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2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee detailed: Hardcore Trailhawk sets sights on Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol, now available with optional hybrid power

The top-spec Grand Cherokee Trailhawk will be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the first time.

Jeep has finally fully detailed its fifth-generation Grand Cherokee line-up, which will take the nameplate to uncharted territory thanks to a 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain that is available across the line-up – including on the rugged Trailhawk flagship.

Designed as a bush-ready showroom model that might sway buyers away from the Toyota LandCruiser or Nissan Patrol, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk sports air suspension, all-terrain tyres wrapped around 18-inch wheels, an off-road camera, an active transfer case, red tow hooks, steel skid plates and Selec-Terrain off-road traction management system, as well as improved approach, departure and breakover angles.

The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk will also have an ace up its sleeve thanks to its 4xe plug-in powertrain – an advantage no other rugged SUV can currently match, though the similarly-sized Kia Sorento will soon arrive with a PHEV option.

With a 17kWh battery in tow, the 4xe features 40 kilometres of all-electric driving range before the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine takes over.

Paired to the engine is an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission for a combined fuel economy 4.1 litres per 100km, which is much more miserly than the carryover 3.6-litre Pentastar petrol V6 alternative that returns around 10L/100km.

Combined outputs for the powertrain reach 280kW/637Nm, while Jeep quotes a maximum towing capacity of 2720kg for the 4xe.

Despite the hybrid powertrain, the Grand Cherokee 4xe still features Jeep’s Quadra Trac II four-wheel-drive system with two-speed transfer case, low-range gearing and a 47.4:1 crawl ratio.

The battery system is also housed in a sealed, waterproof casing meaning the 4xe can wade through depths of up to 61cm.

Exterior changes to the hybrid Trailhawk compared with its standard sibling include blue tow hooks and blue-accented 18-inch wheels.

Three driving modes are available on the 4xe – Hybrid, Electric and eSave – which varies the combination of petrol and electric depending on user preference.

Overseas, the hybrid powertrain will be available on Limited, Overland, Summit, Summit Reserve and Trailhawk variants, with just the base Laredo and Altitude missing out, though how it will look for Australia is currently unclear.

Other powertrain options in the US include a 266kW/529Nm 5.7-litre petrol V8, but Australia will be limited to the carryover 218kW/353Nm 3.6-litre Pentastar V6.

The V6 engine features a towing capacity of 2812kg, while the V8 can haul up to 3265kg.

Australian pricing and features are still to be detailed, but equipment such as air suspension, a Selec-Terrain off-road traction management system and a front-axle disconnect are featured throughout the Grand Cherokee line-up.

Inside, some grades also sport dual 10.1-inch digital screens for instrumentation and multimedia duties respectively, with the latter featuring Jeep’s new Uconnect 5 software.

Features include wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, digital rear-view mirror, wireless smartphone charger, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation and Wi-Fi hotspotting.

A 10.25-inch front passenger screen can also be optioned, which features built-in Amazon FireTV support – at least in the US.

In terms of safety, the Grand Cherokee features autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, a reversing camera, tyre pressure monitoring and rear parking sensors as standard.

Higher grades will also add a night-vision camera, driver attention alert, traffic sign recognition, surround-view camera and parking assist.

Jeep’s new Grand Cherokee will launch in the first half of 2022 in seven-seat L form, with the five-seat version and 4xe plug-in expected later in the year.