The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is the first in the Jeep foray into electric vehicles and while the internet has mixed results, I have nothing but amazing things to say about this plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) of the much beloved Jeep Wrangler.
First, let me give a shout out and acknowledgement to the Jeep community. We were once Rubicon owners and so I know how passionate Jeep owners are. Some are purists, some are zealots, but they all give you the wave when you’re driving, even if it’s a PHEV.
Well, now, they DUCK you. As I was sitting in the parking lot of the local grocery store with the top mostly off, someone came up and said, “Excuse me, have you been ducked?”
My first thought was NO and GET AWAY FROM ME. But then he handed me this:
And I soon learned there is a Duck Duck Jeep community out there with people who simply want to spread joy and community. Needless to say, it made my day and I logged into their Facebook group (currently 126,000 members strong) to share. Everyone was thrilled for my first duck experience and actually wanted to know more about the 4xe. So here we are!
What is a Plug-In Hybrid?
Before I dive too deep into the Jeep 4xe, let me give you a quick intro to what it is, just in case you’re not in the know.
4xe (or four by electric) is the brand badging for Jeep’s plug-in hybrid. It’s a dual engine vehicle – a 2.0L I4 turbocharged engine and an electric motor.
The default drive mode uses both motors to maximize fuel efficiency. But you do have the ability to drive in all-electric mode (for a max range of about 21 miles). Or you can drive with just the gasoline engine (but why would you?). When driving in hybrid, your range is up to 370 miles so no range anxiety.
Your battery does NOT require a charge to drive but generally you’d want to minimally plug it in at your home to recharge each evening. A standard 120V outlet will charge the vehicle but can take up to 12 hours if your battery is drained. Or you can have a Level 2 outlet installed that delivers 240V and can charge in just about 2 hours.
(We have level 2 charging at my house – definitely recommend!)
Jeep 4xe takes full advantage of the PHEV technology and it works.
Is the Jeep 4xe better than other models?
When I’m car shopping, one of my top priorities is fuel efficiency (and it’s always been this way, not just a recent development with outrageous gas prices). With the combined gas and electric motors, your mileage will vary depending on how often you’re using all electric or how quickly you drain the battery before recharging.
But real world driving reports an average of 35 mpg. That’s a huge improvement over a typical 19 mpg for a gasoline only Jeep Sahara(incidentally, if you were to drive in gas only mode on the PHEV you’d see 20 mpg).
Let’s now imagine that you don’t care that much about fuel efficiency or emissions (no judgment here). There are other reasons to love the Jeep 4xe. In a word: PERFORMANCE.
The Jeep 4xe boasts 375 horsepower and a whopping 475 pound feet of torque. That outpaces the 285 hp and 260 lb feet torque. you’d see on a gas only engine. And how does it drive? Extremely responsive and fast (see my video below for more of my driving experience).
And finally, let’s talk about another advantage: the federal tax credit. Although the 4xe boasts a higher price tag (the MSRP on the model I drove was $56,380), you’ll get savings at the pump and can apply for a $7500 federal tax credit. Some states offer additional tax credits as well.
Here’s in the inside (and outside) scoop.
How are you feeling about PHEVs now? And more specifically, how are you feeling about the Jeep 4xe?
Here are a few more details that you might like to check out, starting with the basics (and a quick tour of the little town of Sykesville, Maryland).
The Jeep Wrangler is an outdoorsy vehicle and the 4xe is no different. The doors are completely removable and so is the top. This particular Jeep has the upgraded body color 3-piece hard top ($2495) but still has removable panels (so easy a girl can remove them on her own! – see the video for a quick demo).
As a result of the versatility, the interior makes some concessions. Most electronic controls are not on the door but actually in the center console.
Other than the indicator on the dash, the only other difference you’ll see is the plug just in front of the driver’s side door and the blue badging on the exterior.
Even though I spent time in the efficient Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel, I have to admit that this has by far been my favorite Jeep to drive. I’m partial to the torque you get from electric motors and the performance set this Jeep apart from the others. And it made me not mind getting up early to snag some photos in town (clearly, that’s the best time!).
Video Review of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Seeing is believing so I invite you to explore more about the world of plug-in hybrids and the Jeep Wrangler 4xe in action. The performance is amazing!
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