My Inner Child and Outward Adult Both Love the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Overland

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4Xe. Photo: Allison Bell
The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe. Photo: Allison Bell

When I was a little girl, my dream car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Honestly, that was mostly based on the fact that I loved saying its name. Jeep Grand Cherokee! Jeep. Grand. Cherokee. It sounded so fancy. As an adult, I have yet to own one, so when I learned that we would be getting a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe (pronounced four-by-E) for a week, my inner child did a little happy dance. Of course, I never could have envisioned getting a plug-in hybrid version of my favorite SUV (or what a plug-in hybrid even was) when I was 8 years old. But had my younger self seen what was in her future, I think she would have been pretty excited.

We got special permission to take our Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe on a 1,500-mile road trip, so we tested its chops as both a long-distance family road trip car and a daily driver. So, is it still a dream car, even in its hybridized form? Hop in and I’ll tell you.

Related: Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Electric Car: All the Jeep You Want with None of the Gas Station Stops

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4Xe Steering Wheel And Driver Display Screen. Photo: Allison Bell

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe steering wheel and driver display screen. Photo: Allison Bell

Loading Up for a Long Trip

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe barely had time to breathe in our driveway before we packed it to the brim and headed on a 700-mile drive to the California coast. I was worried that the two-row, five-passenger Jeep would be a bit cramped for our 7- and 4-year-old kids since they’re used to a slightly bigger car, but those fears quickly washed away.

Installing Car Seats And Boosters Was A Breeze In This Grand Cherokee 4Xe. (We Added The Portable Dvd Players.) Photo: Allison Bell

Installing car seats and boosters was a breeze in this Grand Cherokee 4xe. (We added the portable DVD players.) Photo: Allison Bell

After installing the booster and car seat, there was plenty of room for the kids to stretch their legs and still have easy access to the snack bag and their backpacks full of toys. And that was with the driver and passenger seat comfortably pushed back.

Pretty Pleased With How Easy It Was To Load Up The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4Xe With All Our Of Travel Essentials. Photo By Allison Bellthe 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4Xe. Photo: Allison Bell

Pretty pleased with how easy it was to load up the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe with all our of travel essentials. Photo by Allison BellThe 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe. Photo: Allison Bell

The cargo area has 37.7 cubic feet of space with the second-row seats up and that proved to be more than sufficient for all of our stuff. (I didn’t even pack lightly.) With everyone buckled up and all our travel items in tow, we were ready to hit the road!

Plenty Of Ambient Lighting Makes Things Easy To See At Night Inside The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4Xe. Photo: Allison Bell

Plenty of ambient lighting makes things easy to see at night inside the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe. Photo: Allison Bell

Staying Comfortable for 12 Hours of Driving

Going from the extremes of high-altitude cold to coastal warmth meant that we got to test out the various amenities Jeep included in the Overland 4xe. Its “rugged luxury” may be primarily geared toward off-roaders, but our tester’s four-zone automatic temperature control, Nappa leather seats with heated/ventilated capability up front and other luxuries sure kept things cozy for the long drive. I was particularly grateful for the massaging front seats once we’d spent several hours on the road. Mmm.

One Of My Favorite Features On The Grand Cherokee Overland 4Xe Massaging Chairs. Photo: Allison Bell

One of my favorite features on the Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe Massaging chairs. Photo: Allison Bell

Even my kids — who hardly ever sleep in the car — both dozed off for hours at a time thanks to the climate control system and manual window shades in the second row. The adaptive air suspension may have had something to do with that as well.

Our Kids Stayed Happy And Comfortable In The Second Row During Our 12-Hour Ride. Photo: Allison Bell

Our kids stayed happy and comfortable in the second row during our 12-hour ride. Photo: Allison Bell

Yes, It Has a Passenger Screen — But Here’s What You Need to Know About It

I’ll admit, when I found out that the passenger seat had its own interactive display, I was pretty excited; I would be able to fire up the rear seat screens and regulate what the kids were watching from my own screen. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option since our Overland 4xe didn’t come with the rear seat entertainment package (however, we easily attached our own screens to the seat backs so our kids could relax with a video). Then, with my husband and I taking turns behind the wheel, I envisioned using the screen to indulge in a Netflix series or two to pass the time when it was my turn for a break. I could also connect Bluetooth headphones and listened to FM, AM or Sirius XM radio, use the HDMI outlet to connect an Xbox or connect my phone via the USB. And if I wanted to really be a good co-pilot, I could use the screen to monitor our navigation and set destinations, which of course, could be done on the center screen, too.

Can You See The Passenger Display Screen The Driver Can'T! Photo: Allison Bell

Can you see the passenger display screen The driver can’t! Photo: Allison Bell

I did learn that I could look up restaurants, gas stations, etc., and send them to the driver without interrupting the main screen navigation system. All the driver has to do is click “Accept” and the stop gets added into the route. And if, for some reason, I wanted to check out the surround-camera view, that was another option on the passenger screen. But again, I wondered how necessary this was, especially with a 10.1-inch touch screen just inches away. Some may like the passenger screen — but I’d probably pass on this feature.

Related: It’s Jeep 4xe Day, And There Are Some New Electrics Coming Our Way!

The Grand Cherokee 4Xe_S Passenger Display Screen Lets You Look Up Destinations And Send Them To The Driver. Photo: Allison Bell

The Grand Cherokee 4xe_s passenger display screen lets you look up destinations and send them to the driver. Photo: Allison Bell

Safety Features Galore put my Mind at Ease

Anytime I hit the road with my kids on board, safety is a top priority for me. You never know when someone is going to slam on their brakes, cut you off or veer into your lane. All of these things happened on our 1,500-mile road trip. When a car in the lane to the right started drifting into our lane, the Jeep immediately hit the brakes to avoid a collision. The same thing happened when highway traffic came to a sudden stop and we narrowly avoided slamming into the car ahead of us. Thank you, responsive brakes!

A Spare Tire And A Charging Cable Are Stowed In The Cargo Area. Photo: Allison Bell

A spare tire and a charging cable are stowed in the cargo area. Photo: Allison Bell

With the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, you get a standard assortment of safety features such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, among others. But my personal favorite feature — especially when I’m driving long distances — is adaptive cruise control. I love that I can set my speed and following distance and the car adapts to the flow of traffic without needing to reset anything. Ahh.

Our Overland 4xe also had the Active Driving Assist System, but I found it to be a little too sensitive for my liking because it repeatedly redirected the wheel to the exact center of the lane. While I’m all for staying in your own lane, I found I was in much better control of the car when I turned this feature off.

The Grand Cherokee Overland 4Xe Has Four-Zone Automatic Temperature Control, Massaging Front Seats And A Digital Rearview Mirror, Among Other Amenities. Photo: Allison Bell

The Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe has four-zone automatic temperature control, massaging front seats and a digital rearview mirror, among other amenities. Photo: Allison Bell

What About Fuel Economy and Electric Range?

Creature comforts and amenities aside, you’re probably wondering if this plug-in hybrid SUV will save you mondo bucks at the pump. The answer is: it depends. I mistakenly believed that its hybridized engine would mean we’d get pretty stellar fuel economy on our multi-state road trip. The Grand Cherokee 4xe has an EPA-estimated 25 miles of all-electric range, so we used that up pretty fast on the open road. After that, we mostly relied on the gas-powered engine, although the regenerative braking feature did add a little juice to the battery. I noticed our estimated range kept ebbing and flowing as the charge slowly built up. Overall, we averaged about 25 mpg on our road trip, which is on par with the gas-only versions of the Grand Cherokee.

The Panoramic Sunroof Is Great For Our Carsick-Prone Kids On Long Trips. Photo: Allison Bell

The panoramic sunroof is great for our carsick-prone kids on long trips. Photo: Allison Bell

So, what’s the benefit to having a plug-in hybrid version, you ask? Well, if you’re only planning on driving it about 25 miles per day around home and you plug it in each night so it gets a full charge, you could potentially avoid filling it up all week long. Jeep offers three engine options just to the left of the steering wheel: Hybrid, Electric and E-Save. Hybrid mode will alternate between the gas and electric engines; Electric will only use the battery; and E-Save is just the gas — in case you want to store up those electric miles for an off-roading excursion or something.

We Used Our 25 Miles Of Electric Range Quickly On The Road Trip, But Regenerative Breaking Slowly Built That Charge Back Up In The Overland 4Xe. Photo: Allison Bell

We used our 25 miles of electric range quickly on the road trip, but regenerative breaking slowly built that charge back up in the Overland 4xe. Photo: Allison Bell

How Long Does it Take to Fully Charge the Grand Cherokee 4xe?

If you want an electric-only daily commute, you should consider investing in a 240-volt Level 2 charger. This will take your depleted battery to a full charge in about two hours. You can also plug it into a standard wall outlet, but be aware that it may take about 14 hours for the 17 kWh battery to fully charge, so you’ll want to plug it in immediately when you get home. We plugged our Overland 4xe tester into a wall outlet overnight on our trip and it took 11 hours to get to 98% — but in super cold temperatures, it takes a bit longer.

Related: We Tested 20 Adventure Vehicles at Muddfest. Which One Was the Best?

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4Xe Kept Us Safe And Cozy In The Snow. Photo: Allison Bell

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe kept us safe and cozy in the snow. Photo: Allison Bell

Taking the Grand Cherokee 4xe From the Beach to Snow

After we made the 12-hour return trip, we had a couple more days to kill with the Grand Cherokee 4xe. And, of course, that’s when the biggest snowstorm of the season dumped all over us. Up until this point, I hadn’t fully appreciated the heated seats, heated steering wheel and four-wheel-drive, but I certainly made the most of those features in the freezing temperature and dicey road conditions.

The Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe has five driving modes: Rock, Sand/Mud, Snow, Auto and Sport. We never tested the first two, but Snow mode performed very well on slippery, slushy streets. The all-season/all-terrain tires on the 18-inch wheels also kept us firmly gripped to the road, which I appreciated. No white knuckles here!

Even With A Plug-In Hybrid Battery, Jeep Saves Plenty Of Space For Your Stuff In The Cargo Area. Photo: Allison Bell

Even with a plug-in hybrid battery, Jeep saves plenty of space for your stuff in the cargo area. Photo: Allison Bell

What You Pay vs. What You Save

For 2023, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is available in five trims: the base 4xe, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and Summit Reserve. (This isn’t including the special 30th anniversary edition.) The starting price of the base-model Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is $60,360. The Trailhawk starts at $65,755, the Overland at $68,375, the Summit at $73,09 and the Summit Reserve at $77,570.

Our Overland tester came with additional luxury and tech packages that brought the total price to $75,305. Considering some of my favorite features came from these packages (the rear-view digital mirror, massaging seats, window shades, surround-view camera system, etc.) I think they’re worth springing for if your budget allows.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4Xe Has Three Modes Hybrid, Electric And E-Save. Photo: Allison Bell

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe has three modes Hybrid, Electric and e-Save. Photo: Allison Bell

So, now the big question: Is the price of the plug-in hybrid model worth what you’ll save in fuel costs with a regular, gas-only Grand Cherokee? As you might guess, that answer totally depends on your circumstances. If you plan on using it as a daily driver for shorter commutes, yes — it could definitely pay off after a few years of skipping your regular visits to the pump. Also, keep in mind that the Grand Cherokee 4xe may be eligible for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, along with any other local incentives your state offers, so that could save you some money as well.

The Grand Cherokee Overland 4Xe Has Plenty Of Space For Second-Row Passengers. Photo: Allison Bell

The Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe has plenty of space for second-row passengers. Photo: Allison Bell

What We Loved About the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe

  • Powerful, peppy engine
  • Comfortable, spacious interior
  • Attractive exterior with eye-catching 4xe blue accents and towing hooks
  • Motion-activated liftgate
  • Massaging leather seats
  • Responsive safety tech
  • Handled well in snowy, slippery conditions
  • Easy car seat installation
  • Clear, surround-view camera system
  • Great stereo sound from the McIntosh speakers
I'M Smiling Because The Massaging Front Seats Made The Long Drive Much Easier. Photo: Allison Bell

I’m smiling because the massaging front seats made the long drive much easier. Photo: Allison Bell

What You Should Know

  • MSRP range: $60,360–$77,570
  • 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 plug-in hybrid engine
  • 370 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque
  • Four-wheel drive
  • 8-speed automatic
  • 25 miles of all-electric range
  • 56 miles per gallon equivalent with hybrid engine
  • 23 mpg combined with gas only
  • Adaptive air suspension is standard on all models except the base model
A Nighttime Shot Of The Grand Cherokee 4Xe With That Signature Jeep Grille And 4Xe Blue Towing Hooks. Photo: Allison Bell

A nighttime shot of the Grand Cherokee 4xe with that signature Jeep grille and 4xe blue towing hooks. Photo: Allison Bell

Final Thoughts: Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Still a Dream Car?

It was so much fun getting to play out my childhood dreams for a week with the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe. My kids loved it, it kept us safe and comfortable, and overall, I enjoyed driving it. Its “rugged luxury” designation is certainly well-deserved. As for whether or not this is still my dream car, well — maybe not right now. The Overland 4xe is a great plug-in hybrid SUV option for someone who’ll get the most out of its off-road chops while keeping it fairly close to home to take advantage of those electric-only miles. Given our penchant for taking long road trips, this might not be the perfect fit for us at the moment. But you never know what the future might hold.

Disclosure: Jeep loaned the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe to me for a weeklong test drive. All opinions are my own.

The Grand Cherokee 4Xe Looks Good — Even In The Dark. Photo: Allison Bell

The Grand Cherokee 4xe looks good — even in the dark. Photo: Allison Bell

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Allison is a freelance writer, a mother of two, and the wife of a car-obsessed husband who got her... More about Allison Bell