Jeep's first-ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) just started hitting dealerships. Member Wrangler4XEFan posted two pictures of a Wrangler 4xe in the Sahara trim sitting at his local dealership on the 4xe Forums (below). He plans to buy it and said he ordered the Jeep in early November.
The Wrangler 4xe is a little pricey, but most plug-ins are. The base Sahara model starts at $47,995 and the more rugged Rubicon starts at $51,940. The range-topping High Altitude has a starting price of $53,815. The above pricing does not include federal or state incentives.
Powertrain, Range, and Efficiency
The 4xe's hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter turbo-four gas engine and an electric motor that's powered by a 17-kWh battery pack. The combined power output is 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. It takes about 2 hours to charge an empty battery using a Level 2 charger. The onboard charger maxes out at 7.2 kW.
A full battery pack offers up to 21 miles of electric driving range. When the battery pack is depleted, the 4xe runs like a hybrid averaging 20 mpg in combined driving. Without a charged battery, its fuel economy isn't that good thanks to the extra weight of the PHEV system. However, the total driving range is about the same as others.
Why A Plug-in?
Even before Jeep's former parent company FCA merged with Stellantis, there were plans to electrify Jeep's lineup. Stellantis will continue those plans with an all-electric Wrangler (not official yet) and more PHEVs. Jeep currently offers a hybrid, yes, it's a mild-hybrid V-6, but at least it's a hybrid.
Off-Roading On Electric Power?
It's great! I've personally done a 10-mile off-road trek in a Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (it's a PHEV) and I prefer it over the ICE version (which I've also taken off-road) because there is no engine revving. If you hit a difficult obstacle, the instant torque from the electric motor easily and quietly gets you over it. You don't have to wait for the engine to build power, making it easy to modulate the go pedal for the perfect amount of thrust.