Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe: How Well Can This Plug-In Hybrid Tow?

jeep-grand-_cherokee-4xe-overland-2022-01-exterior-front-angle-towing 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe | photo by Matt Barnes

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is a plug-in hybrid with an EPA-estimated 25 miles of all-electric range and 56 mpg-equivalent rating, and it’s rated at 23 mpg once that range is depleted. We’ve previously tested fuel economy with the SUV unloaded, but what happens to the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s fuel efficiency while towing? To find out, I charged one up and pulled a boat on a 65-mile test drive.

Related: 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, Wrangler 4xe Plug Into Past With Special Editions

What Is the Grand Cherokee 4xe?

Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that pairs with two electric motors for a combined output of 375 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque. Power is run through an eight-speed automatic transmission, while energy for the electric motors comes from a 17-kilowatt-hour battery that sits under the passenger compartment.

My test SUV included the Luxury Tech Group IV, Advanced Protech Group III and Off-Road Group packages, but it still had a payload capacity of 1,206 pounds and a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds despite the many luxuries equipped in this Grand Cherokee 4xe. The capacities were more than enough for this test’s trailer.

The Trailer

For the test, I towed about 4,000 pounds worth of boat and trailer. Jeep doesn’t provide a factory trailer brake option for the Grand Cherokee, which makes the boat trailer a more viable option because it’s equipped with surge brakes that don’t require a trailer brake controller.

To connect the truck and trailer, I used a Fastway Flash Scale ball mount, which has a built-in scale for the trailer’s tongue weight. For my day job, I am a product engineer for Progress Mfg. Inc. in Utah, makers of the Equal-i-zer hitch and Fastway Flash ball mounts. Typically, boats have a little lower than ideal tongue weight, so bringing the tongue weight to a little over 10% meant storing gear in this boat very far forward.

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Towing Stability

Connecting to the trailer wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. With the battery fully topped off, it was very difficult to back up smoothly because the Jeep stayed in electric mode, and the electric motor engaged with decent force rather than smoothly. The solution was driving with one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas so the motor could be engaged and I could ease off the brake to creep backward more precisely.

After topping off with fuel, the Grand Cherokee 4xe was down to 95% charge at the beginning of the test. Even when placed in e-Save mode (chosen to save battery for later use), it still used about 5% of the battery over the roughly 1.5 miles it took to get to the fuel station.

For this test, I drove the Jeep in Hybrid mode. There is no Tow/Haul mode, so, per the owner’s manual, I placed the Grand Cherokee in the normal ride height and drive modes.

Leaving the fuel station, my route almost immediately merges onto the freeway. Here, the instant torque from the 4xe makes accelerating while towing drama-free. The Grand Cherokee 4xe is no Trackhawk, but the acceleration was much less affected by the trailer than I expected; merging onto a freeway was a breeze even with a 70 mph speed limit and an uphill onramp.

Once on the freeway, I noticed the boat trailer bouncing a little bit, but it tracked very straight behind the SUV. I couldn’t feel any of the bouncing inside the cabin, which may have been isolated by the spring built into the scale ball mount. Braking was no problem for the 4xe when exiting the freeway onto a downhill off-ramp with a traffic light at the bottom.

After exiting the freeway, the route enters a 5-mile section of stop-and-go city driving. Here, the boat could really be felt when accelerating from a stop. When stopping, the hydraulics from the brake system dampened the motion, but there was no such damping when accelerating, which caused a thunk to pass through the Grand Cherokee. It’s normal for unibody vehicles to transmit more motion from the trailer through the cabin than a body-on-frame vehicle since body-on-frame vehicles have isolated cab mounts that reduce such impacts. Apart from that thunk, however, everything went well in city driving.

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Following the city portion is an 18-mile divided-highway section with grades up to 8%, several curves and a climb from about 4,500 feet to nearly 5,500 feet of elevation. The Grand Cherokee 4xe was at about 70% charge at the beginning of the highway and continued up without breaking a sweat. There wasn’t anything dangerous or unusual — no trailer sway, no power issues and no overheating problems.

jeep-grand-_cherokee-4xe-overland-2022-02-exterior-towing 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe | photo by Matt Barnes

When I’m towing, I typically disable all driver aids because I’ve had too many experiences where I end up fighting a system trying to make the wrong move. There has been a lot of construction on this road and was still ongoing when I did this test, but it allowed me to try the driver aids and, more specifically, lane departure steering assist feature: The construction cones pushed the lane across a solid white line; Jeep’s system tried to nudge the Grand Cherokee to keep it inside the lines, but I was able to easily overcome the system with a little steering input. The system performed exactly how it should and let me continue my drive without having to fight an overbearing computer while paying attention to the road and looking for the disable button.

A few miles into the highway section is a short, curvy side road with grades over 10% and a 25 mph speed limit. This is a good place to test a vehicle’s ability to pull from a stop under load. Once again, the Grand Cherokee 4xe had no issues: Almost at the exact moment I reached the end of the highway section about 32 miles into the drive, the Jeep’s battery level was at less than 1%.

However, the return trip from then on would be mostly downhill. Thanks to the regenerative braking system, descending 7-8% grades never required pushing the brake pedal at all. I did have the Jeep in maximum regen mode for the whole drive. Again, stability was not a problem on this section, and there isn’t really anything noteworthy to report — everything went as expected.

Grand Cherokee 4xe Towing MPG Results

Over the 64.7-mile course, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4xe’s computer displayed an average mpg of 19.4. It used 2.995 gallons of premium gas returning a calculated 21.6 mpg.

jeep-grand-_cherokee-4xe-overland-2022-23-gas-pump 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe | photo by Matt Barnes

These are very impressive numbers, the highest I’ve ever had in this test. On top of that, the instant torque and extra weight makes the Grand Cherokee a more stable towing platform than ever before.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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