Jeep today unveiled the all-new 2022 Grand Cherokee midsize SUV, whose arrival at the brand’s Canadian dealers later this year will mark the model’s fifth generation.

As what is arguably Jeep’s most important model after the Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee has a big reputation to carry on its shoulders, and so it promises more of many things.

Jeep says the Trailhawk package gives the new Grand Cherokee more off-road capability than previous generations; a new 4xe PHEV powertrain promises more economical driving and 40 km of battery-only driving range; there’s more tech, including an available front-passenger infotainment screen and McIntosh sound system; the interior is more spacious; a new Summit Reserve trim promises more luxury; and there are more standard and available safety features on offer.

What the Grand Cherokee doesn’t have is as much seating as the three-row Grand Cherokee L or the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer models that Jeep has already started delivering to customers. The standard Grand Cherokee coming later this year is the two-row, five-seat model that serves as the SUV’s starting point.

4xe PHEV drivetrain

The 4xe PHEV drive system comprises a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and a 17-kWh battery pack, all of which promise 40 km of all-electric driving before the engine joins the party to help generate combined power ratings of 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.

The first of the 4xe powertrain’s two electric motors is a small unit mounted on the front of the engine and connected to it via a drive belt. It doubles as a starter and also generates electricity for the battery. The main motor is built into the eight-speed transmission and is connected to the engine via a clutch that disengages during battery-only driving.

When running as a gas-electric hybrid, Jeep estimates the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s fuel consumption at 4.1 Le/100 km. A driver-selectable maximum-regeneration feature works like the one-pedal driving function in many EVs, helping to aggressively recharge the battery any time the driver lifts off the accelerator.

Jeep will offer the 4xe powertrain in Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve trim levels.

4x4 systems and Trailhawk package

Jeep will offer the Grand Cherokee with Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II 4WD systems, with Quadra-Drive II gaining a limited-slip rear differential. An available Quadra-Lift air suspension can provide up to 28.7 cm (11.3 inches) of ground clearance and includes five height settings and ride control that automatically adjusts to road conditions.

New to the 2022 Grand Cherokee is a front-axle disconnect feature that turns the truck into a rear-driver to improve fuel economy when four-wheel traction isn’t needed.

A Selec-Terrain drive mode system lets the driver choose from auto, sport, rock, snow, and mud/sand settings.

Grand Cherokee’s Trailhawk trim level comes fitted with all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels; air suspension; an off-road camera; more aggressive approach, departure and breakover angles; Selec-Speed Control, which works like off-road cruise control; high-strength steel skid plates; red tow hooks; and a black-and-red hood decal.

Jeep says a Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe travelled the length of the Rubicon Trail exclusively on battery power; the 4xe’s electrical system is fully waterproofed and capable of fording water 61 cm (24 inches) deep.

Grand Cherokee conventional powertrains

Non-hybrid Grand Cherokee models are powered by either a 3.6L V6 (293 hp/260 lb-ft) or a 5.7L V8 (357 hp/390 lb-ft), and both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Tow ratings are 2,812 kg (6,200 lb) with the V6, and 3,265 kg (7,200 lb) when equipped with the available 5.7L V8 engine. The 4xe can tow 2,720 kg (6,000 lb).

All trims – Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Overland, Trailhawk, Summit, and Summit Reserve – come standard with the V6. Overland, Trailhawk, Summit, and Summit Reserve will offer the V8 as an option, and the 2.0L turbo 4xe PHEV setup will be available in Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve.

Interior space and technology

Jeep says the new Grand Cherokee’s 4,094 L of total passenger volume is an improvement of 116 L over the outgoing Grand Cherokee, and 1,067.5 L of cargo space is a 39.6-L boost. Outside, a track widened by 3.6 cm (1.4 inches) promises better handling than before.

The occupants making use of that extra space also get some new toys to play with. Jeep says the Grand Cherokee’s Uconnect 5 infotainment system is the most advanced version ever, and will power up to five screens: the gauge cluster and centre console screens are 10.1-inchers, and an optional front passenger display measures 10.25 inches. You can also get two 10.1-inch rear-seat entertainment screens.

Like the three-row Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer models, the Grand Cherokee will offer a McIntosh sound system with 19 speakers, and a 17-channel amp good for 950 watts of power.

Other available tech includes a head-up driver display, Apple and Android smartphone connectivity, a digital rearview mirror, wireless smartphone charging, and the ability to pair two phones via Bluetooth simultaneously.

On the safety front, all Grand Cherokee trims will include forward collision warning with automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise, active lane management, lane-departure alert with steering assist, rear parking sensors with auto braking, and tire pressure monitoring. In the options list, you’ll find night vision with pedestrian and animal detection, intersection collision assist, drowsy driver detection, parallel/perpendicular parking assist, and a 360-degree exterior camera system.

Gas-powered versions of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee will arrive at Canadian dealers in the fourth quarter of 2021, with the PHEV 4xe to follow in early 2022. Pricing will be announced closer to the Grand Cherokee’s on-sale dates.