We know, we know. The Jeep Wrangler is rugged and sturdy. It looks great caked in mud, it effortlessly grinds through backcountry trails, and it fords raging rivers in every weather condition. Inside, it’s usually spartan. Loaded with, well, not much, Vinyl seats and a simple stereo are the stereotypical interior appointments, oh, and you’d better know how to drive a stick. But what if that idea of a Wrangler is just a little dated? Visit your local Jeep dealer, and you might be surprised to discover just how luxurious the 2021 Jeep Wrangler can be.
Luxury and Jeep aren’t typically found in the same sentence, except if you’re describing the elegant Grand Cherokee. But surprisingly, today’s Wrangler lineup is filled with pricey trims that not only redefine luxury but put an exclamation point after capability too. There’s off-roading, then there’s extreme off-roading, and if you have the cash, you can find yourself behind the wheel of a Jeep that does it better than the rest. You can even find a luxurious Jeep with extreme off-roading capability.
In other words, it’s time to reexamine the dynamic Jeep Wrangler lineup under the lens of both luxury and high-end capability. Can it deliver? Are there fits and finishes that put it in a different category altogether, replacing the usual European luxury SUV with something just a bit fresher and more exciting, with a twinge of adventure to boot? We think you’ll be surprised by today’s Wrangler, and we’ve highlighted a few of the main reasons why. It’s time to get to know today’s Jeep Wrangler.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe
The Wrangler 4xe could quite possibly be the most highly anticipated hybrid vehicle launch in history. We never thought we’d see the day a hybrid powertrain could meet Jeep’s rigorous capability and performance standards for the Wrangler, but that day has come. With the 4xe, Jeep manages to keep a tight hold on maximum output and off-roading performance while delivering a highly fuel-efficient vehicle that is even capable of whisper-quiet four-wheeling.
Available initially in three trims – the Sahara, the Rubicon, and the High Altitude – the 4xe has a starting MSRP of $48,240 and offers buyers Jeep’s first and only plug-in hybrid powertrain technology to date. If a hybrid Jeep sounds too good to be true, just wait. By the time we’re done, you’ll want one. We recommend getting your order in early because these vehicles are sure to fly off dealer’s lots as fast as they arrive.
Sometimes the idea of a hybrid might evoke visions of compromised power and sluggish performance. We’re happy to report that the Wrangler 4xe is one of the most powerful Wranglers ever, with a hearty 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque that contributes to both incredible off-roading prowess and true street credibility (thanks to a zero-to-sixty time of six seconds).
All that power comes from a complex hybrid system consisting of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and two electric motors. The first motor is a 44 horsepower eTorque unit attached to the engine, and the second, located within the eight-speed automatic transmission, delivers 134 horsepower. Altogether, this system is more capable than any factory Wrangler other than the incredible Rubicon 392 with its V8 HEMI engine.
In electric-only mode, the battery is rated for an estimated 25-mile range. Overall, the Wrangler 4xe delivers roughly 400 miles of range and an estimated 50 MPGe fuel economy rating. There are three driving modes – Electric, eSave, and Hybrid. Drivers can use them to choose between full battery (all-electric) power, battery conservation operation, full hybrid power, or a mix of both.
It’s a driver-focused system that puts range and emissions decisions squarely at the hands of the driver, opening up new options for adventure. One of the most exciting profiles, all-electric, allows drivers and passengers to experience off-roading with no engine noise. Combined with the removable top and doors, it makes a truly one-with-nature experience that 4xe owners will love.
The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
If power and capability are what you’re after, say hello to the brand new Rubicon 392. This is the most powerful Wrangler available today, courtesy of its massive 6.4-liter V8 HEMI engine that churns out a beastly 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, getting you from zero-to-sixty in just 4.5 seconds. Yes, you read it right: 4.5 seconds. In a Wrangler. And you’ll cover a quarter-mile in just 13 short seconds.
Apply that grit and power to a slow-going rocky, uneven trail or while speeding across a sandy expanse of desert, and it performs. It’s both a durable off-roader and a desert speed demon. Use standard Electronic Sway Bar Disconnect to increase front-wheel flexibility exponentially, and you’ll be amazed at the off-roading gymnastics the Rubicon 392 is capable of performing.
Off-roaders test this flexibility using a scale called the Ramp Travel Index (RTI). Your run-of-the-mill four-wheel-drive SUV falls in the 400-500 range. The Rubicon 392’s is 730. That means this Jeep is poised to cover even the rockiest, most uneven terrain without tipping, giving drivers and passengers more confidence to tackle difficult trails.
Add the standard upgraded FOX shocks and special bump-absorbing dampers, and your four-wheeling experience is infinitely more comfortable. It smoothes out the extreme edges of bumpy travel and keeps everyone more comfortable. These features add up to one important distinction: the Rubicon 392 is agile; maybe more agile than any Jeep before it, and definitely more agile than the competition.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited High Altitude
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited High Altitude is pricey. Starting at just under $50,000, this Wrangler is all about luxury and comfort. But because it’s still a Jeep, all that Trail Rated capability the Wrangler has come to be known for is still a major part of its DNA.
Starting with the supple premium Nappa leather seating surfaces, the High Altitude aims to put luxury in line with grit. The seats include distinctive caramel brown stitching and quilting that portray a custom aftermarket feel. Easily select your favorite playlist on the massive 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and relax while the nine-speaker Alpine audio system cranks out the hits.
Every Wrangler Unlimited High Altitude comes with gorgeous 20-inch aluminum wheels and body-colored exterior mirrors for a finished exterior feel. When you add the available Two-Top Group, you’ll get a premium soft top to swap out your standard hardtop on those days when a little extra wind noise feels right. Not for you? Opt for the Sky One-Touch Power Top, and your top automatically retracts for an open-air driving experience.
Jeep also offers a Cold Weather Package, adding heated front seats and a heated steering wheel to the list of creature comforts. The list of standard comforts includes air conditioning with automatic temperature control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and special caramel interior trim and accents for an overall high-end appearance.
Enjoy a Luxurious Off-Road Experience
Whichever high-end Wrangler you choose, you’re sure to experience what Jeep offers when it comes to luxury, comfort, and class-leading capability. We already knew that the Wrangler means business on the trails; now we know it means business on the highway, in the driveway, and everywhere in-between. The evolution of the Jeep Wrangler from wartime troop-mover, to capable off-roader, to true luxury four-wheel-drive SUV is something to behold. Add to that the next-generation hybrid 4xe fuel efficiency and reduced emissions carbon footprint, and it’s clear that Jeep isn’t finished evolving. It begs the question, what will they think of next?