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2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe Moves Icon into the Future

With the Wrangler 4xe, the Jeep just simplified something and complicated it without sacrificing abilities or features.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe Plug-in Hybrid makes rolling bricks as efficient as possible without losing what makes a Wrangler a wrangler.

With TCC rating of 5.2 out of 10The 2021 Jeep Wrangler lineup is its cross-town rival Ford Bronco.. But you can’t have a direct Wrangler competitor in a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It could be one of Wrangler’s greatest competitive advances in the off-road segment.

I recently ran around town for a week, connected to a grocery store, and made a road trip to northern Minnesota to find where the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe hit and failed. ..

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

Hit: Inconspicuous, powerful powertrain

The 4xe is the most complex Wrangler ever. The 4xe features a 17.3 kwh battery pack, a motor generator, and a 2.0-liter turbo 4 combined with an electric motor that combines 375hp and 470lb-ft torque. With a full-time four-wheel drive system with an 8-speed automatic transmission and a 2-speed transfer case, it’s easy to expect this powertrain to be a mess, but it’s not the only one. Power is readily available and plays its part in the background. When running in hybrid mode, the system defaults to electric mode if the battery pack has enough juice and does not require all the power. When the juice runs out of battery pack, the 4xe behaves like a typical hybrid. It’s seamless, smooth, and everything is in the background.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

Miss: Weak electric motor

The 134 horsepower electric motor sandwiched between 8-speed automatic transmissions is not powerful enough in all situations. Even in the electric-only mode, where the battery pack has enough juice, the Turbo 4 will operate when the accelerator is placed on the floor. That doesn’t happen with the Toyota RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

Hit: Actual usable range

The 2021 Wrangler 4xe has an EPA-rated 22-mile electrical range and 49 MPGe in hybrid mode, but fuel consumption drops to a total of 20 mpg in gas-only mode. Each time the 4xe was unplugged at 100% charge, it showed an electrical range of 24 miles. This is exactly what you see in real driving, regardless of the situation. Whether you’re cruising on the freeway at 65-70 mph, on urban or suburban roads, the odometer’s mileage will be a few highway mileages before going into hybrid mode by default. Exactly the same. A 4xe trip computer states that it takes an average of 44.6 mpg for a week and 111 miles, requires 90.9 miles of electricity-only driving and 20.4 miles of a gas engine. Whenever I was at home, I connected the 4xe once to a grocery store with a ChargePoint Level 2 charging station.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

Miss: Efficiency is relative

The 4xe is a plug-in hybrid, but still a rolling brick with funny aerodynamics. Calling it efficient is not straightforward. The same powertrain of a vehicle that is low, has good aerodynamics, and has much less capacity allows for a wider driving range. The 44.6mpg average shown is based on a formula calculated by a trip computer. If you run out of juice on the highway, an average of 22.2 mpg is fine, but the Turbo Diesel Wrangler has an EPA rating of 29 mpg on the highway and 22 in the city. A 22-24 mile microwave is very convenient on a daily basis, but a 40-50 mile microwave allows people without a charging station to live on electricity-only driving during their daily commute. Great for. The Wrangler’s battery pack is mounted under the backseat so as not to compromise the Wrangler’s capabilities, and there is no other place to put the battery while the gas powertrain remains.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

Hit: Location is everything

Most plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles have charging ports on the front fenders or rear quarter panels behind the front wheels instead of fuel fillers for gas engines. The Wrangler breaks in that mold and places the charging port at the base of the A-pillar on the driver’s side. A smart place to keep the port away from anything that could damage it during offload.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

Hits and Misses: Living with a Wrangler, whether PHEV or not

The plug-in hybrid powertrain opens the Wrangler to a whole new buyer base, but it’s best for everyone to have the knowledge that the Wrangler makes everyday life a more visceral and rough experience.

Like other Wranglers, the 4xe doors and roof can be removed by loosening some bolts or removing some harnesses, and the windshield can be folded. Removing the four doors and hardtop took less than an hour. It could have been faster without a 5-year-old helper, but we made memories. Removing the doors and top will lead to a fun adventure both off-road and on-road.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

But the Wrangler is still a crude vehicle because of its all its abilities. The upright windshield is the destroyer of all bugs on the highway. My daughter asked if it was raining when it got dark. “No, it’s the sound of insects hitting the windshield,” my wife said. In addition to the aerodynamics of the bricks, the ability to remove the door and top makes the wind noise terrible. It’s okay around the town, but on the interstate, I always had to ask my children to speak louder. When I drove back to the city in the storm, I felt as if I was driving between the barking wind and heavy rain in the tornado. It’s a body-on-frame SUV that doesn’t ride or handle like the Grand Cherokee or RAV4. The recirculation ball steering system is an old-fashioned technique that provides the accuracy with which a toddler tries to walk straight.

But if you tolerate the offload feature of this icon and the lifestyle associated with it, all of this is acceptable.

For those who need a Wrangler for a weekend adventure and have short commute times on weekdays, 4xe simply makes sense. No one can compete directly at all levels.

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2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe

Base price: $ 49,490 including destination
Tested price: $ 56,380
EPA fuel economy: 49 MPGe, 22 miles electrical range, 20 mpg
hit: Plug-in hybrid powertrain, an efficient and excellent charging port location for Wrangler without compromising on Wrangler lifestyle
Miss: Efficiency is relative and may use a larger electrical range, a weaker electric motor, but still loud and crude

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe Moves Icon into the Future

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