2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4Xe PHEV

September 21st, 2022 at 3:36pm

2022 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe

Stellantis is using plug-in hybrids for its electrification strategy until its BEV platform is ready in a couple of years. Its first two PHEVs were the Chrysler Pacifica minivan and Jeep Wrangler, and they’ve sold remarkably well. Now it’s the Grand Cherokee’s turn to get fitted with a battery. And it should sell just as well as the other two.

You don’t get a lot of EV range with this PHEV. Only 25 miles. And that’s under ideal conditions. But that’s adequate to meet most owners’ daily commutes and more than enough for running local errands. One advantage of having a relatively small 17 kWh battery is that it will completely recharge in just a couple of hours with a Level II charger. So it’s pretty easy to start out every trip with a fully charged battery.
Besides, even when the battery runs out of juice you still have a 2-liter turbo under the hood that will keep on chooglin’. The EPA says that the combination of internal combustion engine and battery power will deliver an impressive total range of 470 miles. No range anxiety with this plug-in.

2022 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe

Yet, I couldn’t get the “Battery Save” mode to work. That is supposed to allow you to save the battery for when you choose to drive in pure electric mode. I like to trundle around in quiet EV mode when driving through my neighborhood. But when I’m out on the highway and the IC engine can work at its maximum efficiency, I don’t want to use the battery. That’s exactly what the “Battery Save” mode is for. But try as I did, I could not get it to work.

In pure electric mode the Grand Cherokee 4Xe is silky smooth and quiet. But when the electric motor, the IC engine and the transmission have to sing together, they don’t always sing in harmony. There can be some clunky downshifts and sticky acceleration responses, depending on the driving modes. It felt like the calibration needed a bit more fine-tuning.

2022 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe

So far, about one out of four Pacifica and Wrangler customers are choosing the plug-in versions of those models. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Grand Cherokee 4Xe get the same take rate, despite its price which starts at $60,000 and walks up to $76,000.

In my book, the IC version of Grand Cherokee is one of the best driving vehicles on the road. The 4Xe version comes close but it’s not quite to the IC’s level of powertrain refinement, at least not yet.

By: John McElroy

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