Summit trims – authentic Nappa leather seating, premium Alpine audio, panoramic sunroof and more – but are hoping to save just a little bit of gas as cruising in comfort is priority number one then again: the V-6 should do you just fine.
A Jeep Grand Cherokee driving in a desert
That said, for some, though, the power and panache provided by the HEMI is too much to ignore. Finding the perfect engine for your 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee is certainly an enjoyable affair, and regardless of your needs there’s an engine for you.

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"Starting At" price represents the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price ("MSRP") plus freight (from $1,895 to $2,795), federal A/C and applicable Green Levy charges minus current Manufacturer Discounts which allow the dealer to sell for less. Taxes, insurance, registration, license, retailer administration fees, new tire duties (in Quebec), and the Luxury Tax Surcharge (if, and where applicable) not included. Your dealer may charge a Luxury Tax Surcharge on vehicles priced over $100,000 under the Government of Canada's Select Luxury Items Tax Act. The actual value of the Luxury Tax Surcharge will be calculated based on the vehicle's final negotiated selling price (before applicable taxes), and will represent the lesser of: (i) 10% of the vehicle's selling price; or (ii) 20% of the final negotiated selling price that exceeds the $100,000 threshold. Please see your dealer or visit the Government of Canada's website for further details. Manufacturer discounts may vary from time to time and may vary considerably by model, trim and engine option selected. Please see your retailer or visit Build & Price for further pricing information. Price listed is for base models. Vehicles shown may be an upgraded model. Retailers may sell for less.