The Jeep Wrangler 4xe Plug-in Hybrid Is Smart and Reasonably Quiet, But Falls Short on Range
【Summary】The Jeep Wrangler is one of the least depreciating models in the country, and with its new 4xe powertrain it's also one of the smartest off-roaders on sale today. The hybrid Wrangler is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that is coupled to a pair of electric motors. The drivetrain draws power from a 17-kWh battery pack which completes the ensemble.
Stellantis brand Jeep plans to have a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in each of its vehicle segments by 2025, including a fully electric Jeep model by 2023.
While the idea of an all-electric Jeep is appealing, Jeep's first-ever PHEV in the U.S. market is the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe, and it's quite an interesting offering.
The rugged Jeep Wrangler has a loyal fanbase and is one of the least depreciating SUV models in the country. Now with a new hybrid powertrain available, it is also one of the smartest off-roaders on sale today.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe (pronounced "4-by-e") will be available in three versions, the Sahara, Rubicon and High Altitude.
The Wrangler 4xe is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that is coupled to a pair of electric motors. The drivetrain draws power from a 17-kWh battery pack that completes the ensemble.
The Wrangler 4xe powertrain produces 375 HP of maximum power and 470 lb-ft of peak torque. As a result, the electrified off-roader can accelerate to 60 MPH from a complete standstill in just 6 seconds.
Unfortunately, you won't get similar performance in the Wrangler 4xe while using electric-only mode, as the power output is limited to just 134 HP. However, if the driver hits the accelerator a little too hard while in electric-only mode, the Wrangler's gas engine fires up instantly.
In EV mode, the Wrangler 4xe PHEV is quick off the line though, but you miss out on the distinct engine roar that usually accompanies Wranglers, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Even though Jeep's electrified offering manages to leave a strong impression overall, range is still a problem. The Jeep PHEV only offers 22 miles of all-electric driving range, which is nowhere close to the range figures of other PHEVs in the segment.
In addition, the battery drains rather quickly while operating in hybrid mode. As a result, expect frequent trips to EV charging stations. The battery pack can also be charged by the engine, but that will ruin the Jeep's fuel economy.
Using a standard charger, charging the Wrangler 4xe can take up to 12 hours. With a 240V Level-2 fast charger, that time is reduced to two hours.
The Jeep 4xe, at this point, remains an ambitious product. While Jeep's PHEV brings power and ease, it misses the mark with its short range. However, the 2021 Wrangler 4xe is a great PHEV for those who love the thrill of an off-roader and usually commute over short distances.
Prices of the Wrangler 4xe models start at $51,025 for the Sahara 4xe. The Rubicon starts at $54,725, while the top of the line High Altitude model costs $56,845.
The Wrangler 4xe also qualifies for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit.
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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