2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4Xe
Class: Midsize Crossover
Passenger capacity: 5
Miles driven: 293
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A-|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||B|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||375-horsepower 2.0L|
|Engine Type||4-cyl turbocharged plug-in hybrid|
Real-world fuel economy: 47.2 mpg
Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 56 MPGe/23 mpg (city/highway combined)
Fuel type: Regular gasoline recommended
Base price: $56,260 (not including $1795 destination charge)
Options: Special paint ($395)
Price as tested: $67,450
The great: Useful EV range, promise of off-road adventure
The good: Spacious cabin with premium trimmings; plenty of power
The not so good: Crude hybrid operation, pricey in 4Xe trim
The plug-in hybrid Jeep Grand Cherokee 4Xe works so well in EV mode, you wish it would never have to slip back into gasoline operation. Forgive me for skipping to the end here, but the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4Xe is really two vehicles in one: a slick and effective EV, and a somewhat disappointing 4-cylinder hybrid.
For those unfamiliar, 4Xe is Jeep’s new plug-in hybrid brand. The moniker was first applied to the 2021 Jeep Wrangler, which in said trim makes use of the same drivetrain as the Grand Cherokee 4Xe. To date, all Jeep 4Xe offerings come only with AWD/4WD.
The 2022 Grand Cherokee 4Xe lineup includes an entry base model, and ascends pricewise through the off-road ready Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and topline Summit Reserve. Slotting in price between the base and Trailhawk for 2023 is a 30th Anniversary trim level. And, interestingly, the Trailhawk will be offered only as a 4Xe model for ’23. Note, too, that Jeep does not yet offer the long-wheelbase Grand Cherokee L with the 4Xe drivetrain. For a more complete look at the Grand Cherokee 4Xe lineup, and some great pics, click here.
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Instead of the V6 or available V8 offered in other Grand Cherokees, 4Xe models employ a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor. When fully charged, a 17.3-kWh battery provides sufficient power for the Grand Cherokee to operate in EV mode for an EPA-estimated 25 miles. Once the battery is depleted, the Grand Cherokee operates as a conventional hybrid. Using a typical level-2 home charger, the Grand Cherokee 4Xe battery can go from depleted to fully charged in a little over two hours.
Test Drive: 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe
In Consumer Guide testing, we found the Grand Cherokee 4Xe a delight to drive in EV mode. Power delivery is immediate and smooth, and, without the gasoline engine in operation, the cabin is especially quiet. When needed, the gas engine will kick in to provide extra power for passing and merging, shutting off again when demand subsides. With a total 375 horsepower on tap, the Grand Cherokee 4Xe does not want for muscle.
First Spin: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
Careful to plug-in as often as possible, we drove 167 miles of our 293-mile evaluation in EV mode. We observed a net 47.2 mpg; credit the 4Xe system and our charging diligence. Note that, in mild, battery-friendly temperatures, we were enjoying EV range comfortably in excess of the EPA-estimated 25 miles.
Disappointingly, we found the gas engine itself coarse and irritatingly loud. The transition from EV operation to gas/hybrid operation is impossible to miss, as the engine kicks in with a breathy roar in sharp contrast with the near-silent electric driving enjoyed up until that moment.
Also, we need to talk about the Trailhawk trim level. Though attractively priced relative to other Grand Cherokee models, the Trailhawk is something of a commitment. Aimed at serious trail seekers, Trailhawk is the most off-road-capable Grand Cherokee. Its standard hardware upgrades include Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4-wheel-drive system with an electronic limited-slip rear axle, 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, Selec-Speed control (essentially an off-road cruise-control system), Quadra-Lift air suspension, a front sway-bar disconnect system (this activates by pressing a button, and allows for improved suspension articulation off road), front tow hooks, steel skid plates, and an integrated off-road camera system. Unique Trailhawk exterior details include model-specific front and rear fasciae–the front fascia brings a five-degree improvement in approach angle, which makes it easier to clear obstacles when off-road.
Though remarkably capable in the rough stuff, the Trailhawk is the least comfortable Grand Cherokee in daily use. Though not harsh, we found ride quality to be compromised by excessive motion, especially over broken road surfaces. Additionally, our test truck tended to wander at highway speeds, requiring special attention to stay in a given lane.
This is in sharp contrast to other Grand Cherokees we’ve drive, which are very refined on the road, and excellent highway cruisers. We know there are plenty of folks willing to put up with said compromises in exchange for the Trailhawk’s off-road capabilities, and we’re cool with that. But for most folks, we think another trim level might be a better choice. Be sure to test drive before you buy.
First Spin: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L
In short, the system works. And if you use the system—we mean taking care to plug in—the Grand Cherokee 4Xe can be a rewarding and surprisingly efficient premium crossover. We’re no fans of the gas engine, however. So if you’re not planning to plug-in often, you’ll find the Grand Cherokee 4Xe little more than a mediocre hybrid.
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First Spin: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe