Those looking to tow with a two-row Grand Cherokee just took a big blow.
Jeep Vice President Jim Morrison told Motor Authority in September 2021 that the Grand Cherokee’s V-8’s time was limited. Now, in the middle of the 2023 model year, the V-8 option for the two-row Jeep Grand Cherokee has quietly and unceremoniously disappeared.
The optional 5.7-liter V-8, which is rated at 357 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, is no longer available with the two-row 2023 Grand Cherokee according to the configurator on Jeep’s consumer site. It was a $3,295 option when launched and later increased to $3,795.
Jeep spokesperson Kristin Starnes confirmed to Motor Authority that consumers and dealers can no longer configure or order a V-8-powered two-row Grand Cherokee.
The V-8 was an option on upper Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve models. Starnes said the premium powertrain available in the two-row Jeep Grand Cherokee is the 4xe plug-in hybrid.
The 4xe is Jeep’s plug-in hybrid powertrain. Launched first in the Wrangler, Jeep offered it in the WL74 two-row Grand Cherokee in 2022. The plug-in hybrid powertrain is more powerful, quicker, and more efficient than the V-8. Jeep rates the 4xe powertrain at 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. The electrified powertrain is good for a 6.0-second 0-60 mph time in the Grand Cherokee compared to 6.9 seconds for the V-8 version.
Morrison hasn’t been shy about the future of the V-8 in the Grand Cherokee. There is none, he said in April 2021. Even future performance variants of the Grand Cherokee will have fewer than eight cylinders under the hood, according to the executive. Whether those models will sport the Trackhawk nameplate has yet to be determined. Jeep trademarked Xtreme Performance, but it’s unclear in what way that badge will be applied within the lineup.
The loss of the V-8 option may affect buyers looking to tow with their two-row Grand Cherokee. The V-8 engine upped the Grand Cherokee’s tow rating to 7,200 pounds. The V-6 model is rated to tow 6,200 pounds, while the 4xe plug-in hybrid has a 6,000-pound tow rating.
Starnes noted the V-8 is still the premium engine option for the longer three-row Grand Cherokee L body style, known internally as WL75. Opting for the V-8 in the WL75 retains the 7,200-pound tow rating, but it also requires buyers to live with a longer, larger, three-row vehicle that drives differently thanks to softer suspension tuning and a longer wheelbase.
Jeep has launched a new twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 in the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. It’s now the brand’s top-spec engine, with more power than the 4xe and the 5.7- and 6.4-liter V-8s. The turbo-6 is expected to come online shortly as an option in the two-row Grand Cherokee, and later the three-row Grand Cherokee L, to replace the V-8 and raise the towing rating back over 7,000 pounds. Starnes wouldn’t comment about future product, including if and when the turbo-6 will go in the Grand Cherokee.
Confusingly, the Jeep consumer site still lists the 2022 Grand Cherokee two-row model and allows buyers to configure it with a V-8. Jeep spokesperson Ron Kiino confirmed to Motor Authority the automaker is no longer building 2022 models.
Both Starnes and Kiino noted that there are a limited number of 2023 model-year Grand Cherokees with the V-8 in dealer inventory.
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