It’s odd to see an electric charging cable plugged into the side of a new 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe. With live axles, a manual transfer case, and removable doors, the Jeep Wrangler seems like the natural antithesis of the automobile’s electrified future. This, though, is the Wrangler’s future: Thirteen years in the making, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4XE plug-in hybrid is an environmentally friendlier Jeep—but only if you use it correctly.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe’s spec chart looks unimpeachable, but not all is as it seems. The 4xe is the second-most powerful Wrangler behind the ridiculous 392 V-8 model, and it is far and away the most fuel efficient, but there’s a catch.
The hybrid powertrain components and battery add significant weight, offsetting the Wrangler 4xe’s performance potential and gas-only fuel economy. Fail to plug in the Jeep Wrangler 4xe regularly, and you not only give up all of its advantages, you also sandbag yourself: Without the battery charged, the 4xe Jeep isn’t especially quick, and it returns worse fuel economy than a regular four-cylinder Wrangler. Use it the correct way, though, and you’re rewarded. It’s as easy as just plugging it in, but if you don’t have a suitable plug at home (or you simply can’t be bothered), this isn’t the Jeep Wrangler for you. For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.