2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe: Silently Conquering the Great Outdoors

Strong points
  • Phenomenal off-road prowess
  • Selectable power source
  • Outstanding torque
  • One-pedal driving is possible
Weak points
  • High price
  • Limited EV range
  • Poor fuel economy in hybrid mode
  • Wind noise and road noise at highway speeds
Full report

The all-new 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid has just started to arrive in Canadian dealerships as the brand’s first-ever gas-electric model sold in the country.

As far as styling is concerned, you’ll notice some unique blue accents on the body and tow hooks, plus a charging door on the driver’s side. Inside, blue stitching on the seats, gear shifter and dashboard is the main highlight.

We drove a Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe to put to the test Jeep’s PHEV technology, which combines a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a pair of electric motors, one of which is associated with the combustion engine and the other is located inside the transmission where it replaces the torque converter. Both motors draw energy from a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery mounted underneath the rear seats.

Photo: Gabriel Gelinas

Selectable Power

The interesting thing about the new Wrangler 4xe is that drivers can select the power source they want at any given time using one of the controls next to the steering wheel (on the left side).

As the name implies, Hybrid mode combines gasoline and electricity (the latter is prioritized), EV mode relies solely on electrons to move the vehicle until the battery is depleted, and E-Save mode uses the gas engine only to preserve battery power for later use.

Total system output is rated at 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque—the highest torque figure ever posted by a Wrangler, matching that of the upcoming 6.4-litre V8-powered Rubicon 392.

Sprints from 0-100 km/h are achieved in just over six seconds, while EV range is calculated at 35 kilometres, which is way less than the Toyota RAV4 Prime’s 68 kilometres. However, the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe is far superior in off-road driving.

Photo: Gabriel Gelinas

King of the Mountain

When it comes to the chassis and 4WD system, the 4xe variant is technically identical to the conventionally powered Rubicon, featuring Jeep’s top-rated Rock-Trac system with front and rear locking differentials. You can disconnect the front sway bar with a simple push of a button to maximize front suspension articulation. BFGoodrich TA KO2 tires are included, as well.

Since the Wrangler Rubicon was designed to tackle the most challenging terrains and the 4xe model has all the same off-road components and attributes, you don’t have to sacrifice anything in terms of performance by going with the hybrid. It’s also a real treat to be able to venture into the woods and enjoy the great outdoors in near complete silence.

Photo: Gabriel Gelinas

One-pedal Driving

Whether on or off the road, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe enables one-pedal driving when you push the Max Regen button on the centre console. That’s great, and it helps extend the life of the conventional brakes.

Average fuel consumption is rated at 4.8 L/100 km by Natural Resources Canada, which is very optimistic. It all depends on how frequently you charge the battery and how many kilometres you typically drive each day.

If you keep the vehicle plugged in every time you’re not using it and limit yourself to short trips, you could save even more gas. On the other hand, when the battery runs empty, expect to burn just over 11 L/100 km, like we did. Remember, the Wrangler 4xe weighs more than 2,200 kilograms and has some of the worst aerodynamics you can find.

Photo: Gabriel Gelinas

Available EV Incentives

Pricing for the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe starts at $59,995 excluding destination and handling (there’s also a Wrangler Sahara 4xe at $54,995). Our tester had a ton of options and cost $74,340.

Customers in Quebec and British Columbia are entitled to an EV rebate of $8,000 and $1,500, respectively. However, since the base MSRP is over $45,000, you can’t get a rebate from the federal government. Still, considering the extra power and potentially big savings at the pump, you should definitely consider the 4xe option.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

NewsJeep Magneto Concept Unveiled as Fully Electric Wrangler
This year at the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari in Utah, one of the many concepts Jeep will introduce is particularly interesting since it foreshadows a fully electric variant of the iconic Wrangler . Don’t worry, though: there are plenty of gas-powered models, too! Jeep Magneto Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and …
NewsJeep Adds Half-Door Option to Wrangler
Answering the call of many customers across Canada and the U.S., Jeep is finally adding the option of half-doors to the latest-generation (JL) Wrangler via its Mopar division. It’s part of a package called Dual-Door Group. “The open-air freedom of driving the Jeep Wrangler is a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Jim …
NewsGet Ready for V8-powered Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
While the Jeep Wrangler is currently available with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, gasoline V6 and EcoDiesel V6, that’s not quite enough for some customers who demand V8 power, especially for off-road driving. Remember the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept announced on the very same day the new 2021 Ford Bronco broke …
NewsJeep Wrangler Xtreme Recon Pushes Off-road Envelope Even Further
Ahead of its official debut at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show on July 14, Jeep has announced a new package that once again elevates the Wrangler's legendary off-road capabilities. It’s called Xtreme Recon and it marks the first time a Wrangler comes out of the factory riding on 35-inch tires.
New ModelsVanderhall Brawley EV Unveiled as Wrangler and Bronco Fighter
Vanderhall is certainly not a household name among car enthusiasts. This three-wheel roadster manufacturer is famous for models like the Venice and Carmel, and if neither of those rings a bell we totally forgive you. The Utah-based company is now trying something radically different in an effort to become mainstream: …
Special EventsStellantis CEO Sheds Light on Automaker’s EV Plans
Earlier this month, Stellantis (born from the merger between FCA and PSA) held an EV Day to outline its electrification strategy for the coming years. Thanks to investments of more than €30 billion ($45 billion) through 2025, four EV-centric platforms, three electric drive modules, five “gigafactories” in Europe and North …
NewsJeep Graphic Studio Offers New Ways to Customize Your Jeep
Jeep fans are a passionate bunch and many of them like to customize and accessorize their vehicle. Seeing a growing demand, the company today announced a new solution: the Jeep Graphic Studio. Essentially, it’s an online store that offers a variety of unique exterior and interior customizations. The available graphics …
Test Drives2021 Jeep Wrangler 4XE: Wrangling in Fuel Efficiency
If you’d told us just a few short years ago that one of the first Jeeps to see a hybrid /battery system was going to be the Wrangler , we’d have laughed and laughed and laughed some more and maybe even questioned your sanity. Yet, here we are. That’s right, …
DetroitJeep Debuts Two New 4xe Models With a Nod to the Past
Jeep kicked off the 2022 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit today with the introduction of two new 4xe plug-in hybrid models that pay tribute to some of the brand’s icons. Remember, back in 1992, the original Grand Cherokee made a smashing debut by crashing through the glass …
RecallsJeep Wrangler 4xe Recalled Due to Weird Engine Stalling Issue
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe has proven to be one of the most popular plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market since launching two years ago, but it’s far from perfect and trouble-free. A weird software issue now may cause the engine to stall suddenly and without warning. Jeep confirms that this …