The Grand Cherokee -- Jeep’s flagship sport utility vehicle -- has been at the top of the game in the global SUV market. As the most-awarded SUV model, it has won over 700 accolades since its first generation made its debut in 1992, according to the carmaker.
The all-new Grand Cherokee 4xe, a plug-in hybrid SUV that recently became available for sale in South Korea, features the carmaker’s latest EV technology and off-road strengths.
The Grand Cherokee 4xe allows drivers to select from three different driving modes -- electric, hybrid and e-save -- depending on how they want to take the ride in various conditions. The modes can be easily selected by using the button on the left side of the steering wheel. Or the driver can simply let the car choose the best driving mode based on its assessment of the driving style.
During a test drive last week from central Seoul to Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, over the course of about 74 kilometers, the plug-in hybrid model covered 27 kilometers only on electricity. The battery was charged 70 percent before the test drive began. According to Stellantis Korea, the Grand Cherokee 4xe can boast up to a maximum of 375 horsepower when it combines all of its engine and motor powers.
As for the driving itself, the electric mode’s accelerating power felt on par with other internal combustion engine vehicles. The overall driving experience in the city went smoothly on all three different driving modes. Inside the car, it did sound louder than other EVs. But to be fair, the Grand Cherokee was not solely running on electricity by the time this reporter picked up on the background noise.
Once the speed went over 80 kilometers per hour, a message popped up on the dashboard asking if the driver wanted to keep the vehicle’s suspension height. When the driver did not slow down, the car automatically adjusted its suspension to a lower height to maximize the energy efficiency and to make it more aerodynamic.
According to Stellantis Korea, drivers can control the Grand Cherokee’s ground clearance from 4 to 28 centimeters.
As it snowed on the morning of the test drive, The Korea Herald got to check out the snow mode as the driving course included both ascending and descending winding roads near Namhansanseong, a fortress at Namhan Mountain about 25 km southeast of Seoul.
The Grand Cherokee 4xe drove smoothly and stably up and down the course. The car also maintained its grip even when the driver quickly accelerated or abruptly stepped on the brakes on the snowy ground in an empty parking lot.
The Grand Cherokee features new exterior and interior designs. The exterior exudes a slick and grand look, while the interior's warm wood panels and glassy surfaces add to the SUV’s luxurious feeling.
Prices begin from 103.2 million won ($80,000) in Korea. Stellantis plans to introduce a fully electric Jeep vehicle in every SUV segment by 2025.