We’ve had some good experiences with Jeep’s luxury brand new Grand Cherokee refresh, but most of our time so far has been in the three – line L model. Although we love the fifth generation Grand Cherokee’s freeway journey, its incredible technology and the luxury that is on the inside, the L just has a different feel. It lacks the sportiness of the previous two-row, and its extra size prevents it from being a truly believable trail machine (although you might be surprised at how deep down a trail it can get you).
All this changes with the two-row Grand Cherokee and its nicer proportions, shorter wheelbase and more compact dimensions. Thankfully, we have found everything we have loved about Grand over the years intact in the new WL two-row model. Add that Trailhawk package and the improvement is even more significant. Take it a step further with the 4xe version and you have a forward-leaning, class-leading SUV.
With incredible consumer acceptance of the Wrangler 4xe, especially by enthusiasts, Jeep is now turning its attention to the Grand Cherokee. With the 4xe (pronounced “four-by-e”) variant, the Grand Cherokee adds the Wrangler’s 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder PHEV and eight-speed automatic driveline to the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and optional 5.7 -liters Hemi V-8 offers.
When we are dealing with future powertrains, we come to the table open-minded and cautiously optimistic. We realize that the whole message of zero emissions is mainly about marketing spin, but whether you buy it or not, electric vehicles are here to stay. So, for us, an electrified vehicle should be judged on its ability – and its ability to make the base vehicle better and add features – versus all the misguided attempts to save the world.
This is the case with the plug-in Grand Cherokee 4xe, where it feels like functions and capabilities are achieved without giving up anything. For example, 4xe with 375 horsepower has the same torque of 470 lb-ft as the V-8 (270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque on gas alone, compared to 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque from the 5.7). liters V-8), but it is about one second faster to 60 than V-8, while beating the fuel economy of gas V-6 by about 1 mpg when running on gas alone. It comes to the table with a number of 56 mpg-e, which surpasses both Wrangler 4xes 49 mpg-e and Range Rover Sport PHEV’s 42 mpg-e with a not insignificant sum.
The most off-road capable of all Grand Cherokee models is the Trailhawk, which, when selected as a 4xe, provides an exciting package. All Trailhawk-specific Grand Cherokees have a Quadra Trac II 4×4 system with a low range of 2.72: 1 and a creep ratio of 47.4: 1. The rear eLSD unit can transfer 100 percent of the torque to the wheel with the most traction, and each Trailhawk has a class-exclusive front electronic disconnect anti-roll bar for improved articulation. Jeep also made sure there was enough structure to rate its towbars at £ 10,000, or about 1.5 times the GVWR, while the roof rails could carry a dynamic load of £ 150. Also unique to the Trailhawk are the 30.5-inch 265 / 60R18 Goodyear Wrangler Territory off-road tires on Trailhawk-specific 18-inch wheels.
Trailhawk models come standard with Quadra-Lift air suspension with semi-active damping and 4.7-inch adjustment. In the highest of five settings, the Grand benefits from 10.9 inches of ground clearance, 24 inches of water discharge capacity and a best-in-class approach angle of 35.7 degrees, along with a class-leading departure angle of 30 degrees, and a track-friendly turning angle of 22.3 degrees. The new air suspension is a faster, more refined closed-loop system that will no longer make you turn off the return springs off-road as a WK or WK2 Grand would do.
Trailhawk 4x is characterized by its blue accents, as on towbars, wheels and marks, and is completely slippery, including a 3.5 mm thick battery ski plate to keep the 17.3 kWh battery protected from track damage. Trailhawk 4xes weigh about 500 pounds more than their combustion siblings and are rated to pull up to 6,000 pounds.
Inside, the Trailhawk 4xe is beautifully mounted and generously equipped with Capri leather-trimmed electric seats with suede inserts, heated front and rear rows, heated steering wheel, 10.1-inch display, 10.25-inch front passenger display, 506-watt nine-inch Alpine sound system, load mounts, automatic climate control with dual zones, floor mats for all weathers and Uconnect 5 with Jeep terrain sides. The Grand 4xe is spacious, quiet and comfortable for the trip.
While driving, we discovered that the Grand Cherokee 4xe is easy to steer and has a fantastic highway ride, partly due to the semi-active, multi-link air suspension. Stable than before thanks to a track width that is 1.4 inches wider than the previous WK2 model, the handling is precise, and with perfect steering, the Grand is an engaging partner on crooked roads.
The acceleration was surprisingly fast, and when the 2.0-liter turbo and engine work together, it’s an impressive installation. One aspect of its PHEV vehicles that Jeep got right is the E Selec, which offers three powertrain modes:
- Hybrid: This is the standard mode, where Grand will optimize the driveline to determine the mix of ICE and electrical assistance for the best combination of fuel efficiency and performance.
- Electrical: In this mode, the Grand 4xe will only operate on electric power until the battery is discharged or the driver demands maximum torque, for example at wide open throttle or when accelerating up a hill.
- e-Save: This mode prioritizes the ICE motor to save battery charge for later use, such as driving to a path and running it on fully electric with full charge.
The driver can choose between these modes with easily accessible buttons to the left of the steering wheel, and can also choose to prioritize battery saving and battery charging within the Uconnect system. The Grand Cherokee 4xe will travel approximately 250 km on a single charge and takes approximately 2.5 hours to fully charge on a level 2 plug-in charger with a maximum charging speed of 7.2 kW.
It’s not worth it that it was a couple of times on the road where we felt a little stumbling when the driveline switched between the positions, but that was not the norm, and the driveline felt mostly well sorted. When we played with the different modes, a new dimension arose for driving when we gamified our inputs to take advantage of the maximum rain and get back a certain range after draining the battery.
Although the Trailhawk 4xe will spend most of its time on the road, Jeep made sure it was designed to be the most capable SUV in its class. In fact, Jeep proved the point by completing the Rubicon in a Trailhawk 4xe on battery only, with a single charge. In Texas, where we tested the Trailhawk 4xe, Jeep put us on one of the most demanding terrain trails we’ve seen for almost all vehicle launches, except the Wrangler.
With a really low range and five Selec Terrain modes (Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud / Sand), Grand felt ready to go at the touch of a button. On the cliffs, the Trailhawk 4xe excelled at crawling, flexing its fantastic brake grip system and a rear eLSD that proved to be responsive and efficient, always getting power to the wheel with traction (even when you were off the ground). The 360-degree surround camera helped us see track obstacles and past the hood on high inclines and in battery mode only, and the immediate torque and responsive pedal inspired the piloting of the Grand through technical terrain. To prove how important capacity and the enthusiast is for Jeep, the company equipped our test vehicles with Mopar rock controls as an option.
Another driving aid in the Grand 4xe toolbox is Selec-Speed control, which acts as a cruise control for the trail. It turned out to be easy to modulate and keep the Grand at a preset speed, regardless of terrain. 4xe can also take advantage of the rain, which can act as a de facto backback control on steep slopes, although we would like to see Jeep implement several levels of aggressiveness for further control. If there was anything else we would add to the Trailhawk 4xe package, it would be the ability to export power from the hybrid driveline – for example, to run a campsite.
One last note from our 4xe off-road experience: Anyone who tuned the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s stability control needs a raise. On hard-packed trails, the Grand is tossable and fun, and shockingly easy to push and slide through corners without the electronic babysitters stepping in to prematurely end your audition band for the next Gymkhana. It has instant power, and with the fantastic steering and strong brakes, the chassis encourages the driver to dance with it in the dirt.
At the end of our test, we set off and thought that the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe could be the best offer in the range and one of the few PHEVs we would consider for our own driveway. With a starting price of $ 62,485 plus a $ 1,795 destination fee (a $ 8,250 premium over the gas-V-6 Trailhawk), the Trailhawk 4xe is really proudly priced, but it comes with a comprehensive list of standard features, and government tax breaks and incentives should dampen the sticker shock and bring it more in line with its gas-powered siblings. If you are in the market for a capable, powerful, efficient, luxurious, technology-forward and comfortable SUV all in one package, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe is definitely one that should be at the top of your list.
Specifications for the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe
|BASIC PRICE||$ 64 280|
|LAYOUT||Rear engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||2.0L 270 hp, 295 lb-ft turbocharged direct-injection DOHC 16-valve 4-cyl, plus 134 hp / 195-lb-ft electric motor; 375 hp / 470 lb-ft cam|
|EMPTY WEIGHT||5,524 lbs|
|L x W x H||193.5 x 77.5 x 70.9 inches|
|0-60 MPH||6.0 sec (mfr est)|
|EPA FUEL ECON||23 mpg combined (est) / 56 MPGe|
|EPA RANGE, COMB||470 mil|
Looks good! More details?