2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe First Look Review: The Perfect All-Rounder

First Look / Comments

Electrification certainly looks fun in this guise.

Jeep is now in its 80th year, and over that time, it has become a truly iconic brand. Its offerings have diversified greatly over this period too, with the automaker evolving from a maker of military-spec off-roaders to a luxury marque that even produces a Hellcat-powered SUV. This week we saw the reveal of the all-new Grand Cherokee as the brand continues to seek remarkable success for another generation. Along with a fresh design and more tech, the Grand Cherokee now gets an electrified powertrain, but is this a well-thought-out product or a quick gimmick to fit in with current trends? Let's take a look.

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Front View
Side View

Exterior Design: Hybrid-Specific Touches

It feels like forever since the Grand Cherokee saw its design updated, but this new model pulls off the remarkable trick of referencing its heritage without looking stale. The roof is lowered and tapered for aerodynamic performance and efficiency. The beltline has been lowered too, allowing more light into the cabin. Speaking of tradition, the seven-slot grille still features, now wider and larger and fitted to a new fascia hiding advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). You also get new active grille shutters like on a BMW, along with front wheel spats, air curtains, a hood aero flick, and vertical-pillar spoilers at the rear. That rear end looks sleeker than ever too, thanks to narrow taillights connected by a full-width trim bar. With the option for wheels up to 21 inches in size, you can easily make this look like a much more expensive vehicle. The Trailhawk gets identifying blue tow hooks, but all hybrid models can be told apart thanks to a charging port on the driver's-side front fender.

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Front-End Bumper
Aft View
Rearward Vision
View Out Back

Interior Design: Screens For Miles

You can't just refresh the exterior of a new car, so the interior gets a redesign too, with dual 10.1-inch screens handling driver info and Uconnect 5 infotainment, the latter of which boasts wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Jeep hasn't only borrowed from BMW either, with the passenger side of the vehicle eligible for an optional 10.25-inch screen, similar to what you get in a new Ferrari. Rear-seat screens can also be specced with Amazon Fire TV, but it's the front occupants that will be getting the most seat time. Thus, new 16-way adjustable front seats are provided with lumbar support and memory on offer alongside a massaging function. The first two rows also qualify for heating and ventilation, while customizable LED lighting with daytime/nighttime settings is standard.

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Driver Seat
Front Seats
Infotainment System

Safety And Technology: Top Of Its Class

We touched on some of the tech above, but there's a lot more to cover. A new digital rearview mirror is on offer, as is a wireless charging pad, the option of connecting two smartphones via Bluetooth, enhanced Amazon Alexa functionality, TomTom navigation with over-the-air updates, and a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot. Standard safety features include full-speed frontal collision warning with active braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, active lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors. Optionally available are innovations like a night vision camera, front cross-traffic alert, a drowsy driver detection system, park assist, traffic sign recognition, and a surround-view camera.

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Charging Point
Head Up Display
Exterior Details

Powertrain And Range: Plenty Of Both

This is the first Cherokee with a plug-in hybrid variant, boasting two electric motors, a 400-volt, 17-kWh battery pack, and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. In total, the setup generates 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Jeep is aiming to achieve 25 miles of all-electric range and an estimated 57 MPGe. Total range is estimated to be over 440 miles, but this will obviously drop considerably if you make the most of the GC 4xe's 6,000-lb towing capacity.

Despite its electric nature, this remains a Jeep at heart, and the automaker claims a water fording capacity of up to 24 inches. Along with a two-speed Quadra Trac II transfer case, this is one hybrid that won't disappoint on the trails. In the available Trailhawk 4xe trim, a rear electronic limited-slip differential, Selec-Terrain traction management, and 10.9 inches of ground clearance are on offer. Interestingly, Jeep says that this model conquered the Rubicon Trail on electric power alone.

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Front View Driving
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Rear Bumper

Pricing And Competition: In Good Company

Pricing is yet to be announced, but don't expect it to be cheap. The regular Wrangler starts at around $29,000 while the Wrangler 4xe starts at over $51,000, so we expect the Grand Cherokee 4xe to carry a similarly premium price tag compared to past iterations. We expect the new Grand Cherokee to arrive in the US in the last quarter of this year, but the hybrid version will only get here in early 2022, with sales to begin shortly thereafter.

As for competition, the typical comparison for the regular Grand Cherokee is against the Ford Explorer and the Toyota 4Runner. The former is available as a hybrid that costs around $51,000 while the latter is only available with a traditional powertrain. Jeep getting a jump on some of its rivals could prove invaluable, but we'll have to wait for next year before we can give a verdict on the new arrival.

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Forward Vision
Forward Vision

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