2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe first drive review: Not a great hybrid, but an awesome Jeep

The new Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid is the brand’s most important action but into the realm of electrified driving, presenting up to 21 miles of electrical variety for each cost. No, a huge battery has not magically reworked the Jeep into a smarm-run eco-automobile the improvements aren’t even that good when you glimpse at the quantities. But electrification also has not charge the 4xe seemingly any of the off-highway capability or general performance that we have occur to anticipate from the Wrangler and it’s Trail Rated badge. If anything at all, it’s far better than ever.

Electric powered Blue tow hooks at the entrance and rear visually differentiate the 4xe from a lot more standard Wranglers, most likely a lot more so than the subtle charging port mounted higher on the entrance driver’s side fender. The blue concept also extends to the Trail Rated badges and other graphics throughout the boxy system. To the everyday observer, the 4xe would not glimpse really unique, specially when bathed in a balanced coat of mud. But of training course, there are even bigger changes concealed beneath the area. 

The 4xe is run by Jeep’s two.-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder motor, aided by a smaller starter/generator motor. It is equivalent in design and purpose to the eTorque delicate-hybrid motor, even though this a person operates at four hundred volts instead than forty eight.

Sandwiched concerning the gasoline motor and the standard eight-velocity automatic transmission — replacing the torque converter — is the much larger, main electrical travel motor. A pair of clutches tie it to the gearbox and the gasoline powerplant, letting the combustion motor to be totally decoupled from the wheels for full-electrical driving. Downstream, you can discover the identical 4-wheel-travel program, two-velocity transfer case and locking differentials as the non-hybrid Wrangler, with a two.seventy two:1 last travel axle for the base 4xe Sahara or four.:1 for the a lot more off-highway able 4xe Rubicon.

All with each other, you happen to be looking at 375 horsepower and a really generous 470 pound-toes of torque. The Hemi-run Rubicon 392 has the identical peak torque and a lot more electric power, but the exact control and quick torque of the electrical motor combined with the 4×4 system’s reduced-velocity crawling hardware helps make the 4xe the a lot more able Wrangler over incredibly complex terrain, according to Jeep.

The 4xe’s 6-second -to-sixty-mph time is slower than the 392’s four.5, but electrification has other advantages.

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There are 3 E Selec modes that allow the driver to opt for how to use the 17-kilowatt-hour battery’s juice. Electric powered method takes advantage of battery electric power only for up to 21 miles of mostly silent driving at an EPA-believed forty nine mpge. The default Hybrid method blends in gasoline electric power after the battery is depleted, whilst eSave prioritizes the combustion motor to preserve or produce cost for the battery, which is helpful for preserving a little bit of reduced-velocity EV variety for the conclude of a highway stretch. The EPA reckons your financial state will fall to all-around twenty mpg after the battery is depleted, which is incredibly two mpg worse than the non-hybrid Wrangler with the identical motor. Boosted by the initial electrical variety, I finished a day of testing at 24 mpg combined.

There’s also a Max Regen setting that can be applied to all 3 modes. It can be close to a a person-pedal driving method, providing a full .twenty five Gs of regenerative braking on carry, but however creeps ahead at really reduced speeds. Jeep’s engineers have completed a excellent job tuning the truly feel of this method the amount of regen or motor braking feels steady no matter of the battery’s state and/or the preferred E Selec method.

Most of my testing included keeping the Max Regen method on and to give the 4xe the greatest shot at achieving its believed variety, the 4×4 program is greatest employed in two-Higher rear-travel setting. Like this, I was able to set 23.eight miles of mostly silent metropolis driving at the rear of me ahead of the gasoline motor kicked on, which is a little bit a lot more than Jeep’s estimate. There’s however really a little bit of highway, wind and, at times, drivetrain sound and my illustration rolls on the standard highway-helpful twenty-inch wheels with all-year tires. Count on a lot less variety from the Rubicon’s 33-inch tall knobbies and shorter last-travel and significantly a lot less at highway speeds. Hybrid or not, the Wrangler however has the aerodynamic profile of a palette of bricks and total effectiveness tanks previously mentioned 50-sixty mph.


Plugging in provides up to 21 electrical miles for each two.5 hour cost.

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Plugging into a 240-volt Degree two charging station — like the Jeep 4xe Charging Community trailhead chargers — juices the Wrangler’s battery pack in all-around two.5 hrs. At a regular a hundred and ten-volt property wall outlet, that stretches to just over twelve hrs from flat.

Of training course, the most critical issue about the 4xe is that it’s however a Wrangler it however will have to provide on the go-any place capability that title commands. To take a look at this, I swapped into a a lot more rugged Rubicon design with its 33-inch tires, dropped into four-Low, locked the diffs and engaged full-electrical method to deal with an off-highway training course.

The journey started by fording drinking water thirty inches deep without electrocuting any person included. The total higher-voltage electrical program is sealed and water resistant, as well as the battery pack is basically tucked in the cabin, beneath the rear seats, where by it is weather controlled and shielded from bumps, punctures and scrapes.


The higher-voltage powertrain and battery are water resistant and shielded from the features.


With its amazing seventy seven.two:1 crawl ratio and gobs of electrical torque on faucet, the Rubicon 4xe built simple operate of some very significant climbs up solid, easy rock faces. And whilst the 4xe’s PHEV hardware provides really a little bit of pounds to the Wrangler’s package deal — about 770 pounds a lot more than a comparably geared up Rubicon V6 — the battery’s placement basically improves pounds distribution, shifting really close to a 50:50 split relying on trim and decreasing the centre of mass a little bit, for a a lot more planted truly feel even at significant angles. Creeping along was built less difficult with the most current era Selec-Pace Management smoothing out hill ascents and descents, but the throttle was remarkably delicate and simple to modulate even without it. 

Possibly the most enjoyably odd aspect of the 4xe off-highway expertise was just how certainly and strangely silent the powertrain was even when hauling by itself out of the mud and up ridiculously steep climbs. As significantly as I really like the seem of a effective ICE, listening to the scrub of the tires over the terrain additional an unanticipated dimension to the crawling expertise and I notably appreciated currently being able to a lot more effortlessly listen to my spotters’ commands and the nature bordering the path. Of training course, that meant the occasional thunks or scrapes from the undercarriage when discovering the boundaries of the 4xe’s ten.eight-inch floor clearance and 22.5-diploma breakover angle were being also significantly a lot more pronounced.


Road-sure improvements are small, but at least the Wrangler helps make no discernable sacrifices off-highway.


The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe starts at $forty nine,490 for the base Sahara, together with a $1,495 spot cost. That is about $eight,825 a lot more than a equally spec’d Sahara V6, but up to $seven,500 in plug-in tax rebates and any state distinct-incentives ought to relieve the sticker shock. The a lot more rugged Rubicon and feature-laden Higher Altitude modes I tested start out at $53,190 or $fifty five,074, respectively.

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is just an Ok plug-in hybrid. Its variety and gas financial state are very weak but, with regular charging and shorter journeys, you can find however lots of likely to bend the procedures of “your mileage may vary” to your profit. Even so, the 4xe is actually the most able, technically advanced and eco-helpful Wrangler ever and its skill to quietly and confidently deal with the good outdoor with a nod to environmental obligation is currently unmatched. At least, until the electrical vehicles get there.