Jeep's New Best-Selling Hybrid
Since its debut on American roads a few months back, the new Jeep Wrangler 4xe Hybrid is selling like proverbial hot cakes. The green off-roader averages just 10.5 days on dealer lots before heading home with a happy camper.
A True Trailblazer
Other fast-selling hybrids SUV vehicles this year include the Hyundai Sante Fe at 12.8 days on the lots, and the Toyota RAV4 Prime with 13.7 days on average. Surveys suggest that while all hybrid vehicles are certainly in demand, Jeep may be capturing the top spot due to the new Wrangler’s true off-road capability.
The Wrangler 4xe is the most energy-efficient Jeep you can buy, powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that together with an electric motor makes 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It delivers up to 49 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) and 21 miles of electric-only driving range. With four-wheel drive engaged, the 4xe will take you from zero to 60 mph in about six seconds.
Plug-in hybrids bring you the best and most useful elements of both gas and electric vehicles, offering efficient electric-only use around town, and no range anxiety on long trips when the gasoline engine kicks in. Charging time is 12 hours on a standard 110-volt wall outlet while Level 2 charging with 220 current takes just two hours. The average driver travels less than 40 miles per day so the 4xe can cover half of that without using any gas at all.
Off-Road Ready Hybrid
Electrification has enhanced the off-road capability of this Wrangler. The 4xe can ford up to 30 inches of water thanks to its 10.8-inches of ground clearance, and the electric motor’s instant torque is great for rock crawling. It comes equipped with Dana 44 axles and a two-speed transfer case for four-wheel drive. The motor delivers precise throttle response and in four-wheel drive mode, you can adjust speed using the transmission’s manual shift mode alone.
Jeep tells us that the electric battery will give you hours of off-roading, leaving plenty of gas in the tank to get you home. What’s more, Jeep is installing solar-powered public chargers at trailheads across America so you can juice up before or after some four-wheelin’ fun.
The hybrid Wrangler features braking and throttle by wire and regenerative braking feeds the electric motor. The Max Regen setting enables one-pedal driving. Take your foot off the accelerator and the Jeep will slow you down, though you’ll still need to use the brake pedal to come to a complete stop.
Jeep Performance Parts now offers a 2.0-inch lift kit that includes Fox shocks, front lower control arms, stabilizer links and bump stops for an additional $1,495. Other performance accessories include steel rock rails, steel tube doors, a heavy-duty steel front bumper, a Warn winch, and an LED lighting kit. The 4xe is sold in Sahara and Rubicon trim levels and rumor has it that an all-electric version is coming that will be called Magneto.
Jeep's Green Product Pipeline
Jeep currently has three plug-in hybrid electric vehicles available outside the U.S. and according to the brand’s CEO Christina Meunier, that’s just the beginning of the automakers EV plans. “Our vision is to be the greenest SUV brand in the world,” Meunier told CNBC News. “We have a very strong plan to deliver that through a lot of exciting product in the pipeline.”
Those electrification plans include many new all-electric vehicles as well as hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, all sold under the 4xe banner. “Electrification is a big opportunity for us,” Meunier says. “It will open some new dimensions because we’re full speed ahead with it.”
Wrangler 4xe Pricing
MSRP starts at $49,490 for the Sahara and $53,190 for the Rubicon version.