A silver 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe for sale is shown parked near a bridge.

Jeep Discontinued the V8 Grand Cherokee in Favor of the 4xe––But Should It Have?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a staple of the Jeep lineup since 1992 and is loved by families and outdoor enthusiasts alike. It has comfortable seating, a spacious cabin, generous storage, and modern convenience that busy parents can appreciate while offering that classically stylish Jeep aesthetic. The Grand Cherokee has always been known for its excellent capability, rugged performance, and robust engine options, making it popular among drivers who want an inspired behind-the-wheel experience. When Jeep decided to stop making models with a V8 engine in 2023, fans had mixed feelings. However, if you want a potent powertrain, you might be impressed by a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe for sale.

For decades, V8 engines have been considered the best of the best. The beastly and unmistakable roar of a V8 Grand Cherokee is part of the charm for many drivers. However, as consumers become more concerned with their carbon footprint, it only makes sense that Jeep took its gas-guzzling V8 out of the Grand Cherokee engine roster to make room for the 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain. Still, drivers can’t help but wonder: how does the 4xe hold up? In fact, given the price jump from the V8 to the 4xe, people are seriously pondering if the switch-up is worth it. Here’s a breakdown of how the old V8 and the new 4xe compare to one another.

A gray 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Trailhawk is shown driving off-road.

A Look at the 5.7L HEMI V8

The HEMI has been with the Grand Cherokee from 2005 to 2023, so it’s understandable that many fans have grown attached to the powerful gas engine. For its final year on the market, this engine boasted 357 hp. Because the Grand Cherokee is popular for its towing abilities, many drivers like having a solid V8 because it means they won’t feel held back when travelling at high speeds with a trailer. Many drivers know the feeling of struggling to keep up with the flow of traffic while towing on the freeway, and nobody likes it. Plenty of horsepower helps fight that problem. On the topic of towing, the 5.7L V8 can pull up to 3,265 kg, making it great for towing campers, small trailers, boats and similar items.

Traditionally, V8 engines have a good amount of muscle but lag in the fuel economy department. The 5.7L HEMI V8 is no different and is rated for 14.1 L/100 km combined in the 2023 Grand Cherokee. If you ever drove a Grand Cherokee with a V8, you likely found yourself at the gas pump rather often. It’s simply one of the drawbacks of this otherwise great engine. It’s also what makes the new Grand Cherokee 4xe so enticing. Fuel prices seem to increase steadily, and we aren’t sure if they’ll ever drop to anything that resembles normal again. Switching to an electrified vehicle might be the only escape from price gouging.

A silver 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is shown parked off-road.

A Look at the Grand Cherokee 4xe

Okay, love it or hate it, the Grand Cherokee has become a PHEV, and if you want to see power comparable to the extinct V8, you’ll need to opt for a 4xe model. Well, that’s misleading because the Grand Cherokee 4xe is actually more powerful than the V8. Here’s a look at the numbers behind the electrified option, which combines a 2.0L turbocharged engine with an electric motor, allowing you to use gasoline when you want, and a battery when you don’t.

While the 5.7L HEMI V8 has 357 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, the Grand Cherokee 4xe bumps things up to 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. That’s a significant increase. Appropriately, the 4xe powertrain allows the Grand Cherokee to go from zero to 100 km/h in under six seconds. If acceleration lag has always bothered you in SUVs, you can kiss that concern goodbye with the Grand Cherokee 4xe. If you’ve always thought you just needed a pure combustion engine for solid power, this PHEV will have you rethinking that theory.

Towing admittedly takes a slight dip for this plug-in hybrid SUV and is down to 2,720 kg. Make no mistake––that’s still a solid towing ability for a midsize SUV, handily outperforming models like the Ford Edge and Chevy Blazer with their V6 engines. However, just make sure to check the weight of your towable items if you switch from a V8 model to ensure the vehicle is up to the challenge. Who knows––Jeep might just improve the towing ability of the Grand Cherokee 4xe for future years.

Fuel economy is where the 2023 Grand Cherokee 4xe really shines––big time. First, it’s important to understand the 4xe powertrain has three modes: Hybrid, Electric, and E-Save. In Hybrid mode, you use the power of the gas engine and the battery together and can see a fuel economy of about 10.0 L/100 km. Opt for Electric mode, and you can travel 42 km without needing a charge. Finally, E-Save mode relies solely on the gas engine and saves battery power for later. If the battery runs low, you can fully recharge it in about two hours with a Level 2 charger, so you’ll never wait long before you hit the road again.

A white 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Rubicon is shown driving off-road on water.

Is It Easy to Charge a PHEV In Canada?

Escaping the gas pump (or at least reducing your visits) doesn’t mean you don’t need to power up your PHEV. If you’re wondering how easy it will be to charge your Grand Cherokee 4xe on the go, the good news is that Canada has seen about a 30 percent increase in public charging stations since late 2021. You can research how many are in your particular area to see how accessible they are, but it’s clear that Canada is trending towards having more EV charging stations and likely won’t pull back on this. You can also recharge at home, which means charging on your own schedule and not having to wait in line at a public charging station. You just can’t do that with a gas-engine vehicle.

Is the Switch to the 4xe Worth It?

As far as your conscience goes, you can safely make the switch to the Grand Cherokee 4xe because you’ll be releasing fewer tailpipe emissions and doing your part for the environment. Of course, financial considerations are unavoidable, and there is a noticeable price difference between the models with the HEMI V8 and the 4xe powertrain. But consider this: Canadians spend an average of $1,510 CAD per year on gasoline. You can reduce that expenditure significantly by switching to a Grand Cherokee 4xe. Even Hybrid mode renders substantially better fuel economy compared to a V8 engine. Better fuel economy means less time at a pump and more time for your life.

There are other perks to going with the PHEV version, too, like better horsepower and torque, meaning easier towing at high speeds and improved acceleration. For many drivers, that performance boost is worth the higher price. Ultimately, the pros of the Grand Cherokee 4xe, from more power to better fuel economy, outweigh the con of the price increase and make it a worthy replacement for the old 5.7L HEMI V8.