Review – Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Summit Reserve (2023)
Suppose you are looking for a luxury SUV, in the so-called E-segment. Then you could opt for an Audi Q7, BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GLE. Excellent choices, nothing wrong with them. Although, drive through Het Gooi and you’re guaranteed to run into one. Maybe your neighbors even have one already. What if you want to make a more distinctive choice? For example, what does the new Jeep Grand Cherokee have to offer?
Comeback as a plug-in hybrid
The Jeep Grand Cherokee returns to the Netherlands in a completely new guise. In 2021, Jeep introduced a new model generation – the fifth – and last year the model also came to Europe. Perhaps the most important news is the plug-in hybrid powertrain, which ensures low fuel consumption and therefore low emissions and, in turn, low bpm.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain
Let’s start with that powertrain. In Europe, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee always comes with a new, plug-in hybrid powertrain. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine, together with an electric motor, provides a system output of 280 kW (375 hp) and a torque of as much as 637 Nm. This will see you at 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds if you want. The 17.3 kWh battery provides an all-electric range of up to 51 km (WLTP), depending on the version. Average WLTP consumption comes out to 2.6 l/100km.
As the designation 4xe suggests, you have access to all-wheel drive. Comprehensive off-road driving modes and assistants ensure that, in good Jeep tradition, you can get along very well off the asphalt. Moreover, it is allowed 2,215 kg on the hook (braked), which is also something far from every plug-in hybrid can say.
Prices Jeep Grand Cherokee
This time, let’s also go through the prices right away. Or rather: price. When introduced last year, all trim levels were available, with a starting price of 84,100 euros. The fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid drive thus immediately offers its advantage, because due to the high bpm, the previous generation Grand Cherokee had a starting price of at least 113,735 euros. However, there is a “but.
Due to limited production for Europe/Netherlands, Jeep Netherlands has decided to offer only top model Summit Reserve. So you get the Jeep Grand Cherokee standard with all the trimmings. The downside is that this raises the Dutch starting price right away to 103,700 euros. That’s still a lot cheaper than before, though. The Summit version of the previous generation with similar power had a starting price of 153,035 euros.
Equipment Jeep Grand Cherokee
For that euroton, you do get a lot. Just a few highlights: leather upholstery, real walnut inlay, seat massage, head-up display, night vision, digital interior mirror, a premium McIntosh audio system, 10.1-inch central screen, a dedicated 10-inch wide infotainment screen for the front passenger. Two 10.1-inch screens for the rear passengers and body colors are the only options. The screen for the front passenger is constructed so that only the passenger can look at it; the driver simply sees a black surface and thus is not distracted.
The digital interior mirror is especially beneficial when rear-seat passengers or luggage in the rear block the view through the rear window. The mirror shows a nice clear image, just in the place of the regular interior mirror. In the dark or when there is moisture (rain) or dirt on the camera, the image does get a little cloudy quickly.
Competitors Jeep Grand Cherokee
Market positioning of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a tricky story in Europe. In America, the model falls in the upper middle class both in terms of price and dimensions. In Europe, we are used to smaller cars. Add to that the fact that the Grand Cherokee is more expensive here than in the US. The bpm is not too bad for a change, but there are also import costs to get the car into Europe. All in all, in terms of price and dimensions, Jeep enters the so-called E-segment here, between cars such as the aforementioned Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. Even a “bare” Range Rover Sport comes to mind.
Another obvious Jeep competitor is the Ford Explorer PHEV. That car is similar in many ways. However, there are two important differences. The Ford also comes here in only one trim level, but one that is a lot more affordable than the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve at a price of 88,345 euros. Second, the Ford Explorer PHEV will soon fall away as a competitor, as the model is about to make way in Europe – or so the official read – for the all-new (but much smaller) Ford Explorer EV.
On the road with the Jeep Grand Cherokee
Fortunately, the Jeep Grand Cherokee holds its own among its E-segment competitors. The quality experience in the interior is spot on, with the wood inlays and tartan pattern in the leather upholstery creating a lovely American feel. Another thing to notice: lots of buttons on the dashboard. If only we saw that more often! Especially frequently used functions such as climate control you now operate quickly and intuitively. Less frequently used functions, such as specific audio or other settings, are controlled via the touchscreen with clear and logical menu structures. That’s the way it should be, as far as we’re concerned.
Easy parking with the Jeep Grand Cherokee
Admittedly, the first time parking out at the importer and the first meters after that feel a bit like being on the road with a truck. Especially since just before that we drove the compact Jeep Avenger. However, the dimensions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee get used extremely quickly. All kinds of parking sensors and cameras also help you maneuver. Yet you don’t even need them that often. The body of the Grand Cherokee is surprisingly uncluttered and settles well. In fact, we didn’t even need the parking assistants. Parking in is also fine using just the mirrors and just looking outside.
Driveability Jeep Grand Cherokee
What else stands out while driving the Jeep Grand Cherokee? The silence on board, for example. Especially in all-electric driving mode (up to 130 km/h), a serene calm prevails on board. In Hybrid mode, that is, when the car itself chooses the most efficient form of propulsion, the gasoline engine does quickly jump in. At low load, you notice it mainly by a soft hum and a slight vibration in the accelerator pedal.
When the four-cylinder has to work mainly by itself, it does occasionally make itself noticeably heard and that somewhat raucous sound does not fit the car very well. On that score, the competition offers a bit more sophistication, although the sound gets used quickly. At constant speed, the engine does work nicely in the background. Even with a “dead” battery, some power remains to get going from standstill. The Jeep Grand Cherokee does drive best when there is (more) power in the battery. Then the powertrain is a bit quieter and smoother, and also, thanks to the electric motor, the car responds just a bit more alertly to the gas pedal. Of course, there is a regeneration mode, which allows the Grand Cherokee to generate extra power during coasting and braking to recharge the battery.
The Jeep’s suspension is relatively firm. Short bumps are easily felt. On the other hand, this does make the Jeep Grand Cherokee remarkably tight on the road, even when cornering. In the process, it does not quite manage to hide its weight (2,578 kg on registration), but that also gives it a powerful feeling. You don’t buy the Grand Cherokee to attack corners anyway, you buy it to arrive at your destination in peace and comfort. He succeeds excellently at that. That destination may be far away from us as we whiz along the asphalt in comfort. By the way, the Jeep’s ride height is adjustable. Low for optimal aerodynamics, high for when you go off-roading (or want the most imposing look possible).
Practical features Jeep Grand Cherokee
When we move to the back seat, we have more than enough room even there with our height of about 1.80 meters. Also with the front seat in our booth. However, (the edge of) the beautiful panoramic roof does cause us to just sit with our crown against the roof. The luggage space measures a generous 533 liters. That’s measured up to the parcel shelf, so you can stack a little further above that. Only practical point of improvement is that there is not really a storage place for the charging cable.
Practical consumption Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Summit Reserve
WLTP consumption for the version we tested is 2.6 l/100km, with an all-electric range of 48 km. Up front, real-world consumption depends entirely on how often you charge the battery and what kind of trips you take next. So we cannot report a general practice value for that.
Still, to give you an idea: with a full battery, the on-board computer reports a range of 49 km, so just over the theory. In practice, of course, you rarely achieve that distance. Still, we came close to 40 practice miles, after a drive that was about half on the highway and then through town. When we had not charged the Jeep as an experiment, we arrived at an average fuel consumption of 8.9 l/100 km (1 in 11.2) on those (varied) trips. Pretty neat for a car of this size and weight.
Night vision in the Jeep Grand Cherokee
You already saw it in the list of standard equipment: the Jeep Grand Cherokee has a night vision camera. That shows its images on the digital instrument cluster behind the wheel. That does not necessarily provide better visibility than through the windshield. For that, the camera image is too dark and has too little contrast. Also, the display there is just outside your regular field of view. One big advantage of the night vision camera, though, is that cyclists and pedestrians are clearly marked in yellow on the display, so you definitely won’t overlook them. The system also knows how to properly distinguish cyclists and pedestrians from trees or other objects right next to the road.
We are very pleased that the Jeep Grand Cherokee has made its return to the Dutch market. It is a distinctive choice in the segment of luxury SUV models, and thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain, it is also very economical. In addition, the Grand Cherokee offers very fine handling. We came to appreciate it more and more over the course of the test week. We do hope that the importer will reconsider adding the lower trim levels back to the lineup, so that the starting price drops a bit. Then the Grand Cherokee becomes an interesting offering at all.