When we last saw the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, it was in its stretched L form, which brought three-row seating to the GC for the first time, made the Dodge Durango instantly irrelevant, and promised to be the best one ever made by Jeep. However, the giant elephant missing in the room was the standard-sized Grand Cherokee with Jeep repeatedly saying that it was still undergoing development. Thankfully, the wait is almost over, with Jeep confirming that it will be unveiling the short-wheelbase version and the 4xe model on September 29th.
A Return To Form For Jeep’s Bread And Butter Entry
While Jeep has kept official images of the shortened Grand Cherokee close to the vest, this is not the first time we have seen this flavor of Grand Cherokee out and about, with multiple prototypes being spotted in various states of camouflage throughout the immediate Metro Detroit area. But the clothes this time around are hiding a shrunken wheelbase which will come with a slightly rakish roofline to help accommodate the new proportions.
This shorter version will help the GC appeal to a broader pool of customers, especially those that want a GC but don’t need an extra row of seating and the more significant price tag that comes with the L version. The standard Grand Cherokee will also compete better with rivals like the Ford Edge and the Chevrolet Blazer.
4xe Model Bringing Electrification To Grand Cherokee Buyers
The big news is that the 2022 Grand Cherokee 4xe will be making its formal debut alongside the standard short-wheelbase model. The 4xe will be the second Jeep plug-in offering here in the U.S. It will be a crucial part of Jeep’s broader plans of completely overhauling its lineup to allow them to be greener offerings while also complying with tightening fuel-economy regulations.
Look for the Grand Cherokee 4xe to use the same performance hardware as the Jeep Wrangler 4xe with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder and its accompanying electrification software all being carried over to the Grand Cherokee. This will not only help Stelantis save development dollars, but since the performance hardware is already capable of being placed in a longitudinal configuration (transmission included), it would be a relatively affordable and straightforward transplant for Chrysler engineers to make. Look for the 4xe to also have considerable performance, with the heavier and cruder Wrangler’s engine producing 375 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The Grand Cherokee’s lighter weight and its more sophisticated underpinnings would allow the model to use the plug-in hybrid power better, and it might even deliver impressive acceleration.
When Can I Buy A 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Short-Wheelbase Model?
Look for the 2022 Jeep Wrangler to make its way to showrooms later this year. While the 4xe will arguably be the one that will steal the spotlight when the September 29th debut event happens, look for the first wave of models to be non-hybrid equipped models which can be fitted with either a base 3.6 liter V6 that produces 293 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, or a beefier 5.7 liter Hemi V8 that makes 357 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque.
These models (the V8 variants in particular) form the lifeblood of Grand Cherokee sales, and they will be tasked with helping keep the lights on, especially during the initial period when the 4xe plug-in hybrid is entering inventory and is working to be a presence in the minds of SUV buyers. Look for more pricing and distribution information to be revealed on September 29th. We will have a live feed of the event on our social media channels, so stay tuned.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.