- Doors and Seats
5 doors, 5 seats
2.0T Hybrid, 4 cyl.
- Engine Power
Hybrid (91) 3.2L/100KM
5 Yr, 100000 KMs
- Ancap Safety
5/5 star (2022)
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe review
More than 12 months after we drove the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe in the United States, it has landed Down Under. Trent Nikolic takes a closer look at Jeep’s take on the first step to an electric off-road future at its local launch.
- Exterior styling is classy
- Cabin quality is excellent
- Works well as an EV off-road
- Price pushes it out of reach for plenty
- Ride is firm on country roads
- We'd like 25 per cent more electric range
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
Jeep is such a fascinating brand in terms of how it came to be. Like Land Rover, Jeep's now legendary history was forged on the toughest trails and in the harshest terrain around the world. In the case of Jeep, that legend was also, quite literally, forged in the theatre of war.
As such, Jeep's long, storied and deep tradition of formidable off-road ability must be respected in every new model. That's something the manufacturer is always keen to remind us less than it is my opinion.
And yet, outside heavy vehicle transport, the one segment that poses the most challenges to electrification is off-road vehicles. Specifically, those designed to be able to head into the most remote regions you care to explore. There's nowhere to charge in the middle of the Simpson Desert or at the tip of Cape York after all.
So, for Jeep to move to electrification, whether buyers actually use the vehicles like that or not, requires a careful step, and that's what the new Grand Cherokee 4xe (read four-by-E) is designed to do. On that point, it's common among motoring journalists in Australia to use the refrain 'yeah but no one takes them off-road anyway'.
Strangely, I've not heard the same journalists reminding Porsche that no one drives their 911 at 320km/h either... I write that, then, to state the fact that regardless of whether a Jeep ever gets taken off-road, it needs to be capable of heading off-road.
And, the Grand Cherokee 4xe is capable of exactly that, more on that later.
The Grand Cherokee in general has some road to cover in this market. It's still repairing some damage from models past, that's an unavoidable truth. It's also dancing between family buyers and those who are looking for luxury at an affordable price. It also needs to work off-road or for those who tow a trailer regularly, depending on what it is those buyers might do with their large four-wheel drive.
The 4xe is a little different, though, in that its price entrenches it firmly among the luxury set, and as such, it's got a tough battle to fight. At its domestic launch, I spend some time with it to find out whether the primary thoughts I had after driving it a while back in the States stack up in our local conditions.
How much does the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe cost in Australia?
There’s one specification grade for the Grand Cherokee 4xe and it's the top-tier Summit Reserve grade. While it’s impressively equipped, it’s hard to escape the fact that it’s not cheap.
Starting from $129,950 before on-road costs, the 4xe Summit Reserve five-seater is $10,500 more expensive than a similarly equipped seven-seat Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve, and $26,700 above the five-seat Overland V6. On top of the flagship model, there are only two options you can add. Premium paint costs $1750, while the Advanced Tech Group costs $5500.
Eight colours are available, 21-inch wheels are standard, and the cabin is impressively equipped in terms of technology as you can see in that breakdown below.
Quilted Palermo leather-trimmed seats are standard, along with 12-way power lumbar adjustment for driver and passenger with memory, front seat massage function, ventilated front seats and outboard rear seats, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, 10.1-inch infotainment screen, 10.25-inch digital driver's display, premium audio system, automatic LED headlights, black painted roof, electric tailgate and digital rear-view mirror.
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The argument in regards to price will differ depending on what you want to do with the 4xe. If you want to use it as a four-wheel drive and do some touring with off-road driving included, then Toyota LandCruiser, Nissan Patrol, and Land Rover Defender need to come into the argument at a minimum, with maybe even the Ineos Grenadier thrown in as a left-field option.
If it's luxury you desire, a host of Euro options come into the picture. One thing the new Grand Cherokee 4xe does do is blurs Jeep's traditional off-road focus with on-road refinement and specification.
|Key details||2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe|
|Price||$129,950 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Velvet Red|
|Options||Premium paint – $1750|
Advanced Tech Group – $5500
- Head-up display
- Wireless smartphone charging pad
- Night-vision camera
- 10.25-inch front passenger display
|Price as tested||$137,200 plus on-road costs|
|Rivals||Toyota LandCruiser | Nissan Patrol | Land Rover Defender|
How much space does the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe have inside?
An area where Jeep designers claimed to have spent significant development time and effort is the quality and execution of the cabin. The good news for the interior design team (and the engineers who had to make it work of course) is they have executed a high-quality, premium-feeling cabin.
The cabin is beautifully appointed no matter where you look, and the fit, finish, quality of the materials, comfort and insulation are all excellent. Even after a long slog down the highway, the heated and cooled seats were comfortable and feature plenty of adjustment for all drivers. The cabin is the most obvious area, therefore, where the Grand Cherokee 4xe can take the fight to the established premium Euros.
The cabin also features true ambient lighting. You can turn the intensity of the lights up or down to suit the way you'd like the cabin to look at night. Back at the international first drive, the designers told us the front seats have been thinned and tidied up to deliver more leg and knee room into the second row. Our 4xe gets four-zone climate control AC, with temperature controls for the second row.
There’s room in the second row for three adults, and the bench is neatly sculpted so you sit into it, rather than on it, like you do in some less comfortable SUVs. The second row in the 4xe is a good one for family buyers and road trippers. Visibility is excellent, too, with a large glasshouse making the view out broad, adding to the sense of space when you're in the cabin for long periods of time.
As buyers demand in this segment, there’s also plenty of luggage space behind that second row. With the seats up, Jeep claims there’s 1067L available, and it expands out to 2004L if you fold the second row down.
Jeep uses a slightly different measurement approach to most other brands, giving it bigger numbers than some competitors, but the fact you can transport five people in comfort, and take all their gear along for the ride, also strengthens the family credentials of the new 4xe Grand Cherokee.
If Jeep is hoping to take the fight up to the more expensive SUVs in this segment, then the interior execution is capable of doing just that. It looks and feels like a high-quality cabin, and that sense translates to the real world, where time spent in the cabin is always enjoyable.
Don't go into a test drive of the new Grand Cherokee with any preconceived notions of how an American cabin should feel. Jeep has delivered well on this front and what the manufacturer calls 'American luxury' is a compelling offering.
|2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe|
|Boot volume||1067L seats up|
2004L seats folded
Does the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
Jeep has made some solid inroads in regards to infotainment with the new model, too, with a system that works well and is easy to become familiar with despite the amount of information it can display and the control you have. Once you work it all out, there's a lot of technology at play.
The most obvious highlight, and the ace up the 4xe's sleeve for front passenger engagement, is the optional 10.25-inch screen that sits in front of the passenger, and is barely even noticeable when it's not in use. It's available as part of the Advanced Tech Group option package.
The passenger screen blacks right out and hides in plain sight. It's a really clever piece of technology that brings the passenger into the drive experience and gives them control over features like infotainment and navigation.
The driver also gets a customisable 10.25-inch instrument display, and there's a clear and easy-to-use 10.1-inch infotainment screen in the centre of the dash. Three screens across the front of the cabin certainly make the Grand Cherokee 4xe feel like it's a technological leap forward.
At launch, we tested Apple CarPlay and the native satellite navigation system, with both working snappily and faultlessly. If you count the digital rear-view mirror and head-up display, you get five screens in the front of the cabin.
Jeep also provides remote access via a smartphone app allowing access to vehicle location, remote lock and unlock, send-to-vehicle navigation, alarm notifications, and a range of other functions when paired to a compatible smartphone.
Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe a safe car?
The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe scored a full, five-star ANCAP safety rating in testing in 2023. The short-wheelbase plug-in model and long-wheelbase Grand Cherokee L wear a five-star result, but the V6 five-seat Grand Cherokee carries a separate four-star score.
It scored 83 per cent for adult occupancy protection, 93 per cent for child occupant protection, 81 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 84 per cent for safety assist systems. Safety is key in a luxury segment like this, so the Grand Cherokee 4xe achieving a five-star rating is important.
What safety technology does the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe have?
The Grand Cherokee range comes with dual front airbags, front seat chest-protecting airbags, full-length side head-protecting curtain airbags, and a driver and passenger knee airbag as standard. A centre airbag to prevent occupant-to-occupant clashes in the event of a side impact is not available on the Grand Cherokee.
Safety systems and accident avoidance tech covers autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with car-to-car, pedestrian and cyclist, junction and backover detection, as well as lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and emergency lane keeping, speed assistance system with traffic sign recognition, and driver drowsiness detection on all Grand Cherokee variants.
On the Summit Reserve you'll also find a 360-degree camera, semi-automated parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and 'active driving assist' that combines adaptive cruise control and lane-assist functions for brief hands-off capabilities in freeway driving conditions.
How much does the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe cost to maintain?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe – despite the technology under the skin – is as sharply priced in regard to maintenance as other, less advanced versions of the Grand Cherokee, and that's positive news for buyers.
Services cost just $399 each across the first five years. They are required every 12 months or 12,000km, and there's a five-year/100,000km warranty covering all new Jeeps as well. The lithium-ion battery pack gets an eight-year/160,000km warranty.
At the time of launch, we weren't yet able to obtain an indicative comprehensive insurance quote for the Grand Cherokee 4xe.
|At a glance||2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe|
|Warranty||Five years, 100,000km|
|Battery warranty||Eight years, 160,000km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 12,000km|
|Servicing costs||$1197 (3 years)|
$1995 (5 years)
|Energy cons. (claimed)||25kWh/100km|
|Energy cons. (on test)||27kWh/100km|
|Driving range claim (WLTP)||52km|
|Charge time (7kW)||2h 5min (0–100%)|
Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe fuel-efficient?
First up, Jeep claims an electric-only range of 52km. We think that claim is realistic, too, given we’ve covered 47km in testing in the US. We’ll look at this more closely when we spend a week with the Grand Cherokee soon.
That 52km claim means the theoretical fuel use over the first 100km is minimal – 3.2L/100km according to Jeep. If you charge up all the time, and cover no more than 100km, you’ll achieve that, but that’s not going to be realistic for most people as we’ve noted numerous times before when testing plug-in hybrids.
Once the battery is depleted, you’re likely to use somewhere between 9.7L/100km and 12.2L/100km depending on the driving conditions. At launch, we averaged 10.5L/100km on a run that started in the city and moved out onto rural B-roads.
Charging is easy with a PHEV, as we know, given you don’t need any special infrastructure at home to use the vehicle in the most efficient way possible. With that in mind, using a regular power point, Jeep claims you’ll charge the Grand Cherokee PHEV from 0–100 per cent in less than 10 hours.
If you do have the regular home-style wall box that is becoming more prevalent, you’ll be able to charge from 0–100 per cent (at approximately 7.4kW) in less than three hours. For most owners, though, a regular powerpoint will suffice.
Fuel Consumption - brought to you by bp
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||3.2L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||10.5L/100km|
|Fuel type||91-octane unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||72L|
What is the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe like to drive?
The electric range is claimed to be 52km, and while we’ll need to test it under our own controlled circumstances post-launch, it would appear that the claim is realistic. In regular, city driving, we covered 46km before the petrol engine kicked in, which makes the Grand Cherokee 4xe perfect for the average Aussie commute – even if you can’t charge at work. That backs up the 45km I achieved in the US when I last drove the 4xe.
Further, as expected, the pure-electric drive experience is quiet, insulated and premium. The complete lack of driveline noise is one advantage any EV has over a traditional ICE vehicle, and it makes the drive feel luxurious in a way that is difficult to describe unless you’ve experienced it.
Silence is often used to define luxury, and that’s what the Grand Cherokee provides from the confines of its beautifully appointed cabin under electric power. As I noted on the international drive, the 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is a good one too. And while that engine alone would not be enough to satisfy a large SUV buyer on its own, combined with the clever electric system, it doesn’t fall short of what the segment needs.
You’ll notice the slightest transition when it comes into play, but it’s never jarring or harsh, and the eight-speed automatic is also excellent. If you ask the auto to work on a really hard kick-down, it’s not as snappy to respond as we’d like, but that’s a minor gripe, and one you won’t experience if you’re driving normally.
Around-town running is comfortable and easy regardless of the driving mode you’ve chosen, and there’s an impressive sense of quality not just from the cabin, but also from the way the drivetrain deals with stop/start traffic. Selectable driving modes allow you to choose what the Grand Cherokee’s drivetrain is doing.
‘Hybrid Mode' blends the two motors, prioritises the battery first, and is the default driving mode. It uses the petrol engine for support. ‘Electric Mode’ is, as suggested, the one where the Grand Cherokee is powered by electric motors only. The petrol engine is only activated when the battery reserve gets low or the driver requests more power.
Next up, there’s ‘e-Save Mode’, which sees the Grand Cherokee powered by the internal combustion engine only. Lastly, ‘Battery Save Mode’ keeps the battery reserve and saves power to a targeted state of charge. That’s the mode you would use if you were heading to an off-road challenge that you wanted to tackle with electric power.
There’s one clutch between the petrol engine and the electric motor, and when you’re in EV mode, the clutch is open. When it’s closed both the electric motor and petrol engine operate at the same time. There’s also a second clutch mounted behind the electric motor. If that sounds complex, it is.
The question as to whether the petrol engine will run if you’re constantly fully charged and running round in EV mode at all times is answered by a failsafe too. Jeep has included a fuel and oil refresh mode, which activates the petrol engine periodically to circulate oil and fuel, keep the system lubricated, and keep fuel from going stale.
Despite the folly – currently anyway – of driving an EV anywhere remote off-road, Jeep is keen to emphasise the idea that you can save battery power to tackle a tough trail in pure-electric mode. And, that’s exactly what we did at launch.
It’s worth reiterating again that you’re not going to use this functionality too often in a vast country like Australia where genuine off-road driving is often a long way from anything. However, like when we tested the Hummer EV off-road, there’s absolutely no doubt that an electric 4WD is going to be an impressive tool in terms of what it can do and how easy it is as the driver.
The silence allows you to hear what the tyres are doing, and the way you can modulate an electric accelerator pedal is so fine that tough off-road work is made easier in really bumpy scenarios. Our off-road drive at launch wasn’t too tough, but the electric drivetrain responded effortlessly.
We suspected after the international drive that the suspension tune would err on the side of firm on our poor roads, and that proved to be the case. There’s no doubt the Grand Cherokee edges closer to the way a premium Euro SUV rides on country roads. It’s not uncomfortable, but nasty surfaces and ruts do register through the cabin, and I’d prefer a softer suspension tune if I’m touring country areas often.
Around town, it’s less noticeable. If you live on the urban fringe or you tour into country areas regularly, though, you’ll notice the firm ride.
Keep in mind, too, that despite the extra ground clearance you can access by jacking the Grand Cherokee up off-road, it’s also firm at the outer reaches, so while you’re not touching down, you will be lifting wheels and looking a little more spectacular than you need to. The smarts of the Grand Cherokee’s off-road-focused driveline, though, ensure you can probably get anywhere so long as you’re smart behind the wheel. Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Lift air suspension are standard.
The move to a more luxurious offering is an interesting one for Jeep. Reason being that anything with a Jeep badge must be capable off-road first and foremost. Regardless of whether the buyer intends to take it too far off-road. It’s a similar issue faced by Land Rover/Range Rover. And, proper off-road ability paired with genuine luxury isn’t always an easy match. The English giant has nailed the combo, but it’s not an easy one to achieve.
I suspect nearly all Grand Cherokee 4xe buyers are going to spend their time trundling around town, so the off-road ability it possesses might be largely irrelevant. Still, if you want a sense of luxury paired with ability in harsh environments, choices are limited.
|Key details||2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol plug-in hybrid|
|Power||200kW @ 5250rpm petrol|
|Torque||400Nm @ 3000rpm petrol|
|Drive type||Four-wheel drive|
|Transmission||8-speed torque converter automatic|
|Spare tyre type||Full-size|
|Tow rating||2722kg braked|
Should I buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe?
In isolation, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is a high-quality large SUV that features genuine off-road credentials. We know that it can pretty much go anywhere, and do so with a cabin that is comfortable and luxurious.
The issue will come when buyers compare it to other SUVs that ask for the same circa $130-grand starting price before on-road costs. And, on that note, it's over to Australian buyers. Still, I'd have it on my test-drive list. And, if you live in the city, the 52km electric range is going to be useful.
How do I buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe – next steps?
With only one variant of the new 4xe available, it's pretty easy with Grand Cherokee to choose if you want a PHEV – the one we've tested. In short, it does everything it claims to and delivers a measure of luxury as well. Jeep Australia told Drive it has stock available for buyers right now. So, there's no waiting, if you want to test-drive one, head to your nearest Jeep dealer.
The next steps on the purchase journey are to check the Jeep website for stock of your preferred Grand Cherokee variant if the 4xe isn't the one you want. You can also find Jeeps for sale at Drive.com.au/cars-for-sale.
We strongly recommend taking a test drive at a dealership before committing because personal needs and tastes can differ. Find your nearest Jeep dealer via this link. We’d also recommend test-driving the Toyota LandCruiser 300 (if you can find one) and the Nissan Patrol because both are robust off-roaders with pedigree. If luxury is key, take a look at the excellent Land Rover Defender.
If you want to stay updated with everything that's happened to the Jeep range since our review, you'll find all the latest news here.