When you close your eyes and think of a Jeep, it’s likely that the rough-and-tumble Wrangler comes to mind, but the Grand Cherokee is every bit as important to the success of the famed off-road brand in terms of sales. Its appeal is bolstered by the fact that it pairs impressive off-road capability with on-road refinement, offers lots of available luxury appointments and features, and has the rugged, outdoorsy look Jeep buyers love. A trio of powertrains are offered, including familiar V-6 and V-8 options and a new plug-in-hybrid variant that Jeep calls 4xe. While rear-wheel drive is standard on models with the V-6, there are no less than three different all-wheel-drive systems available to help tackle whatever your lifestyle requires, whether that’s simply commuting through snowy weather or crawling rocks in Moab.
What’s New for 2022?
For the 2021 model year, Jeep launched a new generation of the Grand Cherokee, but it only offered the new model as a the L three-row variant (reviewed separately) alongside the previous-generation, two-row GC. For the 2022 model year, the Grand Cherokee sheds its old bones with the introduction of a two-row body style riding atop the new architecture.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Like the last generation Grand Cherokee, the new one is powered by either a 3.6-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Jeep also offers its plug-in-hybrid 4xe powertrain that introduces electrification to its family SUV. Rear-wheel drive is standard with the base V-6, but all-wheel drive is standard on Grand Cherokees with the V-8 or plug-in-hybrid powertrain. Several different all-wheel-drive systems are available, including an electronically locking limited-slip differential. A Trailhawk model with more robust off-road equipment and greater capability is available, too, and it features an adjustable air suspension that provides up to 11.3 inches of ground clearance and a disconnecting sway bar that allows greater wheel articulation for tackling difficult terrain. When we get a chance to test the new Grand Cherokee at our test track, we’ll update this story with results. On the performance end of the spectrum, we expect Jeep to continue to offer high-performance SRT and Trackhawk models, but we review those separately.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel economy estimates for the V-6–powered Grand Cherokee are typical of the mid-size SUV segment at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway when paired with rear-wheel drive. Adding all-wheel drive drops each of those estimates by 1 mpg; the V-8 model is rated for 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. The plug-in hybrid 4xe should deliver better fuel economy but the EPA has not released estimates for that model yet. Models with the 4xe plug-in-hybrid powertrain come with a 14.0-kWh battery pack and a 134-hp electric motor that allows the Grand Cherokee to cruise for up to 25 miles per charge. Jeep boasts that the Grand Cherokee with the 4xe powertrain completed the famed Rubicon Trail entirely in its EV driving mode.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
A thoroughly modernized cabin replaces the outgoing Grand Cherokee’s somewhat dated interior. While base Laredo models offer the essentials, upscale Summit and Overland trims will add luxuries like quilted leather upholstery, open-pore wood trim, and high-tech digital displays. The Grand Cherokee is strictly a two-row SUV, but buyers seeking a third row can upgrade to the Grand Cherokee L, which we review separately. We haven’t had a chance to test the new Grand Cherokee yet, but we expect it to accommodate more of our carry-on suitcases than the previous generation model.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Floating just above the surface of the Grand Cherokee’s dashboard is either an 8.4- or 10.1-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio. In-dash navigation with real-time traffic and weather updates is optional, and higher-end models can be had with a digital gauge cluster, a 10.0-inch head-up display, and another 10.3-inch display embedded into the dashboard for use by the front-seat passenger. While the Laredo and Limited models ship with a standard six-speaker stereo, buyers will be able to upgrade to either a nine-speaker Alpine audio setup or a high-end 19-speaker McIntosh arrangement.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Driver-assistance features such as pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and semi-autonomous driving modes are becoming increasingly important to shoppers, and Jeep is delivering a more comprehensive suite of standard safety tech to satisfy that demand. For more information about the Grand Cherokee’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include: