The Jeep Wrangler 4xe can be found at your Jeep dealer now, but you might be wondering if the electric-powered Wrangler is useful off-road. After all, the Jeep Wrangler is known for its strong off-roading reputation.
If you buy a Wrangler 4xe, will you be able to take it on the trails like a regular Wrangler? Let’s find out.
What Makes the 4xe Special?
The first thing to know is that the Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid vehicle. This means that its traditional gas-powered engine is supplemented by an electric motor that can give you all-electric or hybrid drive modes. If you select electric mode, you can travel roughly 21 miles, but possibly more if you’re driving slowly and not towing anything. If you put it into hybrid mode, then you can get about 48 MPGe, which means your gas engine combined with the electric motor can give you the equivalent of 48 MPG.
Overall, you can travel roughly 400 miles on a full tank of gas and a fully-charged battery. So, how does this translate to off-road use? It actually translates pretty well as off-roading tends to be a slow experience. Electric mode works very well for the Wrangler 4xe off-road. You’ll immediately notice the battery-generated instant torque that can help you overcome an obstacle without any of the delay you’ll usually get from a gas engine.
How Long Can the Wrangler 4xe Last Off-Road?
Because off-roading is naturally slow and steady, you can enjoy your trails for up to four hours on only electric power. Those who’ve experienced the Wrangler 4xe off-road note that it’s a uniquely serene experience to drive through the outdoors without the customary roar of a combustion engine. If you’re off-roading with a passenger (which is always a good idea), you can more easily communicate when tackling obstacles.
In other words, the electric motor of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe provides plenty of power and plenty of runtime for off-roading. If you run out of charge, you can easily let your gas engine kick in. However, Jeep is also making strides to tackle the charging issue by adding solar-powered chargers at the trailheads of some of the best trails in the country. The chargers aren’t necessarily quick, but you’ll enjoy some quality time in nature while you wait.
The Wrangler 4xe will automatically engage the electric motor to add room to the battery for any charging gained through brake regeneration. eSave mode is then locked in until you change it. The good thing about this is that you can use all the range at once if you charge and then go right into EV-only mode. Another nice feature is the Max Regen button that pushes power back into the battery when you’re driving around town. You can almost get one-pedal driving in this mode as it will slow the Jeep down to 5 MPH.
The verdict is in–the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is quite competent off-road and even adds things that combustion-only Jeeps can’t do, namely full instant torque from the electric motor. When you test-drive one for the first time at your Jeep dealer, you’ll be surprised at what it can do.
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