Jeeps are classic utilitarian vehicles and have been associated with the American can-do attitude. The American military popularized the all-terrain, off-road vehicle during World War II, and ever since, it has been a staple of American automotive culture. In civilian life, Jeeps were the inspiration for SUVs, and they’re also favorites for outdoor enthusiasts. Today, Jeep is building even more capable models and exploring new technologies to provide greater levels of off-road adventure, and you can find them at car dealerships across the country. But even though Jeeps are tied to outdoor recreation, the brand isn’t connected to eco-friendly electric car technology, or is it?
Jeeps Joins the Electric Fleet
Teslas might be the first vehicle you think of when it comes to electric cars, but the Jeep Wrangler is now being upgraded to hybrid status.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is the country’s first off-road plug-in hybrid, and it packs 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft torque under the hood! The new Wrangler 4xe was designed with powerful electric hybrid technology without sacrificing iconic Jeep qualities. It was awarded the Hybrid Technology Solution of the Year at the 2020 AutoTech Breakthrough Awards, and it was also named the 2021 Green SUV of the Year by Green Car Journal. Jeeps traditionally have high gas consumption and low MPG, but the 4xe eliminates those old anxieties. The hybrid engine boosts the MPG to an EPA estimated 49 MPGe, and the total estimated EPA driving range is 370 miles.
The Wrangler 4xe is equipped with the E-Selec system, which consists of three driving modes specifically designed for the hybrid. The electric mode will allow the 4xe to run for an estimated 22 miles on battery power alone for zero-emissions driving in cities or quiet off-roading. The eSave mode does the opposite, preserving battery power and relying solely on the 2.0L turbocharged engine. Hybrid mode combines torque from the electric motors and the gasoline engine for maximum horsepower and the best acceleration.
How to Charge a Jeep
One complaint drivers have about electric hybrids is outfitting their home with a charging port. Luxury brands like Tesla require special installers, but Jeeps aren’t supposed to be that way. Jeeps are supposed to be a get-in-and-go car without any holdups. That’s why the Wrangler 4xe makes powering up easy. Each Wrangler 4xe includes a Level I (120V) charging system that plugs into regular outlets. The Level I system charges the Wrangler 4xe in twelve hours.
Drivers can upgrade the charging system to a Level II (240V). The Jeep branded Level II charger is the Mopar TurboDX Electric Vehicle Charger, and it charges the battery in just two hours. The only downside is that Level II chargers require professional installation. Jeep recommends that drivers use their brand partner Qmerit for installation.
Most large cities are installing EV charging stations at gas stations and popular destinations. However, Jeeps are favorite vehicles for off-roading. With this in mind, Jeep partnered with Electrify America to build EV charging stations at Jeep Badge of Honor off-road trails, allowing you to top off your battery before heading into the wild.
Jeep Has Three Wrangler 4xe Trims
Jeep built three Wrangler 4xe trims for drivers: the Sahara 4xe, Rubicon 4xe, and High Altitude 4xe. All three trims are decked out with awesome standard features, such as the deep cargo capacity of 67.4 cubic feet (when the rear seats are folded back) or 27.7 cubic feet with all seats installed. The five-person seating capacity offers ample headroom of 42.8 inches and 40.8 inches of legroom. Other features include push-button start, keyless entry, an 8.4″ infotainment screen, and of course, the Wrangler’s signature removable roof and doors.
The standard safety and security features are great inclusions as well. All Wranglers include electronic stability control, hill-start assist, a security alarm, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, a rear back-up camera, electronic roll mitigation, trailer sway damping, and advanced and supplemental front airbags. There is also an optional front-facing trail camera that allows you to watch for hidden obstacles when off-roading.
All Wrangler 4xe trims are built with the Uconnect 4C infotainment system. The Uconnect 4C has the prerequisite Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility, plus a navigation system. The Wrangler 4xe doubles as a 4G LTE wifi hotspot, and it offers voice command controls and Bluetooth. New Wrangler 4xe models come with free trials of Travel Link and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, but they require subscriptions to continue.
With all these standard features, deciding which Wrangler 4xe is the best depends on the driver’s personal preference and usage. The choice will mostly come down to cosmetic differences and convenience features.
The Sahara 4xe Isn’t Basic
The Wrangler Sahara 4xe is the base trim, but it’s furthest from that designation. Starting from the bottom, the Sahara has 20-inch aluminum wheels, factory all-season tires, and a full-size spare. The soft top option is Jeep’s popular black Soft Sunrider Top that can be upgraded or exchanged for tan. Hardtops are available in the driver’s selected color, and there are two types of Sunbonnet Tops by Mopar – solid or mesh.
The front and back lights are bright LED reflectors, and LED fog lamps are equipped in the front. Automatic high beam headlamps control is an additional feature. The black side mirrors are power-heated, while the front sports a “bright grille.” The Sahara’s hood is a standard model and has Jeep badges. There are also some side steps for easier vehicle entry.
Inside the Sahara trim, drivers can select either black or dark-saddle for dash colors. The seats are leather-trimmed with a 60/40 rear passenger bench. The driver’s seat is adjustable to six positions and has two-way lumbar support.
The Rubicon 4xe Is a Step Up
The Rubicon 4xe is a popular choice for Wrangler drivers. It’s not the most expensive trim, but it is the best option around when it comes to off-road performance. On the Rubicon’s exterior, the hood has dual vents, extra decals, fender flares, and rock protection rails. New Rubicons are sold with off-road tires instead of all-season tires, and the machined black wheels measure 17 inches so that you have plenty of tire sidewall. The side steps are removed because they would hinder the Rubicon’s off-road performance. The Rubicon’s interior is durable cloth upholstery, and it has low back bucket seats.
The High Altitude 4xe Has the Best
The High Altitude 4xe is the Wrangler’s most expensive trim, but it is the best option if you are looking for the best. This trim package shares many of the same features as the Sahara and Rubicon. It has the same wheels and tires as the Sahara, a non-vented hood, and a body-colored grille. The High Altitude 4xe comes with a fancier three-piece hardtop and quilted leather-trimmed bucket seats. The interior design has an upscale feel, plus there are advanced driver-assist features that are lacking in the other models.
Keep the Adventure but Be Green
Jeeps are the ultimate car for outdoor enthusiasts, who also tend to be environmentalists. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe offers drivers the best of both worlds: a reliable, high-performance off-road vehicle with an electric hybrid engine. Wrangler 4xe drivers can enjoy the outdoors while knowing that they’re cutting back on pollution and carbon emissions. Plus, silent all-electric driving is the perfect complement to the Wrangler’s open-air design!