When you’re trying to pick out the right SUV for you, it can feel challenging to evaluate it on so many different factors — like design, performance, capability, comfort, safety and price, just to name a few of the long list of important considerations.
One major decision you’ll have to make is the degree to which you want your SUV to prioritize power and the degree to which you want your SUV to prioritize fuel efficiency. Now, that’s not to say you have to choose between them at all. But some models tend to emphasize one or the other depending on the vehicle’s intended use, while others try to strike a balance between power and fuel economy.
One such vehicle is the Jeep Wrangler, specifically when it comes to the Rubicon and Sahara trim levels offered with the 4xe hybrid powertrain. If you’ve been looking for an on- or off-road companion, should you consider a Wrangler hybrid rather than the traditional gas models?
Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe.
How the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Hybrid Works
The traditional gas-powered Jeep Wranglers come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine capable of 285 horsepower. Wrangler 4xe models instead utilize a 2.0-liter four-cylinder plug-in hybrid engine with a 400-volt lithium ion battery capable of 375 horsepower when the hybrid system is engaged.
This engine can store up charge when it is plugged in, resulting in up to 21 miles of purely electric driving, as Edmunds describes. What happens after this electric charge runs out? The engine then shifts to using its gas and hybrid power.
So, drivers can choose between three modes depending on the conditions in which they’re driving:
- Hybrid: A combination of gas and electricity that favors electricity until the battery has run out of charge.
- Electric: Runs the Wrangler solely on power supplied by the battery until the charge has been depleted.
- E-Save: Operates the Jeep SUV on gas, retaining the electric power for another time.
Say you want to charge up your hybrid Wrangler before your commute to work tomorrow, or before a weekend trip to the nearest trails. How far in advance do you need to plug it in? As Motor Trend reports, drivers can expect charging to require about 12 hours when plugged into a 110-volt wall outlet or a much-shorter two hours when utilizing a 240-volt outlet. So, if you were to plug it in the night before you head to bed, you’d be good to go for the next morning. If you happen to forget to charge it, you can at least depend on the gas engine to take over.
What Are Experts Saying About the Wrangler Hybrid?
One thing experts seem to often point out about the Wrangler 4xe is that it does not sacrifice the model’s Trail-Rated reputation. Thanks to its ability to crank out 470 pound-feet of torque — an amount one writer who took this vehicle for a test drive on the trails calls “very generous” — choosing a hybrid Rubicon will still allow off-road warriors to crawl rocks and cross streams to their heart’s content.
Don’t be alarmed if the ride is quieter than the gas alternative, too. Drivers who want to hear the sounds of nature while trekking through the forest will have less engine noise to contend with, according to Car and Driver. But, you know, if you’re at an event where you want your Jeep to roar, experts say you can switch the electricity off and let it rip.
Only you can decide if you should consider a Jeep Wrangler hybrid, but there are definitely compelling reasons for doing so — especially if having more than 20 miles of electric-only ride would help you cut down on how much gas you have to buy.