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Jeep electrifies with $130K Grand Cherokee 4xe

First Jeep PHEV launched in Oz is torquier than Grand Cherokee SRT8, sips 3.2L/100km

27 Jun 2023

JEEP has launched its first electrified model in Australia, the Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4xe plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that will sell from $129,950 plus on-road costs and is due in dealerships this August.


Although sold in five-seat form only, the 4xe’s price represents a $10,500 premium over Jeep’s top-of-the-range petrol V6 Grand Cherokee L seven-seater but counters the loss of two seats with significantly more power, almost double the torque and better fuel economy over the purely petrol model while also claiming “superior” off-road capability.


It has few direct capable 4x4 PHEV competitors in a large SUV that is dominated by soft-roaders. Land Rover’s Defender plug-in hybrid P400e HSE is the closest alternative at $139,300 + ORC. For reduced (although still decent) off-road chops but an elevated sense of luxury, a Range Rover Velar 2.0 PHEV HSE comes in at $144,400 + ORC.


Jeep says in a press release that the 4xe has technology that “enhances the fun, freedom, and adventure that the Jeep brand is known for, while providing unprecedented performance, fuel economy and flexibility”.


It is said to be capable of using as little as an estimated 3.2 litres of petrol per 100km (NEDC) thanks to the hybrid powertrain and Jeep says the Grand Cherokee 4xe its most fuel-efficient, off-road-capable model yet.


The 4xe powertrain combines two electric motors, a 400-volt 17.3kWh battery pack, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.


Combined output from the system is 280kW and 637Nm, which massively surpasses the 3.6-litre petrol V6 in other Grand Cherokee models that churns out 210kW and 344Nm.


Of interest is the 4xe’s torque that out-points the old Grand Cherokee V8 SRT8 model with 624Nm, although that one developed nearly 350kW.


Jeep claims the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s electric-only drive range is 52km, similar to PHEVs from other brands.


In addition to the hybrid powertrain, fuel-efficiency is aided by the use of electric power steering and an electrically driven air-conditioning compressor that both remove load from the engine.


Keeping the battery at optimum temperature is a dedicated heating and cooling circuit that includes a heater unit and a chiller that uses the 4xe’s air-conditioning refrigerant to control coolant temperature when needed.

Jeep says charging time varies from less than 10 hours (Mode 2) to less than 3 hours (Mode 3 at 7.4kWh).


The vehicle features various modes for altering hybrid powertrain behaviour to best suit each trip, from daily commuting in pure-electric mode to extended highway road trips with no range anxiety or for exploring peaceful off-road trails in near silence.

When the battery is close to depletion, a default full hybrid mode is activated; regenerative braking helps replenish the battery pack and with 4x4 engaged, all four wheels feed torque for regenerative braking, maximising the energy recovery. 


Under braking, the powertrain control engages the maximum available regenerative braking, up to 0.25 g, from the electric motors to slow the vehicle, augmented by conventional friction brakes.


Power goes through a fluid eight-speed automatic transmission, and the 4xe can tow up to 2722kg with the right equipment fitted.


On the outside, the 4xe scores an exclusive trim treatment with a gloss black roof as part of the Summit Reserve 4xe standard specification to create a “floating roofline” effect, accentuated by a new window moulding that begins at the base of the side mirror and travels all the way to the rear quarter window and extends to the base of the backlight.


Along with extensive advanced driver assist tech, the vehicle is equipped with a range of convenient features to keep passengers connected while driving, some optional.


Inside the Summit Reserve 4xe is premium LED lighting with daytime/night-time settings, “true” ambient lighting with a five-colour selection, McIntosh 19-speaker premium audio system and a hands-free, foot-activated power tailgate.

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