What does it mean to break the glass ceiling? While the metaphor means something different to everyone, Jeep took it literally in the early 1990s. The automaker turned heads in 1992 when the Grand Cherokee made its way up the steps of Cobo Hall at the North American International Auto Show, driving through and shattering a glass window. The moment was incredibly significant as Jeep sent a clear message to the industry: the Grand Cherokee was the premium SUV.
Since its debut in 1992, the Grand Cherokee has fulfilled its promise and set new benchmarks in the segment. It refuses to ask drivers to compromise, offering the legendary capability of the Jeep name with exceptional luxuries and innovative technologies that transform every experience behind the wheel. Today, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee continues that tradition in a new way, shattering another piece of the industry’s proverbial glass ceiling with models like the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and its plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe begs the question, “Can adventure-ready SUVs ‘go green?'” Jeep seems to think so, promising more capability from the plug-in hybrid powertrain than imaginable. Of course, there are some logistics to consider, like plugging in to recharge and the effects of four-wheel drive on the SUV’s range. For off-road enthusiasts, those questions are fundamental and are worthy of further exploration.
A Greener Power Source: Trailhawk 4xe PHEV Powertrain
Jeep is renowned for award-winning powertrains like the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine, so it’s difficult to imagine the automaker would mess with that. However, the progression toward an all-electric future is pushing America’s leading automakers to pivot. Jeep’s version of pivoting is impressive, making adventure a little greener with models like the 2023 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and its 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Rather than solely relying on a gas-powered heartbeat, the Trailhawk 4xe sources its power from a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and a 400-volt battery pack. Jeep completes the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk’s powertrain with its proven TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. The transmission offers wider gear ratios to ensure the engine always operates at the ideal RPM. Moreover, the transmission’s on-the-fly shift mapping enhances responsiveness, immediately adjusting according to the driver’s input. But what impact does this have on the Trailhawk’s performance?
The shift-on-the-fly transmission continuously adapts to the situation by constantly acquiring situational data, reading changes in engine torque, acceleration, operating temperature, and even detecting hills. This responsiveness heightens the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk’s performance, with the engine generating 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of near-instant torque. Now, compare this output to Jeep’s award-winning 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine that produces 293 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and you’ll see why the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is full of surprises.
A Range of Possibilities: Driving Range and Capabilities
A hybrid-powered Jeep is almost as unimaginable as an all-electric truck. Many question how a truck powered by electricity could match the capability we’ve come to expect from our favorite workhorses. However, the last few years have taught us that going electric doesn’t mean sacrificing power or capability. In the case of the 2023 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe, opting for a hybrid doesn’t diminish the possibilities of adventure.
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk’s hybrid powertrain offers the unique benefit of instantaneous torque for exceptional off-the-line acceleration, responsiveness, and handling. The 4xe powerplant promises an all-electric driving range of 25 miles, a combined fuel economy of 56 MPGe, and a total driving range of 470 miles. Jeep lets you harness the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk’s power with three drive modes–Hybrid, Electric, and eSave. Hybrid Mode balances the 2.0L engine and electric motor for maximum horsepower and instantaneous torque for exceptional acceleration in any condition. eSave Mode prioritizes the 2.0L engine to save battery power, whereas Electric Mode does the opposite by delivering instant torque without emissions. What does this mean in a realm of trail-ready adventurers?
While most off-roaders would love to spend every waking minute on the trail, reality sets in, and there are jobs to do and time clocks to punch. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk meets those expectations, making your commute more efficient with the three driving modes. However, when adventure calls, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk never falters and offers an exquisite off-road experience that gives you the best of both worlds–the expected range of a gas-powered vehicle but a new type of thrill in the great outdoors.
Once you’re deep in the woods, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk redefines Jeep’s legendary immersive driving experience. Switching the SUV into eSave Mode quiets the engine for a nearly silent drive. Instead of a rumbling noise under the hood, you can hear every chirping bird, running stream, and crackling campfire. It’s a new type of outdoor experience that only Jeep offers.
Powering Your Adventure: From the Sun to the Stars
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk isn’t an all-electric vehicle, an obvious but important factor to remember. The likelihood of getting stuck in the middle of the woods without a way home isn’t any higher because you’re running the trails with a hybrid powertrain. The main concern is running out of gas, and off-roaders are typically well-prepared for that with extra fuel cans anytime they venture off the pavement.
Even so, Jeep engineers confidence in hybrids like the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and sets the stage for an all-electric future with its growing network of charging stations. While EV charging stations are more readily available nationwide, Jeep is taking a different approach and remaining true to its reputation for adventure. The automaker is installing solar-powered charging stations at the busiest and most popular off-road trails across America, giving Grand Cherokee Trailhawk drivers access to power even when adventure calls.
When you’re not exploring off the beaten path, recharging the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is straightforward, much like charging your smartphone. Jeep recognizes that Grand Cherokee drivers aren’t looking for extra downtime because every minute spent at home is lost on the trail, in the woods, or around a campfire. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk minimizes that downtown with its Jeep Brand Level II PHEV Home Charging Station.
Home-based charging is faster than ever, with the Level II station recharging the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk’s battery six times faster than a standard Level 1 charger. Moreover, it doesn’t take a Ph.D. in EVs to operate. Instead, its quick-release mount is simple, and its built-in WiFi connectivity gives you more control over when the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk recharges, letting you set the schedule via an app on your smartphone.
Jeep Capability With New Packaging
The 2023 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk defies convention, once again setting new standards in the industry by proving a hybrid can answer the call of the wild. The Trailhawk’s 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain isn’t like any other hybrid in the industry because it’s paired with Jeep’s TorqueFlite transmission and legendary Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive system. This winning combination gives the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk its fuel-sipping on-road manners without compromising its penchant for adventure when the pavement ends.
With drive modes like eSave, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk redefines what adventure means in the Jeep lineup. It puts the SUV in stealth mode and draws your attention to why you’re in the woods in the first place–to explore, commune with nature, and immerse yourself in the fresh air. For the first time in Jeep history, Jeep offers a nearly silent driving experience that doesn’t require you to settle for anything less than extraordinary. It’s an experience worth considering and proves the very reason why the industry is making the push toward a greener future.