Jeep is making the off-road-focused Grand Cherokee Trailhawk trim exclusive to the 4xe plug-in hybrid driveline for the 2023 model year.
Jeep is making the Grand Cherokee with the most off-road capability the one that’s the kindest to the environment as well. For 2023, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk will be available only with the automaker’s 4xe plug-in hybrid driveline and its 25-mile all-electric range.
4xe Means PHEV for Jeep
For Grand Cherokee, 4xe means both gas and electric power. Gas power comes from a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
The four-cylinder engine gets a small electric motor/generator that is belt-driven and handles starting the engine as well as some electric boost. It makes 44 horsepower and 39 pound-feet of torque.
When you’re using only electric power for motivation, the motor is a 134-horsepower, 181-pound-feet unit that is integrated into the eight-speed automatic. Put everything together and you have 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
Integrating the motor into the transmission lets Jeep give the vehicle multiple gears for better highway cruising and in-town acceleration with the smaller motor. It also means that Jeep’s full 4×4 system, including the two-speed transfer case, is exactly what you’d find on a gas-only Jeep.
Trailhawk: Jeep’s Off-Pavement Champ
Trailhawk is Jeep code for the Grand Cherokee with the most off-road capability. That’s why it’s a big deal that for 2023; the package will be exclusive to 4xe versions of the Grand Cherokee. It’s not available with the 3.6L V6 or 5.7L Hemi V8 engines.
Trailhawk includes Quadra-Drive II 4×4. It has the same low-range transfer case and 47.4:1 crawl ratio as other versions of the 4xe. But it gets a special electronic limited-slip differential at the rear. The diff gives you more traction when the trail gets slippery, helping to make sure you have traction even if a tire or two is in the air.
Speaking of tires, Trailhawk 4xe has Goodyear Wrangler Territory all-terrain rubber in place of the more pavement-friendly tires of less off-road capable 4xe models. Despite that, Jeep says it still offers 25 miles of all-electric range. And that it conquered the Rubicon Trail, a long-time Jeep staple, using only electric power.
Electronic sway bar disconnects are standard on Trailhawk 4xe. Unhooking the sway bar allows better suspension articulation and more comfort, off-road. Quadra-Lift air suspension with 10.9 inches of ground clearance is also standard, though the figure is about half an inch less than gas-powered Trailhawks offered in 2022.
Other features of the Trailhawk Grand Cherokee 4xe include Selec-Terrain traction management, blue-accent (a 4xe signature) tow hooks, an off-road view camera, and a matte-black hood decal to keep the glare out of your eyes.
2023 Changes Include Black Roof
New for 2023, Trailhawk 4xe will wear gloss black exterior accents like the mirrors, roof, and badges. The new color replaces last year’s neutral gray.
Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe will come in base, Trailhawk, Overland, and Summit trim levels. Summit includes many of Trailhawk’s off-road goodies, including air suspension and a locking differential. However, it has larger wheels and less aggressive tires.
Gas-engine Grand Cherokee models will include Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit for 2023. The extended-wheelbase Grand Cherokee L doesn’t offer a Trailhawk trim, so won’t be affected by the change.
Expect more electrified off-roaders from Jeep in the next few years, and more moves like this to make popular trims electrified only. Jeep says it plans to offer an electrified variant of all of its SUVs by 2025.