A silver 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe for sale near Gleneagle is shown from the front at an angle.

Can Jeep Break the Luxury Barrier? The Grand Cherokee 4xe Makes Its Case

Fully redesigned in 2022, the fifth-generation Grand Cherokee builds on an established formula that’s proved so successful for over 30 years. Jeep really seems to have prioritized the SUV’s road manners as part of the new generation, upgrading the Grand Cherokee’s steering, suspension, and brake response to create a dynamic, well-rounded ride. The Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid offering might lack the pure off-road chops of the Wrangler (nearly everything does), but it’s certainly no slouch on the trail. The hybrid comes standard with Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive system and is available with Quadra-Drive II, complete with a rear electronic limited-slip differential. If you’re in the market for a midsize SUV that can withstand the rigors of famed off-road routes like the Rubicon Trail, it might be time to seek out a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe for sale.

But while the Grand Cherokee 4xe is certainly tough to beat when it comes to style, performance, and off-road features, is it truly a luxury model? These days, that word tends to get thrown around for any car, truck, or SUV that averages closer to six figures, but the vaunted “luxury” tag comes down to a whole lot more than the sticker price and creature features. While Jeep traditionally trades on its off-road cred, the Grand Cherokee 4xe makes a pretty compelling case for the luxury designation when you start to climb the trim ladder. So, how does it stack up against some of the segment’s heavy hitters? Let’s compare the Grand Cherokee 4xe with other luxury hybrids like the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e, Lexus RX 450h+, and BMW X5 xDrive50e to see if Jeep has stumbled upon a new niche.

Advanced Tech Features

While premium materials and interior design were once the watchwords of the luxury segment, technology now plays an outside role in separating truly indulgent vehicles from the rest of the pack. Jeep seems to be well aware of this trend, packing the Grand Cherokee 4xe with enough screens to make SpaceX’s mission control jealous. Upper trims like the Summit and Overland come standard with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, but it’s the additional 10.25-inch passenger-side infotainment screen, 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, and 10-inch heads-up display that really set the Grand Cherokee 4xe apart.

The passenger screen is a particularly novel feature in today’s market, allowing the front-seat passenger to access everything from Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio to in-dash navigation, apps, entertainment, and more without reaching across the cabin. This feature allows the passenger to play co-pilot with turn-by-turn directions, traffic updates, and other pertinent info. A standard nine-speaker Alpine audio system or an available ultra-luxe 19-speaker McIntosh array provides a high-fidelity listening experience that’s complemented by the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s notably quiet interior.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e comes standard with two 12.3-inch infotainment screens but doesn’t have a passenger display. The German automaker might also have gotten a little ahead of itself when it comes to features like the touchpad embedded in the center console. The infotainment display is already touch-sensitive, so doubling down with a touchpad seems a bit superfluous and does little more than add to the SUV’s bottom line. The BMW X5 xDrive50e’s centerpiece is a curved display that stretches across most of the dashboard with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, but again, there is no passenger display option. Finally, there’s the Lexus RX 450h+, which has a 14-inch display and a 9.8-inch digital gauge cluster. The screen is plenty wide and conveniently angled towards the driver but suffers from a case of over-digitization with a touch-sensitive slider replacing some basic HVAC controls.

The black interior of a 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee is shown from the passenger seat.

A Spacious and Well-Appointed Interior

Quilted leather upholstery and open-pore wood trim immediately set the Grand Cherokee’s Summit and Summit Reserve trims apart from the rest of the pack. Jeep has managed to infuse a little opulence into the interior without sacrificing the SUV’s off-road attitude––a tricky threading of the needle that creates a more mature and refined version of the beloved model. That said, it’s the Grand Cherokee 4xe’s cargo and passenger room that really gives the SUV an edge. This model is as roomy as it is rugged, with 145 cu.ft. of total passenger volume and 109 cu.ft. of cargo space. In comparison, the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450e rings in at just 74.9 cu.ft. of cargo space, while the BMW X5 offers 71.2 cu.ft., and the Lexus trails behind at just 46.2 cu.ft.

Then there are the goodies that firmly peg the Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve trims as true luxury models. Nappa leather seats and multi-color ambient LED interior lighting strike a balance between the traditional and the modern, while advanced driver assistance systems like Traffic Sign Recognition and ParkSense Front and Rear Park Assist up the safety and convenience factor. The Summit trim adds even more offerings like an Intersection Collision-Assist System, Drowsy Driver Detection, and a very Jeep-y Rough Road Cruise Control, not to mention a feature that will parallel or perpendicular park the SUV at the touch of a button. A Surround-View Camera System will come in handy when navigating parking lots. Jeep prioritizes comfort with 12-way power-adjustable massage seats and a front passenger’s seat with memory settings. The range-topping Summit Reserve adds a wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel, ventilated rear seats, and premium Palermo leather upholstery for an undeniably luxurious experience.

The GLE 450e’s noteworthy interior flourishes include a heated steering wheel, armrests, and center console lid. The latter might be a little excessive, but that’s what luxury is all about. The BMW X5 xDrive50e includes customizable ambient lighting, 20-way adjustable seats, and heated front armrests, but it’s the tranquility-inducing soft-close doors and acoustic glass that distinguish the SUV. The Lexus RX450h+ is pretty well appointed, including semi-aniline leather with microsuede inserts and bamboo or open-pore wood trim. Lexus does nickel-and-dime drivers with optional features like a hands-free power liftgate, a surround-view camera, and a 21-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system, which seems a bit cheap when you consider the high starting price.

Competitive Performance

The luxury formula is all about striking the perfect balance. While cutting-edge features, high-end materials, and design all play an important role, there’s no underestimating the importance of a vehicle’s overall performance. All the supple leather, heated seats, and premium audio systems in the world don’t count for much if you can’t get your heart racing by stomping on the gas pedal. Jeep has clearly kept this in mind when designing the Grand Cherokee 4xe, outfitting the SUV with a potent powertrain that makes the plug-in hybrid the most powerful model in the current Grand Cherokee lineup.

A turbocharged 2.0L inline-four and two electric motors paired with a 14 kWh battery pack give the SUV some 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque to play with. It’s an object lesson in forced induction and electric assist, with the diminutive 2.0L engine actually outperforming the Grand Cherokee’s dearly departed 5.7L V8 by roughly a full second in the all-important zero to 60 mph test. Its 5.3-second launch is quicker than both the Mercedes GLE 450e and Lexus RX 450h+, which clock in at 5.5 and 6.0 seconds, respectively.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe is more powerful than the Lexus RX 450h+, which maxes out a paltry 304 hp thanks to its naturally aspirated 2.5L Atkinson-cycle inline-four. Those seeking a more powerful hybrid from Lexus can spring for the turbocharged RX 500h with 366 hp, but that means giving up the option to plug in and recharge. The RX 450h+ also suffers from Lexus’ decision to pair the inline-four with a continuously variable transmission, which, as most drivers know, doesn’t always make for the most thrilling ride.

The Mercedes GLE 450e probably serves as the closest comparison for the Grand Cherokee 4xe. The hybrid powertrain––a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder backed up by electric motors and a nine-speed transmission––gives the SUV 381 hp, but its acceleration is a little lacking when compared to the Jeep. Then there’s the BMW, which is honestly in a class of its own when it comes to performance. The Beamer’s turbocharged 3.0L inline-six alone puts out 308 hp––more than the Lexus’s gas engine and electric motors combined––and the electric boost adds an extra 194 ponies to the mix for a grand total of 483 hp. The X5 xDrive50e also tops its competitors when it comes time to sprint, posting a zero to 60 mph time of just 3.9 seconds.

A silver 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is shown from the rear at an angle.

The Plug-In Factor

Fuel economy might not be the make-or-break factor for those shopping on the ritzier side of the SUV segment, but there’s also nothing particularly luxurious about constantly searching for a gas station. While drivers don’t tend to think of fuel economy and luxury as two attributes that go hand-in-hand, these four brands are seeking to change that misconception with their plug-in hybrid options. Boasting an EPA-estimated 56 MPGe and 26 miles of electric-only range, the 2024 Grand Cherokee 4xe is easily the most efficient model Jeep has ever produced, but how does it stack up against the rest of the plug-in hybrid luxury segment?

In truth, it all depends on how you use your SUV. Drivers with shorter commutes, or those who tend to stick close to home, will probably be more interested in the all-electric range of these four luxury SUVs. This is one place where the other models have a decided lead over the Jeep. The 17.3 kWh battery in the Grand Cherokee 4xe is relatively small compared to the 18.1 kWh battery in the RX 450h+, let alone the 23.3 kWh battery in the GLE 450e or the 25.7 kWh battery in the X5 xDrive50e. However, that smaller battery is part of what gives the Grand Cherokee 4xe a drastically lower starting price, making it hard to quibble about the relatively small gulf in electric range.

The Dark Horse of the Luxury Market

Is the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe a true luxury model? Ultimately, it depends on how far up the trim ladder you’re willing to climb. The 2024 Grand Cherokee 4xe’s base trim is a great bargain at $60,490 but lacks some of the premium touches required to earn the luxury designation. The Trailhawk makes a stronger case for itself but ultimately prioritizes off-road performance above all else. The Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve are a different story altogether. While they represent a significant investment at $73,480 to $79,150, drivers are unlikely to feel like they’ve been overcharged once they spend a little time behind the wheel. From the convincing hybrid powertrain and raw acceleration to all those little bells and whistles that set a luxury model apart from more pedestrian competitors, the Grand Cherokee 4xe might just be the dark horse of today’s luxury SUV market.