This is the not only the first two-row version of this new generation Grand Cherokee I worked with. It is also the first with the 4xe plug-in hybrid driveline.
Remember when I said in my Travelogue that the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Summit Reserve was the perfect vehicle to do this Connecticut trip in?
Perfect, as in being sustainable enough to meet the CARB State standards, as well as luxurious enough to make the stops that were chronicled in the Travelogue.
How perfect was this Grand Cherokee 4xe?
The last two WL Grand Cherokees I’ve worked with were of the three-row L variety. One was the Summit Reserve, while the other was the Altitude. This is the not only the first two-row version of this newest generation of Grand Cherokees I worked with. It is also the first with the 4xe plug-in hybrid driveline.
For those of you who were wondering, the 4xe is an exclusive driveline choice for the two-row Grand Cherokee. You can get this in six trim levels from a “base” 4xe to the Summit Reserve. It is also available on the Trailhawk model, as well.
The 4xe driveline consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, a 400-volt, 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the Quadra Trac II four-wheel drive system. Altogether, we’re talking 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
If the battery was full, I could get up to 25 miles of all-electric driving. Once the battery is down to near zero, the gasoline engine takes over. You can recoup some energy through E Select modes. Hybrid combines both power sources for a balanced drive. Electric simply concentrates on battery for its primary energy source. The eSave model flips priority to the gasoline engine, but it will save the battery for future recharge.
You can recharge the 4xe at a Level 2 station through its J1772 receptacle. That should take 2-3 hours from empty, depending on the charging station speed. Stellantis claims you can get up to 470 miles of combined driving range between a full battery and fuel tank. Oh, and the gasoline engine it takes Premium.
The two-row Grand Cherokee continues a tradition that started with the 1993 model – the one that smashed through the glass at Cobo Hall at its introduction. The new platform, now built at Stellantis’ newest assembly facility on Mack Avenue in Detroit, follows this tradition while offering a three-row version – the L.
The styling is nice and pleasing to the eye. The Velvet Red paint is complimented by the black roof. I actually like the styling – in particular, the distinctive rear taillight treatment and liftgate – better than the three-row L. It truly looks what I expect a Grand Cherokee should look like.
There is no question that you cannot get any more luxurious than the Summit Reserve trim. The grille is chrome, along with various trim elements, including the paint color trim. The 21-inch alloy wheels finish off the overall look of this top-of-the-line trim.
Once inside, you are treated to more luscious luxury in a saddle tan Palermo Leather upholstery called Tupelo. This is offset with black carpet and woodgrain trimmings. The seats are firm, but they never yielded any fatigue over the miles of exploration in Connecticut and over its state line. You truly have space for five – four adults, if you’re looking for maximum comfort.
The one thing I appreciated in the Grand Cherokee 4xe is its cargo space. Behind the rear seats, there was 37.7 cubic feet of cargo space. More than plenty of room for my luggage and walker. I could’ve brought the rollator to test out the space, but I was feeling good enough not to have it with me on this trip.
The Summit Reserve features a fully digital instrument cluster that is fully customizable with the information you need. The controls are of a higher level and exude confident – including the rotary transmission actuator. UConnect 5 drives the 10.1-inch touchscreen with a lot of connectivity and infotainment options. That included wireless smartphone mirroring and a wireless charger. I was treated to the McIntosh 19-speaker high performance audio system that let the sound flow throughout the cabin.
By now, you’re probably bored by all of this technical information. Let me tell you about my experience in this luxurious two-row Grand Cherokee as I traversed the state of Connecticut for this travel familiarization and immersion trip.
When you’re on the highway, the Grand Cherokee 4xe delivered on smooth performance and lovely cruising. Once you set the Adaptive Cruise Control, it simply did a wonderful job managing traffic and providing a comfortable ride. On rougher surfaces, the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s suspension managed these roads well without transmitting imperfections into the cabin.
Handling was on the soft side. Once poised below the limit, it will corner and manage evasive maneuvers quite well. Don’t think it’s a sportier vehicle, as this Grand Cherokee 4xe Summit Reserve is tuned to give you a luxury ride.
Unlike the other Grand Cherokees of this newest generation, the steering felt a bit lighter. Maybe it is because of the luxury vehicle tuning. Still, it had a solid turning radius – even slightly tighter due to its shorter length compared to the three-row L. The brakes did not feel as it was attached to an electrified vehicle. They delivered on solid stops in normal and panic situations. Pedal feel was also good.
All of this turned into the proper choice of traversing the state of Connecticut for the purpose of this media familiarization trip. Yet, there is more to this story. With this Grand Cherokee 4xe, I also picked up three more states that I have never driven before. My first leg was through New York as I left Westchester County Airport to connect with Interstate 84. Then, I took a short run up to Springfield, Massachusetts right to the door of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Lastly, a short hop eastbound from Mystic landed the Grand Cherokee 4xe and myself in Rhode Island.
In all, the Grand Cherokee 4xe helped made history for me by accomplishing visiting my 32nd and 33rd state ever. That, along with adding four more states for my driving total to 31.
With the amount of driving I did within four states, I averaged 23.3 MPG for fuel consumption. This was mostly using gasoline, since I found Level 2 chargers in a bad state of repairs. I never could get the chance to charge the 4xe up to utilize more battery energy. They exist, yes, but ‘cmon…
There is another reason why I called this 2023 Grand Cherokee 4xe Summit Reserve a “proper Connecticut vehicle.” – the price. Granted, I was thinking about Fairfield County more than other parts of the state, but I did see there were signs of similar locales where this Grand Cherokee 4xe would fit right at home.
With that said, my 4xe Summit Reserve tester came with a sticker price of $81,875. Yeah, it’s up there – even with the electrified plug-in driveline. You can get a Grand Cherokee 4xe in one of six trim levels, starting from $60,460. For those who rather not have the more efficient plug-in hybrid driveline, a two-row 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee does start from $45,235 with a choice of eight trim levels.
It should not take trek across a state to know that the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is road trip worthy. If one must do this in style, then this may be your ride.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by Stellantis North America. Travel arrangements and logistics provided by the Connecticut Office of Tourism
All photos by Randy Stern