- Wide range of trims, powertrains, 4WD systems
- Attractive interior with first-class materials
- Intuitive Uconnect 5 infotainment system
- No remote folding rear seats
- Lacks good lane keep assist
- Aging V-6 and V-8 engines
Entering its fifth generation for 2022, the Jeep Grand Cherokee moves to a new platform to further improve its on-road handling while upgrading its off-road chops to win even more converts. Although its 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engines carry over, the SUV is otherwise all-new, and the family grows with the 4xe plug-in hybrid, which represents The future of Jeep, not to mention the new three-row L versions launched last year.
For this year’s SUV of the Year evaluations, we had a trio of two-row models on hand: a 2022 Grand Cherokee Limited with a 293-hp V-6, the top-of-the-line Summit Reserve with a 357-hp throaty V-8, and the new 375-hp 4xe Trailhawk plug -in hybrid.
“The Grand Cherokee is an honest-to-goodness vehicle with a wide range to serve almost everyone,” said chief digital officer Erik Johnson. “It’s just as convenient to get to a nice restaurant as it is to a backcountry trail—and it looks appropriate doing it, too.”
Guest judge Gordon Dickie called it “a real SUV”, with the towing and off-road capability to live up to the Jeep brand’s proud heritage while delivering a comfortable daily driving experience on regular road surfaces, where most Grand Cherokees will naturally spend most of their time. Still, with three available 4WD systems, available air suspension and more, Jeeps made it through the off-road course we tested them on with ease. Suspension tweaks by Alfa Romeo engineers pay off in the handling, which is surprisingly sharp with firm, direct steering and minimal body roll.
It’s an impressive vehicle, better than it needs to be, said editor Christian Seabaugh.
Even the Grand Cherokee Limited on standard steel springs pleased the judges, and the air suspension on the 4xe Trailhawk kept body motion in check while offering multiple ride heights to choose from.
The 4xe offers up to 25 miles of EV range, true one-pedal driving and a seamless hybrid mode. “I’m really impressed with how well integrated this powertrain is,” Seabaugh said. “It can’t be easy to manage a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, two motors, an all-wheel drive system, an eight-speed automatic and probably a dozen other variables, but it works really well. I like how the throttle response changes based on driving modes , which makes it easy to stay in electric mode and favors what feels like a pretty efficient engine/engine strategy.”
More surprising is how this is practically the same hardware used in the Wrangler 4xe, where it’s not as well tuned and any shortcomings are exaggerated by the Jeep’s lack of a fixed roof, doors or windshield. Wrapped in the Grand Cherokee, it almost feels like a completely different powertrain.
The Grand Cherokee’s luxury gadgets certainly help. Each model offers stylish wood grain, and the top-of-the-line Summit gets quilted diamond stitching on the leather seats and doors, with good use of paint, metal detailing and micro-suede – effortless luxury. The Jeep also has a plethora of comfort and safety features, and the easy-to-use Uconnect 5 infotainment system has enough hard switches. One quibble: The digital gauge cluster’s useful information is presented too small, making it hard to see, and when flipped from its minimal setting, it presents too much information at once, said associate editor Alex Leanse.
Overall, the two-row Grand Cherokee has a “solid, heavy-on-the-road feel that many crossovers lack,” said senior editor Aaron Gold. “You pay more for it, but it literally feels like more car for the money.” That, combined with the Jeep’s boxy good looks, should ensure it remains one of the most popular two-row midsize SUVs out there—luxury or otherwise.
|2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4×4 Specifications|
|Base price/As tested||$48,440/$52,250|
|Current (SAE network)||293 hp at 6,400 rpm|
|Torque (SAE grid)||260 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm|
|Accel, 0-60 mph||7.3 sec|
|Quarter-Mile||15.5 sec @ 89.8 mph|
|Braking, 60-0 mph||142 feet|
|Lateral acceleration||0.78 g (average)|
|MT figure eight||28.1 sec @ 0.58g (average)|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb||19/26/22 mpg|
|EPA range, comb||506 miles|
|Vehicle layout||Front engine, 4WD, 5-speed, 4-door SUV|
|Engine, gearbox||3.6L port-injected DOHC 24-valve 60-degree V-6, 8-speed automatic|
|Operating weight (f/r dist)||4,473 lb (54/46%)|
|length x width x height||193.5 x 77.5 x 70.8 inches|