Everybody’s going electric these days, it seems. Or at least, electrified. The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is Jeep’s latest entry in the electrified-vehicle space (sorry for that bit of marketing speak, I must need more coffee), following, of course, the Wrangler 4xe.
Getting electrified might be good for the ‘ole CAFE standards – but is it worth the price premium? Will electrification change a vehicle’s character – and if so, for the better or for worse?
To find out, I headed deep to the heart of Texas last month.
The 2022 New York Auto Show isn’t the first major auto show to be held since COVID-19 shut the world down in March 2020 – Chicago had shows in 2021 and 2022, and Los Angeles was in its usual slot last year. And there was Motorbella in Detroit last summer.
Still, for whatever reason – the loosening of COVID restrictions, the fact it was the first New York show since COVID, the presence of NY-based journos who don’t deign to travel west of the Hudson for those other shows – there was a pre-show feeling that this was it. This would be the show that marked the return of normalcy. Not LA in 2021 or Chicago just a couple of months ago – no, it would be this one.
Every year, gearheads at Jeep make a pilgrimage to the off-road mecca that is Moab, bringing along a yaffle of concept vehicles. Some of these rigs point to a future model, others too-cool restomods, and a few are tremendously bonkers one-offs.
We’re not entirely sure into which category today’s teaser will fall but, knowing Jeep, there’s a decent chance they’ll be putting this terrifically overpowered off-roader into production.
Jeep has one of the tougher challenges in the business, especially when it comes to its longest-running nameplates, such as Wrangler and Grand Cherokee.
That challenge is this – how to keep models that are based on an old-school formula, one that heavily involves off-road chops and, in this case, an optional V8 engine, modern.
Jeep has been up to the task so far with the Wrangler, even introducing a hybrid to the line. Now it’s the Grand Cherokee’s turn.
When the Grand Cherokee originally debuted back in 1993, Americans were just warming up to the idea of daily driven sport-utility vehicles. The idea was pretty straight-forward: Take the capability of the Cherokee XJ, tune it for real-world drivability, tweak the look, and add some creature comforts that shift the scales away from the utilitarian toward the premium.
Nearly three decades later the concept remains largely the same, but the all-new Grand Cherokee L is worlds apart from the first generation ZJ. Aside from the third row (a first for a Grand Cherokee), this decked-out SUV rolls around on decidedly massive 21-inch wheels, boasts massaging front seats covered in quilted Palermo leather and a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system, and floats on an adjustable air suspension with adaptive dampers – latter of which is also a first for the model.
The reviews are breaking today on the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer. As Jeep resurrects one of its most historical full-size nameplates from a three-decade slumber, it’s getting a lot of positive press coverage. But Jeep is in for a world of disappointment in a couple of years.
The differences between the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer aren’t many.
The latter has a smaller-displacement V8, less power, an available 4×2 drive train, a cheaper price tag, and isn’t quite as deluxe. But it’s still upscale – just not quite as much as the SUV with Grand as part of the moniker.
That means the overall experience of driving the Wagoneer isn’t too different from the Grand Wagoneer, yet there are still some noticeable variations.
When the invite hit to drive the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer hit my inbox, I found myself a tad surprised by the location – New York City.
Or, to be precise, the roads outside the city in the Hudson Valley and Westchester County. We’d merely be laying our heads in Manhattan, with the real action taking place in the suburbs. With brief forays into strange lands named New Jersey and Connecticut.
There’s a reason why so many first drives are held in California – good roads and good weather. It’s the same reason why drives don’t take place as often in places like New York, Chicago, or even Detroit. The roads aren’t as fun to drive and are often in bad shape, and the weather is less predictable. Events that involve the (mostly) controlled environment of a track are an exception, of course.
Since Groupe PSA expressed an interest in buying up Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the Jeep brand has ramped up talk about the merits of electrification – particularly in places like Europe. The off-road-focused brand even has a plan to offer zero-emissions compliant vehicles in every segment by 2025. However, the only vehicle Jeep’s currently producing that seems to support those claims is the Wrangler 4XE PHEV and it’s still dependent on gasoline for journeys beyond 21 miles.
But that’s supposed to be changing now that the rumor mill is flush with new suggestions that Jeep is working on a small SUV that will be wholly dependent upon electrical propulsion. Those claims have been confirmed by Jeep’s leadership, with hints that it might be getting a few friends.
Quick, when’s the last time you gave a thought to the Jeep Compass?
Probably several years ago when the last generation was introduced, right?
Otherwise, if you’re thinking about Jeep, you’re probably thinking about the Gladiator, Wrangler, Cherokee, or Grand Cherokee.
Jeep has offered all sorts of different utility vehicles over the years – it’s sort of the brand’s thing – but it hasn’t recently offered a three-row crossover. The last one it sold was the Commander, which left the market a decade ago.
I quite honestly forgot the Commander even existed – and I started in automotive journalism in 2007. While it was still on the market. I suspect most Jeep faithful have also memory holed that model.
That’s unlikely to happen with the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, for better or for worse.
We live in incredible times. Just a few short years ago, there was only one engine you could get with your Jeep Wrangler. Now there’s half a dozen. Sure, the tried-and-true 3.6-liter Pentastar is a great place to start, but you can also get the 2.0-liter turbo, the 48-volt 3.6-liter eTorque setup, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, and a bonkers 6.4-liter Hemi. Plus, for 2021, Jeep is offering a plug-in hybrid version. Called 4xe, it promises green off-roading in a way only a Jeep can. But does it deliver?
It’s perhaps a bit ironic that Jeep has Ford to thank for at least one sale. Last summer’s media blitz surrounding the coming release of the still-coming Bronco stirred a latent yearn within the soul of my wife. A winter vacation to an RV park in Florida had her thinking aloud about the joy of driving topless (the Jeep, you pervs), while an oft-delayed home refinance freed up a good portion of our paychecks.
The result – the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Freedom you see before you. In the time-honored tradition of TTAC thumbing noses at the buff books and their manufacturer-supplied long-term testers, I’ll be bringing periodic updates about the ownership of one of the most venerable nameplates to grace our roads. A brief discussion of the buying process – and the disposal of our previous steed – will be included.
Last – let me emphasize – this is my wife’s car. Neither of us has, in forty-two years on this earth, ever purchased a new car. My bride has long relied on cast-offs from others, never truly choosing exactly what she wants – so this process was guided by her wants and needs. I lent whatever expertise I could, and was the primary contact with the dealership – but it’s HER baby.
Before I became an automotive journalist, I wanted to write about sports. And one of the first things I learned from more-experienced sportswriters while I was in journalism school is that writing about a .500 team sucks unless there are colorful personalities on the roster.
This is because it’s generally more interesting to write about really good or really bad teams. I am sure there are exceptions, but generally speaking, mediocre teams were more challenging to cover.
In a decade-plus of writing about cars, I’ve discovered this applies to vehicles, as well.
The endless tease is over. The Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are finally here.
It feels like we’ve been talking about this vehicle forever. We’ve covered it ad nauseam, I saw an undisguised prototype up close at a (COVID safe) outdoor event hosted by Chrysler last fall, and we’ve debated its merits in Slack more than once. I’ll let you guess which staffer liked/disliked it.
The Cherokee Nation has requested that Jeep change the name of some of its vehicles. While you can probably guess which ones are causing offense, it should be stated that the automaker has been utilizing the Cherokee name to evoke a sense of power and natural harmony for over 45 years. But nobody is going to argue that native peoples have a decided advantage in who has first dibs on the title, especially in a time of unprecedented tensions regarding what’s deemed racially insensitive.
Chuck Hoskin, Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, certainly seems to think Jeep crossed a line. This is actually the first time the group has ever asked Jeep to change a vehicle’s name, though Jeep has also gone on record numerous times to defend its use.
Last night’s Super Bowl got out of hand about as quickly as the newsman fight in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
This meant that I, watching the game home alone since Super Bowl parties aren’t safe these days, turned to the ads to keep myself entertained. Sadly, with a few exceptions, most were as stinky as the game itself.
The ones that were supposed to be funny mostly weren’t, the emotional/inspirational ones were mostly fine but unmemorable, and the one that was so bad that I think it was intentionally terrible for the sake of virality was just annoying.
Today’s Rare Ride comes from a time when Jeep still offered a two-door pickup to the American small truck consumer.
Super clean, pretty retro, and with great tape stripes, it’s the Jeep Comanche Pioneer. A fitting example of the first-ever Jeep featured in this series!
Jeep loves to talk about its off-road heritage. And it has the goods to back the claims of boulder-bashing prowess that it makes.
That said, most utility vehicles spend most of their time on pavement. And sometimes, the tradeoffs made for off-road capability aren’t worth it.
It should come as no shock that the loftiest Jeep Grand Wagoneer will crest the six-figure mark; the automaker said as much when it announced its intention to resurrect the bygone range-topper. It’s not like Cadillac and Lincoln aren’t nudging that barrier (or breaking through it) already.
But getting into a full-size Jeep next year doesn’t have to carry such a high cost. On the same day it revealed its damn-near-production-ready Grand Wagoneer Concept, the automaker talked price.
Eager to steal some thunder from Ford’s returning Bronco, Jeep pulled the wraps off its upcoming Wrangler 4xe Thursday, revealing an off-roader that might be able to handle your commute without consuming a drop of gas. Oh, and you could probably cruise quietly through some sort of wilderness terrain, too.
Mating a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors, the Wrangler 4xe is said to be able to deliver up to 25 miles of all-electric driving.
It’s not the production model, but it’s the closest we’ve gotten so far to Jeep’s returning full-size SUV. Sport-utility family, to be clear, as Jeep plans to offer its body-on-frame rig in a variety of flavors.
Entry-level Wagoneer will give way to the high-zoot Grand Wagoneer — a vehicle Fiat Chrysler claims will redefine “American premium” by offering a plug-in hybrid variant and a host of “ultra-premium leading-edge features and technology.”
Alas, the real thing remains distant. Scheduled to go into production in the second quarter of 2021 at Warren Truck Assembly, the actual Grand Wagoneer is heralded by a “vision of what [the] production vehicle could be.”
Feast your eyes.
It’s a day of the week, which means it’s time for another installment in Jeep’s ongoing teaser campaign for its upcoming full-size SUVs. Thankfully, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, or at least the latter model, will see the light of day on September 3rd.
The images released by Jeep on Friday show additional glitter and acres of roof glass, but the vehicle itself might not be exactly what greets buyers next year.
Overshadowed lately by a brace of upcoming full-size SUV stablemates, to say nothing of its reborn Ford Bronco rival, the plug-in Jeep Wrangler remains the next big introduction for the off-road brand.
Teased on and off throughout the year, the Wrangler plug-in hybrid, known officially as the Wrangler 4xe (a moniker greeting all hybridized Jeeps), has appeared with an arrival date in tow. Best to get this introduction out of the way before a busy 2021.
Worried there’ll be legit flying cars by the time Jeep gets around to showing off its latest and largest? Don’t be. The busy teaser campaign Jeep’s marketing team has on the go will end on September 3rd.
On that day, the reveal of Jeep’s reborn Grand Wagoneer, the clock starts ticking down to second-quarter 2021 production.
Jeep’s playing the long game with its Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer PR efforts, which comes as something of an annoyance, given the length of time it took Jeep to pull the trigger on this blindingly obvious product idea.
On Friday, the off-road brand upped its teasing, providing us with images of real Grand Wagoneer real estate.
Slowly but surely, a phenomenon is spreading across the United States: standalone Jeep dealerships, as well as Fiat Chrysler dealers with Jeep showrooms.
Located where the buying public is most receptive, these types of stores could play a larger role in the brand’s future, especially as Jeep prepares to add three new models to its lineup next year.
Clearly deciding that the protracted teaser campaign leading up to the debut of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was a template worthy of another go-round, Fiat Chrysler continues dropping sly suggestions of its upcoming full-size Jeep. In the absence of a defined reveal date, this could go on forever.
It already feels like it has.
If you spend your days decrying the bloat of American automobiles, you won’t like what 2021 has in store for you. It’ll be like 2020… only worse!
Scary stuff. For consumers enamored both with the Jeep brand and large, cargo-happy vehicles, however, next year will bring the dawning of a new age of glorious excess. Thanks to Fiat Chrysler’s second-quarter earnings report, we can now pin down post-lockdown production timelines for three Jeep vehicles boasting three rows of seating.
Jeep sent me a desert-running rig, and I took it to the grocery store.
Let’s back up a bit. Jeep introduced the Gladiator Mojave at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, with the intent of this trim being meant for blasts across the desert, while still being as capable as any Gladiator, if not more so, on a rocky trail.
I was all set to join others in the automotive media on a junket to drive the Mojave, almost certainly in the actual desert, in Southern California this spring. Then the world shut down.
Look up the Jeep Cherokee on the brand’s consumer website and you’ll see a lot of trims, but there’s also one you won’t see: Overland. Topping the Cherokee trim ladder, Overland is a well-appointed but under-advertised ride, meaning it’s one you don’t see much of plying local streets or sitting patiently outside the grocery store.
And for 2021, you won’t see it at all.
When you think of the rapidly dwindling handful of vehicles still available with a manual transmission, you probably didn’t list the Jeep Compass among those remaining holdouts. And yet the compact crossover does offer such a setup, ever since the current-generation model went on sale for 2017.
Well, Jeep offered, but not many buyers took them up on it. Actually, it seems Jeep could barely find any takers — which is why, for 2021, the Compass will carry only an autobox.
There’s nothing coincidental about the timing of this vehicle’s release. Alas, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is exactly that, a concept, though Fiat Chrysler’s off-road brand strongly hints that it will become a reality one day.
That confirmation, if it is forthcoming, will take place long after the debut of a vehicle this concept is meant to fight: the Ford Bronco.
Having watched The Hunt for Red October last night, your author knows all too well what can happen when two superpowers engage in a game of brinkmanship. He’d also like to see Montana.
Having enjoyed years of nearly complete dominance in the true off-road SUV market in America, Jeep now finds itself in a battle against a vehicle no consumer has yet laid eyes on: the Ford Bronco, due for a public unveiling on Monday. On Saturday morning, Jeep decided to crank that newfound rivalry up to “11”, teasing a future product with a monster engine.
There’s plenty of things Americans can’t get their hands on these days — hand sanitizer, inexpensive front-drive coupes, and a predictable future, to name a few — but those dreaming of the chance to drive a four-door convertible pickup powered by a compression-ignition engine haven’t long to wait before seeing their wish granted.
As many assumed Jeep would, the off-road brand is adding the 3.0-liter diesel V6 to its Gladiator engine roster for 2021.
When people complain about Jeep Wranglers, it’s often to remark on how the on-road dynamics suffer in the name of off-road capability.
Jeep has come a long way in that regard, with the current Wrangler better balancing its off-road mission against the need for on-road comfort and competence. But one complaint remains: the common observation that, with either gas engine, the Wrangler could stand to gain some low-end grunt.
Enter the EcoDiesel.
Rare Rides has featured a classic Jeep previously, with the Kaiser-Jeep-produced Jeepster Commando. While that model was eventually succeeded by the Jeep Cherokee, today’s Rare Ride was predecessor to the Wagoneer.
Let’s learn about a seven-seat SUV from 1948: the Willys Overland Station Wagon.
Wandering the 2020 Chicago Auto Show floor on the second media day, I entertained myself by playing with trucks.
More specifically, I tinkered with the trick tailgates found on GMC and Ram models, plus the in-bed cooler offered by Honda’s Ridgeline. Also springing to mind is the available roll-up tonneau cover offered by Jeep’s Gladiator, as well as that old stalwart, the RamBox.
Jeep dealers are now discounting Gladiator models by as much as $9,000, indicating demand for the Wangler-based pickup has seriously cooled off. Considering the insane markups we saw at launch, that’s not much of an insult.
Now that Fiat Chrysler only reports sales on a quarterly basis — an obnoxious trend sweeping through the industry like a plague — we don’t know how many Gladiators leave dealer lots month-to-month. It looks like the pickup averaged a hair above 5,000 U.S. deliveries every thirty days in 2019. That’s a far cry from the midsize pickup segment leaders, but it was also the first year of Gladiator production.
With oodles of character, legitimate off-road capabilities and higher-than-average pricing, it’s also a bit of an odd duck. While interesting designs can occasionally be too much for a (sometimes large) subset of shoppers, pricing can make or break a car’s sales prowess. Some are of the mind that Jeep expected too much from consumers and that these lofty discounts are proof.
Jeep’s Gladiator pickup truck was one of 2019’s most anticipated vehicles. Fast-forward nearly a year, and it’s an award winner.
There’s no doubt it’s a capable off-roader, which is part of its appeal — and a part of why it’s an award-winning pickup. I’ve experienced it off-road, and so has contributor Chris Chin.
Thing is, most truck owners won’t taking it off-road that often, if at all. What’s it like to live with the Gladiator in urban and suburban settings? That is the key question.
In a word: Interesting.
I knew I might need wheels during a week-long trip to Los Angeles. I was hoping for something well-suited for a run over the Angeles Crest Highway.
Instead, a Jeep Grand Cherokee was the vehicle available. I hadn’t driven one in years, but I’ve always been fond of the current generation — a generation that is aging rapidly. Would the ravages of time sour my opinions?
Short answer: No. While aging, the Grand Cherokee remains a pleasant SUV for around-town commuting, with off-road capability in its back pocket.
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- Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
- Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
- Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
- FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
- Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.