Jeep Wrangler 4xe review: the green SUV

Just like many other manufacturers, Jeep is electrifying its range… the Wrangler morphed into the 4xe plug-in hybrid. It uses two electric motors and a 2-litre petrol engine, combined with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Powerful and competent, it can climb up the trees and be green, running downtown in electric mode. This new model arrival means there are no more ICE-powered Wranglers on sale in Europe. Jeep set itself the goal of selling no less than 70% of electrified vehicles by 2025 while becoming greener.

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More power…

The combination of the two-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with two electric motors offers no less than… 380 bhp and 637 Nm of torque! There’s an 8 gear autobox to get the best out if it. Electric- only range is up to 50 km. This Wrangler goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.4 seconds! A true sports car with outstanding off-road capabilities. The battery is fully recharged in less than three hours with a 7.4 kW source. To keep up with the times, a host of new connected services are also available through a central screen of decent size that is easy to use.

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More standard features!

Two new colours are available, Velocity Metallic Clear Coat and Silver Zynith Metallic Clear Coat. In both cases, a removable hard top is available in body colour or contrasting black, with a new feature: a soft top above the front passengers. Called ‘Sunrider Flip’, it comes along all the other set ups : three-piece hardtop, soft top, soft electric top or… nothing at all! The brand now uses a new windscreen which is close to smartphone screens technology. Called « Corning Gorilla Glass », it is supposed to be both lighter and more resistant. The 4xe also benefits from more standard equipment and new driving aids: braking assistance, adaptive cruise control allowing the vehicle to come to a complete stop, automatic switching from high to low beam, blind spot detection, front and rear parking assistance and rear pedestrian detection during manoeuvres.

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Behind the wheel

A Wrangler is like an old pair of jeans – it’s always comfortable and… fun to drive. It’s always changing while remaining always the same, unique and authentic. Each generation made it more civilised. True, the driving position is rather unique, the windows are small… however, it is far from being  uncomfortable, on the contrary. At the wheel, there’s no fear of taking side roads : you know it will do it with competency and… comfort. On the road, it is still the same : the blurry steering, some body roll… but it’s not a real problem and it always remains under control. Of course, these sensations will always be different depending on the tyres type and size.

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The important thing is to find a compromise between efficiency on and off the road. This was the case with the Wrangler we shortly drove. The power is real, you can feel it and it is easy to use.  Acceleration is excellent and was a welcome surprise. The hybridisation almost turned the Wrangler into a sports car! The chassis benefits from an electronic anti-roll bar on the front axle (a Dana one- another sits in the rear), Tru-Lok differential locks and a Trac-Lok limited slip differential. Instant torque availability and performance make this off-road champion even more fun. Off-roading is where the 4xe technology takes the Plug-In Hybrid Wrangler to the next level, offering four-wheel drive in all-electric mode.

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E Selec modes allow the driver to tailor the Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s propulsion to the journey: Hybrid, Electric and eSave, which saves the battery pack’s charge for later use. The 4xe is a pleasurable but ultimately sensible purchase… reassuring both in terms of its crossing capabilities and its safety features, while its zero-emission credentials make it compatible with urban driving. It’s still a Wrangler, hybridisation increasing its versatility in everyday life. (Text: Dimitri Urbain, Pictures: Stellantis and Pierre Fontignies)

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