2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in SUV

The current generation Grand Cherokee is the return of the beloved larger Jeep SUV. As a utility, it ticks all the boxes, with a spacious interior, good ride quality and useful nature. The plug-in 4xe model is the most efficient of the Grand Cherokee models, but it has a couple of drawbacks.

An overview

  • Good exterior design for everyday use and off-road capability
  • Smart interior with exclusive details
  • Slow to get up and go
  • Electrical range varies greatly as configurations change
  • Effectiveness is highly variable

Jeep has been rolling out plug-in hybrids under the 4xe brand ever since the PHEV version of the Wrangler, which we fell in love with. Next up was the Grand Cherokee plug-in, which we finally got to drive for a week and, well … aren’t quite as thrilled .

Ground clearance, all-weather or off-road tires, skid plates and extra off-road features like tow bars make the Jeep Grand Cherokee a rugged option

Aaron Turpen / New Atlas

The 2022 model kicks off the fifth generation for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, making the mix more exclusive. The Grand Cherokee is now the premium option in Jeep’s sports equipment, and becomes more luxurious than previous generations. The plug-in hybrid 4xe model of the Grand Cherokee adds improved efficiency and enough electric-only range to be useful as a daily driver without using gas.

The EPA rates the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe with 26 miles (41.8 km) of all-electric range followed by 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km) combined fuel efficiency. These add up to around 708 km of total range in the new Grand Cherokee 4xe. Like the Wrangler 4xe, the Grand Cherokee version lets the driver choose when to use the electric motors as sole propulsion, saving the 26 miles of EV driving for leisurely driving around the neighborhood or out in the wilderness.

Your mileage will vary, of course, and during our week with the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe, we averaged only about 22 miles per charge, using it mostly for city driving. The worn all-weather tires and the varying drop temperatures likely played a role in that.

The 4xe version of the Grand Cherokee comes in several flavors, with five models to choose from. We drove the Overland 4xe, which sits right in the middle of the five, the more off-road-focused Trailhawk and base model below it, and the Summit and Summit Reserve above. All versions share the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, battery pack, motors and eight-speed automatic transmission. Together, these produce 375 horsepower (280 kW).

The problem comes with electric propulsion, which is what motivates the most when starting from a standstill. The electric motor-generator and shaft-directed motor used provide less than half of that 375 hp combined (178 total). If the engine is not running, the 44 hp engine generator (which connects to the engine crankshaft) is drawn from the 178. And that’s not enough to get the heavy Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe moving with any confidence. So it feels sluggish in the moments when self-confidence should be in the forefront.

When the engine and powertrains are all working together, however, the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe has plenty of power, surpassing both the standard V6 and V8 engines offered in other versions of the Grand Cherokee in terms of horsepower and torque. Its sluggishness is despite quick 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) sprints of around six seconds for the 4xe. That’s because most of the speed in these sprints comes after the first 25 or so miles per hour when the engine is fully engaged, not at the start.

That means compared to the Wrangler 4xe, which we loved for its strong engine, the same powertrain in the much heavier Grand Cherokee 4xe isn’t as impressive—on or off the road.

Some smart things in the 4xe model are advantages for the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It charges itself while you use the engine, mostly at higher speeds, at a rate of up to about 3 kWh per hour. It’s not much, but it’s enough to keep the battery pack charged while driving to a destination and can eventually add enough charge (say on a road trip) to top it off.

A well-equipped interior and smart infotainment mark the Jeep Grand Cherokee as a premium SUV
A well-equipped interior and smart infotainment mark the Jeep Grand Cherokee as a premium SUV

Jeep

Speaking of charge times, the Grand Cherokee 4xe charges in about 13 hours on a 120-volt household outlet and in about 4 hours on a 240 V. Those are pretty consistent charge times, comparatively, with the 4xe model having a top input rate of around 36 amps .

Overall, the biggest reason to spend $57,000 or so on a base 4xe model (which goes up from there) is to grab its mix of interior luxury, off-road capability and efficient hybrid powertrain. Most people will find that their daily driving consumes very little fuel when the system is left to its own devices (engaging and de-energizing the 4-cylinder gas engine as needed). Still, long-distance road trips or trips to the countryside where chargers are rare are still perfectly doable in this Jeep.

Product Page: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe

Leave a Comment