New 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee launched for Europe with plug-in hybrid power

Fifth generation of Jeep’s large SUV is the first electrified Grand Cherokee ever, as model that will come to the UK gets 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain

Jeep has unveiled its two-row 2022 Grand Cherokee, with the all-new fifth generation of the American brand’s iconic large SUV ushering in plug-in hybrid power in a first for Jeep’s flagship.

Unlike the three-row Grand Cherokee L that was unveiled earlier this year, this two-row model will be coming to the UK and will go on sale in the second half of 2022.

The latest Grand Cherokee is built on an “all-new architecture”, according to Jeep, and this has made the inclusion of plug-in hybrid power possible. Jeep’s 4xe plug-in powertrain combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine driving an eight-speed automatic gearbox with a 17kWh battery that feeds a pair of electric motors, helping the hybrid Grand Cherokee retain the model’s legendary off-road capability. 

The petrol and electric motors produce a combined total of 370bhp and 637Nm of torque, while the brand is targeting an all-electric range of 25 miles from a full charge.

The 4xe powertrain features three different E Selec drive modes, including Hybrid, Electric and eSave. In Hybrid mode both power sources drive the wheels with the car optimising battery and petrol power to best balance fuel economy and performance. Electric prioritises EV-only running, with the petrol engine only cutting in when battery charge is depleted or the driver asks for full-throttle acceleration.

Finally, eSave will retain battery charge for use at a later point, for example in a built-up area with air-quality restrictions. Users can also choose a Battery Charge setting within eSave mode that sees the petrol engine actively charge the battery on the move. Regenerative braking also features, incorporating a Max Regen setting.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe will be available in Limited, Overland, Summit, Summit Reserve and off-road focused Trailhawk trim levels. All 4xe models feature extra underbody protection around the battery to avoid rupturing the cells in the event of a knock away from the tarmac. As per the regular Trailhawk, the plug-in hybrid option also features Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4x4 system, with a two-speed transfer case and a low-range gear ratio mode.

There’s also an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential, different driving modes depending on terrain (Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud/Sand) and Jeep’s Selec-Speed Control hill ascent/descent function.

Standard-fit Quadra-lift air suspension allows up to 278mm of ground clearance, while the Grand Cherokee 4xe can wade through water up to 610mm deep. The 4xe even completed the Rubicon trail on electric power only. The brand hasn’t yet revealed any performance or fuel-efficiency info, however.

In Jeep’s home market the Grand Cherokee will also be available with more conventional pure-petrol powertrains, including a 3.6-litre V6 with 289bhp and 353Nm of torque, or a 5.7-litre V8 producing 352bhp and 529Nm.

With 90 per cent of the V6’s peak torque available between 1,800 and 6,400rpm, it serves up a towing capacity of 2,812kg, while the V8 betters this, offering a maximum towing limit of 3,265kg. However, beyond the Grand Cherokee’s 4xe powertrain the European engine line-up hasn’t yet been fully outlined.

However, the 2022 Grand Cherokee combustion-engined models do feature some clever powertrain tech to improve efficiency, including cylinder deactivation on the V8 and a front axle-disconnect device, with the ECU detecting if all-wheel drive isn’t needed given the conditions, and decoupling the front axle to save fuel.

Jeep has packed even more technology into the new Grand Cherokee’s completely redesigned interior. This includes a pair of 10.1-inch screens for the driver display and infotainment system, as well as a 10.25-inch front passenger interactive display. There’s also a new rear-seat entertainment system that’s available with Fire TV.

Jeep’s latest Uconnect 5 infotainment set-up boasts wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, TomTom-based sat-nav with live search and over-the-air map updates, a 4G hotspot for up to eight devices and Amazon Alexa integration.

There’s more storage space, including a bin for two smartphones and a wireless charging pad, while the brand is claiming a boost in quality and comfort too, thanks to new seats with an adjustable seat base. Heating, cooling and massage functions will be available, while customisable LED lighting will feature on all trim levels.

Safety kit is also improved, with standard equipment including collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection, plus autonomous braking. Rear cross-path detection, adaptive cruise, active lane management, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, a rear-view camera with parking sensors and tyre pressure monitoring are also included.

Alongside the interior redesign, Jeep has also overhauled the 2022 Grand Cherokee’s exterior look, with a more sculpted, premium appearance. This redesign does have functional benefits too, with the car’s lower, more tapered roof helping improve its aerodynamic performance and therefore efficiency. There’s also a lowered belt line to give more glass area and let more light into the cabin, improving visibility.

The 4xe models feature blue accents on the badging, including on the charging flap mounted on the car’s front left wing. Blue tow hooks also feature to further differentiate the plug-in hybrid. 

The 2022 Grand Cherokee will go on sale in the UK in the second half of 2022, with pricing and detailed market-specific information arriving closer to the car’s launch here.

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