2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Street Take a look at Evaluate | How far off-road are you going?

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee, maybe greater than any automobile it competes with, have to be many issues to many various patrons. In its base Laredo and mid-level Restricted trims, it provides heart-of-the-market patrons a rugged two- or three-row possibility with reputable dirt-road functionality. In its upper-crust Summit and Summit Reserve trims, we mentioned it compares favorably with luxurious choices from Audi, Lincoln, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz. After which there’s the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, which is the mannequin we simply spent every week driving on and off pavement. It ostensibly competes with off-road-biased SUVs just like the Toyota 4Runner TRD Professional, however as we’ll clarify, it casts a a lot wider internet than that.

Jeep has made certain that informal observers can inform that the Trailhawk isn’t any unusual Grand Cherokee. A matte-finish hood decal instantly offers it away, punctuated by brilliant crimson tow hooks and distinctive 18-inch wheels shod in chunky Goodyear Wrangler off-road tires. However it’s what you don’t instantly see beneath and contained in the automobile that actually makes the Trailhawk tick.

As you’d count on from a Jeep sporting a Path Rated badge on its fender, the 2022 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk comes with a full complement of metal skid plates to guard its delicate underbelly. Hopefully they received’t be wanted, nevertheless, because the height-adjustable Quadra-Carry air suspension system lifts the Grand Cherokee to a most 11.3 inches of floor clearance. That’s extra clearance than a Wrangler Rubicon (with out the Xtreme Recon bundle’s 35-inch tires) and affords a water fording depth of as much as 24 inches. The suspension will modify itself primarily based on the Selec-Terrain Traction Administration mode chosen, or might be manually adjusted with a toggle to the best of the knurled dial that acts because the shift lever.

Jeep’s Selec-Terrain Traction Administration System contains modes for Snow, Sand/Mud and Rock along with the Auto mode it’ll keep in more often than not and, oddly sufficient, a Sport mode. These modes are chosen with a toggle to the left of the spinning shifter. Selec-Pace Management retains the automobile touring at a relentless (sluggish) pace no matter incline or decline, with out additional driver intervention.

Just like the Wrangler Rubicon, Ford Bronco and sure variations of the Toyota 4Runner, the Trailhawk provides a sway-bar disconnect. Mainly, hitting a button on the console electronically disconnects the entrance sway bar that usually connects the driver- and passenger-side wheels. That enables the 2 wheels better freedom of motion and subsequently rising suspension articulation. It robotically reconnects at regular driving speeds to supply safer on-pavement dealing with.

Additionally customary is Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II full-time four-wheel-drive system, which options an lively switch case and a rear digital locking limited-slip differential. It’s able to sending as a lot as 100% of whole engine torque to 1 rear wheel. Naturally, there’s a 4 Low mode that locks the entrance and rear differentials and switches to 2.72:1 gearing for low-speed crawling. There’s additionally a Impartial mode that enables for flat towing on the highway.

Now could be a superb time to level out that each one of that wonderful, top-shelf {hardware} is usually designed to assist the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk excel off highway. Positive, there’s a Sport mode, however there’s no getting round the truth that this SUV wears knobby tires and mainly was engineered to be at its greatest whereas crawling over boulders, mucking via mud, sleighing via snow or no matter different form of off-road situation you may dream up. That’s to not say it’s no good to drive on the highway, however patrons who don’t know what a disconnecting sway bar is or why it may be helpful — stuff that provides vital value — ought to have a look at one of many different positive Grand Cherokee trim ranges. We’ll dive just a little deeper into that dialogue just a little additional beneath.

Energy for our check automobile was offered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. We by no means felt just like the Trailhawk was hurting for energy, however for these patrons who need extra, a 5.7-liter Hemi is out there that spins out 357 hp and 390 lb-ft. Each engines ship these ponies via an eight-speed automated transmission to all 4 wheels. The EPA charges the V6-powered Trackhawk at 19 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 26 mpg on the freeway and 22 mixed, and that’s proper about what we managed over every week. The V8 is rated at 14 metropolis, 22 freeway and 17 mixed. That’s not excellent, nevertheless it’s truly on par with the a lot much less highly effective V6-powered Toyota 4Runner’s EPA score of 16 metropolis, 19 freeway and 17 mixed.

There’s a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe coming this spring, and it sounds promising on paper. It can produce 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s paired with an electrical motor. Jeep estimates drivers will get 25 miles of electrical vary from a full cost, and the EPA says drivers ought to count on a mixed 23 mpg after the battery runs out of sufficient juice to energy the automobile with out the engine’s assist. As all the time with a plug-in hybrid, it behooves you to cost as a lot as potential to maximise its effectivity.

The usual V6 engine isn’t solely ample in energy, nevertheless it’s additionally a easy performer. We’ve lengthy been followers of the eight-speed gearbox Jeep makes use of within the Grand Cherokee (and a variety of different Stellantis autos), and it really works properly within the Trailhawk. There are dinky paddle shifters on the steering wheel; we examined them to ensure they work, and so they do, however we discovered little use for them afterward whereas on the highway.

Dropping into Sport mode lowers the Trailhawk’s heart of gravity, which does certainly present the driving force with extra car-like responses, and we received’t complain about that. The large cumbersome tires, nevertheless, nonetheless wallow much more than lower-profile, street-oriented tires would, and there actually isn’t any additional electrical trickery Jeep can do about that. We have been content material to depart the Trailhawk in Auto more often than not, letting it management itself and drop right into a lowered aerodynamic stance at freeway speeds.

We talked about the Toyota 4Runner TRD Professional as a competitor for the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, and it’s in all probability about as shut a bogey as exists in right now’s market. In comparison with the $56,030 Trailhawk, the $53,635 TRD Professional feels antiquated – each by design and since it’s been round for ages. The 4Runner could also be an enthralling previous beast, nevertheless it’s much less highly effective, much less refined, bumpier and noisier than the Trailhawk. Its inside tech doesn’t come near evaluating with the bevy of screens supplied by Jeep, its gauges are, properly, gauges as a substitute of customizable digital readouts, and the suspension doesn’t enhance or lower in trip peak. You can also’t get a disconnecting sway bar on the TRD Professional. Each will get drivers to their off-road locations, however the Jeep will achieve this with better consolation and refinement each on and off the pavement.

We made good use of the moist springtime situations of the roads to check out the additional traction supplied by these chunky tires and heavy obligation off-road tech. Regardless of mucking our method via ankle-deep mud and mush, we by no means obtained near getting caught. Low-range gearing made fast work of the steepest inclines we might discover in Central Ohio, and regardless that we didn’t want to make use of the disconnecting swaybar, we examined it out anyway on a two-row boat ramp divided by a thick concrete berm. No shock, it elevated the quantity of suspension articulation and subsequently the gap we might attain whereas straddling the hole.

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk’s $56,030 value features a obligatory and seemingly exorbitant $1,795 vacation spot cost. Add $395 for any paint that isn’t strong white — our check automotive confirmed up with two-tone Silver Zynith and Black that we wished was one thing brighter or deeper. We’d take into account the $1,295 Luxurious Tech Group obligatory with a view to get issues like proximity entry and an influence tilt/telescoping steering column with reminiscence. Our tester’s sticker value ballooned to $61,040 with a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, the $1,095 entrance passenger interactive show, the extremely beneficial $1,495 Uconnect infotainment system on a big and spectacular 10.1-inch show, and a $1,995 bundle that provides a helpful Evening Imaginative and prescient mode and a surround-view digicam bundle. Patrons who need a third row are out of luck as there isn’t a Trailhawk model of the Grand Cherokee L obtainable – it’s two-row solely.

We’ll reiterate right here that we examined out all this superior off-road package, and it really works precisely as marketed. However we by no means truly needed to check it, regardless of particularly searching for the grossest slop we might drive via on looking roads solely in any other case occupied by ATVs and folks sporting rubber boots. All of that’s to say that we applaud Jeep for providing a Grand Cherokee that’s actually succesful off-road, however the Restricted 4×4 that prices $5,000 much less or the Overland that solely prices a grand or two extra would in all probability be higher decisions for drivers who don’t know why they’d want a Path Rated badge.

However for these patrons who do know precisely why they want almost a foot of floor clearance, the flexibility to ford 2 toes of water, or sufficient suspension articulation to straddle a mini Mount Rushmore, properly, there actually is nothing else in the marketplace that additionally offers luxurious finishings and refinement for the value of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.

Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for Vehiclenews.net, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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