With their air of backpackers, modern SUVs seem ready to venture off the beaten track. However, this is often far from being the case. But there are others who keep the real DNA of what a 4×4 should be. And among those, the legendary Wrangler. Revised in 2019, it is now equipped with a plug-in hybrid engine. It is therefore possible, for a few tens of kilometers, to evolve on the only electric mode!
But before going any further, take a look at the owner. As we have said, the bodywork changes little, and apart from one or the other blue logo here and there, or a hatch for the refill on the left front fender, nothing distinguishes the newcomer. On board, ditto, few changes. Electronics are invited on board, but there are still many classic buttons and controls, in a relatively “rough form” environment.
Oh yes, we were going to forget a new module, to the left of the steering wheel, to choose your driving mode: Electric, Hybrid or Recharge. What to manage the level of the battery which supplements the thermal block. This battery (350 kg) with a capacity of 17.3 kWh is located under the rear seat. This makes it possible not to “eat” the trunk (533 liters), but also to allow good fording, up to 76 cm according to Jeep!
Quiet but sometimes greedy
Under the hood, more diesel, which disappears from the catalog. This is the in-house 4-cylinder gasoline engine, which cubs 2.0 liters and produces 271 hp. Combined with a 46 kW starter-alternator, the set offers a whopping 380 hp, and above all 637 Nm of torque. Fans of off-road riding know that this is really what matters.
Let’s start with the road, with two observations. One, the “American-style” management is rather fuzzy, it’s a house habit. On the other hand, a good surprise, the car seems more stable in bends and more reassuring in its changes of downforce. Undoubtedly a benefit of the weight of the battery. Transmission level, the powertrain is associated with an 8-speed automatic gearbox which does its job. In hybrid mode, on a variety of roads and a few sections of highways, we stayed around 7-8 L / 100 km while riding with an egg under our feet. Normal given the Norman cabinet profile and the 2.2 tons. Without the help of the battery, count 2 or 3 liters more on average, even more if you are in Recharge mode and / or push a little too much on the right pedal.
After this first test segment, we are at the foot of the ski slopes in the region of Sestriere, Italy. Fat slopes, pebbles, visible rocks and steep slopes: nothing seems to stop our handyman. Even less when it comes to the “Rubicon” version wrapped in its paraphernalia of the perfect 4×4, with differential locks and short gearbox. Our ascent took place like a letter in the post and, enjoyable pleasure, in an almost monastic silence.
In short, we were amazed by a machine which, a priori, brings together elements contrary to its nature. We could even give the jury’s congratulations to this polymorphic machine… if it weren’t for the thorn of the prize. The plug-in is expensive, and these Wranglers – Rubicon or Sahara – therefore see their prices significantly inflated. Almost 10,000 € more than an equivalent petrol version. The silent walk in the forest is expensive.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe in a few figures
- Engine: 4 cyl., Gasoline, plug-in hybrid, 1.995cc; 380 hp at 5,250 rpm; 637 Nm at 3,000 rpm.
- Transmission: to 4 wheels.
- Gearbox: 8-speed auto.
- L/l/h (mm) : 4.882/1.894/1.838
- Empty weight (kg): 2.276
- Boot space (l): 533
- Tank (l): 42
- Electric range (km): 44-53
- 0 to 100 km / h (sec.): 6.4
- Max speed (km / h): 177
- Conso. Combined (l / 100 km): 3.5
- CO2 (g/km) : 79
- Price: 68.200 € TTC