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How Far Can a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Go on Electricity Alone?

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Plug-in hybrids represent an interesting option for a lot of buyers — the ones who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into all-electric ownership but still want a way to drive around most of the time without burning any gas. Combining a hybrid powertrain with a battery that’s big enough to power the vehicle for a spell before reverting to regular hybrid operation, PHEVs offer the benefits of an EV during shorter trips without the range anxiety or charging concerns during longer ones.

That’s the formula Jeep is using for its “4xe” plug-in hybrid system, which is available on the 2022 Grand Cherokee SUV. We wanted to see how far you can drive the Grand Cherokee 4xe on battery power alone — and how it performs when you do — and were pleasantly surprised with our results.

Related: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Review: Grander Across the Board

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The Ride

My test vehicle was a base Grand Cherokee 4xe, but the 4xe drivetrain is available on five trim levels: base, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and Summit Reserve, with increasingly nicer interiors and different off-road capabilities and standard features. Even the base model doesn’t come cheap: It starts at just under $60,000 (including destination fee), but it does include things like the Uconnect 5 multimedia system with navigation, a leather interior, four-wheel drive, a passenger-side dashboard touchscreen and a panoramic moonroof. My test vehicle also had the Luxury Technology Group Package and black paint that drove the as-tested price to $64,785.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe uses the same powertrain that’s in the Jeep Wrangler 4xe: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that also includes two electric motors and a 17-kilowatt-hour thermally managed lithium-ion battery pack. One motor is a beefed-up starter-generator that replaces the alternator; the other is sandwiched between the engine and transmission, replacing the transmission’s torque converter, and is used for electric propulsion.

The overall system makes 375 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque, so it’s no slouch in the acceleration department when you call upon it to deliver the beans. A standard Quadra Trac II four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case and 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio and 47.4:1 crawl ratio means it still retains impressive off-road ability, while a 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity means it can still haul boats, campers, car trailers or just about anything a normal V-6-equipped Grand Cherokee can.

Three drive modes are available in the 4xe: Hybrid, which lets the SUV decide what mix of gas and electric power to use; Electric, which keeps the Grand Cherokee in electric mode until the battery runs down or you do something like floor the accelerator and it decides to engage the gas engine for more oomph; and eSave, which will run the gas engine continually to preserve the battery’s state of charge. The latter can even put energy back into the battery as you’re driving. It’s useful for when you want to motor around city streets in Electric mode (where it’s most efficient) versus on the highway.

The SUV is EPA-rated to do up to 25 miles of all-electric driving before the gas engine kicks on, with a total range of 470 miles. But how far could we get it to go on electricity alone?

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The Route

The standard route I run for testing the electric range of PHEVs stretches from the Detroit bureau in Ann Arbor, Mich., to a barbecue restaurant in Dearborn, Mich., and back. The overall distance of about 70 miles includes a lot of stop-and-go suburban streets and a bit of higher-speed four-lane divided roadway, but no highways or interstates and no speeds above 55 mph.

Air conditioning was off to minimize energy consumption, windows were up to minimize aerodynamic drag, and the Max Regen button was pushed to maximize the amount of energy recovered when lifting off the accelerator pedal. Tires were inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended cold pressure, and the vehicle was switched into electric-only mode. The weather was perfect: a mid-70s sunny summer Michigan day with no precipitation. After ensuring the Grand Cherokee 4xe had a full tank of gas and a full charge on its battery, I set out.

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The Results

Upon startup, the Grand Cherokee 4xe was telling me it had 27 miles of electric-only range — but what I discovered is that if you drive it normally, keeping acceleration to moderate levels and not performing any stoplight drag races, you can actually get a Grand Cherokee 4xe to go 33 miles on electric power alone before the gas engine kicks on. And even when it switches back to working as a hybrid, it will still operate in Electric mode when it can, as in starting from a stop.

Recharging the Grand Cherokee 4xe when its battery is depleted takes around two hours on a 240-volt Level 2 charger, but it takes considerably longer on a traditional 15-amp household plug — or when using the SUV’s portable charger. Since my home 240-volt charger was on the fritz during this test, I had to rely on the portable charger plugged into a standard wall outlet when charging the SUV up at home, and charging the 17-kWh battery took around 14 hours. That’s fine if you’re plugging it in as soon as you arrive home from a daily work commute and plan to leave again in the morning, but it’s a suboptimal charging solution overall. A 240-volt charger makes quick work of the task.

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How It Drives

Driving the Grand Cherokee 4xe is … interesting. In Electric mode, it’s quiet, smooth and generally seamless. The eight-speed automatic transmission feels unusual combined with electric propulsion, but it’s smooth-shifting and doesn’t create any issues. In Hybrid mode, the transmission is a little less smooth; combining that transmission with both the electric and gas propulsion methods can lead to some herky-jerky responses, especially in sudden acceleration moments when the transmission kicks down and both the electric and gas motors are engaged.

This can lead to some neck-snapping motions and unusual acceleration qualities, but these situations are fairly rare. Still, the setup is not as smooth as ones that use a continuously variable automatic transmission, which in my experience tends to better blend gasoline and electric propulsion.


The Grand Cherokee 4xe can cover most peoples’ daily commute in Electric mode — and be ready to do it again the next day after recharging at home. Alternatively, it can tow a camper cross-country without charging up once in comfort and style with five people onboard. It’s not cheap, but few SUVs are cheap anymore.

If you’re looking to save a buck or two in gas but don’t plan on ever plugging it in, the average fuel economy I saw when driving in Hybrid mode was around 30 mpg, which is good for a big 4×4 SUV like this and considerably better than the V-6 model’s 22 mpg combined rating. But like most PHEVs, it’s best for someone who can make most of their trips in its electric-only mode. Keep it in that zone, and it can go farther than it’s rated.

Related Video:’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Aaron Bragman
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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