This week I’ve been behind the wheel of a very unusual Jeep Wrangler, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe (pronounced 4 by E). So, what makes this Jeep so special and so unusual? It’s a plug-in electric hybrid.
Under the hood, you’ll find a 2-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that combines with a 17-kilowatt lithium ion battery that powers two electric motors. This power plant is mated to an 8-speed automatic. Together they put out 375-horses and an amazing 470-pound feet of torque. You’ll hit 60-miles per hour from a dead stop in just 6 seconds. Like most EVs, there is instant torque when on all-battery power, yet you can go cross country on the gas engine, unlike a pure electric.
The 2021 Rubicon has very nice bolstered leather seating with stitching and there is also stitching across the dash and throughout the door panels. From behind the multi-function steering wheel, there is a configurable driver info center in the middle of the colorful gauges.
Center dash is the 8.4” Uconnect system which operates the Alpine sound system, navigation, apps, climate, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, vehicle settings, and a readout to show you where the engine power is coming from.
This screen also operates a terrific rear camera, Wi-Fi hotspot, and Travellink to get real-time info.
Below the screen are the automatic temperate controlled air, hill descent control, the power window switches, and USB ports with a power outlet. There is also a button for maximum regeneration. This allows you to basically never use the brakes. When you let off the accelerator, braking starts, generating power to the batteries.
A red bar allows you to lock and unlock the Tru-Lok front and rear axles. You can also disconnect the front sway bar if you really get into rough terrain.
To the left of the steering wheel, you can control where your power comes from. You can choose hybrid, all-electric, or E-save. Once fully charged, E-save will allow you to save all the battery power until you want to use it.
The center console houses the gear shifter, your 4-wheel drive stick shifter, a couple of cup holders, and a two-tier armrest with storage.
Moving to the back seat, it has very good head and legroom. Back seat occupants have air vents, USB ports, and a 110-volt outlet for charging your mobile devices.
I love the built-in roll bar, it has speakers built into it. There is also a huge subwoofer in the rear section. Overall, the Alpine sound system is terrific.
What is fun about Jeeps is you can make them so different. Take the doors off and fold the windshield back. Enjoy all the fresh air you could want by rolling this Sunrider soft top back for a full open-air experience.
This Jeep is very loaded and comes with all the latest and greatest safety and off-road technology.
What You’ll Pay
Total MSRP on this Wrangler is $61,295, but this vehicle does qualify for a $7500 Federal Tax Credit. Fuel economy is rated at 49 MPGe when on electric, and 20 combined on all-gasoline mode.
Charging and Range
Let’s talk charging for a minute. If you plug into a regular 110 outlet, full charging takes about 12 ½ hours. If you get a level 2 charger, you can get a charge in 2 ½ hours.
If you want to drive all-electric, you will have 21 miles of range, before it seamlessly switches over to a hybrid.
Jeep keeps reinventing itself with new drive trains, and the 4xe is another choice for those who want to go partially green. If you have a short daily commute, you can avoid gas stations altogether.
2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe
- What I liked most: The performance when on pure battery.
- What I would change: Longer range in EV mode.
- MSRP: Base price $51,695 as equipped$61,295
- Fuel Economy:Rated at 49 MPGe, 20 combined in hybrid mode.
- Official Color: Firecracker Red.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1800 miles.
- Weight: 5,222 pounds. GVWR 6,400 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Full sized with matching tire AND wheel.
- Length-Width-Height: 188.4” long/73.8” wide/73.6” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.2 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side, and the power plug-in on the driver’s side, front.
- Towing Capacity: 3500 pounds.
- 2021 Wrangler 4xe in a few words:All the capability of a Rubicon with a more environmentally friendly twist.
- Final Assembly Location: Toledo, Ohio.
- Manufacturers website: Jeep
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.