2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe complicates simple machines

Depending on how you assemble it, Jeep Wrangler The 4xe is a relic of the past or one of the most technically complex vehicles on the road. The body-on-frame construction, sturdy front and rear axles, and fabric roof make the Wrangler like a self-propelled covered wagon of the 21st century. Still, the 4xe plug-in hybrid follows the lead of science expo projects such as the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime, which run on gas, electricity, or a combination of both for greater efficiency.

The 4xe (pronounced “for by E”) is a 270-horsepower turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine connected via a front accessory belt to a 44-horsepower motor and a 134-horsepower motor to replace the transmission torque converter. Put it between. .. The motor draws power from an approximately 14.0kWh lithium-ion battery hidden under the backseat. Whether the 4xe is running in electric mode or as a hybrid, the torque is for 8-speed automatic transmissions and rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive (4WD Auto), and high or off-road crowds. Low-distance four-wheel drive.

Michael SimariCar and driver

High: An electric car that doesn’t feel guilty, the ability to go anywhere, one vehicle that does a lot of work.

In other words, the power flow through the Wrangler 4xe’s running gear is sometimes Inception.. At least the end result is easy to understand: 375 horsepower, 49 MPGe EPA mileage with the battery charged, and 21 miles of innocent electric driving before the gas engine starts. 4xe promises to integrate conflicting attributes (power and efficiency) into a single product that was unthinkable just 10 years ago, like business casual sweatpants that can now be worn at work. .. The plug-in hybrid produces the same torque (470 lb-ft). V8 Wrangler Bicon 392, A total of only 14mpg.

Michael SimariCar and driver

To Car and driver In testing, the $ 62,415 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe reached 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. This is faster than the ball nuts need to be recirculated. (The Rubicon 392, a vehicle designed around ridiculous excesses, should be about a second faster, but I haven’t tested it yet.) If you want to hustle your plug-in hybrid that hard, you’ll need to move to 4WD Auto. There is. This is because in two-wheel drive mode, the Wrangler suppresses torque, resulting in a 1.3 second slower 60mph time.

LOWS: It’s sluggish in electric mode, clunky in hybrid mode, and offers exceptional fuel economy when the battery drains.

Michael SimariCar and driver

If the gas and electric powertrains are operating in harmony, this Wrangler will drive well, but the transition between pure electric drive and hybrid operation will be slow and can be uncomfortable. When the battery runs out or the driver demands more power than the electric motor can provide, the Inline 4 often takes action with the elegance of a junior high school student in the first dance. There is a pause during pregnancy that is long enough to ask “what the hell is going on?” Before the jeep begins to accelerate urgently. The engine may also rush to create a jerky entrance. Driving a Wrangler 4xe in suburban traffic has always reminded me that adjusting two powertrains to work as one is more than twice as complicated as adjusting a single source. I will.

Electric mode remaps the accelerator so that the gas engine starts only when the right pedal is flattened. Annoyingly, if you always want to start electric operation, you need to switch to this mode every time you start 4xe. But because you’re driving that way, you’re moving a 5318-pound brick with just 134 horsepower, so you probably won’t. It’s enough to catch up with the traffic, but treating the 4xe as an EV doesn’t have the same fun and torque-rich punches we’ve come to associate with electric cars.

Michael SimariCar and driver

To get the most out of fuel economy, you need to be close to your house and connect frequently. After traveling 150 miles on a single charge, the average fuel consumption exceeded about 200 miles to a disastrous 16MPGe. Owners enthusiastic about plug-ins and patterning in electric mode will certainly work, but most buyers will likely be well below 49MPGe. When the battery drains, the 4xe is actually less fuel efficient than a Wrangler with a Turbo 4 without plug-in hybrid hardware (20:22 mpg total). I blame the extra £ 800 that the 4xe carries wherever it goes.

If you can adjust the hiccups and annoying pauses in the powertrain, you’ll find that the 4xe can drive like any other Wrangler. Steering slack, suspension squish, and all-terrain tire inaccuracy are sufficient to hide the impact of extra weight on dynamics. After all, the numb and vague chassis turned out to be an advantage.

Michael SimariCar and driver

Wrangler buyers are accustomed to these compromises. For years, Americans have been willing to pay a premium for cars that are noisy, pumped, thirsty, and cramped on the highway to own the ultimate do-it-yourself car. Like any Wrangler, the 4xe can be a family SUV, convertible, off-road vehicle, and daily driver. It can tow 3500 pounds and can tow 30 inches of water as easily as rolling the curb of a Pigley Wigley parking lot.

But the 4xe clumsy powertrain hits us as a compromise that most people should tolerate, especially given the $ 10,705 premium over the V-6 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. (Many buyers are eligible to receive a $ 7,500 federal credit, but this equation is still unbalanced.) Most Jeep shoppers, at least for now, prefer a simple Wrangler. By accepting what is good, you can get better service. Wrangler.

specification

specification

2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe
Vehicle type: front engine, front and mid motor, four-wheel drive, five-seater, four-door wagon

price
Base / Tested: $ 53,190 / $ 62,415
Optional: Steel bumper group, $ 1745. Leather trim seat, $ 1695. Cold Region Group, $ 995. Safety group, $ 995. Trailer tow and rugged electrical group, $ 795. Advanced Safety Group, $ 795. Body color fender flare, $ 695. Remote Proximity Keyless Entry, $ 645. Sunrider soft top, $ 595. Cargo group with trail rail system, $ 195.Soft top window storage bag, $ 75

Power train
Turbocharger and Intercool DOHC 16 Valve 2.0 Litter Inline-4, 270 hp, 295 lb-ft + 2 AC Motors, 44 and 134 hp, 39 and 181 lb-ft (Total Output: 375 hp, 470 lb-ft; 14.0- kWh Lithium Ion Battery Pack (C / D EST (Eastern Standard Time); 7.2 kW in-vehicle charger)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Chassis
Suspension, F / R: Live Axle / Live Axle
Brake, F / R: 12.9 inch vent disc / 13.6 inch vent disc
Tires: BF Goodrich All-Terrain T / AKO2 Baja Champion
LT285 / 70R-17 116 / 113Q M + S

Size
Wheelbase: 118.4 inches
Length: 188.4 inches
Width: 73.8 inches
Height: 73.5 inches
Passengers: 109 feet3
Cargo volume: 28 feet3
Curb weight: 5318 lbs

C / D Test results
60 mph: 5.5 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.1 seconds @ 96 mph
The above result is omitted 1 foot rollout 0.3 seconds
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
Top Gear, 30-50 mph: 3.5 s
Top Gear, 50-70 mph: 4.7 seconds
Maximum speed (gov ltd): 100 mph
Brake, 70-0 mph: 217 ft
Road Holding, 300ft Skid Pad: 0.72g

C / D Fuel economy
Observation: 16 MPGe

EPA fuel economy
Complex / city / highway: 20/20/20 mpg
Gasoline and electricity total: 49 MPGe
EV range: 21 miles

C / D Test description

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https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a36906094/2021-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-4xe-by-the-numbers/ 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe complicates simple machines