When Jeep introduced the plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe in September, it was (somewhat justifiably) proud of what it called the “most capable Wrangler ever.” The 4xe would also get “50 mpg equivalent” Jeep said, when using both electric and gas motors, and 25 miles of all-electric range. Those numbers turned out to be slightly optimistic.
The actual numbers, recently unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency: Up to 21 miles of all-electric range, and 49 combined mpg equivalent when using the gasoline engine and electric motor.
Now, for a Jeep Wrangler, 49 mpg equivalent is still absolutely stellar, though to get that you’ll have to plug the car in every night after you’re done using it. Otherwise, on gas only, the 4xe gets a combined 20 mpg, according to the EPA. And 20 mpg is firmly mediocre among Wranglers and less than the gas-only version of this car, probably because of weight.
Here’s how the EPA rates the non-4xe Wrangles:
Wrangler owners have long accepted that they will never be getting good gas mileage. The 2021 Jeep Wranger 4xe asks a simple question: What if you could?
And let’s talk about that 21 miles of range, which you may characterize as “useless” or “deeply sad,” but in reality, 25 miles of range was not all that better, and 21 miles of range is not too bad considering that Wranglers are not very aerodynamic, wear off-road tires, and are heavy. Twenty-one miles of range is also probably enough for most people’s trips to the supermarket and back, or even for many people’s commutes, which is what Jeep intends it to be.
One probably also gets less than 21 miles of range when you take this thing off-road, but, again, that is not what this is for, though I would love to hear the results of someone who has tested the Wrangler 4xe in, say, Moab. Maybe at the very least you can turn it into some kind of party trick.
One final thing to consider when talking about range and fuel mileage: The Wrangler 4xe’s price, which starts at $47,995, or more than every other Jeep Wrangler except the High Altitude and Rubicon 392 versions. That ain’t cheap.
I emailed Jeep and will update this post if it responds.