- Comfortable and confident on pavement
- Class-leading capability off-pavement
- Upscale cabin with wide range of advanced technology available
- Least-expensive four-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee still costs over $40,000
Jeep is in the midst of a series of product launches, with all-new or redesigned models appearing in multiple segments. This includes Jeep’s best-selling nameplate, the Grand Cherokee, which saw its first-ever three-row version launch a few months ago. Looking at iSeeCars.com’s sales and depreciation data, we see the Grand Cherokee ranking among the best-selling midsize SUVs, and among the best at retaining its value. Now the all-new 2022 Grand Cherokee two-row model is heading to showrooms, and we just drove it through the winding curves and aggressive off-road courses near Moab, Utah.
How Does the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Drive?
Driving the Grand Cherokee on pavement reveals no compromises, despite its extreme off-road prowess. The Jeep’s all-new chassis leverages an independent front and rear suspension, along with a 36-millimeter wider track for 2022, to provide smooth, car-like ride and handling confidence. Wind and road noise is also minimized, making it a comfortable long-distance family hauler. Higher trim Grand Cherokees (Trailhawk and Summit) come standard with 4x4 drivetrains and the Quadra-Lift semi-active air suspension. A Selec-Terrain traction management system with five drive modes (Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Mud/Sand) is also available, and on the twisting mountain roads above Moab we appreciated the “Sport” mode’s reduced body roll.
Venturing off-road, which is the Grand Cherokee’s forte, is where this SUV differentiates itself from the competition. While rear-wheel drive comes standard on the base Grand Cherokee Laredo trim, Jeep offers three 4x4 systems for buyers seeking additional capability. The Quadra-Trac I system starts with a single-speed transfer case and sensors that adjust torque between the front and rear axles when slippage is detected, making it perfect for foul-weather driving. Quadr-Trac II adds a two-speed transfer case with low range gearing, allowing the Grand Cherokee to climb up and over deep ruts or steep terrain. Quadra-Drive II is the Grand Cherokee’s most advanced 4x4 system, adding an electronic limited-slip rear differential and the ability to send up to 100 percent of torque to the left or right wheels, based on available traction.
The Quadra-Drive II system comes standard on the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk trim, along with the aforementioned Quadra-Lift air suspension, skid plates, class-exclusive sway-bar disconnect technology, and best-in-class approach angle (36 degrees), departure angle (30 degrees), ground clearance (11.3 inches) and water fording (24 inches). The Trailhawk features unique front and rear fascias to achieve those approach and departure specs, along with a low-mounted off-road camera to give drivers a detailed view of the terrain they’re crossing. The Quadra-Drive II system is standard on top-of-line Grand Cherokee Summit models, and optional on the Grand Cherokee Overland, but only the Trailhawk includes the sway-bar disconnect and off-road camera tech, making it the clear choice for serious off-road enthusiasts.
We tested a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk on the high desert trails above Moab. The route required the Grand Cherokee to navigate between large rocks, travel up and down steep grades and scale sandstone ledges. The integrated off-road camera made it far easier to place the Jeep’s wheels between rocks and ruts, even without an external spotter to help. We also appreciated Jeep’s Selec-Speed Control technology, which is essentially cruise control for off-roading. It lets you set a specific speed that the Grand Cherokee maintains through computer-controlled throttle and brake application, regardless of how steep of a trail you are traveling up or down. It’s this level of off-road capability that has established, and maintains, Jeep’s brand value.
What is the Gas Mileage for the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee powertrain options start with a standard 3.6-liter V6 engine delivering 19 mpg city, 26 highway mpg and 22 mixed mpg in both two- and four-wheel-drive configuration. This engine offers 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and sends power through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Grand Cherokees equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 engine deliver 14 mpg city, 22 highway mpg and 17 mixed mpg. The V8 makes 357 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, uses the same eight-speed automatic, and only comes in four-wheel drive. Jeep incorporates front-axle disconnect technology to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency on 4x4 versions, and the new model is both more aerodynamic and lighter by 250 pounds compared to the previous version. That lighter weight keeps the V6 from feeling anemic in the 4,400-pound SUV. Adding the V8 increases overall weight by around 300 pounds while impacting fuel economy, but it does improve acceleration and bumps maximum towing capacity from 6,200 to 7,200 pounds.
Grand Cherokee buyers seeking maximum fuel efficiency might want to wait for the upcoming Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid model, due in showrooms in early 2022. This model will feature a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine paired with a generator/motor and 8-speed automatic, for a total output of 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Jeep is targeting 25 miles of pure electric range, a total range of 440 miles, and an EPA rating of 57 MPGe. The Grand Cherokee 4xe has already conquered the Rubicon Trail, so going hybrid doesn’t preclude going off road.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Interior Design
Jeep’s engineers told us they wanted the new Grand Cherokee’s interior to stand out from the market through a combination of advanced technology presented in a warm, friendly environment. The result is a combination of premium materials wrapped around multiple 10-inch, high-resolution touchscreen displays and soft, ambient lighting. This includes an available rear-seat entertainment system with dual 10-inch displays and Amazon Fire TV integration, plus a dedicated interactive 10-inch passenger display, first seen in the recently-introduced Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Additional options, like a 19-speaker, 950-watt McIntosh audio system, quilted Palermo leather seats (with massage feature), and a full-color head-up display, elevate the fully-loaded Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve trim from premium off-roader to full-blown luxury SUV.
We were suitably impressed with the Grand Cherokee’s combination of legroom, headroom, cargo space and convenience features during our off-road adventure, even without the third-row included on the new Grand Cherokee L. For the 2022 model year Grand Cherokee, an inch of rear-seat knee room and 6.4 cubic feet of additional cargo space were added. The mid-grade Trailhawk comes standard with Capri leather seats with suede inserts, heated first- and second-row seats, ventilated front seats, a power rear liftgate, a 9-speaker Alpine audio system, and Jeep’s latest Uconnect 5 infotainment system, including navigation. And a dual pane panoramic sunroof, wireless smart phone charger, and digital rearview mirror can be added to the Trailhawk, with many of these features standard on the Overland or Summit trims. Subtle styling cues help differentiate the Grand Cherokee interiors, including red contrast stitching in the Trailhawk or blue interior accents in the upcoming 4xe.
How Much Does the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Cost?
All that off-road capability and feature content doesn’t come cheap. A base 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with the 3.6-liter engine, two-wheel drive and advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and smartphone connections Android Auto/Apple CarPlay starts at a $39,185 msrp. Adding the Quadra-Trac I four-wheel-drive system bumps the Laredo price to $41,185. From there the price jumps to $45,505 for a two-wheel-drive Limited trim, or $47,505 for a 4x4 version. The Trailhawk comes standard with four-wheel drive and the aforementioned off-road equipment, along with a $53,070 starting price, or $56,365 for a V8 Trailhawk. The Grand Cherokee Overland loses some of the Trailhawk’s off-road capability, but adds luxury content for a starting price of $55,100 with two-wheel drive, $57,100 with four-wheel drive and $60,395 with the V8.
The top-line Grand Cherokee Summit is $59,160 (4x2), $61,160 (4x4), or $64,455 with the V8. There’s also a “Summit Reserve” package that adds the Palermo leather, open-pore wood trim, 21-inch wheels and the McIntosh audio system, bringing the price to $65,160 with the V6 engine or $68,455 with the V8. From our perspective, while the base versions of the 2022 Grand Cherokee cost a chunk more than most competitors, the higher trim levels provide a lot of feature content for a not-unreasonable price. We’d argue there’s better value in a wisely-equipped Trailhawk or Overland than a Laredo or Limited, at least until an SRT or Trackhawk version is released on this new platform. But no Jeep Grand Cherokee review is complete without emphasizing this SUV’s ability to carry people comfortably and confidently on any paved, or unpaved, surface. If that’s what you want, the 2022 Grand Cherokee remains a top choice.
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