Tue. Sep 27th, 2022


Jeep launched its 4xe hybrid powertrain to the Wrangler final yr, and though Jeep will not disclose the Wrangler 4xe gross sales numbers, it claims that the mannequin was the bestselling plug-in hybrid in 2021. This could imply that it will beat PHEVs together with the Toyota RAV4 Prime. (27,000 items) and the Prius Prime (25,000), and greater than 13 p.c of the greater than 204,000 Wranglers bought final yr had higher PHEVs. Provided that reception, making use of the 4xe remedy to the model’s bestseller, the Grand Cherokee, would have appeared like a no brainer. For Grand Cherokee consumers, nonetheless, the choice to maneuver to a plug-in hybrid is not so clear.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe, which is unique to the two-row model, makes use of the identical plug-in-hybrid powertrain because the Wrangler. The 270-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine with 295 pound-feet of torque is assisted by a belt-driven 44-hp motor and one other 134-hp electrical motor mated to an eight-speed computerized transmission’s torque converter. takes up area. Mixed output is 375 horsepower with 470 lb-ft of torque. These figures exceed 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft from the 5.7-liter V-8, however solely with a 14.0-kWh lithium-ion battery (CD-estimated usable capability).

Within the Wrangler, we famous this powertrain’s rocky transitions between gasoline and electrical propulsion, although they had been considerably misplaced between the Wrangler’s standard cacophony and numb, fuzzy chassis. Within the extremely polished Grand Cherokee, the powertrain’s hesitation and its sudden adjustments come to the fore. Degree the accelerator and there’s a clear delay earlier than any actual motion happens. We had been additionally unable to replenish the EV vary noticeable in hybrid mode, however had been in a position to recharge a few of the battery whereas driving in eSave, a mode that solely makes use of energy from the gasoline engine.

We discovered the gasoline engine – which isn’t fully defeatable in any of the three drivetrain modes – at all times keen to select up. Naturally, full throttle fires up the engine, however gentler driving can do the trick, too. Throughout our drive in Austin, Texas, our velocity dropped to about 33 to 26 mph after we had been climbing a grade in electrical mode, and the four-cylinder awoke, interrupting the in any other case silent drive. Regardless of Jeep’s declare that the Grand Cherokee 4xe weighs about 500 kilos greater than the V-8 mannequin, the punchy turbo four-cylinder has sufficient torque to push issues alongside.

This Grand Cherokee boasts of an EV vary of 26 miles. In case your commute is about 10 miles, you by no means put the accelerator on the ground, you pack your sandwich for lunch, and also you plug the Grand Cherokee 4xe right into a Degree 2 charger in a single day , you may theoretically function the 4xe like an EV. However the most definitely utility for the 4xe’s battery-powered driving functionality could be to motor quietly to the toilet on the different finish of a campsite or to quietly escape a mother or father’s home on a college evening.

Driving in hybrid mode makes probably the most sense in virtually each utility, and reaping the fuel-saving advantages of this powertrain would require charging at dwelling. (Jeep says it takes two to a few hours to refill the battery utilizing a 240-volt supply.) The EPA’s mixed ranking is 56 MPGe, barely higher than the Wrangler’s 49 MPGe (although the Wrangler Limitless Rubicon 4xe The one we examined with this powertrain simply returned 16 mpg). After the battery runs out, the Grand Cherokee 4xe will get an EPA-estimated 23 mpg mixed, which is simply 1 mpg greater than the all-wheel-drive V-6 mannequin.

Competing plug-in-hybrid SUVs such because the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento are higher at being PHEVs, with their greater fuel-economy rankings and larger EV vary. The Santa Fe, for instance, delivers 76 MPGe or 33 mpg and is sweet for an electrical vary of 31 miles. For the Sorrento, these figures are 79 MPGe, 34 mpg and 32 miles. The beefier Grand Cherokee 4xe, nonetheless, is a greater SUV, with a formidable 6000-pound capability, second solely to the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid’s 7716-pound vary amongst PHEVs. And its off-road benefit over the extra fuel-efficient crossover is simply as truthful as that of Moab’s Hell’s Gate.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe begins at $57,660, which is about $15,500 greater than the bottom four-wheel-drive V-6 Laredo, and consists of extra normal tools. The 4xe will get 18-inch wheels, 10.1-inch touchscreen with navigation, heated steering wheel, heated entrance and rear seats and dual-pan sunroof. The 4xe powertrain can also be obtainable in Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve grades, and the upcharge on the four-wheel-drive variations of these trims ranges from $8250 to $9915—largely offset by the 4xe’s $7500 federal tax credit score. might. , In Summit Reserve kind, the Grand Cherokee 4xe tops out at $76,490.

At these lofty costs, and given the Grand Cherokee’s total refinement, the plug-in hybrid’s tough edges are starting to wear down. And with its restricted EV capabilities and comparatively minor fuel-economy enhancements over the V-6 or V-8 fashions, the Grand Cherokee 4xe would not supply sufficient reward for the added price and energy.


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