Monday, September 26, 2022
ADVT 
Auto

Jeep Wrangler 4xe: Green and Mean Wrangler

Benjamin Yong Darpan, 29 Jul, 2022
  • Jeep Wrangler 4xe: Green and Mean Wrangler

The EV genie is not getting back into the bottle at this point, and it’s evident the industry is making a radical shift when even an iconic vehicle like the Jeep Wrangler is buying in. Last year, the brand introduced a 4xe plug-in hybrid variant, and now the latest 2022 model receives a few minor enhancements.

imglwranglerreal

“Our Jeep 4xe vehicles will be the most efficient, responsible and capable that the brand has ever created,” says Jeep CEO Christian Meunier in a media release. “We are committed to make Jeep the greenest SUV brand. The electrification of the Jeep lineup will allow commuters to travel solely on electric power, delivering an efficient and fun on-road experience and offering an ability to enjoy even more Jeep capability off-road in nearly complete silence.”

Stylistically, this Wrangler isn’t drastically different — customers may still choose from 10 different colours and the various types of tops — which personally I think is better than having the vehicle’s signature look altered. There’s Electric Blue accenting on the tow hooks, graphics and badging as well as the interior stitching. Our press loaner featured the optional one-touch fabric Sky Power Top requiring absolutely no unzipping or unbolting to open and close.

imglwranglerstand

The interior is pretty much what one would expect, with the exception of additional content on the driver information display and Unconnect touchscreen. For example, Eco Coaching pages show how the regenerative braking is working, gives stats on efficiency, and allows the scheduling of charging times. The caveat is all the extra data is a bit busy making it hard to see how much battery energy and fuel is remaining.

Under the hood is where things really get interesting. A 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, is complemented by two electric motors and a 400-volt battery pack. The resulting performance is nothing to scoff at: a total of 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. A motor-generator replaces the traditional alternator resulting in near-seamless start-stop operation. Starting up the Wrangler to virtually complete silence is definitely a little strange the first few times.  

imglwranglerwhite

Drivers are able to choose from three different operation settings via E Selec. Hybrid utilizes the internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric motors in tandem; Electric runs in zero emissions mode unless the battery is depleted and/or the accelerator is fully engaged; and eSave prioritizes the ICE saving charge for later use. The middle mode is particularly useful for in-city commuting, but rated at 35 kilometres plugging in after almost every trip is necessary.

imglWrangler-Rubicon-4xe

Fortunately, Jeep proves going green and going off-road aren’t mutually exclusive. If anything, it makes hitting the trails even more fun as torque comes on instantly and smoothly helping exercises like rock crawling become more predictable. And depending on the trim, different 4x4 systems are available such as the Rock-Trac that includes a two-speed transfer case with 4:1 low-range gear ratio. Skid plates and front/rear tow hooks are standard equipment.

For 2022 Silver Zynith Metallic and High Velocity exterior paint is being offered, and buyers can bundle a factory-installed Jeep Performance Parts Corning Gorilla Glass windshield. The new Sunrider Flip Top also joins the array of roofs, combining a soft front section and hard rear.

Highlights:   

MSRP: $55,321 (base)

Motor: 2.0-litre four cylinder + two electric motors

Horsepower: 375 @ 5,250 rpm   

Torque (lb-ft): 470 @ 3,000

Gearbox: eight-speed automatic

Layout: front engine, four-wheel drive   

Fuel economy: 10.3 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)

MORE Auto ARTICLES

2022 Infiniti QX60 review: Climbing the luxury ladder

2022 Infiniti QX60 review: Climbing the luxury ladder

The level of premium appointments in the interior is absolutely stunning. The cabin in our near grade-topping Sensory tester, slotting under the $67,995 Autograph, was draped in gorgeous melt-to-the-touch Saddle Brown semi-aniline leather with complementary hits of open pore ash wood looking elegant rather than gaudy as the trim sometimes can.

Mazda CX-50: New adventure-inspired SUV

Mazda CX-50: New adventure-inspired SUV

The most immediately noticeable outdoorsy aspect is the use of copious amounts of black body cladding on the bumpers, wheel arches and side sills. The addition of the off-road-ready armour complements the wind-swept lines of Kodo styling language surprisingly well, particularly in the desert-esque Zircon Sand Metallic paint colour of Darpan’s press loaner.

Major makeover: 2022 Lexus IS 300

Major makeover: 2022 Lexus IS 300

The already-excellent Lexus Safety System+ suite of technologies benefits from a few additions such as enhanced camera and radar equipment to help the pre-collision detection spot not just oncoming vehicles but preceding cyclists and pedestrians as well.

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge still setting EV benchmark

2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge still setting EV benchmark

Formerly offering an already healthy range of 335 kilometres on a single charge of the 78 kilowatt-hour high-voltage battery, minor digital tweaks to energy and thermal management ups the number by 24 to a total of 359 kilometres. Owners of 2021 vehicles are also eligible for the upgrade.

2022 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe

2022 Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe

Though the fifth generation E-Class is now getting a little long in the tooth, a replacement is coming soon. To tide enthusiasts over, however, Mercedes-AMG revealed a face-lifted E 53 last year highlighting fresh styling, a revised cabin and the introduction of the company’s high tech Mercdes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) infotainment system.

Mazda3 Sedan GT

Mazda3 Sedan GT

Though the Sport hatchback variant is arguably the better looking of the pair, the four door is a sleekly-shaped vehicle showcasing swoopy, fluid bodylines that are a product of the Hiroshima automaker’s Kodo “Soul of Motion” Design language. 

PrevNext