Jeep as a brand is taking electric vehicles seriously and even has a road map to go fully electric. However, the famous automaker is still in the business of PHEVs, or hybrid vehicles that you can plug in to charge. Its upcoming 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is another attempt to pair an ICE with an electric motor.
What does the 4xe (pronounced ‘four-by-e’) offer? Has Jeep pulled off the perfect compromise between ICE and BEV? Read on to find out!
The 4xe is not a total stranger, as it shares the same powertrain with the Wrangler 4xe that started selling last year. Since the Wrangler 4xe was actually the best-selling PHEV in the US last year, the Cherokee 4xe has to be on to something.
The Cherokee 4xe comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine combined with two electric motors. Jeep puts one motor at the front, connected through the accessory belt, and the other motor replaces the transmission’s torque converter. The Cherokee 4xe will output 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque with the ICE and electric motors working together, just like the Wrangler.
Jeep has outfitted the Cherokee 4xe SUV with a 14 kWh lithium-ion battery that guarantees 25 miles before you have to switch to the ICE.
However, you can switch your driving mode between hybrid, electric, and eSave with buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. The last mode uses the ICE to preserve the battery. But you can top up the battery through regenerative braking as you drive around.
The Cherokee 4xe can tow up to 6000 pounds, but you can tow 1200 pounds more by upgrading to the 5.7-liter V-8 engine. You can expect 57 MPGe in this upcoming Jeep PHEV.
Inside the Cherokee 4xe, there is an 8.4-inch touchscreen that integrates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you want to avoid squinting, you can upgrade the center screen to 10.1 inches. And if you are willing to spend more, a 10-inch heads-up display for the driver and a 10.3-inch front passenger screen could be yours. To keep your back seat passengers entertained, Jeep offers a rear-seat entertainment system with two more touchscreens and Amazon Fire TV compatibility.
Jeep offers the Cherokee 4xe in four different trims; Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve. If you opt for the newly returned Trailhawk, the Cherokee 4xe comes with a front sway bar disconnect, Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain tires, and an electronically controlled rear locking differential. The trim also has exclusive blue accents.
The Overland trim adds perforated Nappa leather-trimmed seats, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, a hands-free power liftgate, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
The Summit trim includes 16-way power front seats with massage, a 360-degree camera system, etc. The Summit Reserve comes with 21-inch wheels, Palermo leather seats, suede pillars, a headliner, ventilated front and second-row seats, and a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.
All the Cherokee 4xe trims should prove their worth on off-road tracks, but the Trailhawk should be more equipped for that kind of usage. It has features like steel skids plates, an integrated off-road camera, the Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system, and air suspension that bring the ground clearance to up to 11.3 inches. It can ford water up to 24 inches, and the sway bar disconnect feature improves the wheel articulation for rock-crawling.
To assure your safety, Jeep has crammed in a bevy of technologies and features, like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring. No matter the trim you choose, you will get cruise control that works in stop-and-go traffic. However, suppose you plunked down money on the Summit model. In that case, you will add drowsy driver detection, intersection collision assist, and a semi-autonomous driving system which Jeep calls Active Driving Assist.
In keeping with its reputation for the brand for the outdoor lifestyle, Jeep will install charging stations at trailheads, meaning you can feel free to drive the Cherokee 4xe anywhere nature takes you.
Stateside, you can get the Cherokee 4xe early next year, with prices starting around $50,000.
Jeeps plans to offer a zero-emission or purely electric vehicle in every segment it sells vehicles in by 2025. The BEVs will be powered by four electric platforms that Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis, is developing. The platforms are STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large, and STLA Frame. They are highly flexible, allowing Jeep to offer BEVs with driving ranges between 300 and 500 miles.