2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe Review: A Serious Luxury 4×4

It’s no secret that people on Jeep has had its eye on the premium SUV market for a while now. Call it market expansion or call it vanity, but the people at the top seem to be craving a piece of the luxury off-road pie belonging to the Land Rover, Lexus and Mercedes brands. They certainly have the ability to chase that goal thanks to revenue from an endless demand for Wranglers and resources from Stellantis, the parent company that also owns Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati.


The Grand Cherokee’s Summit Reserve trim level embodies Jeep’s penchant for elegance. It tops the model lineup with a starting price of $77,470 for 2022. It is loaded with all the off-road technology and interior amenities that Jeep has to offer. Our test vehicle was also equipped with Jeep’s 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain. It gave me a lot to think about. Will the hybrid powertrain put gas-only Mopars in the history books? Is the Summit Reserve a viable contender in the luxury SUV market? I had a week to answer those questions.

Key features

  • Plug-in hybrid powertrain
  • Four-wheel drive with low range
  • Premium interior
Specifications

  • Trim: Summit Reserve 4xe
  • Model: Grand Cherokee
  • Engine/Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four plug-in hybrid
  • Horsepower: 375 horsepower
  • Torque: 470 pound-feet
  • Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
  • Transfer: Eight-speed automatic
  • Scope: 470 Miles (Hybrid); 25 miles (electric)
Benefits

  • Refined, exclusive cabin
  • Advanced technology you can use
  • Electric, gas and hybrid operating modes
  • Height adjustable suspension
  • Low-range transmission and off-road modes
  • More than 70 cubic feet of cargo space
Disadvantages

  • Uninspiring engine noise
  • Fuel economy is dependent on battery performance

Get under the hood of the Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe

The Grand Cherokee 4xe has three power sources: the gas engine, the electric engine, and a combination of the two. This approach gives drivers the flexibility to prioritize maximum power when they need it and fuel economy when they don’t. It’s true that the plug-in hybrid can produce 375 horsepower — more than Jeep’s 5.7-liter V8 that makes 357 horsepower — that’s the best-case scenario. When the battery doesn’t have enough charge to help, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine can only offer 270 horsepower.

Between the vehicle’s hybrid system and regenerative braking, it’s possible to keep the battery charged for quite some time, depending on your driving. Jeep also provides a charger for a regular wall outlet so owners can keep their batteries charged by plugging them in overnight. According to Jeep, a full charge should take the Grand Cherokee 4xe 25 miles on all-electric power. When both systems work together, the estimated range jumps to 470 miles.

Related: Here’s What You Need to Know Before Buying a Jeep Grand Cherokee

A cottage you don’t want to leave

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe interior
Scott Murdock

From the outside, the Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4x’s boxy shape and seven-slot grille make it instantly recognizable as a Jeep. Small chrome details and up-spec wheels make it stand out from lower trim levels, but it’s not flashy. It certainly doesn’t give away what’s waiting inside.

Opening the Jeep’s doors reveals a cocoon of soft, quilted leather and wood paneling bathed in light from the panoramic sunroof. The heated and cooled front seats offer a variety of customizable massage patterns. Charging options include a wireless pad and a range of physical ports. Rear seat passengers get their own controls for climate control as well as ports for charging electronics.

The 10.1-inch center display provides the usual infotainment functions, but Jeep didn’t go all-in on the digital interface. The functions you need most, such as climate control, heated and cooled seats and audio controls, have physical buttons. The same goes for features that you may not interact with often but need to be readily available, such as lane assist and traction control. This makes the Grand Cherokee much easier to get along with than some new vehicles that require you to take your eyes off the road to use any of its features.

A second, smaller screen is located in the dashboard on the passenger side. This allows the driver to focus on driving and turns the front passenger into a co-driver. This screen juggles control of navigation, climate control and wireless control of multiple devices paired with the vehicle via Bluetooth. It can also let the passenger sit back and watch a movie with wireless headphones. The Grand Cherokee isn’t as roomy as the Grand Wagoneer, but it’s just as capable of carrying out family trips.

Related: 10 Things We Love About the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary Edition

Technology you can enjoy

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe interior
Scott Murdock

The Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe is packed with features and technology that directly enhance the driving experience. Yes, it has drive modes for different types of terrain and provides the usual array of safety features, but that kind of technology rarely translates into a better vehicle in most real-world driving—at least in a way that the average driver can feel. This test vehicle was equipped with features that are not only efficient, they are fun to use.

Heads-up displays have been around for years in various forms, but this one is very well made and makes it easy to monitor your speed and check the speed limit at a glance. The primary display provides a huge amount of information in a way that is easy to read at a glance, and the screen can show the information you want exactly where you want it. It can also cut through the dark with a view from the grille-mounted night vision camera. This thermal imaging device has limited functionality, but it’s a great party trick and makes it easier to spot people and animals in low light.

By adjusting the air suspension with a tab on the center console, the driver can select one of five height settings. The middle setting is good for bumpy city streets and works as a good default setting. Raising the vehicle higher provides more terrain clearance and lowering improves aerodynamics. The lowest setting is for entry and exit, and the vehicle automatically lifts when in motion. Drivers can also control the hybrid system, choosing between hybrid power programmed for optimal efficiency, electric power for short trips, and gasoline power (which Jeep calls ESave) to recharge the battery on the go.

Related: Here’s how Jeep’s new 4xe SUV lineup plans to disrupt the EV space

Built for mild adventures

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4x Window Graphics
Scott Murdock

We have such easy access to specialized equipment these days that it’s easy to get carried away when buying a new car. Vehicles like the dirt-hungry Jeep Compass Trailhawk and the tire-smoking Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk distort our perspective and make us think we need more performance than we actually do. The Grand Cherokee 4xe may not have the eye-popping stats to compete with such SUVs, but it’s probably a much better choice for most people.

Part of the off-road tradition remains. No one will mistake the Grand Cherokee for a Wrangler, but it can definitely handle the kind of off-pavement adventures the average driver is likely to encounter in the real world. With air suspension, owners don’t even have to choose between aerodynamics, ground clearance and easy entry. I appreciated the ability to raise the Jeep to drive down a dirt road or navigate a construction site, then lower it to slide down the highway more efficiently. I appreciated the variety of driving modes and the ability to let the computer determine the best profile based on the conditions.

The 4xe powertrain is an interesting and significant choice for Jeep. Conventional hybrids seem almost incomplete after having the option of using a plug-in hybrid as an electric vehicle. The Grand Cherokee 4x’s 25-mile range is extremely limited, but it was enough for me to run errands, drive to the gym, or grab a bite to eat without burning gas. At the same time, it was much more powerful to drive than a fully electric vehicle. Unpredictable battery performance and scattered charging options are still an obstacle for electric cars. Being able to fall back on a petrol engine gave me peace of mind on country roads far from home. For the most part, hybrid power stretched every drop of throttle further to improve fuel economy. That said, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine can’t hold a candle to the 5.7-liter V8’s power delivery and sound for drivers focused on the experience.

So, the Grand Cherokee 4xe can get you where you need to go and save gas along the way. But is it a nice place to be? In the case of the Summit Reserve edition, the answer is a resounding yes. The cabin is comfortable, bright and filled with advanced materials. I found the controls to be intuitive and having massaging seats and a separate screen for the passenger is a serious upgrade on any road trip. If cross-country driving was on the agenda, grabbing the keys to this Jeep would be high on my priority list.

Who is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe for?

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe rear
Scott Murdock

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe finally feels closer to the highly anticipated Avenger of the future than the beloved XJ Cherokee of the past. Its hybrid powertrain and off-road modes make it a versatile SUV that can handle daily driving and road trips to almost anywhere. The four-cylinder engine and electric motor won’t replace the V8 for many car enthusiasts, but the range and fuel economy make a compelling case for everyday use. Summit Reserve far exceeded my expectations.

At $79,000 as-tested, this is a Jeep that can certainly go toe-to-toe with the Land Rover Discovery Metropolitan Edition (starting at $77,000) and the Lexus GX 460 Luxury (starting at $68,230). It’s more capable off-road than rivals from BMW and Porsche, and far more affordable than anything else in Mercedes’ robust G-Class. Upscale Jeeps of the past have often felt like they were imitating the real deal. This is the genuine article.

Leave a Comment