2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe First Drive: The Wrangler With a Plug
If you’re looking for the most capable vehicle with a plug, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is it. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four coupled to an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and an eight-speed automatic transmission, this rig has 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque combined. That means only the V8-powered Wrangler Rubicon 392 is more powerful than this electrified off-roader. However, you have more low-end torque for crawling over those rocks thanks to the turbocharged engine and electric motor combination.
If you’re looking for a two-door Wrangler with an electrified powertrain, you’re out of luck. The Wrangler 4xe is only available in the four-door Unlimited version. It’ll cost you too. Plug-in hybrid models start in the Sahara trim, which is priced from $49,490. Things go up from there because you can load up a Wrangler 4xe past $60,000 if you get carried away with options. As with other four-door Unlimited variants, the Wrangler 4xe gives you two distinct flavors, two on-road-oriented models, the Sahara and High Altitude, and the rock-crawling Rubicon.
So, what does the added expense get you? For starters, the 17.3-kWh battery lets you travel up to 22 miles in all-electric mode and gets you 20 mpg across the board in EPA city/highway/combined ratings. With a full charge and a full tank, you’re able to travel a total of 370 miles. Charging the battery from empty to 100 percent using a level 2 charger takes 2.5 hours. You have three drive modes to choose from: Hybrid, Electric, and E-Save, the last one keeps the battery charged until you want to use the electric power. The infotainment system also gets cool gauges specific to the Wrangler 4xe. Those tell you everything from how the powertrain is operating to what’s using up the most of the output. There’s even a charging schedule that lets you see your charging habits.
Quite possibly one of the coolest things about driving the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is how it operates. Why? Because it’s currently one of the few vehicles that you can go off-road without making much noise. The best part is that since the Wrangler 4xe has a super-powerful electric motor, it can crawl through rocks without the assistance of the gas engine. Just make sure that you’re fine with the Wrangler feeling like it has manual transmission since it doesn’t have a torque converter. That means you’ll notice when the engine engages. Unlike some hybrids that don’t have a transmission in the traditional sense, the Wrangler 4xe operates more like a conventional vehicle that doesn’t have an electrified powertrain,
Should you consider the Wrangler 4xe if you’re looking for a capable off-roader that’s also electrified? Definitely, and let’s dig through all of its cool features to see what kind of capabilities an electrified powertrain adds to this legendary SUV.
Body Style: 4-door body-on-frame SUV
Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder + electric motor + 17.3-kWh lithium-ion battery — eight-speed automatic transmission
Output: 375 hp/470 lb-ft
EPA fuel economy rating: 20/20/20 mpg (city/highway/combined); 370 miles total range; 22 miles EV mode range
Charging time with a level 2/240-volt charger: 2.4 hours
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