2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Two-Row Spy Testing

The two-row WL-series Jeep Grand Cherokee has been spied on local roads ahead of its launch.

Jeep confirmed the two-row Grand Cherokee will launch locally in the fourth quarter of 2022, with plug-in hybrid 4xe models to follow in the first quarter of 2023. We’ve contacted Jeep Australia to confirm if there have been any changes to the launch timing.

“Two-row WL is already here. And it’s already being tested and evaluated, all the data is being fed back,” Jeep Australia CEO Kevin Flynn told CarExpert in May.

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“We have a full-time employee working on that project right now, feeding back the data. And so yes, it’s happening. And there will be a continued commitment to doing that.”

Delivered Credit: CarExpert

Mr Flynn said it was “more about validation” than developing a tailored song for the local market.

“To be fair, while there is some uniqueness to the environment here, one of the big ones is just the sheer length of dirt road-type environments plus the heat. That’s very, very important to us,” Mr. Flynn said, noting that the WL was developed in about ten countries.

“So when they then pull the settings together and then set up the vehicle for us, we validate that that spec is either right or wrong or whatever, and feed that back.

“To be honest with you: the car we got is perfect.”

Delivered Credit: CarExpert

The Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid is also being tested locally and will be the first PHEV sold by Jeep in Australia. The 4xe is only available in the shorter two-row body and not the three-row L.

The example photographed appears to be a base petrol Laredo here for engineering and evaluation purposes, with its badges removed.

We don’t necessarily expect the two-row WL lineup to open with a Laredo as Jeep Australia has moved away from offering these entry-level trims seen in the North American market.

Currently, every member of the local Jeep lineup now opens with a sportier-looking Nighthawk instead, including the three-row Grand Cherokee L launched earlier this year.

Delivered Credit: CarExpert

CarExpert previously understood that the two-row setup will be offered in Night Eagle, Limited and Summit Reserve trims, with the 4xe only expected to be offered in the higher two models.

The shorter two-row body is also offered in a more off-road Trailhawk variant in North America.

Jeep currently advertises its Grand Cherokee L Series with a base price of $83,500 before on-road costs, with the Limited priced at $89,500 and the Summit Reserve priced at $116,700. Of course, we expect the shorter two-row to be more affordable, though it’s unclear by how much.

Trailhawk 4xe Credit: CarExpert

The 266kW/530Nm 5.7-litre Hemi petrol V8 has not been introduced locally, meaning all Grand Cherokee models sold in Australia exclusively use the naturally aspirated 3.6-litre Pentastar petrol V6.

This gives 210kW of power and 344Nm of torque. Jeep says it would be “possible” for its new, more powerful inline-six to be installed in the Grand Cherokee, but stopped short of confirming such an addition.

Meanwhile, the most powerful Grand Cherokee to be offered locally will be the 4xe, which combines a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a 17kWh battery, for total system outputs of 280kW and 637Nm.

Summit Reserve 4xe Credit: CarExpert

As with the three-row L, don’t expect to see a diesel although a significant number of large SUVs still offer an oil, with the 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 dying with the previous WK2 range.

“In this segment I hear diesel… that’s what we need. If we don’t have diesel, we can’t sell,” Jeep global CEO Christian Meunier told CarExpert in September.

“I don’t believe in this. The market will evolve, won’t it? Because diesel will disappear. Diesel will die.

“It will die in Europe. And because the big volume came from Europe and the European manufacturers are really, really marketing diesel.”

Trailhawk 4xe Credit: CarExpert

Mr Meunier said he sees plug-in hybrids as a good bridge in markets such as Australia until there is an infrastructure to support full electric vehicles.

The discontinued turbodiesel V6, which is being phased out by the company’s parent company Stellantis, accounted for about 57 percent of WK2 Grand Cherokee sales over the years, and its absence is sorely felt in a segment of the market where diesels remain popular.

Jeep Australia trusts that diesel enthusiasts think long and hard about how much they need the capacity of an oil machine.

Grand Cherokee L, Grand Cherokee 4xe and Grand Cherokee Credit: CarExpert

“Undoubtedly, we’re going to have some diesel customers who are going to have to rethink and figure out what they actually need,” Flynn told CarExpert earlier this year.

“And it’s quite possible that the vehicle actually still has 2800[kg braked towing capacity] will still be enough for them to draw what they need to draw.”

Mr Flynn also added that things were “moving very, very quickly away from diesel”.

The new WL, by contrast, has a braked towing capacity of 2813kg in Night Eagle and Limited trims and 2268kg in Summit Reserve – less than the 3500kg offered by the old WK2 diesel and large SUVs such as the Isuzu MU-X.

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