New Jeep Grand Cherokee announced with PHEV, off-road versions
Jeep has unveiled the all-new 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup. The fifth generation adds a plug-in hybrid 4xe variant and a Trailhawk off-road edition. Aiming for a premium SUV market, the Grand Cherokee will hit showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The new Grand Cherokee brings several firsts to the large utility segment, and to the Jeep model itself. The Quadra-Lift air suspension system, which can raise the Grand Cherokee’s body to 11.3 inches (287 mm) of clearance and allow up to 24 inches (610 mm) of water fording, is a start. Sway bar disconnect on the Trailhawk model is another. A front passenger interactive display and Amazon Fire TV-enabled rear entertainment systems are more additions.
But most interesting of all? The off-road-centric Trailhawk edition can be combined with the 4xe plug-in hybrid system. Jeep says that the Trailhawk 4xe model conquered the Rubicon Trail under all-electric power.
The Grand Cherokee takes its powertrains from the Jeep lineup, starting with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 for the base option, delivering 293 horsepower (218.5 kW) and 260 pound-feet (352.5 Nm) of torque. Towing with this engine is rated at 6,200 lb (2,812 kg).
The next option is the well-vetted 5.7-liter V8 Hemi, which outputs 357 HP (266 kW) and 390 lb-ft (528.8 Nm) of torque. This engine features Fuel Saver Technology, which deactivates up to four cylinders during cruising to improve fuel economy by as much as 20 percent. Towing with this engine is a class-leading 7,200 lb (3,265.9 kg). Both of these gasoline engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
A front-axle disconnect system is new on the 4x4 models. This disconnects the front axle of the Jeep when all-wheel drive isn’t needed – such as at highway speeds – to improve fuel economy. The system automatically reconnects when needed, and connects permanently when the driver engages 4WD manually.
The 4xe PHEV (plug-in hybrid) model is similar to Jeep’s Wrangler 4xe, aiming for roughly the same metrics. In the Grand Cherokee, Jeep says it's targeting 25 miles (40 km) of all-electric driving and an overall fuel economy rating of 57 MPGe (4.1 l/100km). The 4xe model combines two electric motors with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
A 400-volt battery pack can be recharged from a plug, through regenerative braking, and via the engine. Total system output is 375 horsepower (280 kW) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque. Total range between batteries and fuel is estimated at 440 miles (708 km), which is comparable to the roughly 500 miles of range given with the V6 model Grand Cherokee.
The 4xe model can be had in most of the trim options offered for the Grand Cherokee, including the Limited, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve. It’s also available with the off-road-centric Trailhawk model, making a Trailhawk 4xe overlanding model a true option.
The Trailhawk adds a sway-bar disconnect to maximize front axle articulation, something not found on any other large SUV. Jeep’s new Selec-Speed Control maintains vehicle speeds while the transfer case is in 4LO for obstacle traversing and steep inclines/declines. High-strength steel skid plates, red tow hooks, 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, and an optional Trailhawk hood decal are also on the off-road model.
Also featured on the Trailhawk 4xe are a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio via a two-speed transfer case and an electronic limited-slip differential to the rear axle. Ground clearance is 10.9 inches (277 mm) and includes 24 inches (610 mm) of water fording capability. Crawl ratio is 47.4:1. On the 4xe model, tow hooks are changed to blue and the 18-inch wheels gain blue accents. The black-matte Trailhawk hood decal option gets some blue added as well.
The new Grand Cherokee additionally features a host of safety technologies and driver’s aids as standard, including full-speed collision warning, active braking, and pedestrian/cyclist detection. Also available are a night vision camera with pedestrian and animal detection, an intersection collision assistance system to monitor oncoming traffic in an intersection, drowsy driver detection, parallel and perpendicular parking assistance, and a 360-degree surround-view camera system.
On the interior, the 2022 Grand Cherokee has up to three 10.1-inch and two more 10.25-inch digital displays using the latest Uconnect 5 interface. A front-passenger screen offers co-pilot assistance with access to navigation, camera views, and visual entertainment. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and the driver has a 10-inch windshield head-up display unit and borderless instrument cluster with customization options.
A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot can connect up to eight devices in the Grand Cherokee, and up to two devices can be connected via Bluetooth to the infotainment system. The rear entertainment screens, if opted for, can stream via Amazon Fire TV and the in-vehicle Wi-Fi. The system includes two Alexa voice remotes. Premium audio is available via McIntosh and 19 speakers.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee will join the Grand Cherokee L three-row model in dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2021. The 4xe models will enter dealerships shortly after, in early 2022. Jeep has promised pricing and more details before that launch. Production begins later this year at Jeep’s Detroit Assembly Complex, in the newly-built Mack Plant.