Jeep’s first hybrid version of the Grand Cherokee has arrived in Australia, joining the all-new 5- and 7-seat versions of the petrol V6-powered large SUV that reached our shores earlier this year.
Available only as a 5-seater in Summit Reserve trim, the first-ever electrified Grand Cherokee is part of Jeep’s push towards “Zero Emission Freedom” and follows other Jeep models that have already received the hybrid treatment.
Jeep describe the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe as the most fuel-efficient, technologically advanced, 4x4-capable and luxurious Grand Cherokee yet.
The hybrid system combines Jeep’s familiar turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors and a 400 volt 17.3kWh EV battery pack. One of the electric motors is incorporated into the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, ensuring all driving modes and off-road functionality is retained when running on electric power only, according to Jeep.
Overall, the 4xe system delivers 280kW combined power and 637Nm combined torque. Electric-only range of 52km (NEDC) is claimed, along with a combined fuel economy of 3.2lt/100km. That compares to 10.6lt/100km for non-hybrid versions of the Grand Cherokee that are powered by a 3.6-litre, naturally aspirated petrol V6.
To further improve efficiency, both the power steering and air conditioning compressor are electrically operated, removing those loads from the engine. The battery pack includes a dedicated heating and cooling circuit to keep the battery at its optimum temperature for best performance.
The 4xe system includes a dedicated heater and chiller that uses refrigerant from the air-conditioning system to reduce coolant temperature when needed. An Integrated Dual Charging Module combines a battery charger and DC/DC converter into a single, compact unit, while the Power Inverter Module is reduced in size.
The charge port (on the left front guard) includes LED indicators of charging status, with an LED battery level monitor also in the cabin, atop the instrument panel.
Jeep claims a charging time of less than 10 hours in Mode 2 and less than 3 hours in Mode 3 (@7.4kWh).
E-Selec modes on the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe allow the hybrid powertrain to be tailored to best suit each trip, from daily commuting in pure-electric mode to extended highway trips. Other benefits of the 52km all-electric range are instant torque and the ability for nature to be enjoyed off-road in almost total silence.
While the E-Selec powertrain modes of Hybrid, Electric, eSave can be driver-selected, the Grand Cherokee 4xe operates as a hybrid once the battery nears its minimum charge, regardless of the mode.
Regenerative braking is part of the 4xe system, using the pair of electric motors to augment the disc brakes in slowing the SUV. With four-wheel drive engaged, torque for regenerative braking is fed back into the battery to maintain or increase the state of charge.
In terms of off-road capability, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is fitted with Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive system with an active two-speed transfer case. This improves traction by distributing torque to the wheel with the most grip. Quadra Lift air suspension is standard.
Wading depth is 610mm (all high-voltage electronics are shielded and sealed), with ground clearance at 276mm and approach, departure and breakover angles of 28.2, 28.4 and 20.9, respectively.
Despite the compromises in terms of towing ability that usually come with a hybrid or EV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe’s braked towing capacity of “up to” 2,722kg is only marginally below the 2813kg available from the V6-engined Grand Cherokee 7-seater in Summit Reserve trim.
While Summit Reserve trim on the Grand Cherokee incorporates things like black mirror caps, a special grille treatment and bright metal window surrounds, the 4xe version adds its own exclusive touches, like a gloss black roof, which is standard with all of the eight available paint options. The Grand Cherokee 4xe gets its own 21-inch wheel design, too.
Inside, Palermo Leather trim in black is standard (with tupelo brown optional), there’s 12-way power adjustment, massage and memory function on the front seats, along with ventilation on the front seats and second-row outboard seats.
A dual-pane panoramic sunroof, 10.25-inch Multiview instrument panel for the driver and 10.1-inch centre console touchscreen with Jeep’s Uconnect 5 system are all standard. Four-zone auto climate control is standard, too, as is interior LED lighting with day/night settings and ambient lighting with a five-colour selection.
The McIntosh high-performance audio system is of the same type fitted to the V6 Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve, with 19 speakers and a 950-watt amp. There’s also a hands-free power tailgate to access the boot space, which can swallow up to 2004 litres.
Optional features include a wireless charging pad and 10.25-inch front passenger display with nearly two dozen different menus. This is part of a $5,500 Advanced Technology Group that also includes a head-up display and night vision camera.
An extensive range of safety and driver-assist technologies in the Grand Cherokee 4xe include Blind Spot Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control, Active Lane Management, Active Driving Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking with both pedestrian and cyclist detection, Traffic Sign Recognition, a 360-degree camera and ParkSense parallel/perpendicular parking assist.
Pricing for the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe is $129,950 (+ ORCs), which is $10,500 than the non-hybrid version in Summit Reserve trim and the most expensive MY23 Grand Cherokee in the local range. The first Australian-market units started arriving in August. See your Jeep dealer for more details.