It’s hard to think of a brand that embraces tradition more than Jeep. But that doesn’t mean they’re stuck in the past. Yes, Jeep is electrifying each of its models; the latest is this Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe. So let’s see what the 4xe adds to an iconic 4×4!
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is electric, but not all-electric. It is a plug-in hybrid or PHEV. A very sensible approach to electrification in our view, rather than going all-in and forcing loyal followers to adapt their lifestyles to a revolutionary business strategy.
Additionally, most of the powertrain specs for this 5-passenger standard-wheelbase Grand Cherokee are in common with the Wrangler 4xe we tested last year. In addition to the 17.3 kWh battery. It gives out a bit more EV range; 25 miles compared to the Wrangler’s 22.
The 2.0-liter I4 turbo engine, dual electric motors, and 8-speed automatic work together to deliver the same 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft. of torque; 4-wheel drive is of course standard.
So it’s no Trackhawk, but that 470 lb-ft. of torque is 80 more than the GC’s optional V8, so head to our Mason Dixon test track to try it out.
We saved some battery power and the 4xe used it well. There’s a good feel at launch that got us to 60 in just 5.3 seconds.
About halfway down the track, you can feel the electric influence diminish, and the turbo really takes over, delivering fantastic power in the midrange. Shifts from the automatic are very smooth and quick, with our best ¼-mile pass taking 13.9 seconds at 102 miles per hour. When the battery dies, there is noticeably less umph from the line.
It’s true that the 4xe can’t match the V8’s 7,200 pounds. tensile strength, but the 6,000-lbs. is still pretty good for a medium tool.
As in the Wrangler, all the battery and electrical hardware is well packaged out of the way, so there’s no loss of off-road capability.
However, our Overland tester had more of a pampered lifestyle in mind. It came equipped with a panoramic sunroof, Nappa leather seats with both front and rear heating and a heated steering wheel.
A luxury technology group adds wireless charging, digital rearview mirror, 4-zone climate control, rear sunshades and massaging seats.
While an advanced protech group delivers active driving assistance, night vision and navigation maps in the driver display.
And no matter how many times you see it, the available front passenger interactive display looks impressive and gives the person riding shotgun something to entertain them.
Now, unlike the Wrangler 4xe, where driving around without engine noise seemed to amplify other noises and amplify its rough edges; here in the Grand Cherokee 4xe, the powertrain’s quietness seems to fit its more refined nature.
Transitions of power between battery and petrol engine are very smooth, as is the ride quality.
Given its size, the 4x Grand Cherokee felt solid and willing through our handling course. Steering was light, but precise, and there was only moderate body roll.
The 4xe felt solid and stable even under panic braking, but also very heavy. Stops from 60 stretched out to an elongated 129 feet.
There are 4xes plug-in status indicators, an additional access door in the driver’s front fascia for the charger port and small amounts of blue trim. But otherwise, you’d be hard-pressed to tell it’s different from almost any other fifth-generation Grand Cherokee.
18-inch wheels are standard. A black finished roof is optional. Active grille shutters and front fender aero treatments are in place to maximize fuel efficiency.
Government fuel economy ratings are 56 combined MPGe for gas and electric, 23 combined strictly on the gasoline engine. We averaged 22 miles per gallon of the Regular in hybrid mode without charging.
So, the 4xe rates a very good energy impact result, using only 6.0 barrels of oil per year, with 2.9 tons of CO2 emissions.
The 4xe is available in most of the Grand Cherokee’s trim levels including the Trailhawk, which starts with the Limited at $61,660, and works up to the Summit Reserve at a hefty $78,870. Our Overland tester sits in the still-high middle ground at $69,675. Right now, the 4xe treatment isn’t available on the 3-row Grand Cherokee L.
Yes, those prices are steep, but unfortunately not out of line for a luxury SUV these days. And the 5th generation Grand Cherokee has truly reached a new level of luxury, sophistication, technology and practicality. Now, this 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe adds a new level of efficiency, making it an even smarter midsize SUV choice.