This week, I am looking at a new addition to the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup, the 2023 Trailhawk 4xe (four-by-e) Plug-In Hybrid. This is a 5-passenger, serious off-roader that doubles as a very nice daily driver, and very economical to drive. All Trailhawks are 4-wheel drive and Jeep Trail Rated for its off-road capability.
This is a really good-looking SUV in silver with a black roof, and some really meaty 265/60R Wrangler tires, although I don’t love the wheels, I wish they were 20”. Given it is a hybrid, you’ll see blue accents all around.
A blacked-out hood looks super and cuts down on glare and it features a blue Trailhawk logo. Blue tow hooks are seen in front, and they are functional, there is a blue recovery hook in the rear. All-in-all, it looks tough and mean.
Under the hood, it has a turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder engine that combines with a 17.3 Killowatt hour battery that drives electric motors in the front and the back. All that combined gives you 375-horses and 470-pound feet of torque. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic.
The interior is actually quite nice. The suede and leather seats are very comfortable, with Blue stitching which also runs through the door panels and across the dash. There is also the same stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel that has controls.
As you get comfy in the driver’s seat and hit the start button, a 10.4” digital gauge cluster comes to life. It is easy to read and highly configurable, it will also give you the hybrid range, gas range, and the combined range.
Center dash, you’ll find the touchscreen for the fabulous Uconnect 5 interface. That’s where you operate the sound system, navigation system, Bluetooth, climate settings, and a host of apps. This is also where you’ll find the terrific off-road pages which gives you everything you need to know when off-roading in your Trailhawk, including elevation and pitch and roll degrees. It also has wireless apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Above the touchscreen is a row of buttons to turn on regenerative braking, lane keep assist, parking assist and more. Below the touchscreen are buttons for all the climate control, the heated and cooled seats, the heated steering wheel, the button to turn off the start/stop system.
Further down, there is a wireless phone charger and USB and USC ports. This is also where you find the rotary dial transmission shifter and the drive modes which include: Rock, Sand/mud, Snow, Auto, and Sport. Each mode changes the digital gauge cluster.
Also there, you can lock in 4-wheel low, change the ride height, and disconnect the sway bar to give the Trailhawk more flexibility when rock climbing or other off-road activities. There are a couple of cupholders here, and a center armrest that doubles as storage.
In a new twist, to the left of the steering wheel, about where the driver’s knee is, are three buttons: Hybrid, Electric, and E-save. In hybrid, it operates like any other hybrid, in Electric it will run on all battery, and E-Save is pretty cool actually. You are running on all gas while the hybrid battery recharges. The recharge is surprisingly fast. Around 50 miles of gas driving will give you 100% hybrid battery charge, then you can switch back to all battery if you wish. If you choose to plug it in, charging time is 12 hours with a regular 110 outlet, and 2 hours with a Level 2 charger.
Moving to the back seat, it is quite roomy. Back seat riders have their own A/C vents, heated seats, a 110-power outlet, and two USB and two USC ports. Head and legroom are both exceptional.
Cargo area, without a third-row seat is massive and there is a power liftgate that operates handsfree or with the key fob.
This SUV is loaded, and besides what I’ve already mentioned, has remote start from the key fob, power tilt wheel, a panoramic moon roof, a rearview camera mirror, a full suite of safety features, and it even has Night Vision. The front passenger also has his or her own monitor in front of them that cannot be seen by the driver.
Ride and Drive
The surprise for me was that a vehicle that is so capable off-road would be so enjoyable as a daily driver. I think part of the credit goes to the air suspension system and the front and rear independent suspension that gives it a comfortable ride on the pavement.
Fuel economy is pretty amazing at 56 MPG-e and once you run through the 26 miles of battery range, you get 23 combined on just gas. Interior quietness is also good. MSRP is $73,125 and for such a capable, fuel-efficient vehicle, I think that’s a really good buy.