If you were hoping for a supercharged V8, you're out of luck.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. If you were hoping for a mad special edition along the lines of the famous Trackhawk, we're sorry to disappoint. Jeep's 4xe models are proving far more lucrative, and the Wrangler is currently the best-selling plug-in hybrid in America. Therefore, it makes sense to base this celebratory edition on what's bound to become a top-selling hybrid.
The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary edition debuts at the 2022 Detroit Auto Show as a package, available for just $4,700. Jeep did not specify which trims it would be available on. Still, since neither the exterior nor the interior upgrades interfere with the standard car, and it will likely be available on all models. The order books for the 2023 model will open later this year.
You can tell the 30th Anniversary edition apart thanks to its blacked-out appearance and modified front fascia. Black additions include 20-inch black wheels, special-edition badging and body-color rear fascia, lower moldings, sill claddings, and wheel flares. Like other 4xe models, it gets the now familiar blue tow hooks.
While all of the above is nice, most of the significant upgrades are to be found on the inside. The 30th Anniversary comes standard with black Capri leather seats (ventilated for the front occupants), a wireless charging pad, and the larger 10.1-inch touchscreen running Uconnect 5. This caters for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and 3D navigation.
Jeep also includes front/rear park assist, Intersection Collision Assist, passive entry, rain-sensing windshield wipers, digital rearview mirror, and a 360-degree surround-view camera system. Not bad for $4,700.
The Grand Cherokee 4xe is driven by the same PHEV powertrain as the Wrangler 4xe. It consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and a 17 kWh battery pack, good for 25 miles of all-electric range. The total system output is 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to the permanent 4WD system with a two-speed transfer case.
Thanks to five terrain modes, 10.9 inches of ground clearance, and an electronically locking rear differential, the 4xe is a capable off-roader. Jeep also claims it can do the famous 22-mile Rubicon Trail on electricity alone, which means it's old-school Trail Rated and not Trail Rated according to the less-hardcore definition Jeep implemented in 2004.
Even with the 30th Anniversary package included, all but the top-end Summit Reserve 4xe qualify for the new $7,500 tax credit, now payable at the point of sale. Basically, the government pays for the package, and you still get $2,800 off. All models are American-made; only the Summit Reserve costs more than the $80,000 cutoff for SUVs.
"When the original Jeep Grand Cherokee debuted in 1992 by famously crashing through the glass at Cobo Hall, it literally shattered expectations and redefined what a premium SUV could be," said Jim Morrison, senior vice president and head of Jeep brand North America. "Three decades later and more than seven million Grand Cherokees sold, the most awarded SUV ever is still forging new ground with the electrified plug-in-hybrid 4xe model. The Grand Cherokee 4xe 30th Anniversary edition underscores how far the Grand Cherokee has come and is yet another example of the Jeep brand's goal to be the electrification leader in SUVs."