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Jeep says V6 petrol “more than adequate” for Grand Cherokee

Dylan Campbell

But those needing a Grand Cherokee with a 3500kg towing capacity should wait for the hybrid turbo inline-four

Jeep Australia has stated its long-standing Pentastar V6 petrol is “more than adequate” for the Grand Cherokee while hinting that the incoming hybrid model could take the place of the old diesel option for drivers that require a hefty towing capacity.

While the PHEV powertrain ‘4xe’ is due in Australia later this year, Jeep currently only offers its new five-seat Grand Cherokee with a 3.6-litre petrol Pentastar V6. Outputs are 210kW and 344Nm, and it can tow up to 2813kg braked.

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Trailhawk 2022 silver
Jeep’s 4xe model is due in Australia later this year

While among the best in class for petrol towing capacity, the previous 3.0-litre diesel model could tow up to 3500kg. 

Jeep will not offer a diesel powertrain for its new Grand Cherokee, nor will it bring to Australia the 5.7-litre Hemi V8 model which offers a 3265kg braked towing capacity in the USA.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 2023 V6 engine
Jeep is staying committed to the Pentastar V6

But speaking at the recent local launch of the new five-seat Grand Cherokee, Stellantis Australia Product Manager Rick Crichton hinted that the new, plug-in hybrid, four-cylinder Grand Cherokee 4xe could suit the hauling needs of Australia’s ‘towing obsessed’ local market. 

In the USA, the Grand Cherokee 4xe uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four and electric motor producing a combined 280kW and 637Nm. 

The previous generation Grand Cherokee offered a diesel engine with a 3.5-tonne towing capaity

While the US market Grand Cherokee 4xe is rated at 2721kg for braked towing capacity, Jeep has previously confirmed it is working on an Australia-only specification that could mean a higher towing capacity than the USA. 

When asked what that could be, Crichton smiled and said “we’ll keep it a secret because we’ve got to talk to you about PHEV when the time is right”.

Crichton would not reveal whether the PHEV’s towing capacity would exceed the 2.8 tonnes of the current V6, but Chasing Cars would guess 3.5 tonnes, a figure shared with segment rivals like the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series, Ford Everest and Toyota Prado.

Diesel Grand Cherokee permanently gone

Meanwhile fans of the previous diesel model are staring down the possibility of no new diesel-powered Grand Cherokee option at all. “We have our tried-and-true Jeep customers that would like to see a diesel,” Crichton said. 

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee side profile
Car makers are continuing to move away from diesel powertrains

“Unfortunately for us, it’s not available in right-hand-drive globally, so it’s not an option for us. The 3.6 is a great powertrain set-up; it’s more than adequate. We’ve got new customers coming along with us on the journey, but then there’s always going to be an element of those old customers [as well].”

Global Jeep bosses have said the focus is now on petrol and hybrid-petrol models, and no longer diesel.

Grand Cherokee could get Hurricane inline-six 

In the United States, a twin-turbocharged, modular 3.0-litre inline-six dubbed the “Hurricane” is expected to fill a void left by the Hemi V8 across the Stellantis range.

There are two versions of the Hurricane at present: a standard output with 313kW/635Nm and a high output with 380kW/678Nm. The engine is currently fitted to the US-spec Wagoneer in 313kW tune, claiming 11.7L/100km combined consumption – a significant improvement on the 292kW 5.7-litre Hemi V8.

Jeep’s twin turbo ‘Hurricane’ line-six could make its way into the Grand Cherokee

While the Hurricane has not been confirmed for the Grand Cherokee, Stellantis executives have hinted that it’s a possibility for the latest WL generation. The Hurricane could join the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 and hybrid 2.0-litre turbo inline-four powertrains currently on offer in the United States – where you can also still buy a Hemi V8 Grand Cherokee L. Reports suggest the V8 is not long of this world.

Stellantis has pledged to halve its carbon footprint by 2030 before achieving ‘net carbon zero’ emissions by 2038.

The seven-seat Grand Cherokee L version seems to be restricted to the V6 petrol

No word on PHEV Grand Cherokee L

While Jeep Australia has confirmed a five-seat Grand Cherokee hybrid 4xe, local operatives were mum on any potential for a hybrid version of its seven-seat, long-wheelbase L. 

Notably, a Grand Cherokee L 4xe is not yet available in the USA. It comes standard with the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 only while the Summit Reserve grade can be optioned with the 5.7-litre Hemi V8.