TopGear just got out of the new Jeep Wrangler 4xe. You can read our full test report in our August issue (in stores at the end of July); now the highlights.
Test object: Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Weather conditions: Warm enough to throw open the roof
Jeep, that’s American. There must be a V8 in there
Sure, but a half V8 – sometimes referred to as a four-cylinder. And hold on tight: there’s an electric motor in the transmission and a battery under the rear seat. This Wrangler is a plug-in hybrid and it is the only version that Jeep will still deliver in the Netherlands.
Because if it was a V8, you would have bought it, you mean? Worth mentioning: the price. At 80,000 euros, it is a substantial amount, but 17,000 euros cheaper than the version with only a petrol engine. It has to do with emissions, of course. Plus: it’s more powerful and faster. The thickest version, the Rubicon, is 4,000 euros more expensive, but even 23,000 euros cheaper than its petrol counterpart.
Tell me about that Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon
Every Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a thoroughbred off-roader with permanent four-wheel drive and an additional transmission for high and low ranges. The Rubicon adds detachable front stabilizers and lockable front and rear differentials. Plus, it’s on thick off-road tires.
How does the Jeep Wrangler 4xe drive then?
There is always something cool about driving a Wrangler. You sit on your leather throne and tower over everyone. In electric mode you drive out of town in silence and even if the petrol engine joins in, it’s not very talkative. You can feel the drivetrain shifting here and there, but it all works smoothly enough.
The combined power is 380 hp allowing for a 0-100 time of 6.4 seconds. Accelerating just a little too fast in something big and clumsy is genius. The quiet drivetrain makes the singing of the off-road tires even more pronounced. Moreover, it sounds as if there is always a window ajar, due to the lack of sound insulation provided by the soft top. By the way, the white one in the photos has the hardtop with removable parts.
Yes, if you mainly use it on the asphalt, it is better to take the normal Sahara version. It has tires that are more focused on the street and therefore the hardtop. The Sahara is fine to use as daily transport. Requires some self-control, because buying the thickest version for 4,000 euros more is an attractive proposition.
And if I want to get into the mud?
There, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe Rubicon feels like a rolling piglet. We braved a muddy trail in electric mode (diff lock and all the tricks just work) and it was effortless. With the roof open you only hear the tires gripping in the mud, a slight hum of the electric motor and especially the chirping birds. A serene experience.
If you want, you can even take out the doors and fold down the windshield. Then don’t put on your Sunday outfit, because despite the wide wheel arches, the mud knows how to find its way to the cabin.
So, the verdict on the Jeep Wrangler 4xe?
The discount on the purchase price and the increase in power already convinced that the plug-in hybrid powertrain was a good choice for the Wrangler, but the electric off-roading heads into the proposition. If you just regularly recharge it neatly, this is the powertrain to choose. It makes a difference that there is actually nothing to choose from, because as mentioned, all other engines have been immediately deleted for the Netherlands.