Preview: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2-row debuts with 4xe plug-in hybrid, V-8 options

Jeep kicked off the arrival of its redesigned Grand Cherokee earlier this year by launching a new three-row variant dubbed the Grand Cherokee L. It's already at dealerships and is priced to start at $38,690, including destination.

The regular two-row version of the redesigned Grand Cherokee was revealed on Wednesday, and is due to reach dealerships toward the end of the year. There aren't many differences to the Grand Cherokee L but there is a new plug-in hybrid powertrain that carries Jeep's 4xe (four-by-e) designation first seen on the Wrangler.

The Grand Cherokee 4xe features the same setup as the Wrangler 4xe. It consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 and a pair of motor generators, one replacing the engine starter motor and the other integrated with the transmission, in this case an 8-speed automatic. Peak output is 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, and a 17-kilowatt-hour battery is said to be good for about 25 miles of electric range.

Towing capacity for the Grand Cherokee 4xe is 6,000 pounds. If you're seeking more, a 5.7-liter V-8 is available. This powertrain is good for 357 hp and 390 lb-ft and has a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. The final powertrain option is a 293-hp 3.6-liter V-6 which can be configured with rear- or four-wheel drive, unlike the plug-in hybrid and V-8 setups which are four-wheel drive only.

The other big news is the return of the Trailhawk off-road grade, which can be ordered with the plug-in hybrid powertrain. It comes standard with 18-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, along with steel skid plates, an integrated off-road camera, the Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system, and an air suspension able to provide up to 11.3 inches of ground clearance for improved approach, departure and breakover angles. Water fording is also up to 24 inches. The real trick is a new sway bar disconnect feature to allow for improved wheel articulation for all you rock-crawling folks. Finally, there's Jeep's Selec-Speed Control for managing vehicle speed in 4LO.

The interior design of the 2022 Grand Cherokee is a match with the Grand Cherokee L, though naturally there's only two rows here. Jeep really stepped up the quality of the interior for the fifth-generation Grand Cherokee, even for the base Laredo grade. We're talking an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster, 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Jeep said the 2022 Grand Cherokee will reach dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2021. The 4xe won't arrive until early 2022, though. Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch.

Jeep is also yet to confirm whether the 4xe option will be offered in the Grand Cherokee L, but the move is likely given the two Grand Cherokee variants are twins under the skin. Jeep is also quite serious about electrification and is even establishing its own charging stations at trailheads.

Jeep also promises to deliver a zero-emission vehicle in every segment it competes in by as early as 2025. This will be made possible thanks to four highly flexible battery-electric platforms being developed by Stellantis. The platforms are the STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large, and STLA Frame, and they will offer range figures starting at 300 miles and going all the way up to 500 miles.

For more on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.