We’ve already seen Jeep’s new three-row Grand Cherokee L, but today the Church of the Seven-Slat Grille revealed its two-row non-L sibling — and it’s got a couple of electrified trim levels up its sleeve.
The big news, of course, is the new hybrid “4xe” powertrain with its claimed 25 miles of all-electric range. The PHEV option is available on five trims levels: Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve. With a claimed 57 MPGe, it’s likely to be a tempting proposition in the face of the base Pentastar V6 or gas-guzzling V8 options.
The 4xe comes with what Jeep calls “E Selec modes”, allowing the driver to change how power is managed within the hybrid system. It can be run as a standard hybrid, set to use only electric power until the battery is depleted, or run purely from the gasoline engine.
Beyond the powertrain, Jeep has also updated the off-road tech in the new Grand Cherokee. It gets an updated four-wheel-drive system with automatically-disconnecting front axle, and the Trailhawk gets an electronically disconnecting sway bar.
The new Grand Cherokee moves to an updated architecture, shared with its three-row counterpart. While it’s slightly shorter in length than the Grand Cherokee L, make no mistake: this is a big SUV.
The Grand Cherokee is over a foot longer than Toyota’s Rav4 Prime, and nearly ten inches longer than Audi’s Q5 PHEV. In fact, the plug-in hybrid closest in size to the new Grand Cherokee seems to be the Volvo XC90 Recharge. At three inches longer, the Recharge is bigger — but fills in that space with a third row of seats.
In case you wanted to cross shop the two, the Jeep wins on powertrains. The Grand Cherokee’s 57 MPGe barely edges out the XC90's 55, but their EV range estimates (25 for the Jeep, 18 for the Volvo) show a bigger disparity. Sure, the Grand Cherokee loses out on range and efficiency to its smaller competitors from Audi and Toyota, but this is an American SUV — size matters.
Jeep hasn’t revealed pricing for the new Grand Cherokee, but the outgoing model starts at $34,970 for the base Laredo E 4x2 and tops out at $88,690 for the supercharged Trackhawk. To guess at pricing for the 4xe powertrain, the Wrangler Sahara costs a whopping $11,485 to jump from the Pentastar to the PHEV before incentives.
Jeep expects the new Grand Cherokee to land in dealers by the end of this year, followed by the PHEV models at the beginning of 2022.