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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe: First Drive

The Jeep family of vehicles has played a big part in our lives for the past 6 years or so as we own a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model. The Grand Cherokee is really the size we would want now with a 5-year-old kid in tow, and this PHEV Trailhawk 4xe is high on our list of vehicles we are interested in as our next family vehicle.

I was lucky enough to get to drive this on a Jeep-designed course at the 2023 Midwest Automotive Media Association’s Spring Rally in Wisconsin, a long way from my typical off-road proving grounds in East Texas. That did not stop me from testing all the things that Jeep claims to be their barometers for earning the Trail Rated badge on the front fender.

Water fording, ground clearance, articulation, traction, and maneuverability are the hallmarks of the Jeep Trail Rated badge, and this Trailhawk model is the most cable of the Grand Cherokee lineup. Only available in the shorter 2-row version of the all-new Grand Cherokee, we sampled the 4xe version that ditches the HEMI V8 of the last generation for an even more powerful 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder and electric motor combination good for 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, all while getting good fuel economy returns. Jeep claims over 20 miles of all-electric range before the gas engine needs to kick in.

I only had about half an hour with the vehicle, spanning over lunchtime, to get my quick tour and first drive impressions out of the way on a speed date of this capable SUV. It was enough to let me know I want more time in one, and I definitely want to take one to my favorite off-road spot in East Texas: Barnwell Mountain to see what it is really like.

I did notice that even in its highest ride height, made possible by the Quadra-Lift adjustable air suspension, the breakover angle still had me sliding over one of the obstacles designed for this course. I am curious what the 10.9 inches of ground clearance would be like on a non-manufactured course.

Overall I was pleased with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe, but I do still have some lingering questions I hope to get answered with a future test back home in Texas.

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe Specs:

  • 2.0L Direct Injection 4-cylinder Engine PHEV

  • 375 Horsepower

  • 470 lb-ft of Torque

  • 8-speed Automatic Transmission

  • Quadra-Trac II 4x4 System with 2-speed Transfer Case

  • Quadra-Drive II with Rear Electronic Limited Slip Differential

  • Quadra-Lift Air Suspension with up to 10.9 Inches of Ground Clearance

  • Water-sealed Battery Pack for up to 24 Inches of Water Fording Capability

  • Underbody Protection

  • 3 Electric Drive Modes:

    • Hybrid - Max Horsepower, Instant Torque, and Improved MPG

    • Electric - Fully Electric

    • ESave - Fully Gasoline-powered

  • 5 Drive Modes:

    • Rock

    • Sand/Mud

    • Snow

    • Auto

    • Sport

  • 6,000 lbs. of Maximum Towing

  • Independent Multi-link Front Suspension with Stabilizer Bar Disconnect

  • Multi-link Rear Suspension

  • 18-inch Machined Faced Aluminum Wheels

  • 265/60R18 Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain Tires

  • LED Headlights with Automatic High Beams

  • LED Brake Lights

  • Seating for 5

  • Leather and Simulated Suede Seating Surfaces

  • 8-way Power Front Seats with Driver's 2-person Memory Settings

  • 4-way Power Lumbar on Front Seats

  • Heated and Ventilated Front Seats

  • 60/40 Split Folding Rear Seat with Heated Outboard Seats

  • 10.25-inch Digital Instrument Panel

  • 10.1-inch Infotainment Screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

  • Front Passenger Screen with Amazon Fire TV

  • 10-speaker Audio System

  • 37.7 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space Behind the Rear Seat

  • 70.8 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space with Rear Seat Folded

  • Proximity Key with Push Button Start

  • 25 Miles of Estimated Electric-only Range on a Full Charge

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 56 MPGe

  • Starting Price: $65,260

  • Price As Tested: $72,630

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