Road Test: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe PHEV
Is This Plug-in Hybrid the Best Grand Cherokee?
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe PHEV is the second electrified model from Jeep, following the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe PHEV, which Clean Fleet Report tested earlier this year. This two row SUV has all the on-road ride comfort expected from a Grand Cherokee with the ability go up-to 25 miles on electricity.
This Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) still has all the off-road ability of a non-electrified Grand Cherokee, but when the battery has a charge does so in complete silence.
A More Efficient (And Quiet) Propulsion System
The Grand Cherokee 4xe, pronounced (Four-By-E) is powered by two electric motors and a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. This set-up drives either the rear wheels or all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The system, with a total of 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, is EPA city and highway combined rated at 23 mpg with the gasoline engine only. But when including the electric range of 25 miles, the city and highway combined number is 56 MPGe. MPGe (Miles per Gallon equivalent) is a measurement of how far a car can travel electrically, on the same amount of energy as is contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.
That last number is impressive, but there are a few caveats for being able to reach a lofty 56 MPGe.
- If you don’t plug-in whenever possible, the fuel economy will be in the low 20s mpg. Just like you do overnight with a mobile phone, plug in the Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe PHEV to get the best fuel economy and the most from your investment.
- The 17.3 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery needs to be plugged in, which can be done with a 120V Level 1 common household outlet or a 240V Level 2 charger that many owners will install at their home. Using a Level 2 charger it will take 2.5 hours to fully recharge the battery. The Grand Cherokee 4xe does not have the ability to DC fast charge. If you have no battery charge, the gasoline engine kicks in, resulting in the lower fuel economy number, but a bit of battery charge is reserved for extra boost when accelerating hard.
- There are three driving options of Hybrid (default setting), Electric and E-Save, with the first two using the battery charge when driving. Opting for E-Save will retain whatever charge is in the battery so it can be used around town or going off-road. These buttons, located awkwardly on the lower dash to the left-and-behind the steering wheel, make it easy to forget to select E-Save. Sort of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing.
- Brake regeneration is where kinetic braking energy is converted into electricity when slowing or coasting, and that electricity is then stored in the battery. Selecting the Max Regen button increases regenerative braking so almost all routine driving can be done without using the brake pedal. Since this is not a true one-pedal driving system, applying the brakes to come to a full stop will be necessary.
Over 259 miles driving Southern California freeways we averaged 25.6 mpg. But on a 38.7-mile all-city street course with a full charge and using one-pedal driving and maximum regeneration to its fullest, we were able to achieve 34.9 mpg with 20.5 miles of all-electricity and 18.2 miles of using the hybrid engine.
For maximum efficiency, charge the battery whenever possible. If interested in saving that battery charge, don’t drive in either Hybrid or Electric modes, but opt for E-Save, as in this mode the gasoline engine charges the battery.
The Grand Cherokee 4xe flowed easily when cruising on the highway, with the hybrid or electric modes providing boosted acceleration. Taking full advantage of the 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, 0-60 times were around 6.0 seconds with the transmission smoothly going through the gears, and with a seamless transition between gasoline and electric power.
The electric power steering was tuned for good road feel. The Continental Cross Contact 275/45 all-season tires, mounted on 21-inch painted and machine face aluminum wheels, provided a smooth ride with little tire noise. There is a 6,000-pound towing capacity.
The multi-link front and rear independent suspension kept the ride flat around corners, with any body roll remedied by not pushing things above the recommended speed limit. The 5,325-pound weight never felt heavy or ponderous, but well-balanced for its 16-foot length. Stopping engaged the 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with front and rear ventilated discs, brake force distribution, emergency braking assist, stability control and brake drying.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe PHEV is designed to go off-road as much as tackling city streets and highways. The adaptive air suspension, that can raise the ride height by 11-inches provides a larger break-over angle, the sway bar disconnect, and being able to ford 24-inches of water, and hill descent control all add to the off-road capability. The Selec-Terrain traction management system offers five available terrain modes of Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud/Sand, letting owners choose the on- or off-road setting for optimum 4×4 performance.
Design Stays True to Jeep
The Grand Cherokee 4xe exterior has been redesigned and updated for 2022, with touches that give it a premium look. Ours was painted in a very classy Baltic Gray Metallic. The roofline has been lowered and tapered but not at the expense of reducing interior head or cargo room, while the side windows have been increased in size for better outward viewing. The iconic seven bar Jeep grille is wider and larger and is framed by LED headlights, daytime running lights and fog lights. The flat roof, with a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, leads to a power lift gate with slit LED tail lights sitting above dual, chrome exhaust-tips.
Clean Fleet Report drove the 2022 Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe PHEV, which is the highest trim level over the Laredo, Limited, Trailhawk and Overland models. As can be expected, the Summit Reserve was lushly appointed with an attention to detail. The Palermo leather was soft and supple, with the front seats being 8-way power adjustable with lumbar support and both having multi-level heat, cooling and ventilation settings.
The adjustable seating can be set to a high position, giving a commanding feel of the road. Front and rear seats were comfortable and supportive, with the rear 60/40 seat folding flat. The wood and quilted leather, with accent stitching, were classy touches to the door panels, making for a very eye-pleasing cabin.
The heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood inserts has audio, telephone and cruise control buttons. The convenient (and our favorite location) feature on the rear of the steering wheel are the volume (right side) and channel selection (left side) buttons. It is such a natural place for them it is a wonder all other manufacturers don’t go to this placement.
Everything for the driver is laid-out in logical, easy-to-read locations. A 10.1-inch color infotainment touch screen, a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, and a 10.3-inch front passenger interactive display dominate the wood and leather dash. The 10-inch head-up display is configurable to display a wide range of information, including turn-by-turn arrows, posted speed limit signs, driving speed, telephone call alerts, radio station listing and many more. It is bright and convenient, and should be standard on all cars as a way to keep the driver’s eyes looking straight ahead.
The command center is Uconnect operating system that includes navigation. The Summit Reserve comes with the excellent McIntosh 19-speaker audio system with a subwoofer, 950 watts, and a 17-channel amplifier. The system includes AM/FM/CD/HD radio, SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. Voice command, with Bluetooth, for hands-free phone and streaming audio are operated by the steering wheel controls. A very nice feature is the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Safety and Convenience
The Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe was equipped with the Jeep safety and security package. Additional safety features include adaptive cruise control, a rear backup camera with rear park assist, forward-facing camera, full speed forward collision warning, blind spot and cross path detection, electronic stability control and roll mitigation, 4-wheel ABS, a tire pressure monitoring system and an anti-theft engine immobilizer.
The highly optioned Summit Reserve has convenience features such as interior ambient LED lighting, a tilt and telescopic steering column, power door locks, express down front and rear power windows, heated power exterior mirrors, automatic dual zone climate control with voice activated air conditioning, rear heating and A/C with separate controls, remote/proximity keyless entry, push button start, 12V power outlet, AUX and USB ports, multiple cup holders, wireless charging, heated rear seats, rear seat widow shades, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Pricing and Warranties
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe PHEV, including the $1,795 mandatory destination fee, has a base price of $69,820.Clean Fleet Report’s Summit Reserve trim model, came with optional packages adding $7,385, for a total MSRP of $79,000.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe PHEV comes with these warranties:
- Basic – Three years/36,000 miles
- Powertrain – Five years/100,000 miles
- Traction Battery – Eight years/100,000 miles
- Maintenance – Three years/Unlimited
- Corrosion Perforation – Five years/Unlimited miles
Observations: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe PHEV
If a combination of luxury in a five-seat SUV that is off-road capable and can handle almost all your in-town daily driving without using gasoline, then the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe PHEV may be right for you. This multi-dimensional SUV offers style, technology, safety, and an all-electric driving option that gives it a leg-up on its competitors.
The fifth generation Grand Cherokee, now electrified, offers traditional Jeep heritage to new group of consumers that want more from their SUV, especially the ability to drive on pure electricity. The technology features with four screens for the driver and front passenger is just one example, and the excellent warranty are all pluses for this midsize luxury SUV.
Story and photos by John Faulkner.
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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.
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