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2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe PHEV Review - by Larry Nutson


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2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
Now with plug-in hybrid power

By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
THE AUTO CHANNEL


The Jeep brand is celebrating 80 years of technological innovation and 4x4 leadership and the Grand Cherokee has received a wide range of advancements.

The fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee has built on its legacy as the most awarded SUV ever, bringing an all-new architecture, new plug-in hybrid powertrain, all-new exterior design, and all-new interior with world-class craftsmanship.

Last year the all-new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L was introduced. With an all-new design and styling the longer and more spacious L-model, for the first time in Grand Cherokee’s history, offers three rows of seats.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

For 2022 the design advancements seen on the L-model were extended to the two-row Grand Cherokee. A new ultimate off-road Grand Cherokee, the new Trailhawk, further expanded the Jeep model program. And most recently the first electrified Grand Cherokee, the Grand Cherokee 4xe has come to market.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe (that’s, Four-by-Eee) plug-in hybrid (PHEV) was first to get this new powertrain. It was named Green SUV of the Year by leading industry publication Green Car Journal.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe is basically an additional powertrain choice in the well know model range. Under the hood is the 270-HP 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s available in other Jeeps. Replacing both the traditional electric starter and alternator is a front-mounted belt-driven high-voltage motor generator. This unit provides engine starting.

An 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic is slightly modified for the 4xe. Instead of the conventional torque convertor, a 134-HP high-voltage electric motor generator unit with two clutches sits between the gasoline engine and the transmission. The front clutch functions to disengage the gasoline motor for electric-only operation. The rear clutch is used to engage the transmission.

Total system output is 375-HP with a torque rating of 470 lb.-ft. It delivers 25 miles of all-electric range and 56 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe). A 400-volt 17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is completely sealed and waterproof. The Grand Cherokee 4xe can ford a water depth of 24 inches.

The only give-away that this Grand Cherokee is a PHEV is the charging port located on the driver’s-side just ahead of the windshield and the 4xe badging.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Three selectable drive modes, Hybrid, Electric, and eSave allow for the best use of the system. The usual driving mode is hybrid which uses both the gasoline engine and the electric motor for driving power. Battery power is used first and then the gasoline engine starts for drive-power.

Electric mode is battery-only power for quiet, nearly silent and zero emission driving. The 25 miles solely of electric power might not seem like much. However, it’s plenty in an urban setting where you only drive short distances doing a daily household routine.

The eSave mode is just what it sounds like. Operation is on the gasoline engine only and battery charge is saved. Like all hybrids, regenerative braking puts electric charge back into the battery. Depending on driving style and traffic conditions, it has been my experience that regen braking can extend driving range a noticeable amount without needing to plug-in to recharge.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe is offered in a base model priced at $58,465 plus $1,795 for shipping. Also available is a Trailhawk model for $63,660, an Overland model for $67,430 and a Summit Reserve model for $75,675. More information and specifications on the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe can be found at www.jeep.com.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

I recently spent time driving the Summit Reserve model finished in Diamond Black Crystal Pearl-Coat with a Tupelo and Black Palermo leather interior. The Summit Reserve is very well equipped with premium 21-inch wheels, 19-speaker McIntosh High-performance audio, a 950 Watt amplifier, active noise control, head-up display, and night vision with pedestrian and animal detection.

Around my Chicago home I experienced electric-only driving on city streets. There’s instant torque from the electric motor and acceleration is rapid. Out on the highway I enjoyed cruising along near 60mph running only on battery power.

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe has an array of more than 110 advanced safety and security features that provide collision warning, collision intervention, and driving control assistance.

New for 2023, the Grand Cherokee 4xe exclusively offers the Trailhawk model. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe conquered the formidable Rubicon Trail and did so under all-electric power using Electric mode.

Take note. The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe has been eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit which applies to certain new electrified vehicles. However, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 makes change to this credit which is now referred to as a Clean Vehicle Credit. Check for the latest details on this should you go shopping 4xe.

Happy motoring!

© 2022 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy