CHATHAM, Mass. – I saw it but had a hard time believing it: the instrument cluster on the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe indicated 35.7 miles per gallon during my week behind the wheel.
With more than 30 years of Grand Cherokee experience, including years of one as my daily driver, I would have been pleasantly surprised by anything over 20 mpg. But thanks to the plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) powertrain, this latest all-new fifth-generation Grand Cherokee does everything expected of a premium sports utility vehicle and gets exceptional fuel economy.
The 4xe Overland has much more than outstanding fuel efficiency, including a comprehensive suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), a full complement of technology and amenities, as well as traditional Jeep capability to conquer virtually any off-road challenge.
Lots of power along with PHEV fuel economy and energy-efficient rain braking
What has 375 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque, seats five in luxurious comfort, and can easily squeeze more than 35 miles out of every gallon of gas? The 4xe PHEV is both the most powerful and most fuel-efficient member of the entire fifth-generation Grand Cherokee lineup.
At the heart of the system is a two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a high-voltage, liquid-cooled engine-generator unit that spins the engine for “nearly seamless, fuel-saving, start-stop operation and torque,” according to Jeep.
A larger high voltage motor generator is mounted in the transmission replacing the torque converter. Two clutches handle power and torque from the e-motor and the engine. A 400-volt, 17 kWh EV battery, packaged under the Grand Cherokee’s floor and protected by skid plates, supplies the juice to the motors.
And all high voltage electronics are sealed and waterproof. This Trail Rated Jeep 4xe is capable of fording water up to 24 inches.
Charging is done through a port on the front, driver’s side of the SUV and through regenerative braking.
When the driver steps on the brake pedal, powertrain control activates the maximum available regenerative braking, up to 0.25g, from the electric motors to slow the vehicle, augmented by the Grand Cherokee’s traditional friction brakes. With 4×4 engaged, all four wheels feed torque for regenerative braking, maximizing energy recovery. Electricity from regenerative braking is fed to the battery pack to maintain or increase the state of charge.
A driver-selectable Max Regen feature uses a more confident regenerative brake calibration when the vehicle sees zero throttle input from the driver (coasting). Max Regen can brake the Grand Cherokee 4xe faster than standard regenerative braking and generate more electricity for the battery pack.
The rest of the drivetrain features an eight-speed transmission, Jeep’s Quadra Trac II full-time 4×4 system with two-speed transmission and 2.72 low gear.
Power delivery is smooth and immediate, a characteristic of electric and hybrid installations. Additionally, the powertrain can tow a trailer up to 6,000 pounds.
The ADAS list is long
All Grand Cherokee models include a long list of ADAS including:
• Full speed collision warning with active braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection
• Rear intersection detection
• Adaptive cruise control with Stop and Go
• Active lane management
• LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist
• Advanced brake assistant
• Blind spot monitoring
• ParkView rear back-up camera
• ParkSense rear parking assist sensors with stop
The Overland model with the Advanced Protech Group III option package ($2,235) added:
- Active driving assistance system
- Intersection Collision-Assist System
- Night Vision with pedestrian and animal detection
- Integrated terrain camera
- 360º camera
- Parallel and perpendicular parking assistance
- Traffic sign recognition
- Head-up display
An interior filled with luxury, technology and comfort
Jeeps have earned their reputation for rugged, go-anywhere capabilities from the early days providing transportation for US GIs during World War II. This capability continues in the 2022 Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe, but comes with a luxurious, techno-filled interior that would shock any soldier of that era.
The redesigned dash has narrow vents among—in the fully equipped Overland I drove—and three screens: a 10.1-inch digital cluster; a 10.1-inch center-stack infotainment/vehicle management screen and a 10.25-inch front-passenger interactive display (a $1,095 option).
Luxury Tech Group IV ($2,155) means this vehicle came with Nappa leather seats; digital screen mirror with automatic rear dimming; wireless charging pad; 12-way power adjustable front seats with massage device; four-zone automatic climate control and manual second-row window shades.
Jeep’s Uconnect 5 infotainment system with navigation features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with streaming Bluetooth audio, AM/FM/satellite radio and 950 Watts of sound pumped through 19 speakers by the McIntosh High-Performance Audio system.
An SUV package unlike most others
The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Overland conquers one of the main criticisms sport-utility vehicles have received during their growing conquest of the American market: poor fuel economy. This Jeep topped out at 35 miles per gallon, with its range never dropping below 405 miles, during my time in the driver’s seat.
Additionally, the customizable instrument cluster reported that the 4xe covered about 40 percent of the miles under electric power, a key to the big mileage figure.
This is a powerful, comfortable and efficient machine, equal to many luxury cars on the road today. And at $75,305 (base price of $65,760; options and $1,795 destination charge made the final number), a very strong value proposition in the luxury premium SUV category indeed.
Next week, TBR is driving the two-door Bronco.