The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV segment keeps getting more crowded. This week, Jeep unveiled details of the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe, the first-ever electrified Grand Cherokee.
In the Grand Cherokee's case, "electrified" doesn't mean all-electric. Instead, Jeep's 4xe terminology stands for a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The PHEV system in the new Grand Cherokee 4xe will offer an all-electric range of around 25 miles and a 57 MPGe rating thanks to a 17-kWh battery. According to Jeep, the system will produce 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The electric side of the powertrain uses two electric motors and is powered by a 400-volt battery pack, while the gas portion uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Jeep says a clutch opens to remove any mechanical linkage between the engine and the motor when operating in electric mode.
When it comes to off-road performance, the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe works as well as the company's fossil-fuel models, Jeep says. The electrified SUV has a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 pounds, 11.3 inches of ground clearance, 24 inches of water-fording ability, and 4-wheel drive with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio and a 47.4:1 crawl ratio. Jeep says the battery—and the rest of the powertrain's high-voltage electronics—are sealed and waterproof to make that water fording possible.
All that advanced technology means that the Trailhawk version of the 4xe could traverse the famous Rubicon Trail in full-electric operation, Jeep says. However, you don't have to opt for that trim to plug in the new Grand Cherokee. The PHEV powertrain will be available in the Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve trims.
When it's not being used on the trail, owners can set the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe's gas-electric system to a drive mode that emphasizes fuel economy instead of rock crawling, best for commuting or long-distance road trips. Hybrid mode is standard and designed to be the "best combination of fuel efficiency and performance," Jeep says. Electric mode is pretty much what it sounds like, putting the Grand Cherokee into electric-only mode while the battery has juice or until the driver requests more power than the electric motor can provide. Finally, eSave can keep some electricity in the battery (if you want to use it somewhere down the road) or even charge the pack using the gas engine.
Inside, the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe uses parent company Stellantis' Uconnect 5 system, which can display its infotainment and navigation information on a 10.1-inch display and receive the latest software through over-the-air updates. Buyers who expect the SUV to regularly be as crowded as the segment can opt for 10.1-inch rear-seat entertainment displays that come with Amazon Fire TV built in. The new electrified Grand Cherokee also offers several advanced safety features, like Active Driving Assist with what Jeep calls "hands-on automated driving," along with 360-degree surround-view and night-vision cameras.
The standard Jeep Grand Cherokee will hit U.S. dealerships later this year, while the 4xe won't arrive until early 2022.