Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Off Road SUV Review: Luxury on the Inside, Muscle on the Outside

Featured Image Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

Don’t you love the luxury of athleisure?

It looks good and feels good. I gives you confidence and luxury; the materials and innovative designs let us feel relaxed and casual, but at the same time, ready to compete at any moment. That’s what I think of as I get into the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk: it’s toned, muscular and capable, yet filled with luxuries that pamper you when you’re not out on the trail earning your mud. 

And the truth is, we spend more of our time on regular roads than off of them. 

But for those who need true 4 wheel drive, adaptive suspension that can increase ground clearance and skid plates, do you really want to spend the other 5 days of the week rattling around in a rugged but comfort-compromising SUV? Don’t you want all the comforts of daily driving while getting to the off road trail? And certainly, do you really need (or want?) two cars when one would work?

Related: Luxury On the Inside, Rugged on the Outside, The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee May Be the Best Jeep Ever

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Steering Wheel

Even the steering wheel on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk features elegant touches, like the polished wood inset and red stitching. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Who This Car is For

  • Singles, couples or small families
  • Buyers who dream about getting off the grid all week long
  • Drivers who regularly drive off road or in challenging conditions
  • Buyers who like a sporty look and feel on the outside, but luxury on the inside
  • Drivers who tow or may be inclined to stop and rescue another motorist from a snowbank or ditch
  • Drivers who need comfort, convenience luxury on a daily basis
  • Buyers who need resilient surfaces and capability

Related: The Jeep Grand Cherokee L Has A 3rd Row So Your Whole Crew Can Share the Adventure 

The Panoramic Sun Roof In The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

The panoramic sun roof in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What You Need to Know

  • Trailhawk falls toward the top of Jeep’s Grand Cherokee family, with a starting price about $16,000 over the base model
  • The difference in price is mostly due to the upgraded 4WD capability, higher ground clearance, adjustable air suspension, skid plates, enhanced tow capacity, and added maneuverability for off road driving
  • The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is trail rated by Jeep; that means it’s met the companies rigorous internal standards for off road capability
  • The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk comes with some standard niceties including leather seats, UConnect multimedia system, premium sound and 3 years of scheduled maintenance
  • Grand Cherokee is designed to be just as capable off road as any other Jeep, and Trailhawk takes that to another level
  • The Trailhawk has a wide matte paint stripe on the hood, which is a point of distinction: Not only is this a distinguishing Trailhawk mark, but the matte color prevents glare on the hood from blinding the driving, especially in tricky situations on the side of a mountain or the day after a heavy snow.

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

The Front Cabin In The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

The front cabin in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk; our model features suede and leather seats and Jeep’s new 10″ multimedia touch screen system. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Grand Cherokee: Redesigned for 2022

The Grand Cherokee is the largest of Jeep’s 5 passenger SUVs. And with a complete redesign for 2022, it gets all the good stuff: A sleeker look to the classic Jeep 7-slot front grille, slim new headlights, a sleeker rear tail light design and a larger, more open and comfortable interior. Jeep overhauled the UConnect multimedia system with a more intuitive app-based menu system, adding the “Hey Jeep” voice-activated assistant and a media screen inset into the dashboard for the front seat passenger. And, passengers are surrounded by thoughtful details, from wood trim to plush leather upholstery, as well as more leg room and even more rear cargo space. 

The Front Of The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

The front of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Outside, All the TrailHawk Muscle

The Trailhawk edition is designed to take all those comforts off road. It has an enhanced 4 wheel drive system and and powerful a V6 engine, generating 293 horsepower, enough to sustain any challenges you’ll put it thorough. It can tow up to 6,300 lbs.

It has 10.8” of ground clearance (and can adjust up or down by half an inch); this is more than the standard Grand Cherokee and it can be a bit of a challenge for shorter people. But the added height plus adaptive suspension means it can climb over small boulders and sizable snow mounds. Its underside is protected by steel skid plates, so if you find yourself scraping over rocks or ruts, the car is protected.

The Trailhawk designation means it’s designed to drive off road with as much capability as the Jeep Wrangler, one of the most accomplished 4X4s on the road. This is due to Jeep’s terrain management system; pick the terrain you’re on (Snow? Gravel? Mud?) and adjust the setting. Put the system in 4 wheel low when conditions require you to drive slower, such as up a rocky trail. 

Luxe Details Like Polished Wood And Red Contrast Stitching Keep The Interior Look Refined

Luxe details like polished wood and red contrast stitching keep the interior look refined. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Rear Seat Uin The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

The rear seat uin the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Then, Let’s Talk Luxe

This is the hallmark of Grand Cherokee: Seats that are designed for you to sit in for hours (ask me how I know…), leather that is designed to last for years, technology at your fingertips so you’re always in control. Materials that rival the beautiful vistas the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk will drive you to, such as wood, soft metal trim and black leather and suede with red contrast stitching. Add to that the opportunity for a panoramic sun roof, a passenger-side media screen, a live view mirror, the upgraded multimedia system and sweet touches like window shades, and you’re in a luxury car that can climb mountains, which is in itself a great luxury. 

The Wheels On The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Has A Subtle Red Jeep Easter Egg

The wheels on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has a subtle red Jeep easter egg. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs 

All this capability and luxury comes at a price, but for the average cost of SUVs that only have the capability or the luxury, you really get two for the price of one. Here’s how it breaks down: 

  • Grand Cherokee Base model: $38,720
  • Grand Cherokee Trailhawk in white with black accents, a 3.6L V6 293 horsepower engine, 4 wheel drive system, adjustable air suspension, single pane sun roof, 18” wheels, skid plates, red tow hooks, premium Alpine audio system, suede and leather seats, 8.4” UConnect multimedia system, 6,200 lb. tow capacity, which includes seating for 5, Jeep Wave 3 year maintenance program, $54,630
  • Advanced pro tech group with night vision, front and rear park sense, surround view camera and interaction collision prevention assist, $2,235
  • Luxury Tech package with hands free power lift gate, live view video rear view mirror, power adjustable steering wheel, smart key, rain sensing wipers, wireless phone charging pad, second row window shades, $1,455
  • Larger 10.1” UConnect multimedia screen, $1,695
  • Front passenger interactive display $1,095
  • Panoramic sun roof $1,835
  • Alternate paint color, $395
  • Black running boards, $875 ($975 for bright metal running boards)
  • 5.7V8HEMI engine producing 357 horsepower and increasing tow capacity to 7,200 lbs, $3,795
  • Destination charge, $1,795
  • Price of our test model, about $63,645

For the average bad-weather wanderer or the weekend-ranch goer, the  redesign of the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee gives you all you need: A beautiful new exterior design combined with interior details you might also see in top-drawer luxury cars. But the capability of the Trailhawk takes it all over the top. Which is exactly where the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk should take you.

Disclosure: Jeep provided the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk for this test drive; all opinions are my own. 

Rubber Floor Mats Keep The Interior Clean

This is a luxury we all need: Rubber floor mats keep the interior clean. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss