Jeep is celebrating thirty years of production on one of its most popular models, the Grand Cherokee, with the 2023 model year. Taking it a step further, the company long known for its off-road and rugged designs is marking the occasion by updating the legendary model with modern technology .
It’s hard to believe it’s been thirty years since Jeep crashed the then-brand-new first example of the Jeep Grand Cherokee into the world’s eye after literally smashing the SUV through a window at the 1992 North American International Auto Show.
Now, to celebrate, the 30th Anniversary Edition is being produced in the planet-friendly 4xe iteration introduced by the company in 2020. The plug-in hybrid version of the Grand Cherokee comes with some updated features and several aesthetic changes but remains an example of the 2023 model year Grand Cherokee at heart .
Let’s take a closer look at what you should know about the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary Edition!
A brief look back at the past thirty years of the Grand Cherokee
Jeep’s ideas for what would eventually become the Grand Cherokee originated back in 1983 with American Motors Corporation (AMC) beginning design on a successor to the Jeep Cherokee XJ. The basic design culminated in the XJC Concept 1 show car in 1989, and from there the company began development of the Grand Cherokee using then-new technology, computer-aided design software.
Chrysler bought the Jeep brand in 1987. The desire of Chrysler CEO Lee Lacocca to redesign minivans for Chrysler delayed the launch of the Grand Cherokee for a few years, and it eventually ended up as a competitor to Ford’s Explorer, but with a unibody construction concept.
Just a few years later, in 1992, the Grand Cherokee entered the world in a blaze of glory by debuting at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The SUV was a Poppy Red 1993 Grand Cherokee ZJ Laredo and then-Chrysler President Robert Lutz drove the vehicle, accompanied by Detroit’s mayor (Coleman Young) as a passenger and with a police escort, up the steps of Cabo Hall and through a glass window. .
Breaking into the world in such an exciting way did a lot to draw attention to the new model and the Grand Cherokee quickly became a staple in the Jeep lineup. Production began at the Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit, and the SUV was the first full-scale production model in the United States to be produced using HFC-134a refrigerant in the HVAC system (a CFC-free version that is safer for the environment).
The Grand Cherokee has continued to innovate over the past thirty years, incorporating technological updates and upping the power at every turn. From the 707-horse Trackhawk to the eco-friendly 4ex, the SUV has stood the test of time.
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary Edition specs, features and highlights
While the 30th Anniversary Edition Jeep Grand Cherokee isn’t entirely unique from its non-anniversary counterpart, it’s still an impressive ride. The 2023 Grand Cherokee 4xe is a plug-in hybrid version of the current SUV. The company announced earlier this year that it will only make the Grand Cherokee’s most powerful iteration, the Trailhawk, in the new 4xe plug-in hybrid form going forward, so it comes as no surprise that their 30th anniversary iteration would also feature the hybrid powertrain.
The Grand Cherokee comes with capacity for up to 270 horsepower or 375 net power from the hybrid system at 5,250 RPM and with four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 2.0-liter I4 DOHC Di Turbo PHEV engine working in conjunction with a 17.3 kWh battery powers the truck, and it comes standard with a heavy-duty suspension.
Details of the SUV were shared at the North American International Auto Show this year and can also be viewed online via Stellanti’s virtual car show. The exterior of the 30th Anniversary Edition features a blacked-out aesthetic with 20-inch black wheels and black accents. It also features commemorative badging and body-coloured accents on the door sills, wheel arches and rear fascia for a touch of extra class. The two tow hooks add a flash of bright blue color to the SUV.
Inside the cabin of the Grand Cherokee are black Capri leather seats with ventilation. Additional cabin upgrades include an Alpine sound system, 10.1-inch touchscreen with the latest software (Uconnect from Chrysler), and a wireless charging pad. The technology is also worthwhile, with parking sensors, a 360-degree camera system, digital rearview mirror, rain-sensing wiper blades and keyless entry.
Rather than a full trim, the 30th Anniversary Edition of the 2023 Grand Cherokee 4xe is actually an upgrade package offered for a limited time to the existing model. The upgrade costs $4,700, but with the history behind this amazing model, it makes sense that many Jeep enthusiasts won’t hesitate to pay the difference.