Skip to main content

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has become a midsize SUV staple over its three-decade run, giving drivers an impressive blend of capability and comfort. After 30 years on the market, Jeep has expanded its Grand Cherokee lineup to include a range of engine options. Each powertrain caters to a different set of needs and preferences. So, which Grand Cherokee engine is the best?

What kind of engine does a Jeep Grand Cherokee have?

Three different Jeep Grand Cherokee models sit amid red rock formations.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Models | Jeep, Stellantis

Jeep offers the 2023 Grand Cherokee with three engine options – two typical gas engines and one plug-in hybrid system. Each of these engine options serves a unique purpose. Whether you prefer brutish V8 power or cutting-edge electrified efficiency, there’s an option for all tastes. 

  • 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 
  • 5.7-liter HEMI V8 
  • 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain 

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a standard V6

The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6-liter V6 engine should be familiar to Jeep enthusiasts. It’s been a staple of the brand’s SUV lineup for over a decade, anchoring models like the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator.

According to Edmunds, the 3.6-liter V6 makes a decent 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It isn’t the most powerful engine available for the Grand Cherokee. Still, the V6 is a sturdy workhorse that can do a bit of everything. It’s even rated for up to 26 mpg on the highway.

The 4xe uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain for maximum efficiency

One of the most significant updates to the Grand Cherokee in years has been adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain option. The Grand Cherokee 4xe powertrain uses a four-cylinder gas engine and plug-in electric batteries and motors. According to Edmunds, it offers up to 25 miles of electric-only driving range along with 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. 

The 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain is the only engine option for the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. That fact may frustrate Jeep enthusiasts who enjoyed the previous generation Trailhawk’s available V8. However, it does ensure excellent efficiency during off-road driving.  

An available V8 gives old-school power 

The old 5.7-liter V8 engine is now only available in the larger, seven-passenger Grand Cherokee L. The two-row Grand Cherokee lost the V8 for the 2023 model year.

It isn’t the best in fuel economy, but the V8 more than makes up for it with excellent power. Per Edmunds, the V8 Grand Cherokee L makes 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. 

The V8 is the way to go if you’re looking for traditional capability in the Grand Cherokee L. Its stout power ratings offer confidence in traffic, good towing capacity, and a great exhaust note. 

The best Jeep Grand Cherokee powertrain varies from driver to driver

Choosing the best Grand Cherokee engine is challenging – each powertrain has its own strengths. 

Not all Jeep Grand Cherokee drivers have the same performance expectations. For some, the cutting-edge electric technology of the 4xe powertrain will be hard to resist. Others will prefer the tried-and-true performance of the HEMI V8 or the value of the 3.6-liter V6. Truthfully, Jeep has designed the 2023 Grand Cherokee to fit a broad spectrum of performance needs.


What’s the Difference Between the Biggest Jeep Models