Skip advert
Advertisement

New Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe 2024 review: a big but unremarkable SUV

The Jeep Grand Cherokee struggles to compete with a host of talented SUV rivals at this price point

Overall Auto Express Rating

2.5 out of 5

Find your Jeep Grand Cherokee
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

Verdict

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is decidedly unremarkable. It’s adequate in many respects, but that simply isn’t good enough when prices can reach over £85,000, and similarly expensive rivals include the more dynamic and luxurious BMW X5 and Range Rover Sport. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a premium SUV that can tackle tough terrain head on, the Land Rover Defender is the far superior choice.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The all-new, all-electric Jeep Wagoneer S is due to be unveiled later this year and should arrive on our shores sometime in 2025. The incoming BMW iX rival will become the brand’s flagship SUV, but for now, that title (in Europe at least) is held by the fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, which we’ve finally had a chance to drive on UK roads – and off them too, which we'll get into later.

Order books for the latest Grand Cherokee actually opened in the summer of 2022, and it’s easy to tell this isn’t the freshest SUV on the market because the cabin is covered in glossy piano black plastic, which we’ve noticed other brands aren’t using nearly as much nowadays. This material no longer delivers an air of luxury, plus the surface becomes scuffed and scratched all too easily when subjected to the rigours of family life.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The wood trim on the dashboard is a more unique material choice and catches the eye. But in the Grand Cherokee it feels more like a kitchen worktop you’d buy from B&Q. More of the stuff has been used on the steering wheel, which feels a little tacky if we’re being honest.

Advertisement - Article continues below

We also weren’t impressed by the overall build quality, as there was an awful lot of creaking coming from the dashboard and various other bits of trim during our test drive across Yorkshire. Something else was producing an irritating ticking noise the entire time too.

This certainly isn’t the level of quality you’d expect from a large premium SUV with a near-£70k starting price, let alone the top-of-the-range version like we drove, which is priced from £85,615. That pitches the Grand Cherokee as a rival to the BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and even the Range Rover Sport, which are all several leagues ahead of the Jeep in this department.

There are four trim levels available – Limited, Trailhawk, Overland and Summit Reserve – and every model is equipped with a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, 10-inch touchscreen, heated and ventilated front seats, Alpine stereo and Selec-Terrain system. Trailhawk focuses more on off-roading, Overland adds more kit, but range-topping models like ours get everything thrown at them, including 21-inch polished rims, a head-up display, air suspension, 16-way adjustable and massaging seats, and another 10-inch display just for the front passenger. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Unfortunately, in practice the technology onboard the Grand Cherokee doesn’t do much to justify its price tag either. The instrument display and central touchscreen are relatively sharp, but not the fastest to respond to inputs and Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment system isn’t the most intuitive setup we’ve tried. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Then there’s the third separate display featured in our car, which we found very difficult to see even when the brightness is turned all the way up. It offers a limited amount of functions, such as displaying the sat-nav route or some media controls, further bringing into question its validity. The 19-speaker McIntosh sound system failed to make much of an impression, either.

Space for rear passengers is generous though. There’s ample head and legroom for six-foot tall adults, plus room under the front seats for their feet. Those in the back get their own set of climate controls and four USB charging ports, which seems like overkill, but will prevent any arguments over who gets to top-up their device. Boot space is a sizeable 475 litres, plus there’s 39 litres of underfloor storage, but even combined that’s no match for the Range Rover Sport. There’s no seven-seat option for the Grand Cherokee, either.

One reason for the Grand Cherokee’s high starting price is every model comes with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It consists of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and a 17.3kWh battery that feeds two electric motors: one integrated in the transmission that can drive the wheels, and a motor generator that’s meant to provide seamless start-stop.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe (to use its full name) offers a pure-electric range of up to 29 miles, or 31 miles in the city. When the e-motor is doing most of the heavy lifting, the Grand Cherokee is relaxing to drive and very quiet inside. It’s complemented by the ‘Quadra-Lift’ air suspension that’s standard-fit on all models too, which delivers a soft ride and wafting quality when cruising. The high driving position also provides a good view of the road ahead, and feels very commanding thanks to the bonnet stretching out in front.

Floor the throttle and the enormous Grand Cherokee accelerates at a surprisingly brisk pace, as 0-62mph takes just over six seconds. However, doing so guarantees the petrol engine will kick in and it produces a harsh drone that chips away at any illusions of sophistication. Off the motorway and onto some country roads, there’s a lot of body roll in the corners and the Grand Cherokee’s numb steering showed no strong desire to return to the centre.

As you’d expect for a Jeep, the plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee is 'Trail Rated', and boasts several off-road specific features and drive modes to help drivers when they go off the beaten track. To prove its rugged credentials, we took the 2.5-tonne SUV rock crawling and wading, and it handled everything we threw at it without fuss, and did so on standard road tyres. Admittedly, it didn’t quite skip across obstacles the way a Jeep Wrangler does, and the extremely laggy camera system was little help guiding us along the trails.

Model:Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Summit Reserve
Price:from £69,915 / Summit Reserve from £85,615
Engine:2.0-litre 4cyl turbo petrol, 2x e-motors
Transmission:Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Power/torque:375bhp/637Nm
0-62mph:6.3 seconds
Top speed:130mph
Economy:108.6mpg
CO2:60g/km
Electric range:26-29 miles
Size (L/W/H)4,914/2,149/1,858mm
On sale:Now
Skip advert
Advertisement
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range
Kia EV3 - front
News

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range

Kia expands its electric line up with the EV3 – taking plenty of inspiration from the flagship EV9
23 May 2024
Citroen C3 review
Citroen e-C3 - front
In-depth reviews

Citroen C3 review

A clever rethink of the small, affordable car theme, the C3 and its all-electric e-C3 twin have the potential to really shake up the market
22 May 2024
Renault Scenic review
Renault Scenic UK - front
In-depth reviews

Renault Scenic review

The Renault Scenic takes a pragmatic and polished approach to zero-emissions motoring
21 May 2024