The all-new 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee – the fifth generation of this popular SUV – has a few new tricks up its sleeve, starting with an available 4xe version, making it the first electrified version of the model.
There’s also a new Trailhawk version available, one of the seven trims offered on the Grand Cherokee, which has a starting price of $52,990.
We recently got behind the wheel of the top trim, the Summit Reserve which, as outfitted, will run you a cool $86,220.
That is thanks to a few extras that were tacked on to an already impressive list of standard features, including a $4,495 package that includes items like stylish Palermo leather-faced seats, ventilated rear seats (on top of the ventilated front seats), active noise control, 21-inch wheel, a front passenger interactive display, and a McIntosh audio system (more on that later).
Powertrain: The 3.6-litre V6 engine that is standard on the Grand Cherokee is certainly nothing to shy away from, but the Summit Reserve we drove took things up a notch – or three.
We tested the optional 5.7L HEMI V8 engine, a throaty beast that delivers 357 horsepower and a very impressive 390 pound-feet of torque. It is paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the power is also controlled via a 4X4 system.
This engine is a $3,495 extra for the Grand Cherokee, but it packs one hell of a punch.
Of course, you will also pay a bit of a price at the pump for all that power!
With the V8, the Grand Cherokee is rated for a combined fuel economy of 14.1 litres per 100 kilometres, with my average coming in at 18.0 L/100 km. And that is despite the FuelSaver moniker attached to the V8 engine.
Exterior: The all-new Grand Cherokee’s styling is a head turner, and I especially enjoyed the Bright White/Gloss Black two-tone exterior combination on our tester. It gives off an air of elegance.
The long hood is punctuated at the front by a wide and larger iconic seven-slot Jeep grille, leaving no doubt about this vehicle’s lineage. The grille is bookended by a set of slim headlights that help give the front end a compact look even though it is quite tall.
The front fascia also hides active grille shutters, while the rear fascia highlights vertical spoilers to improve performance and fuel efficiency.
Also at the rear are slim wraparound taillights and dual exhaust integrated into the bumper.
The overall shape of the body is nicely sculpted and has a much more modern and upscale look than the outgoing generation.
The optional 21-inch wheels that are fitted on the tester are a very stylish look that definitely round out the overall exterior appearance.
In short, this is one good-looking Jeep.
Interior: On the inside, designers also definitely stepped up their game as the Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve is nothing less than luxurious.
That starts with the comfortable quilted leather seats that coddle your body and offer plenty of support. They are heated and ventilated (as are the rear seats on this tester), so no matter the weather, you will be pleased.
Up front, the modern design of the dash is clean and elegant, with very long horizontal design elements drawing the eye the width of the cabin.
Controls are well organized and feature simple buttons and dials, for the most part.
About the only thing I didn’t enjoy was the light wood accents in the cabin – I just felt they clashed with an otherwise elegant look and a darker tone might have been better.
Another minor irritant I noticed was just how loud the ventilation system was – even at the lowest setting.
Rear passengers are treated to excellent legroom, and the cargo area behind the seats is very generous.
Infotainment: The Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve we tested not only has a rocking engine, it also features an absolute rockstar of an audio system.
The 19-speaker McIntosh system – including an 825-watt amplifier – is absolutely superb. Put on your favourite tunes and crank this baby up because you will be in for a treat.
The infotainment is powered by the excellent Uconnect 5 setup, which includes navigation and has a large 10.1-inch central display. I have no issues at all with this system, which is easy to operate and understand.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are welcome features, as was the optional wireless charging pad for your mobile device.
Drive: Where to begin?
With that much power at your disposal, there is certainly no shortage of motivation for this Grand Cherokee.
And yes, despite all that grunt from the V8, it can also be a surprisingly delightful and tame city driver.
But push the accelerator to the limit, and the throaty roar from the powerplant will definitely bring a smile to your face.
The ride overall is extremely comfortable in the passenger cabin, and the active noise cancellation means that the intrusiveness of exterior sounds is quite limited.
To help with performance, the Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve features an adjustable ride height system, or Quadra-lift air suspension, that can automatically adjust the height of the vehicle. You can also manually set the height if you desire.
For those who venture off road, there’s a Quadra-Trac II 4X4 system on the Grand Cherokee, and a terrain selector (rock, sand/mud, snow, auto or snow) for optimal performance on those types of roads.
Other features that help the driver enjoy the Summit Reserve is the optional head-up display, which is part of the Advanced ProTech Group IV package ($1,895). The package also includes night vision with pedestrian and animal detection as a safety feature.
Conclusion: The Grand Cherokee name has been around for some time, but never before has it been this good.
From the exterior look, the interior refinement, and two excellent powertrain options, Jeep has done a great job on this redesign.
There are a few minor quibbles, but overall, this is an excellent vehicle, although I am not sure I would opt for the powerful V8 given the direction fuel prices are headed. That is totally a personal choice, however.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Reserve 4X4
Price as tested: $86,220.00
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 5.7-litre HEMI V8/ 8-speed automatic
Power/torque: 357 horsepower/ 390 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (104.5 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 14.1 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 18.0 L/100 km
Warranties: 5-years/100,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, Honda Passport, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner
Links: Jeep Canada