New Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid SUV unveiled

Jeep's plug-in hybrid line-up in the UK is set to expand, with a 4xe version of the new fifth-generation Grand Cherokee set to join the Compass and Renegade

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe

The new, fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV has been unveiled, featuring the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the first time. This 4xe version of the car is expected to come to the UK, where it'll sit alongside the plug-in Renegade and Compass in the American brand’s electrified line-up.

According to Jeep, the plug-in hybrid Grand Cherokee 4xe should be able to cover up to 25 miles on electric power alone and has a total range of more than 440 miles. Fuel-economy figures from the industry-standard WLTP testing procedure aren't yet available, however.

Combined, the 4xe’s two electric motors (powered by a 17kWh battery) and 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine produce 369bhp and 637Nm of torque. As with any plug-in hybrid, the battery can be topped up from a home or public charging point, or with energy recovered by the car’s regenerative braking system.

Drivers get a choice of three drive modes: Hybrid, Electric and eSave. In Hybrid, the car determines the best way to optimise battery and engine power to maximise fuel economy and performance, while Electric allows you to travel as far as possible on battery power. Meanwhile, eSave will save the battery’s current charge for later use.

The latest Grand Cherokee boasts refreshed styling inside and out, as well as independent front and rear air suspension. There are five rough-terrain modes – Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow and Mud/Sand – and Jeep is confident the move to hybrid power hasn't dented the Grand Cherokee's off-road prowess.

In addition to packing four-wheel drive and nearly 29cm of ground clearance, the 4xe’s electronics are sealed and waterproofed, so you can ford up to 61cm of water in it. To demonstrate the model's off-road capability, Jeep says a Grand Cherokee 4xe was able to cover the entirety of the formidable 22-mile Rubicon Trail in California's Sierra Nevada mountains on electric power alone.

Inside, the new Grand Cherokee features a 10.1-inch digital driver’s display and central infotainment touchscreen and the latest iteration of Jeep’s Uconnect infotainment system, which is claimed to be five times faster than previous versions and capable of receiving over-the-air (OTA) software updates.

You can also get a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the front-seat passenger, as well as a set of 10.1-inch screens in the rear; these run Amazon’s Fire TV service, so passengers in the back can stream movies and TV shows among other things. Standard safety kit includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, collision warnings, blind-spot monitoring, a reversing camera and parking sensors.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe is scheduled to launch in North America in early 2022, before going on sale in other markets, including the UK, later that year. Pricing for the plug-in hybrid 4x4 has yet to be announced, but we do know it'll be available in five trims: Limited, Overland, Summit, Summit Reserve and off-road-focused Trailhawk.

This will be the third plug-in hybrid SUV in Jeep’s line-up, sitting above the Compass 4xe and Renegade 4xe. While we’ve yet to see a fully electric Jeep unveiled, CEO Christian Meunier has previously said there’ll be a “fully emissions-free Jeep in every segment by 2025.”

Details remain thin on the ground about when we’ll get to see the first of these zero-emissions Jeeps, but we did learn earlier in the year that the American brand is investigating the idea of a new fully electric compact SUV that would sit under the Renegade in its line-up.

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